An NBA Hypothetical

If you’re a sports fan, best to start reading Joe Posnanski’s blog. It’s wonderful. And as icing he gives us this question:

Could the NBA’s all-time fourth team beat the NBA’s all-time best team?
Let’s say the all-time NBA team looks like so:
G: Magic Johnson
G: Michael Jordan
F: Larry Bird
F: Bill Russell
C: Wilt Chamberlain
And the No. 2 all-time team looks like so:
G: Oscar Robertson
G: Jerry West
F: Tim Duncan
F: Elgin Baylor
C: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
And the No. 3 all-time team looks like so:
G: Bob Cousy
G: Kobe Bryant
F: Lebron James
F: Hakeem Olajuwon
C: Shaq
And the No. 4 all-time team looks like so:
G: Isiah Thomas
G: John Havlicek
F: Julius Erving
F: Karl Malone
C: Moses Malone
Now, obviously those are not my top four teams — I picked those names off the top of my head. You can mix and match, add or subtract, throw in a Bob Pettit or a Charles Barkley or a John Stockton or whoever. The question is if you put those four teams on the floor as is, would the No. 1 team definitely be the best? It looks like that to me … but what if Chamberlain and Russell don’t mesh? What if Jordan can’t play with Magic? What if the old timers turn out to not be able to play with the kids?
And how would this team compete against those teams?
G: Chris Paul
G: Dwayne Wade
F: Kevin Durant
F: Kevin Love
F: Dwight Howard

Presumably we’re talking about a seven game playoff series.