The debate over the greatest NBA player ever rages daily in bars and sports halls worldwide. Some say it's Michael Jordan; others claim it's LeBron James.
Nevertheless, many more players deserve to be considered among the best to play in the NBA. So, while it's a difficult decision that will be debated forever, these are who we believe should be considered the best players ever.
Adrian Dantley is among the most efficient scorers in NBA history and one of the league's best small forwards. At DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, he began his basketball schooling under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Morgan Wootten. After that, he enrolled at Notre Dame, where he was a 2x unanimous First Team All-American pick after helping the Irish end UCLA's 88-game winning run in 1974.
After college, Dantley captained the gold-winning US Olympic team in 1976 and spent the next 15 years in the NBA. He was a problem for power forwards because he could get by them quickly by changing directions and twisting his body. The six-time NBA All-Star had 23,177 points by the end of his career.
Throughout his life, one of the comments Bill Walton often hear is that he must be a basketball player. Of course, that's because he's so tall, standing 6'11. Nevertheless, Walton was not only a basketball player but also "the basketball player." He is famous for being a great rebounder with a lethal jump-hook shot.
Indeed, the baller is regarded as one of the best college basketball players of all time, having led the UCLA Bruins to two consecutive NCAA titles and an unprecedented 88-game winning run. On top of that, the sportsman achieved similar success in the NBA, winning two championships, two NBA MVP honors, and a Best Sixth Man Award throughout his career.
Like the city's famous skyscrapers, Patrick Ewing was a towering figure in New York sports for fifteen incredible years. After a much-publicized college career with the Georgetown Hoyas that yielded one NCAA title and two appearances in championship games, he moved to The Big Apple.
Ewing had been a media darling since childhood, and his entry into the NBA was highly anticipated. Despite not winning an NBA championship, he has been named one of the 50 Greatest Players in the league's history. The soaring player won two gold medals with the US Olympic basketball teams in 1984 and 1992 and was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1986.
Manu Ginóbili is best known for playing for the San Antonio Spurs. Then, he was twice chosen to represent his league in the NBA All-Star Game and named to the All-NBA Team in 2008 and 2011. In addition to his four NBA titles, Ginobili has also won a EuroLeague championship and an Olympic gold medal.
Beginning in 2004, he participated in four Olympic Games as an ambassador for Argentina. Ginóbili was in his 40s when he announced his retirement from the NBA on August 27, 2018. In his farewell speech, the sportsman said he would look for ways to support the San Antonio Spurs, the only NBA team he ever played for.
Russell Westbrook began displaying his abilities as a child, which wasn't surprising because he comes from a sporting family. Nonetheless, he has come a long way from winning the most prestigious college awards to becoming one of the most prominent NBA stars. In 2008, he was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics, which was later renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Westbrook's talent and skills helped him become an important member of the American basketball team, and he represented the country in the 'FIBA World Championship' in 2010 and the 'Olympics' in 2012. Additionally, the ball player became the second player in NBA history to record the most triple-doubles in a single NBA season in 2017.
The iconic 'Kawai Laugh' and his unintended social media antics because of his stoic demeanor make Kawai Leanord an iconic player off the court, but his accomplishments on the court are not a laughing matter. Drafted 15th overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2011 but was traded to the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard quickly established himself as one of the league's best defensive players, winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2015 and 2016.
He also led the Spurs to the NBA Championship in 2014 and was named Finals MVP. Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2018, where he led the team to its first NBA championship in 2019 with his iconic rim bounce-off-the-rim buzzer-beater against the 76'ers and won his second Finals MVP award. In 2019, he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers and still plays as dominant as he did in his younger years in the league.
The greatest defense of all time for a point guard, "The Glove" Gary Payton was a freight for opponents the way he guarded like his nickname. Payton spent the majority of his career with the Seattle SuperSonics, leading them to the NBA Finals in 1996. Payton was known for his tenacity on defense, earning nine NBA All-Defensive First Team honors and one Defensive Player of the Year award.
Payton's combination of offense and defense earned him a spot on the 1992 Olympic "Dream Team" and the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. Payton also led the league in steals for three seasons and was a nine-time NBA All-Star. He won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2006 and was also inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, considered the ultimate recognition of his outstanding career.
Walt "Clyde” Frazier is considered one of the greatest two-way players of all time. Known for his defense and ball handling, Frazier was the first player to lead the league in assists and steals in the same season. During his career with the New York Knicks, he was a seven-time All-Star, a two-time champion, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
Frazier is known for his undeniably exceptional fashion sense and smooth demeanor, making him a cultural icon and a basketball legend. His impact on the game and his legacy continue to be celebrated today. Fraizer is known as the "style god" of the NBA and has been quoted proclaiming, "I am the New York Knicks," which he has every right to do.
As a point guard, Steve Nash's prime duty on the field was to post a formidable offense, which he did for 18 seasons with all his might. Rightfully, the opposing teams feared his potent offense that combined his exceptional shooting and passing skills, which made him a double threat.
Before the nerve damage to his back forced him into early retirement in 2015, Nash was the long-running reigning star of the NBA since the early 2000s. The eight-time All-Star has been instrumental in the success of all the teams he's played for, including the Phoenix Suns, where he received his two MVPs. In addition, he was a head coach for the Brooklyn Nets for two years until November 2022.
In 2021, Kevin McHale joined the big league star players by getting selected to the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team. Not surprising since his name was featured as one of the 50 greatest basketball players of all time during the 50th Anniversary of the League in 1996.
Recognized as the most formidable power forwards in the sport's history, Kevin stood out in the defensive position with his incredible shot-blocking moves. Ever since he got into the Boston Celtics in the 1980 NBA Draft, he has proved his mettle as a versatile player who can excel in different positions. In addition, his shooting percentage of 60.5 remains among the best.
“Take this down. My name is Shaquille O’Neal, and Paul Pierce is the [expletive] truth. Quote me on that, and don’t take nothing out. I knew he could play, but I didn’t know he could play like this. Paul Pierce is the truth.” Known mostly for his time with the Boston Celtics, Paul Pierce was a tough competition for any player who stepped up to defend him in a game.
Throughout his 19-year career, Paul was a ten-time NBA All-Star, a 2008 NBA Champion, and a 2008 NBA Finals MVP. He is also one of only three players in Celtics history to score over 20,000 points in a career. His versatility on the court was unmatched, and he was known for his ability to score from anywhere on the court. His fierce competitiveness and leadership made him a fan favorite and a respected figure in the league.
Allen is considered one of the greatest shooters in the history of the NBA. A ten-time NBA All-Star, the 2001 All-Star game MVP, two-time NBA champion, and a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team. He was also a member of the gold medal-winning 2000 and 2008 U.S. men's Olympic basketball teams. The "Jesus Shuttleworth" actor also played a big role in bringing pop culture into the NBA.
Known for his deadly three-point shooting, he was a leader on the court, known for his work ethic, dedication, and strong sense of teamwork. Off the court, he was highly respected for his leadership and mentorship of young players. His legacy in the NBA will always be remembered as one of the greatest shooters and all-around players ever to grace the court.
Another player who made it into the NBA's 75th Anniversary team based on his phenomenal record in the sport is Jason Kidd. A few decades before Russell Westbrook became the master of the triple-doubles, he had collected an astounding 118 of them with his exceptional ability to pass and rebound the ball with instinctive precision.
During his two-decade career, Jason had accomplished quite a lot, including the honor of being the League's top-ranking point guard. The ten-time NBA All-Star started his journey with the Dallas Mavericks in 1994 and retired in 2013, playing his final season for the New York Knicks. His knack for adapting to any position on the team has helped extend his career.
A dominating force on the court, known for his exceptional shooting and ball-handling skills Rick Barry was a master of the fundamentals. He led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA championship in 1975, earning Finals MVP honors in the process. Throughout his career, he was a prolific scorer, averaging over 25 points per game and earning eight All-Star selections.
He revolutionized the game with his unique underhanded granny-style free-throw technique making him one of the greatest free-throw shooters in history with an incredible 89.3% from the line. Off the court, he was also known for his intelligence and leadership, earning his teammates' and coaches' respect and admiration. His legacy as one of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood is undeniable.
While Paul Pierce was The Truth, Allen Iverson was "The Answer," and for a good reason. With incredible scoring ability, intense competitive drive, and a fearless attitude on the court Allen Iverson was a force to reckon with during a basketball game. He was known for his quickness, agility, and ability to break down defenses with his masterful crossover dribble, which he used to shake and bake his defenders, leaving them in the dust.
Iverson was also a fierce competitor and a leader on and off the court, known for his relentless work ethic and ability to inspire his teammates. His scoring ability was one of the best in the league, averaging 27.0 points per game over his career and leading the league in scoring four times. He also won the league MVP award in 2001 and was selected to 11 All-Star teams. He is regarded as one of his era's most iconic and influential players.
For most of his professional career as a basketball player, Clyde Drexler had to contend with comparisons to the legend Michael Jordan, whom he faced off during several matches spread over a decade. Eventually, the two teamed up in the 1992 Olympics Dream team and won a gold medal for the United States.
Clyde was picked up by Portland Trail Blazers in the 1983 NBA Draft and had a rough start in the first season. By the third season with the team, he had earned his first All-Star entry. After an eventful decade, his last six seasons with two other teams were less pronounced but as impactful as the rest of his record.
Dolph Schayes was among the few players drafted into the BAA and the NBL Draft in the same year. In 1948, he decided to go with the NBL for a season until the Nationals merged the following year to integrate with the newly formed National Basketball Association, aka the NBA.
Well known for his high arching outside shot, Dolph rarely let the opportunity pass on the field to make the basket. Interestingly, the 12-time NBA All-Star's injury on the shooting arm only pushed him to try harder to shoot with his off-hand, a skill that made him excel at the two-handed set shot before one-handed jump starts became the norm. The NBA legend breathed his last in 2015.
Months after signing a deal worth $11,000, the highest a rookie had ever signed in NBA history at the time; many started to question if Bob was worth the money, stemming from his ballhandling skills which the majority agreed were awkward. His coach moved Pettite from the center position, which he had played during his college career, to forward, and boy, did it work to his advantage.
Soon enough, Pettit became the first player in NBA history to be awarded an MVP title, thanks to his record-breaking feats. During his 11-year career, the former St. Louis Hawks player made 11 All- NBA selections and won an NBA championship.
Not many Utah Jazz fans were excited about John Stockton’s selection to join the team, and that’s because this player was hardly known during his college career and would only experience a profile raise a few months before the draft season. Even so, it didn’t take long before Stockton proved his worth.
In addition to his team making the playoffs each time during his 19 seasons in the NBA, this ex-basketballer is a ten-time NBA All-star who holds the record of being the player with the highest number of career assists and steals. It’s no wonder Stockton was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 and named the ’50 greatest player in the history of the NBA four years later.
Another great basketball player introduced to the world through the NBA is Chris Paul. What brings him to this list is his impressive stats. With a +10.9 Net Rating Swing, +3.7 Relative True Shooting Percentage, and 7.3 Box Plus/Minus, he has proved himself a force to be reckoned with.
The way he handles the ball while dribbling, shooting, or defending shows he knows his game, unlike any other player. J.A. Adande from ESPN wrote the following about Paul "The classic definition of a point guard, orchestrating offense and shooting when necessary," No wonder why he is nicknamed 'The Point God.'
The man who knocked Michael Jordan and the bulls out of the playoffs three straight years in a row, Isiah Thomas, was a scoring prowess that would not back down to a challenge. He played a vital role in the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys" era of the late 80s and early 90s, literally and figuratively beating up superstars like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on their road to winning back-to-back NBA championships in what is called the most challenging era of NBA basketball.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, Thomas' leadership and competitive spirit helped shape the Pistons into a dominant league force during that period. He will always be remembered as a Pistons legend and a crucial piece of their championship teams. It is still a shame that he was snubbed for a 1992 Olympic Dream Team spot.
There’s no doubt that James Harden is arguably one of the greatest shooting guards and scorers that there ever has been. Yet as skilled as one may be, we all have weaknesses, and for this Sixers team member, that would be his poor defense skills that he came under fire in 2014.
Harden made history while with the Rockets by becoming the first player to register a double-digit assist on his first game with a new team. Besides being named by ESPN as the 5th best shooter in the NBA for the 2010s decade, the 2018 MVP title-holder also prides himself in being one of the league’s greatest players of all time, as declared by NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
His teammates often praised John Havlicek for endurance, which they said was hard to keep up with, which, if you ask us, is one of the major reasons he was successful as an athlete. So good was he that the now-deceased player was drafted by both NFL’s Cleveland Browns and NBA’s Boston Celtics in 1962.
Havlicek decided to concentrate all his efforts on one sport after being a pro for a year, and it wasn’t long before this decision paid off. The ex-Boston Celtics player ended up being his team’s all-time leading scorer and the 6th highest scorer of his time in the NBA.
According to Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen revolutionized the point-forward position. Not to compare him to some of the biggest names in the NBA, like Magic Johnson and Clyde Drexler, Pippen seems to be different from all other 6’9’ and 6’10’ players.
We can’t argue with Pippen’s former teammate because, by the time his career was over in the season of 2003-2004, he was one of only four players who had a career average of at least 15 points, scoring a total of 18 points. He had 7.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists, which is pretty impressive. Experts say that Pippen had every skill a basketballer should have during his era.
Known best for his deadly accuracy from beyond the three-point line and his ability to hit clutch shots in high-pressure situations, Reggie Miller is a fan favorite, and a legend in Indianapolis, spending his entire 18-year career with the Pacers. he never disappointed with his performances and is widely regarded as one of the best shooters in NBA history
Miller is a five-time NBA All-Star and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. Despite his impressive career accomplishments, Miller is remembered for his fierce competitive spirit and ability to light up the scoreboard in the most dramatic moments.
Elgin Baylor had a promising career start, averaging 30.2 points during the first seven years of his career. As a matter of fact, in the 1961-62 season, Baylor had 18.6 rebounds per game and 38.8 points. This is why he was an All-Star in 11 out of 14 seasons and eventually became an All-NBA ten times.
Baylor’s playing style is known for impressive jumps and dunks, and he often joked with people saying that he takes helium before each game to be able to play vertically the way he did. Apparently, some people believed that. Other players decided to follow in his footsteps, making basketball more about flying in the air than it used to be before Baylor’s time.
Moses Malone holds the record for the offensive rebound leaderboard among NBA legends. With a top score of 6,731 total assists, followed by Robert Parish’s 4.598 assists, the third player is at the bottom, not even nearing these two.
Malone was known for the offensive rebound and made it his basketball domain, where he would make something for his team out of absolutely nothing. So, although the term playmaker is usually used for wings and guards, we can’t deny that Malone was one of the most successful. He managed to grab 6.2 offensive rebounds per game and eventually had a whopping total percentage of 16.4.
The NBA 1971-72 season marked the end of a career of one legend and the beginning of another, as, by the time Elgin Baylor was retiring, Julius Erving was making his first professional appearance. Erving often talked about Baylor's playing style's influence on him, as he was considered one of the best playmakers and one-on-one players. He said that his style was like playing ballet in basketball.
Erving followed the same jumping and changing direction mid-air style, and during his first five seasons, he managed to dominate the ABA with 28.7 points and 12.1 rebounds. As his fans call him, Dr. J was an All-Star 11 times and All-NBA 7 times.
With a total of 27 points, 6.7 assists, and 5.4 rebounds, Dwyane Wade is a name that should be added to the list of legendary NBA players. Yet, there always needed to be more clarity about comparing him to Harden and choosing who comes first.
But it was settled in the 2006 championship when Wade led with 28.4 playoff points and 5.7 assists per game, triple what any other Miami player would score. He was all about the best for the team, showing humility by accepting second place on his squad after LeBron, as he just wanted this team to win, and they both managed to get the titles in 2012 and 2013.
The NBA scene will remember Karl Anthony Malone for years to come for the star’s mastery of production and longevity. The former professional basketball player’s nickname, “the Mailman,” should already tell anyone not well-versed in the basketball world that Malone is no ordinary power forward.
After playing the first 18 seasons with the Utah Jazz, Malone was twice the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, a 14-time NBA All-Star, and an 11-time member of the All-NBA first team. Nonetheless, when it comes to his 36 928 career points, Malone comes third after Kareem Abdul-Jabar and LeBron James. At the end of his career, the Mailman came second all-time in points and sixth place in rebounds.
For someone who doesn't fancy the idea of analytics and rankings, Charles Wade Barkley, who some may know by his nicknames Sir Charles, Chuck, or the Round Mound of Rebound, did well with his NBA career. He's considered a basketball legend with a high career box plus/minus after LeBron James and Michael Jordan, having played 16 seasons in the NBA for three different teams.
Now a TNT analyst, the former professional basketball player may not have a championship title to his name. Still, he sure didn’t let his short stature get in the way of becoming one of the NBA’s leading rebounders.
Jerry West is one of the greatest NBA players to exist. The former player turned basketball executive played for the Los Angeles Lakers and got nicknamed Mr. Clutch for his prowess in making big plays in clutch situations, like his famed buzzer-beating 60-foot shot in the 1970 NBA finals. The star's other nicknames include The Logo, Mr. Outside, and Zeke from Cabin Creek.
West led the NBA in assists and was a 14-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA selection, and five-time All-Defensive selection by the time he exited the sport as a player. His 27.0 points per game put him on the rank of legends such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Pettit.
Another player whose contribution to the NBA world can’t go unnoticed is Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk has been regarded as a basketball revolutionary since his debut in 1999. So when the Dallas Mavericks count their blessings, we bet they count the German star twice, seeing he changed the game for them by leading them to 15 NBA playoff appearances.
Dirk played with them for his entire 21-year NBA career, the only player to play that long for a single NBA franchise. His versatility, scoring ability, and trademark jump shot saw him win award after award during his career.
Known for his emphatic dunking and athleticism, Kevin Garnett, who also goes by KG and the “Big Ticket,” was the first NBA player to be drafted directly out of high school in 20 years by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1995.
By the time he was retiring from professional basketball in 2016, Garnett had won one Defensive Player of the Year and made 12 All-Defensive teams. He led the NBA with 12.4 rebounds per game from 1999-00 to 2007-08 and comes 17th all-time in career points. On top of his ability, Garnett’s infectious energy and enthusiasm impacted everyone he worked with.
"The Human Highlight Reel," Dominique Wilkins was a dominant player in his day. Born in Paris, France, Wilkins moved to the United States at a young age and honed his skills on the basketball court. Known for his incredible athleticism and dunking ability, Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star and won the Slam Dunk Contest twice. Wilkins' double-handed windmill was a staple of his arsenal of deadly attacks on the rim.
Wilkins is the Atlanta Hawks' all-time leading scorer and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. His career averages of 24.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game are a testament to his offensive prowess and enduring legacy in the sport. His scoring ability and acrobatic dunks cement his place among the game's all-time greats.
A prodigy, Kevin Durant is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to have played the game in the history of the NBA. As a versatile athlete, he can score from anywhere while his opponents fail to fathom how he managed to secure the perfect shot. Kevin's gameplay hasn't just made him an unbeatable basketball player but has also helped him earn several accolades over the years.
This sports personality has been in the field for over a decade, and within this short period, he has two NBA championship victories, along with an MVP award. It wouldn't be wrong to say jocks like Kevin only come once in a few decades.
The "Greek Freak", Giannis Antetokounmpo, is a dominant force in the league with a versatile combination of size, speed, and skill to dominate his opposition. The two-time regular-season MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Finals MVP, and the Most Improved Player of the Year in 2017, evidently shows his work ethic and incredible transformation since he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013.
The player who can take three dribbles within the entire length of a basketball court and dunk it, Giannis is undeniably legendary, being the youngest player selected for the league’s 75th-anniversary squad and leading his team to an NBA finals championship in 2021. He is incredibly humble and has a funny sense of humor, making iconic dad jokes every time he talks with the press. Not even close to retiring, Giannis is the beginning of a new era of NBA legends and will not be stopping anytime soon.
On 26th January 2020, the sporting industry lost a star player, and his tragic demise shook the world. Yes, we are talking about one of the NBA's most loved athletes Kobe Byrant. The list of his achievements is endless, and anything we say about his gameplay, we will fail to describe how sterling a career he had.
Kobe had always been a high achiever, even while playing for his high school, which helped him play professionally, and even then, he did not disappoint the viewers. We have no doubts this athlete had a bright career ahead and many more victories to score, but unfortunately, the man left us too soon.
At 23, Hakeem Olajuwon led his team, the Houston Rockets, to the finals, and that's when fans realized he was here to stay. Since retiring from sports, he has been the best defender the NBA has seen. There is not one but many ways to compliment Hakeem for his gameplay, as even while playing at the center position, there were rarely any losses that his team suffered.
This former professional basketball player started his career on a bright note and ended it with a bang. At the time of his retirement, he remained an all-time leader in blocking a shot from the opponent.
David Robinson, lovingly known as The Admiral, is an Olympic Gold Medalist, NBA All-Star, and NBA Champion. His nearly decade-and-a-half dominance on the court had been remarkable, and David has established himself as one of the best center players the NBA has seen.
This former basketball player is why his team, the San Antonio Spurs, are playoff contenders year after year. While David played for the Spurs, they only missed the playoffs twice in his 14 years of playing and has been honored during his career awarded with an MVP, Defensive player of the year, a 10-time all-star, and a two-time NBA Finals Champion.
One player who doesn't get much credit for his gameplay is Oscar Robertson. The former basketball player was a key team member of the Bucks and drove his squad to victory. The list would be incomplete without this NBA legend, who was the first person to score a triple-double in a season in 1962 and also the third jock to win the NBA MVP from 1960 to 1968.
Oscar certainly created many records during his time on the field. For most of his career, he played the point guard position, a role meant for him. Apart from being a 12-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA Team member, in 2009, Oscar got inducted into the international basketball, FIBA Hall of Fame.
Stephen Curry was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2009 as their seventh overall pick in the first round. With over ten years in the NBA, he's proved himself as one of the most prolific players of all time, averaging 24.5 points per game with a 48% shooting average. Steph passed Ray Allen for all-time 3-pointers made, and it took him 500 games less than Allen to pass his record of 2973.
He is far from retiring, meaning this new record might be inscribed in the record books for years to come. Curry's head coach, Steve Kerr, expressed his admiration for his abilities in an interview with USA Today, saying that Curry shot like no other player he had ever seen. For his exceptional career in the NBA, he has been crowned an NBA All-Star eight times in a row, won four NBA championships, and became an MVP, among other accomplishments.
Shaquille O'Neal, or "Shaq," as he's commonly called, is a former professional basketball player. After retiring in 2011, he took up the position of a sports analyst for Inside the NBA. Nonetheless, the star's abilities go beyond sports, as he's also featured in several movies, can professionally DJ, and has released four rap albums, one of which went platinum.
O'Neal spent 19 years in the NBA as a basketball player with six different teams. Hakeem Olajuwon once wrote that Shaq had the size and skills to dominate any game, standing at seven-foot-one and weighing 325 pounds. This resulted in his massive award list, with four NBA championships, an MVP trophy, and 15 NBA All-Star appearances, to name a few.
Larry Bird is a former American basketball player, executive, and coach whose time as a player was known to change the game of basketball for good. He was famous for being part of the Boston Celtics his entire career. This legend was a three-time champion, a 12-time All-Star, a nine-time member of the All-NBA First Team, and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Bird played for 13 seasons with an average of 24.3 points, 6.3 assists, and 10.0 rebounds in 897 regular season games. Bird personified excellence in all areas of his career as a scorer, rebounder, defender, and team player. He was a self-confident and deadly shooter that practiced 3-pointers with his eyes closed.
Magic Johnson started his career with greatness and maintained it to the end. The legend is regarded as the best point guard ever and one of the greatest players in NBA history. The 13 seasons he played for the Lakers brought instantaneous growth for the team. He averaged 18.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in his rookie season and was announced an NBA All-Star Game starter.
His infectious joy, enthusiasm, and confidence with which he played the game made fans see the Lakers as a must-watch team. Sadly, his career was shortened after he was diagnosed with HIV: however, he was considered one of the best athletes and has joined the NBA hall of fame as of the best players in history.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best NBA scorer of all time. He is known for his ability to use the sky hook, establishing him as an elite player. The NBA legend had incredible longevity, playing in over 20 seasons to earn himself the #1 spot on the all-time scoring list. He has the record for MVP awards with six, 19 NBA All-Star appearances, and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
At his retirement, Kareem is still the NBA's all-time leader in points scored and ranked third all-time in blocked shots and rebounds. After he retired, the professional basketball player kept contributing to the development of the younger generation.
American professional basketball player LeBron James is considered one of the game's all-time greats and the league's first active billionaire. LeBron began as a small forward and power forward position. As one of the youngest players to do so, he has bagged two NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
The iconic athlete is the Cavaliers' all-time leading player and has played with 11 NBA All-Star teams and six All-Defensive teams. In the years of playing in the world's top basketball league, the legend has created a record of achievements worthy of recognition.
Michael Jordan is an American professional and collegiate basketball player considered the greatest all-around player in history. Jordan was an instrumental figure who popularized the sport during the 90s. During his early appearance as a player, he gained a reputation as an elite defensive player in the league. He showcased his incredible ability as he accumulated six championship titles with the Chicago Bulls.
Jordan won the NBA’S most valuable player award five times, though fans believed he should have bagged more. By any calculation, the athlete is the greatest scorer the league ever had. He won 10 scoring titles and has an average of 30.1 points per game, the highest in the history of the NBA.