Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 9/13/14
This is the part of the NBA season when casual fans ask themselves if it's worth it. Your team stinks, the effort looks weak, and you start hearing about players' vacation plans. Blazer fans open the paper to find J.J. Hickson trade talk. You feel cheated, deceived, and look for reasons to turn away from basketball. Even D-Wade and the King are sitting it out. Kobe wants a rest, but the Mamba still strikes for twenty-three in the fourth against New Orleans, then hangs forty-seven on Portland the next night. There's only one option left for Blazer fans in the final days: Fantasize, not fantasy. How would Portland Trail Blazer greats match up against the stars from multi-titled NBA teams? That's the question asked of my research staff. The following is their answer. Starting in the Western Conference, the Blazers match up with teams listed by position: The Lakers of, 1. Magic. 2. Kobe. 3. James Worthy. 4. Kareem. 5. Shaq. 6th Man, Jerry 'The Logo' West. The Spurs of, 1. Tony Parker. 2. Manu. 3. Ice Man. 4. Timmy. 5. The Admiral. 6. Sean Elliot. The Rockets of, 1. Calvin Murphy. 2. James Harden. 3. Clyde Drexler. 4. Dream. 5. Yao Ming. 6. Moses Malone. Moving to the Eastern Conference, the Blazers match up with: The Celtics of, 1. Rondo. 2. The Truth. 3. Bird. 4. Garnett. 5. Russell. 6. McHale. The Bulls of, 1. Rose. 2. Jordan. 3. Pippen. 4. Rodman. 5. Joakim Noah. 6. Bob Love. The Pistons of, 1. Isaiah Thomas. 2. Joe Dumars. 3. Grant Hill. 4. Ben Wallace. 5. Bill Laimbeer. 6. Chauncey Billups. The Knicks of, 1. Walt Frazier. 2. Earl Monroe. 3. Carmello. 4. Ewing. 5. Willis Reed. 6. Dave DeBusschere. The 76ers of, 1. Iverson. 2. Dr. J. 3. Barkley. 4. Moses Malone. 5. Wilt. 6. Hal Greer. The Heat of, 1. Tim Hardaway. 2. D-Wade. 3. King James. 4. Alonzo Mourning. 5. Shaq. 6. Chris Bosh. Which Blazers would face these teams? 1. Lillard. 2. Roy. 3. Drexler. 4. Walton. 5. Sabonis. 6. Aldridge. Putting teams together over an extended time frame shows why great teams were great. Many are included in the 50 Greatest NBA players list, but that was 1996. Since then things have changed. You can see the championship core on some teams. That's the good news. The bad news is the core of the Miami Heat are still on the floor. The main criteria for the teams, besides the Blazers, is multiple NBA titles. Ball don't lie. These winners do what losers don't do. Who are your picks?
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