What would be the best defensive starting 5 in NBA history?

Oh this is fun.

PG:

Choices – Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Walt Frazier, Gary Payton, Mookie Blaylock, John Stockton, Don Buse, Norm Van Lier, Maurice Cheeks, Dennis Johnson

I’m gonna go with Gary Payton here as he slightly edges out the other candidates. Not quite as good off ball as DJ, CP3 or Frazier but on ball he’s one of the best.

SG:

Choices – Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tony Allen, Joe Dumars, Sidney Moncrief, Alvin Robertson, Michael Cooper, Jerry Sloan, Eddie Jones

Hard to bet against Michael Jordan here. Moncrief, Dumars and Robertson might have been slightly better defensively in their primes but Jordan was the most consistent.

SF:

Choices – Kawhi Leonard, Scottie Pippen, John Havlicek, Lebron James, Andre Iguodala, Metta World Peace, Gus Johnson

It’s gonna have to be Scottie Pippen he was just so versatile and great on both on ball and help defense.

PF:

Choices – Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kevin McHale, Anthony Davis, Giannis, Dave Debusschere, Dennis Rodman, Bobby Jones, Larry Nance, Buck Williams, Dan Roundfield, Draymond Green, Horace Grant, Paul Silas

So many good options to choose from here, but I’m taking Dennis Rodman for his versatility over KG, Duncan and Bobby Jones (but its very close).

C:

Choices: Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem, David Robinson, Artis Gilmore, Patrick Ewing, Nate Thurmond, Alonzo Mourning, Ben Wallace, Dikembe Mutombo, Dwight Howard, Dave Cowens, Rudy Gobert, Deandre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler

Again, many many options at the center here. I’ll probably go with Bill Russell the all time leader in defensive win shares over Hakeem, Wilt, Robinson and Thurmond (but its very close again)

BTW if anyone is interested I can give a list of the best defensive players by position this is how I would rank them:

PG:

  1. Gary Payton
  2. Walt Frazier
  3. Dennis Johnson
  4. Norm Van Lier
  5. Mookie Blaylock
  6. Don Buse
  7. Maurice Cheeks
  8. Jason Kidd
  9. Chris Paul
  10. John Stockton

SG:

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Sidney Moncrief
  3. Michael Cooper
  4. Alvin Robertson
  5. Joe Dumars
  6. Jerry Sloan
  7. Tony Allen
  8. Jerry West
  9. Kobe Bryant
  10. Eddie Jones

SF:

  1. Scottie Pippen
  2. Kawhi Leonard
  3. John Havlicek
  4. Metta World Peace
  5. Bruce Bowen
  6. Lebron James
  7. Tayshaun Prince
  8. Paul George
  9. Larry Nance
  10. Andre Iguodala

PF:

  1. Dennis Rodman
  2. Kevin Garnett
  3. Tim Duncan
  4. Bobby Jones
  5. Kevin McHale
  6. Dave Debusschere
  7. Dan Roundfield
  8. Draymond Green
  9. Giannis Antetokounmpo
  10. Paul Silas

C:

  1. Bill Russell
  2. Wilt Chamberlain
  3. Nate Thurmond
  4. Hakeem Olajuwon
  5. Dikembe Mutombo
  6. Ben Wallace
  7. David Robinson
  8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  9. Dwight Howard
  10. Mark Eaton (but it’s close between him, Alonzo Mourning and Artis Gilmore)