In your opinion, what numbers should each NBA team retire?

There are obviously teams with numbers I think they should retire and numbers that they retired that I don’t agree with.

So that said, here’s my listing of each NBA team and the numbers I think should be retired for that team, in my opinion

Oklahoma City Thunder:

#0 – Russell Westbrook
#1 – Gus Williams (Seattle Supersonics)
#20 – Gary Payton (Seattle Supersonics)
#24 – Dennis Johnson (Seattle Supersonics)
#24 – Spencer Haywood (Seattle Supersonics)
#25 – Jack Sikma (Seattle Supersonics)
#34 – Ray Allen (Seattle Supersonics)
#35 – Kevin Durant
#40 – Shawn Kemp (Seattle Supersonics)

Portland Trailblazers:

#0 – Damian Lillard
#7 – Brandon Roy
#12 – Lamarcus Aldridge
#20 – Maurice Lucas
#22 – Clyde Drexler
#30 – Terry Porter
#32 – Bill Walton

Sacramento Kings:

#1 – Tiny Archibald (Cincinnati Royals)
#2 – Mitch Richmond
#4 – Chris Webber
#12 – Maurice Stokes (Cincinnati Royals)
#14 – Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals)
#16 – Jerry Lucas (Cincinnati Royals)
#16 – Peja Stojakovic
#27 – Jack Twyman (Cincinnati Royals)

Golden State Warriors:

#6 – Neil Johnston (Philadelphia Warriors)
#9 – Andre Iguodala
#11 – Paul Arizin (Philadelphia Warriors)
#11 – Klay Thompson
#13 – Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia Warriors)
#17 – Chris Mullin
#23 – Draymond Green
#24 – Rick Barry
#30 – Stephen Curry
#35 – Kevin Durant
#42 – Nate Thurmond

Los Angeles Clippers:

#3 – Chris Paul
#6 – DeAndre Jordan
#11 – Bob McAdoo (Buffalo Braves)
#32 – Blake Griffin
#42 – Elton Brand

Los Angeles Lakers:

#13 – Wilt Chamberlain
#16 – Pau Gasol
#17 – Jim Pollard (Minneapolis Lakers)
#19 – Vern Mikkelsen (Minneapolis Lakers)
#22 – Elgin Baylor
#24 – Kobe Bryant
#25 – Gail Goodrich
#32 – Magic Johnson
#33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
#34 – Shaquille O’Neal
#42 – James Worthy
#44 – Jerry West
#52 – Jamaal Wilkes
#89 – Clyde Lovellette (Minneapolis Lakers)
#99 – George Mikan (Minneapolis Lakers)

Minnesota Timberwolves:

#21 – Kevin Garnett
#42 – Kevin Love

Milwaukee Bucks:

#1 – Oscar Robertson
#4 – Sidney Moncrief
#8 – Marques Johnson
#10 – Bob Dandridge
#33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
#34 – Giannis Antetokounmpo

Indiana Pacers:

#7 – Jermaine O’Neal
#13 – Paul George
#30 – George McGinnis
#31 – Reggie Miller
#34 – Mel Daniels
#35 – Roger Brown

Denver Nuggets:

#2 – Alex English
#12 – Fat Lever
#15 – Carmelo Anthony
#33 – David Thompson
#44 – Dan Issel
#55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Utah Jazz:

#4 – Adrian Dantley
#7 – Pete Maravich (New Orleans Jazz)
#8 – Deron Williams
#12 – John Stockton
#27 – Rudy Gobert
#32 – Karl Malone
#53 – Mark Eaton

Phoenix Suns:

#1 – Amar’e Stoudemire
#7 – Kevin Johnson
#13 – Steve Nash
#31 – Shawn Marion
#34 – Charles Barkley
#42 – Connie Hawkins
#44 – Paul Westphal

Dallas Mavericks:

#2 – Jason Kidd
#22 – Rolando Blackman
#24 – Mark Aguirre
#41 – Dirk Nowitzki

Houston Rockets:

#1 – Tracy McGrady
#3 – Steve Francis
#11 – Yao Ming
#13 – James Harden
#22 – Clyde Drexler
#23 – Calvin Murphy
#24 – Moses Malone
#34 – Hakeem Olajuwon
#45 – Rudy Tomjanovich

San Antonio Spurs:

#2 – Kawhi Leonard
#9 – Tony Parker
#12 – Bruce Bowen
#20 – Manu Ginobili
#21 – Tim Duncan
#21 – Alvin Robertson
#44 – George Gervin
#50 – David Robinson

Chicago Bulls:

#1 – Derrick Rose
#10 – Bob Love
#23 – Michael Jordan
#25 – Chet Walker
#33 – Scottie Pippen
#53 – Artis Gilmore
#91 – Dennis Rodman

Detroit Pistons:

#1 – Chauncey Billups
#3 – Ben Wallace
#4 – Joe Dumars
#10 – Dennis Rodman
#11 – Isiah Thomas
#12 – Bailey Howell
#12 – George Yardley (Fort Wayne Pistons)
#16 – Bob Lanier
#21 – Dave Bing
#33 – Grant Hill

Miami Heat:

#1 – Chris Bosh
#3 – Dwayne Wade
#6 – Lebron James
#10 – Tim Hardaway
#32 – Shaquille O’Neal
#33 – Alonzo Mourning

New Orleans Pelicans:

#3 – Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets)
#23 – Anthony Davis

Memphis Grizzlies:

#16 – Pau Gasol
#33 – Marc Gasol

Charlotte Hornets:

#2 – Larry Johnson
#15 – Kemba Walker
#41 – Glen Rice

Cleveland Cavaliers:

#2 – Kyrie Irving
#23 – Lebron James
#25 – Mark Price
#43 – Brad Daughtery

Philadelphia 76ers:

#2 – Moses Malone
#3 – Allen Iverson
#4 – Dolph Schayes (Syracuse Nationals)
#6 – Julius Erving
#10 – Maurice Cheeks
#13 – Wilt Chamberlain
#15 – Hal Greer
#21 – Joel Embiid
#24 – Bobby Jones
#32 – Billy Cunningham
#34 – Charles Barkley

Toronto Raptors:

#2 – Kawhi Leonard
#4 – Chris Bosh
#7 – Kyle Lowry
#10 – Demar Derozan
#15 – Vince Carter

Orlando Magic:

#1 – Tracy McGrady
#1 – Penny Hardaway
#12 – Dwight Howard
#32 – Shaquille O’Neal

Washington Wizards:

#0 – Gilbert Arenas
#2 – John Wall
#11 – Elvin Hayes (Baltimore Bullets)
#25 – Gus Johnson (Baltimore Bullets)
#41 – Wes Unseld (Baltimore Bullets)

Atlanta Hawks:

#2 – Joe Johnson
#9 – Bob Pettit (St Louis Hawks)
#14 – Lenny Wilkens (St Louis Hawks)
#14 – Zelmo Beaty (St Louis Hawks)
#15 – Al Horford
#16 – Cliff Hagan (St Louis Hawks)
#21 – Dominique Wilkins
#22 – Slater Martin (St Louis Hawks)
#23 – Lou Hudson
#55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Brooklyn Nets:

#3 – Drazen Petrovic (New Jersey Nets)
#5 – Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets)
#32 – Julius Erving (New Jersey Nets)
#52 – Buck Williams (New Jersey Nets)

New York Knicks:

#7 – Carmelo Anthony
#9 – Richie Guerin
#10 – Walt Frazier
#15 – Earl Monroe
#19 – Willis Reed
#22 – Dave Debusschere
#30 – Bernard King
#33 – Patrick Ewing

Boston Celtics:

#0 – Robert Parish
#3 – Dennis Johnson
#5 – Kevin Garnett
#6 – Bill Russell
#9 – Rajon Rondo
#10 – Jo Jo White
#14 – Bob Cousy
#15 – Tom Heinsohn
#17 – John Havlicek
#18 – Dave Cowens
#21 – Bill Sharman
#22 – Ed Macauley
#24 – Sam Jones
#31 – Cedric Maxwell
#32 – Kevin McHale
#33 – Larry Bird
#34 – Paul Pierce


Who are your top 10 NBA players of all time and why?

  1. Michael Jordan is the GOAT – because he’s the most complete guard ever to play and has more titles than Wilt does so he goes #1. 6–0 in the Finals, 10 scoring titles, 5 MVPs, 6 Finals MVPs, DPOY, he’s simply the most decorated player ever and thus deserves to be GOAT
  2. Wilt Chamberlain is my #2 – next to Jordan, the most complete player ever to play. Offensively he had the best prime of any player ever averaging 50 pts a game and Defensively he was probably the second best defensive player ever next to Bill Russell. He holds over 70+ NBA records, including most point/rebound/stamina related ones. He had the misfortune of playing on bad teams early in his career. So he goes second.
  3. I put Kareem Abdul-Jabbar third because really he had all the awards and accolades as well – just a hair short of Jordan, thats all. All time, he holds more records though due to his longevity. 6 rings, 6 MVPs, 2 scoring titles, 2 finals mvps, offensively and defensively he was not up to Wilt/Jordan but definitely above par – and he maintained this high level of play for 20 seasons. So Kareem is #3 for me.
  4. Bill Russell is #4 for me – no other player in professional sports has won as many championships as Bill Russell. No other player in NBA history had as much impact on the defensive side. The first black superstar in the NBA. The first black coach in American sports. The center of the most dominant dynasty in NBA history, for people who say that Russell had a stacked team, lets not forget that Bill Sharman and Bob Cousy won nothing before Russell came on the team, and John Havlicek had to wait until he got Dave Cowens to win anything again. Russell, Sam Jones and Tom Heinsohn really was the core of that dynasty. Russell’s weakness was his shooting as both his FG% and FT% were quite terribe.
  5. Lebron James is my #5. the most dominant player in the modern era (2010s-) he made 9 NBA finals which is the most Finals out of any player post 1960s, and he did it with the rigors of the modern NBA – 7 game series, 4 playoff series. He won more MVPs (4) than any other player at his position. He’s currently averaging 28/8/8 as a 34 year old. This kind of dominance hasn’t been seen since Jordan – although unlike Jordan, he also rebounds like a PF and assists like a PG. His 3–1 comeback in 2016 to beat a 73–9 team secured his position in the top 5 all time.
  6. Magic Johnson next. The best PG ever to play, Magic elevated his teammates like no other player except maybe Russell and Duncan. He holds 5 rings which is second most rings for a PG after Bob Cousy, he won by far the most MVPs and Finals MVPs (3) out of any PG. He was the centerpiece of a juggernaut Showtime Lakers dynasty that went to 9 Finals in just 12 years. I had Magic above Lebron at #5 until Lebron made that remarkable comeback in 2016. Magic’s weakness has always been his defense, although he led league in steals twice.
  7. Larry Bird. I often switch between Larry Bird and Tim Duncan for my #7 spot. Depends on my mood. They are both awesome franchise players and great team players that could step up in the heat of the moment. Larry Bird has less rings but more MVPs. He was probably more versatile than Duncan was. Bird could shoot the lights out, play decent defense (though not as good as Duncan), rebounded as well as Duncan did, and passed better than anyone in his era not named Magic. Bird had a habit of making clutch plays. His only flaw was having a shortened career plagued by injury.
  8. Tim Duncan. As I said, I often swap between Bird and Duncan because they are so close. Duncan tied Kobe for the most rings in his era, but has more MVPs and more Finals MVPs, and was probably a better teammate. He didn’t care about stats so much, just about helping his team win games, and win games he did – he never missed the playoffs in his career, something that only Russell and Magic could say in my top 10. Duncan was a complete player, although he never led the league in scoring or had a DPOY – his offense and defense were often low key but valuable in crucial moments of the game.
  9. Kobe Bryant. A very polarizing player, some people rank Kobe in the top 3, some people rank Kobe outside the top 10. The reason he’s so polarizing is due to his style of play. Since he’s almost a clone of Jordan – many fans think he should be ranked next to Jordan – although this is false premise, because Kobe trails Jordan (and often significantly) in every statistical category and award category except for 3PT shooting. Nevertheless, Kobe is in my top 10 because of his great work ethic and desire to win. He wasn’t a great shooter (he was league average at shooting which is considered low for an all time great), but that never stopped him from trying to step up in the big moments. He has the second most accolades of any shooting guard and thats why I have to rank him in my top 10 (but not higher than #9).
  10. Jerry West. Some people might wonder, why Jerry West here? Why not Oscar Robertson? Hakeem? Shaq? other players that some people put in their top 10. I’m not opposed to anyone putting Oscar/Hakeem/Shaq over West, I mean that’s their list, and those guys all have MVPs and in Hakeem/Shaq’s case more rings than West. But Jerry West is my favorite player ever. Before Jordan, he was probably the most complete guard to play the game. And unlike Wilt, he was relatable. We’re not physical freaks like that guy was. West was more of the every man that got his points, rebounds and assists through hard work and determination alone. He was a better defensive player than Oscar, and a better teammate by all accounts as well. He went to a total of 10 NBA Finals, which is the most by any non 60s Celtics player. He was unlucky – several of his NBA Finals like in 1962, 1969 and 1970 came down to an unlucky game 7. He was nicknamed Mr Clutch because of his ability to step up in close moments. He played point guard equally as well as shooting guard – leading the league in both scoring and assists before. He still holds the NBA record for most PPG average in any playoff series at 46 PPG. He is the only player ever awarded Finals MVP on a losing team – a testament to how badly he wanted to win. And let’s not forget – he’s probably the GOAT of NBA executives as well. That’s why he’s the NBA Logo and why I put him ahead of Oscar, Hakeem and Shaq despite not having as many MVPs/Rings.

If 2K games asked you to make a sequel to NBA 2K12 showcasing 15 legendary teams who would you add?

Interesting question.

For reference, here’s the 15 legends and teams that NBA 2K12 had (with additional HOFers on each team in brackets):

  1. Bill Russell – 1965 Celtics (Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, John Havlicek) vs 1965 Lakers (Jerry West, Elgin Baylor)
  2. Oscar Robertson – 1971 Bucks (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Dandridge) vs 1971 Hawks (Pete Maravich)
  3. Jerry West – 1971 Lakers (Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Wilt Chamberlain) vs 1971 Bucks (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson)
  4. Wilt Chamberlain – 1972 Lakers (Jerry West, Gail Goodrich) vs 1972 Knicks (Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Bill Bradley, Dave Debusschere)
  5. Dr J – 1985 76ers (Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Charles Barkley) vs 1985 Bucks (Sidney Moncrief)
  6. Larry Bird – 1986 Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton) vs 1986 Hawks (Dominique Wilkins)
  7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1987 Lakers (Magic Johnson, James Worthy) vs 1987 Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton)
  8. Isiah Thomas – 1989 Pistons (Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman) vs 1989 Bulls (Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen)
  9. Magic Johnson – 1991 Lakers (James Worthy) vs 1991 Trailblazers (Clyde Drexler, Drazen Petrovic)
  10. Scottie Pippen – 1993 Bulls (Michael Jordan) vs 1993 Hornets (Alonzo Mourning)
  11. Hakeem Olajuwon – 1994 Rockets vs 1994 Nuggets (Dikembe Mutombo)
  12. Patrick Ewing – 1995 Knicks vs 1995 Magic (Shaq)
  13. Michael Jordan – 1996 Bulls (Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman) vs 1996 Sonics (Gary Payton)
  14. Karl Malone – 1998 Jazz (John Stockton) vs 1998 Lakers (Shaq, Kobe Bryant)
  15. John Stockton – 1998 Jazz (Karl Malone) vs 1998 Spurs (David Robinson, Tim Duncan)

How 2K12 chose their 15 players is interesting to me – I mean they mostly got it right except for the off inclusion of Patrick Ewing who I don’t think anybody besides hardcore Knicks fans would really include as a top 15 player all time. Using the 1985 76ers is also an odd inclusion but it’s most likely because they wanted to get Charles Barkley in (but eventually couldn’t due to licensing issues) – the 1983 version is almost better in every way.

So here’s what I would change to get it up to speed to 2019 (and assuming I have all the licenses of every NBA legend including notoriously Charles Barkley who has been reluctant to include himself in NBA games for years)

  1. Bill Russell – 1960 Celtics (Sam Jones, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Sharman) vs 1960 Hawks (Bob Pettit, Cliff Hagan) – I chose the 1960 team because it gives us Cousy and Sharman and we get to see the perennially underrated Bob Pettit as well
  2. Oscar Robertson – 1971 Bucks (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bob Dandridge) vs 1971 Hawks (Pete Maravich) – I have no problems with keeping this matchup the same
  3. Wilt Chamberlain – 1967 76ers (Chet Walker, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham) vs 1967 Warriors (Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond) – not only is this Wilt’s best team but we get a whopping 5 new HOFers because of it! Have no idea why 2K didn’t use this team in 2K12.
  4. Jerry West – 1970 Lakers (Elgin Baylor, Gail Goodrich, Wilt Chamberlain) vs 1970 Knicks (Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave Debusschere, Bill Bradley) – Why not the 1972 version? because I want to keep Elgin Baylor that’s why
  5. Dr J – 1983 76ers (Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks) vs 1983 Bucks (Sidney Moncrief, Bob Lanier, Marques Johnson) – The 1983 version is strictly better than the 1985 version and gives us Bobby Jones as well. Same with the Bucks we get 2 extra HOFers there too.
  6. Larry Bird – 1986 Celtics (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton) vs 1986 Rockets (Hakeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson) – changing the Hawks to the Rockets, sorry Dominique and sorry Hakeem you’re not headlining a spot anymore
  7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1985 Lakers (Magic Johnson, Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes) vs 1985 Celtics (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson) – It makes sense for this to be the 1985 Lakers because it’s Kareem’s favorite Showtime team and the one he won Finals MVP with, and also gets us McAdoo and Wilkes as well.
  8. Magic Johnson – 1988 Lakers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy) vs 1988 Pistons (Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Adrian Dantley) – Sorry Isiah I demoted you from headline status but you still get a secondary role as Magic’s opponent
  9. Michael Jordan – 1993 Bulls (Scottie Pippen) vs 1993 Suns (Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson) – This is when MJ was at his peak – and we just gotta include a Barkley team so this is it
  10. Karl Malone – 1998 Jazz (John Stockton) vs 1998 Spurs (David Robinson, Tim Duncan) – keeping this one more or less as is

Removed Patrick Ewing, demoted Hakeem, Isiah, Stockton and Pippen to make way for:

11. John Havlicek – 1976 Celtics (Dave Cowens, Jo Jo White) vs 1976 Bullets (Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Dave Bing) – we get a whopping 5 new HOFers to play with in this matchup!

12. Shaq – 2001 Lakers (Kobe Bryant) vs 2001 76ers (Allen Iverson, Dikembe Mutombo) – this is clearly the best team of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers and we get the ever popular Iverson here as well

13. Kobe Bryant – 2008 Lakers (Pau Gasol) vs 2008 Celtics (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo) – we get an extra 5 HoFers added in this matchup as well

14. Lebron James – 2013 Heat (Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen) vs 2013 Spurs (Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard) – we get probably the best matchup between the two leading dynasties of the era and a whopping 8 HoFers playing in this matchup!

15. Stephen Curry – 2018 Warriors (Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green) vs 2018 Rockets (James Harden, Chris Paul) – the Rockets were the toughest matchup for the Warriors Dynasty (sorry Cavs) and this way we get a good 6 HoFers out of it. Sorry KD I put Curry as the headliner because he was the de facto leader of the dynasty.

That’s the 15 teams I would choose for the next ‘Legends’ showcase I think these are better choices and add considerably more depth and more HoF talent for players to play with