Live EventBarstool Picks Central | Friday, September 30th, 2022 Presented by FireballWatch Now

My Toughest #Pickem Yet???

That's what many are saying, and I don't disagree. Holy smokes look at the attention to detail on this thing! Credit to Eustacchio Raulli for giving me my biggest challenge yet. You could say I took this one personally.

$15 to build a team, maximum of 2 players from each era. All players at peak, modern rules, no position restrictions, only pick players shown

Yes ok, I'll do it. Challenge accepted.

G Michael Jordan $7 (Remaining: $8)

Let's go ahead and get this one out of the way. Get a load of this:

What a dickhead lmao. There was no reason for that change of hands for the Lakers layup other than "I'm Michael Jordan and I can". People have jumped higher but I'm not sure I've seen anybody hang in the air longer than MJ. Let's get him some teammates.

C Arvydas Sabonis $2 (Remaining: $6)

Before I even started writing this, the only thing I knew for certain was that Arvydas Sabonis was going to be on this team. The rules say we get his prime too, not even just NBA prime, but his PRIME prime. And prime Sabonis is one of my favorite players to watch highlights. Who does he remind you of?

That's Jokic if I've ever seen it and he was doing it 35 years ago. Consider that by 22 years of age, Sabonis had a USSR title, Mr. Europa Player of the Year (great name for an award), two Euroscar PotY awards, and two Lithuanian Sportsman of the year awards. And then he tore his Achilles, which is bad news in 2020 nonetheless in 1986. He was all of 7'3", 290 lbs so that very well could have been curtains for his career. Hardly.

Knowing he tore his Achilles, Portland still drafted him in the first round. He went on to win two more USSR titles, four more Euroscar PotY awards, another Europa PotY, and another two Lithuanian Sportsman of the Year awards. Consider that he beat the 1988 USA Olympic team (David Robinson, Mitch Richmond, Danny Manning, Dan Majerle) and the Yugoslavian team (Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Toni Kukoc) on the way to a gold medal. The Dream Team was formed shortly thereafter because of the whooping Sabonis laid down. And I get his prime for $2?? A steal. 

G Klay Thompson $3 (Remaining: $3)

I'll admit that this one isn't for entirely basketball purposes. I mean, yeah I did need a shooter to capitalize off the open looks that Jordan creates and the passes Sabonis makes. Sure, he fits the bill as another defender on the wing to create havoc with MJ. But I picked Klay here because I just want to see the interactions that he and Jordan have as teammates. Imagine MJ getting mad in practice and punching Klay in the belly to get a rise out of him, only for Klay to tell him to "take a chill pill, Bro Namath". Mike might call the authorities himself when he can't figure out why Klay's gym bag always smells like a skunk and Klay's always a little dazed to start practice. Jordan would be yelling at Klay with all his might and Klay is just humming the theme song to "MAS*H". 

Kyle Lowry $2 (Remaining: $1)

What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, Lowry could have been free and I would have passed on him. Now? He's the perfect PG for this team. He'll run the offense without taking it over. He can hit an outside shot (37% career 3P) and is a bulldog defensively. These allow him to affect the game without scoring a point. But when he needs to, he can also start Finals clinching games on insane runs:

It's a crime that he costs the same as Sabonis but that's not Kyle's fault.

George McGinnis $1 (Remaining: $0)

I'll admit that I didn't know a ton about McGinnis going into this but after a four-minute Wikipedia/Basketball-Reference research session, you could say I'm a bit of a McInnis expert.

Over an 11 year career that covered the ABA & NBA, McGinnis amassed:

  • Two rings (73, 74)
  • MVP (75) and Playoffs MVP (73)
  • Five all-league selections (three First team, two Second teams)
  • Five-year peak of 25.6 PPG, 13.2 RPG, 4.1 APG, and 2.2 SPG

For ten dimes, George McGinnis can gladly be my power forward.

Kyle Lowry- Michael Jordan- Klay Thompson- George McGinnis- Arvydas Sabonis

Who you got?