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YouTube Gold: NBA Greats Pick Their All-Time Starting Five

Los Angeles Lakers: Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Lakers greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson were named by several NBA greats to their all-time Starting Five teams.
Photo by Brian Drake/NBAE via Getty Images

This is a surprisingly interesting video featuring NBA greats naming their all-time Starting Five.

As far as we can tell here, the biggest student of the game is the late Kobe Bryant, who’s the first one asked. He names his five as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain, after saying it’s hard to pick Wilt over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

When asked if he would put himself on that list, he immediately says “no dude, I’m nowhere near that stuff, man. You still got Jerry West, you still got Oscar Robertson, you still got Walt Frazier, you still got Bob Pettit, you still got...the list goes on and on.”

Some of the other stars asked are Magic Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Allen Iverson, Kevin Durant and, inevitably, Charles Barkley. Some guys name themselves and some have a real recency bias.

LeBron James is surprisingly up and down, perhaps because a lot of these guys played against him and may not have enjoyed it.

Also, some of the interviews are older. For instance, Magic criticizes Steph Curry for only having won one championship. He also insults Shaquille O’ Neal, saying that “he’s no Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.”