I think integration is where you draw the cut off line.
If you look up articles on the best teams of all time, the 1967 76ers (set the record for most regular season NBA wins at the time), the 1971 Bucks (Oscar and Kareem) and 1972 Lakers (broke the record with 69 wins, including 33 wins in a row, a record that may never be broken) are near the top. In an ESPN computer simulation a couple of years ago, the 1971 Bucks beat Jordan’s 72-win Bulls for the championship.
The Knicks had 5 HOF players on their team as they went to the NBA Finals in three out of four years, winning two titles against the Jerry West-Wilt Chamberlin Lakers.
The 1977 Portland Trailblazers featured Bill Walton, who would have gone down as a top-5 center of all time if he hadn’t suffered so many injuries. In 1978, Bill Walton was the MVP and Portland started the season 50–10 (68-win pace), but he broke his foot.
And we can’t ignore the Celtics’ incredible run during the 1960s.