Top 10 NBA Players of All Time
If someone asked you to name the best ten basketball players in the history of the game, would you consider it an easy task? At first, you might, but the very moment you actually begin thinking of so many superior players from different generations you will realize it is almost a mission impossible.
You might go and simply look at the stats, records, and ultimately titles. Would it give an accurate answer, though? We don’t believe so because there are many more factors we should all take into consideration when dealing with such a delicate theme.
For example, Shaquille O’Neal was one of the best centers we have ever seen on basketball courts without any doubt. However, how much credit does Kobe Bryant get for Shaq’s brutal dominance under the rims? Or how do you distinguish the likes of Steve Nash and Chris Paul who both left a significant mark in the National Basketball Association?
We know the following list may hurt someone’s feelings, but here are the 10 best men who have ever played the game as suggested by the experts at leading UK sports and tipping site www.bettingtips4you.com.
10 – Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq was the only 7’1″ 365-pound center with speed, athleticism, and explosiveness in the history of the game. We have truly not seen such a dominant figure basketball figure and we simply had to find a place in this list for him. A 15-time All-Star is one of just three players to win NBA MVP, Finals MVP, and All-Star Game MVP awards in one season (1999/2000). He holds third place all-time in field-goal percentage. Shaq spent most of his career in Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers.
9 – Hakeem Olajuwon
The Dream would have certainly won many more titles had he not played in the Michael Jordan era. Many fans quibble about him winning his two titles only after MJ retired, but who can underestimate one of the most spectacular centers to ever play the game. Hakeem won the NBA MVP award in 1994 and he was the MVP of the Finals in both of Houston Rockets’ back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. At the end of his Houston reign (1984-2001), he finished the career with one season in the Toronto Raptors.
8 – Bill Russell
Boston Celtics are widely known as the best franchise in NBA history alongside the Los Angeles Lakers. They can thank one man for a big portion of their successes. His name is William Felton Russell. He was the central figure of the Celtics dynasty that has won 11 NBA titles during his 13 years of play. The center has won five MVP awards in the process and he took his last two titles in a double player-coach role.
7 – Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain’s team successes can hardly be compared to those of Bill Russell, but this man has changed the concept of the game. No one will ever come even close to averaging more than 50 points per game for a season. Wild did it in the 1961/62 campaign. Nobody else averaged even 40 or more points per game in a season. He averaged over 22 rebounds per game throughout his career. He averaged almost 46 minutes per game in the career. He is the only player to have ever scored more than 100 points in one game. We all have to respect these magnificent individual achievements whether you like someone or not.
6 – Larry Bird
Larry did not win the same number of titles as Bill Russell, but he is probably even more loved in Boston. The famous Boston Garden has not seen a more lethal scorer when it mattered the most. Do you want to talk about the clutch? Look no further than Larry Bird. He averaged double-double figures (points and rebounds) in a 13-year career, despite suffering a weird injury while paving his mom’s driveways.
5 – Magic Johnson
Magic won the NBA Championship and the MVP of the Finals reward in his rookie season for the Los Angeles Lakers back in 1979. It was the first title after a decade of slumps for the Lakers. Magic was the main catalyst as he played all five positions during that season, including even a center spot in Game 6 of the Finals. Johnson has led the Lakers to four more titles in his 13-year career. Unfortunately, Magic retired in 1991 after contracting HIV. He returned later to win the All-Star Game MVP. With all due respect to everyone else, Magic will be remembered as the best point guard in the history of the game.
4 – Kobe Bryant
We’ll stay with the Lakers and a man who also led them to five NBA titles, much like Magic Johnson. He is the third Laker on this list and we have him just above Magic. After all, both Magic and Shaq agreed that Kobe Bryant was the best Laker to have ever worn the shirt upon his retirement. It should say more than enough about Mamba.
3 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem is the all-time leading scorer in the NBA. Only LeBron James has a slim chance of surpassing him at the top, but for that, he would need to maintain the extraordinary level for the next five or six years. Abdul-Jabbar has managed some truly spectacular numbers throughout his career. He has won six NBA titles, three wins the Bucks and the Lakers apiece. He won six league MVPs, more than any other player in the history of the game. Well done The Captain.
2 – LeBron James
LeBron James is the only active player on this list and he ranks second. Should it say enough for the man who competed in as many as ten NBA Finals? He earned massive respect by leading his Cleveland Cavaliers to the title by beating the star-studded Golden State Warriors in 2016. LeBron guided his team from a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors who had won 73 games that season. He is now doing the business with the Lakers and is by no means done yet. As such, he is the only man possibly capable of dethroning the No 1 from this list.
1 – Michael Jordan
When you think of basketball, what is the first name you’ll hear? The answer is Michael Jordan. The Greatest of All Time. For someone who does not know, Michael won three successive NBA titles, went to play baseball, and returned to win another three subsequent NBA titles. No guard has ever been capable of holding him, and no guard has ever been as dominant as Jordan was.