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NBA's 1968 Eastern All-Stars Might Have Been Huge Nightmare for Dream Team

Russell (photo), Chamberlain, Robertson, and Havlicek are on everyone's list of the greatest of the great.
Russell (photo), Chamberlain, Robertson, and Havlicek are on everyone's list of the greatest of the great.Elsa/Getty Images
Jeff KalafaAnalyst IIIJune 13, 2012

As the NBA Network pays tribute to Michael Jordan's 1992 Olympic Dream Team on its 20th anniversary, I ask you: What was the greatest basketball team ever assembled?

Before you say the Dream Team, you might want to know a little about the NBA's 1968 Eastern Conference All-Star Team—it may have been able to compete with them.

First of all, while 10 of the Dream Team's 12 players are on the NBA's list of their 50 greatest players, 11 of the NBA's '68 Eastern All-Stars are on the list.

The starting lineup for the Dream Team might have looked something like this: C Patrick Ewing, PF Karl Malone, SF Larry Bird, SG Michael Jordan and PG Magic Johnson.

The starting lineup for the '68 team might have looked something like this: C Wilt Chamberlain, PF Willis Reed, SF Dave Debusschere, SG John Havlicek and PG Oscar Robertson.

Both teams had great depth. The Dream Team had bench players like Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen. The '68 team had Bill Russell.

Russell, the Boston Celtics center, was the winningest athlete of all time. He won 11 NBA championships, five MVP awards and went to 12 All-Star games.

It's pretty much impossible to compare players from different eras because every year players get bigger and stronger, but the '68 team still might have competed with the Dream Team.

Chamberlain was 7'1" and extremely strong. He won four MVP awards and is the only player to score 100 points in a game.

Reed and Debusschere were big enough and certainly strong enough to play today, and Robertson, at 6'5", would be considered large for a point guard by today's standards.

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