Every NBA Team’s Franchise Four

If you saw the MLB All-Star game Tuesday night, you know that prior to the start of the game, the MLB listed the franchise four for each team. In honor of that, here is the franchise four for the NBA teams in no particular order.

Atlanta Hawks

Dominique Wilkins, Dikembe Mutombo, Bob Pettit, Lenny Wilkens

The Hawks don’t have the richest history of all the teams on this list, but they field a pretty good top four with four HOFers.

Russel has accumulated a literal handful of rings in his career (picture courtesy of mycssa.com).
Russell has accumulated a literal handful of rings in his career (mycssa.com).

Boston Celtics

Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Kevin McHale, John Havlicek

The players on this list combine to have over 20 championships and decades of dominance, and yet the Celtics still have three to four other players that would make the top four for other teams. It’s a crime that Robert Parish, Tiny Archibald, and Paul Pierce can’t be on this list. 

Brooklyn Nets

Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Julius Erving, Buck Williams

Some people might forget that Julius Erving played for the Nets, but here he is, along with Jason Kidd and Vince Carter. Buck Williams was also the franchise’s leading scorer.

Charlotte Hornets

Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker, Gerald Wallce, Emeka Okafor

Quite possibly the weakest team on the list. Both Emeka Okafor and Gerald Wallace were mere role players on other rosters.  (NOTE: franchise was formed as Charlotte Bobcats in 2004.)

Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Derrick Rose, Dennis Rodman

It was tough to leave Joakim Noah off the list, but Dennis Rodman was a big part of the championships in the Windy City. The other three players are locks. That MJ guy was pretty good. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James, Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance, Mark Price

Outside of LeBron James, this team is not one with a rich history of dynamic players.

Nash and Kidd also made appearances on this list for other teams (picture coutesy of bleacherreport.com).
Nash and Kidd also made appearances on this list for other teams ( bleacherreport.com).

Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Rolando Blackman 

Dirk is clearly best player in Mavs’ history. Jason Terry was a very good player, but Steve Nash and Jason Kidd get the nod. Rolando Blackman was their all-time scorer and is one of the two retired numbers by the Mavericks. 

Denver Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony, Dan Issel, David Thompson, Alex English

Denver is not a notorious basketball city. Carmelo left and Allen Iverson didn’t stick around for long, but the other players on this list had good years of production for the Nuggets.

Detroit Pistons

Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Chauncey Billups

The Bad Boys were dominant for several years in the latter part of the 20th century before MJ took over. Chauncey Billups and company recreated that and brought the Larry O’Brien trophy back to the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry, Wilt Chamberlain, Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin

Chef Curry makes this list after winning MVP and a Championship this past season. Wilt makes the list, in addition to Hardaway and Chris Mullin to round out a solid top four. 

Houston Rockets

Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler, Yao Ming

Hakeem Olajuwon is the best player in Rockets history. If Harden can win an MVP or two and a championship, he can move up the list quickly.

Indiana Pacers

Reggie Miller, George McGinnis, Paul George, Mark Jackson

Reggie Miller tops this list for the Hoosier state. Paul George also makes the cut along with George McGinnis and Mark Jackson.

Los Angeles Clippers

Bob McAdoo, Elton Brand, Randy Smith, Blake Griffin

Some people may be surprised to see Blake Griffin on the top four for the Clippers, but let’s not forget how miserably bad this team was for many years until he arrived. It’s hard to field a deep list when you’ve never won a championship.

Shaq and Kobe boasted a 3-peat as Lakers (picture courtesy of bleacherreport.com).
Shaq and Kobe boasted a three-peat as Lakers (bleacherreport.com).

Los Angeles Lakers

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal

This could be the best top four, along with the Celtics of course. These four combined for numerous championships, multiple dynasties, and cemented a lasting legacy as the better Los Angeles team. It was hard keeping Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and James Worthy off the list.

Memphis Grizzlies

Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley

The Gasol brothers are the best Grizzlies of all-time. Randolph and Conley have been the main contributors, along with Marc Gasol, in the most dominant stretch of basketball played by the Grizzlies. They are still a very young franchise. 

Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, LeBron James, Chris Bosh

The Heat have won championships with each of these players, and Bosh and Wade continue to make Miami a basketball destination with the help of Pat Riley.

Milwaukee Bucks

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ray Allen, Oscar Robertson, Sidney Moncrief

Not the strongest of top franchises in NBA History, but the Bucks certainly have had some talented players, none greater than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Oscar Robertson also makes the list here for the Bucks as one of the best players to ever play in a Bucks uniform. It was tough to leave off Mr. Bucks Basketball Jon McGlocklin.

Garnett hopes to teach Wiggins and Towns the winning ways (picture courtesy of bringmethenews.com).
Garnett hopes to teach Wiggins and Towns the winning ways (bringmethenews.com).

Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett, Wally Szczerbiak, Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins

Okay, just let me put Andrew Wiggins on here. This guy will likely make more playoff appearances than Al Jefferson and Kevin Love combined. I also absolutely love having The Big Ticket back in Minnesota.

New Orleans Pelicans

Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, Dell Curry, Larry Johnson

The Pelicans are another team with a brief history of success. Anthony Davis hopes to turn that around. He better, considering he just got a $30 million per year contract. (NOTE: franchise considered as Charlotte Hornets that expanded in 1988.)

New York Knicks

Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier

Patrick Ewing is the best Knick of all-time. The other three are solid players that helped contribute to good basketball in New York. Yes that’s right, there was once good basketball played in New York. I think Kristaps Porzingis will make this list someday…

Oklahoma City Thunder

Shawn Kemp, Kevin Durant, Gary Payton, Russell Westbrook

Remember that the Thunder were in Seattle before, so Payton and Kemp make the list. Westbrook and Durant have been the core for this team in Oklahoma City.

Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard, Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Tracy McGrady

The Magic have four great players on their list. Ultimately, the departures of Howard and T-Mac have stunted the long term growth of the franchise.

Allen Iverson was one of the best players of his generation (picture coutesy of exnba.com).
Allen Iverson was one of the best players of his generation (exnba.com).

Philadelphia 76ers

Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone

Allen Iverson is one of the greatest scorers of all-time. Julius Erving also played Hall of Fame basketball in Philadelphia, as did Chamberlain and Malone.

Phoenix Suns

Steve Nash, Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Alvan Adams

The Suns have two pretty great players in Steve Nash and Charles Barkley. Johnson has separated himself from other Suns, and Adams is by far the leader in games played and scoring.

Portland Trail Blazers

Clyde Drexler, LaMarcus Aldridge, Terry Porter, Rasheed Wallace

Clyde Drexler and LaMarcus Aldridge are the two best Blazers of all-time. Porter and ‘Sheed make the list as well.

Sacramento Kings

Oscar Robertson, Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mitch Richmond

I love Peja Stojakovic and am happy to put him on the list. Oscar Robertson and Chris Webber were phenomenal for the Kings. Richmond was a great player for the Kings too.

Duncan, Robinson, and Parker helped make San Antonio a basketball destination (picture courtesy of hhweb.com).
Duncan, Robinson, and Parker helped make San Antonio a basketball destination (hhweb.com).

San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Tony Parker, George Gervin

It was hard to keep Manu Ginóbili off this list, but The Ice Man was such a great player. The other three were dominant players on championship winning teams. Duncan could be the greatest power forward of all-time. 

Toronto Raptors

Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, Tracy McGrady, Kyle Lowry

The Raptors are not a team with a rich history; even Kyle Lowry and Tracy McGrady make the list having played only three seasons in Toronto.

Utah Jazz

John Stockton, Karl Malone, Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley

Stockton and Malone were the two best players to ever play in Salt Lake City. Dantley and Maravich both also make the cut for Utah. 

Washington Wizards

John Wall, Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld, Gilbert Arenas

Washington D.C. has been a great home for basketball, but not a ton of great teams of players. John Wall already makes the list, and Bradley Beal could jump up the list in no time.

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