Top 10 NBA Players of All Time
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Here are the top 10 players in the history of the NBA.
Michael Jordan – To this day I haven’t found a player more competitive or ruthless than Jordan. The former Chicago Bulls superstar would rip your heart out of your chest with a smile on his face. Jordan hated losing more than he enjoyed winning and winning is something he did a lot of. Jordan finished his decorated career with six NBA titles, five MVP awards, six NBA finals MVP awards and was a 14-time NBA All Star. Many consider Jordan the best player to ever play the game of basketball and while I believe sometimes the obsession can be a little overboard, you can’t deny his remarkable accomplishments.
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Magic Johnson – Magic was a unique player given his size at 6’9”, which allowed him to play every position on the floor even though his primary position was point guard. Magic saw the floor better than anybody in the game and made passes that would just make you shake your head. Magic was one of the more complete players the game has ever seen, as he averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists over the course of his career. Let that sink in for a second. Overall, Magic won five NBA titles, three MVP awards and was a 12-time All Star. Magic is widely considered the best point guard to ever play the game.
Shaquille O’Neal – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player dominate the game of basketball the way Shaq did in his prime. At 7’1”, 300-plus pounds, there was nobody on the floor who could defend Shaq one-on-one, as the big man was too massive and abnormally strong for anybody. Shaq had 11 seasons where he averaged more than 25 points, and he had 14 seasons where he averaged more than 10 rebounds. Shaq was a double-double machine and the go-to guy on his team for more than a decade. Overall, Shaq finished his career with four championship rings, one MVP award and was a 15-time All Star.
Kobe Bryant – Like Jordan, Kobe is as competitive as they come and has the stones to take that last shot and put his team on his back. Kobe was often overshadowed by Shaq when they played together, but it’s impossible to argue with his five NBA championships, 11 All-NBA first team selections and his 16 All Star selections. Kobe won two titles without Shaq and is the Los Angeles Lakers all-time leading scorer with 31,700 career points. Kobe has averaged more than 25 points in 12 seasons and also has two Olympic gold medals to his name. Nobody can argue what Kobe has done over the course of his career.
LeBron James – Like it or not, LeBron has already cracked this list with two championship rings, four MVP awards and 10 All Star selections. Keep in mind folks, he’s only 29 years old. LeBron continues to climb up the NBA totem pole with everything he’s accomplished. He’s averaged no less than 20 points in any season of his career, averages close to seven assists as a career average and his field goal percentage has improved for seven straight seasons. Think about that for a minute. It’s also fair to say that no player in the history of the NBA has faced as much criticism or pressure than LeBron, and he’s still managed to overcome it all and get better every season. LeBron has a chance to be in that Jordan argument when it’s all said and done.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Some may say Abdul-Jabbar was never even the greatest player on his own team, as he played on some loaded Los Angeles Lakers squads. However, Abdul-Jabbar’s career 38,387 points scored is an NBA record that may never be broken. Abdul-Jabbar won six championship rings, was a six-time MVP award winner, was a 19-time All Star and won two MVP finals MVPs. Oh, and Abdul-Jabbar perfected the sky hook, a shot that players today got from this Lakers great. In 20 seasons played, Abdul-Jabbar averaged less than 20 points just three times. Nobody can argue him being on this list.
Larry Bird – Bird is one of the greatest three-point shooters of all time, as he shot 40 percent or better in six of his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics. Overall, Bird finished his career with a 37.6 percent shooting percentage from downtown. However, Bird was much more than a long distance three-point shooter, as he averaged 10 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists over the course of his career. Bird may be the best rebounding small forward in the history of basketball. Of course, he’s also one of the best trash talkers there is. Bird is a three-time champion, 12-time All Star and three-time MVP.
Tim Duncan – Duncan is the player who has found the fountain of youth and is nearly as effective at 38 years old than he was in his 20s. It’s simply incredible how Duncan appears to have beaten father time and adds to his legacy each season. Duncan has always been an effective player at both ends of the floor, as he’s a 50.6 percent shooter in his career and averages 2.2 blocks per game. Despite limited minutes over the last several seasons, Duncan has averaged no less than 13.4 points in a single season. Overall, Duncan has five championship rings, two MVP awards and is a 14-time All Star selection.
Oscar Robertson – Robertson is a player who never seems to get the credit he deserves when lists like this are made. Maybe because he played in the 60s, was only a one-time MVP and won his only NBA championship towards the end of his career. However, Robertson remains the only player in the history of the game to average a triple-double over the course of a season. Robertson led the NBA in assists six times and had eight games with 20 or more assists. No, Robertson was the most dominant or decorated player the game has ever seen, but from a skill perspective and simply breaking down basketball players, there aren’t many better than the Big O.
Wilt Chamberlain – Some don’t like to include Chamberlain in these lists because the competition level wasn’t that great when he played in the 60s. However, Chamberlain led the league in rebounds 11 times and his 23,924 career rebounds is an NBA record that may never be broken. Chamberlain almost never came off the court and was a stat machine, averaging 50.4 points per game one season and shooting no less than 50 percent in 14 of his 15 seasons in the league. It’s simply mind-boggling the stuff that Chamberlain accomplished on a basketball court. Call it what you want, but Chamberlain is one of the best players in NBA history.