Whilst Russell is the greatest centre of all time, I can't pick him for my all time team. Sure, he would be great defensively in any era - he would be measured at close to 6"11 in todays NBA and those arms of his....those insanely long arms (I've read that he has a 7"5 wingspan) would make Lebron/Wade/Rose etc think twice before driving to the hoop. If he bulked up a little, I have no doubt he would be alternating DPOY awards with Howard.
However, his offense would be an issue. He was undoubtedly a good offensive player in his own era - only Wilt and Bellamy were better scorers from the centre spot, and he was the best passing big man for most of his career as well. But....he was clunky. That's probably the best word to describe his offense. From what I've seen, he didn't appear to have any go to 'moves' to rely on in the post (maybe he had a baby hook shot. Thats the only thing resembling a 'move' that I've seen). He seemed to just chuck up shots in the general vicinity of the hoop. More often than not, they didn't go in.
So, I'll go with....
C - '77 Karee.......actually no.......'94 Hakee......hmmmmmm. Hang on......ummmmmmm.........shit. Can someone help me out?
PF - '03 Tim Duncan. A no-brainer. The evolutionary Russell. Great leader and teammate, great defender, great passer out of the post. He wouldn't care if he only shot the ball 5 times a game - all he wants to do is win.
SF - '86 Larry Bird. I briefly entertained having Pippen or Hondo here (for their defence) but I need a shooter to spread the floor. And besides, Larry was the greatest rebounding SF of all time, the greatest play making forward of all time and arguably the greatest game 7 player of all time. Those things make up for his suspect man defence
SG - '91 Michael Jordan. He was at his all round best in the '91 playoffs, and the finals especially - he was just about clinging on to his 88/89 athleticism and was passing/playmaking like an elite point guard. Combine that with an insatiable desire/desparation to win his 1st ring and you have something truly scary (go watch game 2 of the '91 finals again. Right now. Go! When he was playing like that, he was unbeatable). He would still be the go to scorer and crunch time assassin, but he wouldn't be playing with Grant, Cartwright and Paxson on this team. We need balance (which is why I shied away from '93 MJ).
PG - '87 Magic Johnson. Another no-brainer. The NBAs greatest ever play maker at the peak of his powers.
EDIT: Actually, I'm not sure that having 2 defensive liabilities in 1 team is a good idea. You can get away with one.....but two? Hmmmmmmmmm. Sorry Magic, you're gunna have to make way for '69 West. That eliminates any speedy or athletic point guards getting a free pass into the lane and gives me an extra shooter. And besides, the ball should be in MJs hands most of the time anyway.
6th man - '09 Lebron. The most gifted all round player the league has ever seen (along with Wilt). He's probably the perfect utliity player - he can play and excel in 4 positions. He also wouldn't be playing crunch time so there would be very little pressure on him. He could focus on doing what he does best - facilitating and just being an all round monster.
Coach - Phil Jackson. The only choice! Don't ask me which version of him would be the best because I have no clue
I guess coaching is all about experience so I'll go with an older Phil - how about '09?