NBA Dream Team C (1994-2014)

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NBA Dream Team (1994-2014)

 

What would the “Dream Team” look like if it took place with only players from the past two decades? In order to qualify for this list you’ve must have been drafted or started your playing career between 1994 and 2014. Excluding players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan.

 

*Probably the hardest part of the list considering how bad Centers have become in the NBA*

1st String: Dwight Howard

 

Drafted 1st overall in 2004 by Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard is one of the last actual dominating centers. To start off, the center position has become a sad thing.  Dwight is the only center left that is capable of averaging 20 and 10 (20 points and 10 rebounds). Its sad when you look to 1992 when 5 players averaged those numbers. David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O’neal, and Hakeem Olajuwon. Making this part of the list very hard to create. Coming straight out of high school to the pros, Howard managed to average a double double his first season and every season since then. Hes valued as the highest caliber center currently in the league. Currently playing for his third team in 10 years (Orlando, Los Angeles, and Houston) Howard is trying to live up to the legend of Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston. An 8x All-star, 5x All-NBA first team, 3x defensive player of the year, 5x leader in rebounds, 2x blocks leader, and Orlando Magics all-time leading scorer, Dwight keeps the figure of the “true” center alive.

 

2nd String: Yao Ming

Drafted 1st overall in 2002 by the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming made a big name for himself playing professional basketball in China. At a towering 7’6 and 310 lbs, Yao Ming dominated the Chinese league for 5 years before announcing his entry for the NBA draft. The chinese people saw Yao as a huge icon. He was only the second Chinese player to ever leave for the NBA and he was destined to be a star. Only allowed to play in the U.S. by the CBA, Yao had to be selected first overall by the Rockets. Which wasn’t a hard decision for the Rockets. Consistent knee problems only allowed Yao to play 8 years in the pros before being forced to retire because of the pain. Now we’re left with only a glimpse of what Yao Ming could have really been if he played his whole career in the NBA and if his knees stayed healthy. An 8x All-star, 2x All-NBA second team, averaging 19 ppg and 9.2 ppg.

3rd String: Ben Wallace

The only player to make the list and be undrafted, Ben Wallace came out of a small school (Virginia Union) with very little attention. Beginning as a free agent signing with the Washington Wizards,  his talent really wasn’t witnessed until he left Washington for Orlando and then for Detroit, where the legacy of Ben Wallace was shaped. Wallace became a threat in the paint when it came to rebounding and blocking shots, someone may just lose a tooth. Wallace used his amazing strength to pull down rebounds, deny shots, and make his name known. The Pistons were back and were one of the greatest defenses of all time. Setting an NBA record for most games where the opponent scored under 75, Ben Wallace was the defensive force behind it all. Becoming the Pistons all time blocks leader he was able to make a pretty solid career out of his defensive skills. With a long career (16 seasons) for someone who started out undrafted Wallace had some pretty impressive stats, including being the 2002 blocks leader, a 4x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA second team, 4x Defensive player of the year, 5x All-NBA defensive team, 2x rebound leader, and an NBA Champion in 2004