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What Would Today’s NBA Jam Look Like?

Our dream matchup.

The news that EA Sports is bringing back NBA Jam truly set the New York Magazine office on fire: We haven't stopped reliving those lonely weeks locked in the basement our youth since it broke. But what will today's version of NBA Jam look like? Which teams would be great? Which players would be chosen? We spent our entire afternoon figuring it out for you.

We put together a full NBA Jam power ranking, with three players on each team (remember, you can sub at halftime). We had to set a few ground rules, though:

1. The NBA is a league run by marketers. Thus, it might not make sense for the Rockets to have Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, but, in this game, they're on the team.

2. The ideal lineup is a shooter and a big man. Even though after three shots every shot from any spot on the floor goes in, ya gotta have both. You need someone who can shoot, and you need someone who can dunk and shove other players to the ground.

3. There are exceptions. The perfect NBA Jam player is a shooter and a dunking, shoving big man, which is why LeBron James would, without question, be the greatest player in NBA Jam history.

4. You are not allowed to play as the Clintons.


All right, without any further ado, The Sports Section presents its NBA Jam Power Rankings, with rosters (starters in CAPS). Let us know if we are wrong, though we're totally not.

EASTERN CONFERENCE NBA JAM POWER RANKINGS

1. Orlando Magic
Vince Carter, DWIGHT HOWARD, RASHARD LEWIS

2. Cleveland Cavaliers
LEBRON JAMES, Shaquille O'Neal, MO WILLIAMS

3. Boston Celtics
RAY ALLEN, Kevin Garnett, PAUL PIERCE

4. Atlanta Hawks
Jamal Crawford, JOE JOHNSON, JOSH SMITH

5. Miami Heat
MICHAEL BEASLEY, Jermaine O'Neal, DWYANE WADE

6. Washington Wizards
Caron Butler, GILBERT ARENAS, ANTAWN JAMISON

7. New York Knicks
DANILO GALLINARI, David Lee, NATE ROBINSON

8. Milwaukee Bucks
Andrew Bogut, BRANDON JENNINGS, MICHAEL REDD

9. Toronto Raptors
CHRIS BOSH, Jose Calderon, HEDO TURKOGLU

10. Chicago Bulls
DERRICK ROSE, Luol Deng, JOAKIM NOAH

11. Indiana Pacers
Mike Dunleavy, DANNY GRANGER, TROY MURPHY

12. Charlotte Bobcats
D.J. Augustin, STEPHEN JACKSON, GERALD WALLACE

13. Detroit Pistons
BEN GORDON, RICHARD HAMILTON, Charlie Villanueva

14. Philadelphia 76ers
Elton Brand, ANDRE IGUODALA, ALLEN IVERSON

15. New Jersey Nets
DEVIN HARRIS, Yi Jianlian, BROOK LOPEZ

WESTERN CONFERENCE NBA JAM POWER RANKINGS

1. Los Angeles Lakers
KOBE BRYANT, Pau Gasol, LAMAR ODOM

2. Phoenix Suns
STEVE NASH, Jason Richardson, AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE

3. Dallas Mavericks
Jason Kidd, DIRK NOWITZKI, JASON TERRY

4. Denver Nuggets
Chris Andersen, CARMELO ANTHONY, CHAUNCEY BILLUPS

5. San Antonio Spurs
TIM DUNCAN, MANU GINOBILI, Tony Parker

6. Oklahoma City Thunder
KEVIN DURANT, Jeff Green, RUSSELL WESTBROOK

7. New Orleans Hornets
CHRIS PAUL, Peja Stojakovic, DAVID WEST

8. Memphis Grizzlies
RUDY GAY, O.J. MAYO, Zach Randolph

9. Houston Rockets
Shane Battier, TRACY MCGRADY, YAO MING

10. Portland Trail Blazers
LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, Rudy Fernandez, BRANDON ROY

11. Utah Jazz
CARLOS BOOZER, Andrei Kirilenko, DERON WILLIAMS

12. Los Angeles Clippers
ERIC GORDON, BLAKE GRIFFIN, Chris Kaman

13. Golden State Warriors
STEPHEN CURRY, MONTA ELLIS, Corey Maggette

14. Sacramento Kings
TYREKE EVANS, KEVIN MARTIN, Jason Thompson

15. Minnesota Timberwolves
JONNY FLYNN, AL JEFFERSON, Kevin Love

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