The NBA has a rich history, some 68 years old, filled with storied organizations and players. During that time we have seen our great players come and go, but who have stood out from the rest in the history of the game? To decide this, we will look at a variety of criteria including statistics, team success and individual accolades.
Yes, the man who many fans (surprisingly) consider to be the most overrated choke artist in the league is actually one of the best players to ever step on a court. LeBron James just does things that shouldn’t be humanly possible. He’s bigger than a good portion of the players in the NFL and yet he walks gracefully as the most agile guard in basketball.
Michael Jordan is widely known as the game’s greatest player and for good reason. “MJ” put everything he could into the game while piling up the stats and awards. On the sport’s biggest stage – the NBA Finals Jordan went 6-for-6 in his performance, surpassing the Finals MVP.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Jabbar – Kareem Abdul is the top basketball player with the most MVP awards. He is recognized as one of the top scorers in NBA history and was never outside the top 10 scorers in the NBA playoffs. Carin played in 17 games over his 20-season career, won 6 championships and 2 NBA Finals MVP awards over 13 years, and earned the All-NBA First Team 10 times.
The leader of the Dream Team, Magic Johnson has been a very important player in the history of NBA, racking up championships and MVPs as well as revitalizing the NBA. His passing ability is still unmatched. With record number of assists per game, he was a perfect point guard but with the body frame of a center. Closely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.
Wilt Chamberlain is a man who was so dominant in the court that even years after his retirement from the game, tales of his exploits are famous. Another notable feat of his happened when he scored 100 points in a game in 1962. In a career spanning over fourteen years, Wilt achieved milestones that are still to be marveled at. During his 14-year career, he was not an All-Star only once, in 1970.
While we can debate day and night about the value of a triple-double in today’s position-less game, when Oscar Robertson became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in a season, it was less than monumental. Was. was not. The point guard was not supposed to be a 6’5″ scoring machine who could get buckets from anywhere on the court like The Big O. Nor do we expect him to crack the double-digit boards on a nightly basis. But Robertson broke the mold nearly 20 years before Magic Johnson debuted.
Russell was the ultimate winner in NBA history. He won a league title in all but two of his 13 seasons as a member of the Boston Celtics. Yes, the NBA consisted of just 8 to 14 teams during this period, so capturing a championship was a statistically easier feat for a single franchise, but even that fact does not diminish Russell’s historic accomplishments.
In a recent interview with Rapper Sports, Derrick Rose did a fair assessment of Larry Bird. Bird was never the most athletic player on the court, but he always dominated. What he lacked in athleticism, he made up for with great skills including his basketball IQ, that deadly jump shot, and fierce competition.
Simply put, Shaquille O’Neal was a brute force of nature in his prime. Another Laker who is considered one of the most influential players of all time, he intimidated the opposition with his bulk and size and there is no generation of NBA basketball where this 3-time All-Star Game MVP and 4-time NBA Won’t be a champion. Chief.
Duncan wasn’t the biggest, most athletic, or most dominant player in the league, but he would beat you with skill and smarts. Hence the nickname The Big Fundamental.
Duncan may have fallen out of the top 10 on all-time greatest lists, but he was dominant in wins as he led the small market San Antonio Spurs to 5 championships.