Sunday, 31 July 2011

RANKING THE TOP 100 PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY

I am fascinated by articles that attempt to rank the best players in NBA (and ABA) history. Some authors are too easily swayed by eye-catching statistics. Other authors give too much credit to players who won championships (perhaps riding the coattails of their superstar teammates). Meanwhile, some authors abandon all obvious indicators and simply go with their heart. In my opinion, all three measures are valid and should be combined together.

Indeed, that is exactly what I have attempted to do here. I have combined the rankings from 18 different publications (including – but not limited to – Wayne Patterson's 'Basketball's 100 Greatest Players', Bill Simmons’ ‘Book of Basketball’, Kenneth Shouler's 'The Expert's Picks', Slam magazine’s ‘Top 500’, Elliot Kalb’s ‘Who’s Better Who’s Best in Basketball?’ and Sport magazine’s 50th anniversary rankings) to create a master list.

Some of the rankings were written a few years ago and, as a result, active players were ranked too low. To accommodate for this, I have adjusted the rankings of active players accordingly (by simply weighting them more towards the most recent rankings).

I have included the major awards won by each player, their career statistics along with revealing quotes (admittedly with a generous dose of hyperbole) from players and well-respected basketball authors.

The results are fascinating and, in my opinion, the most accurate rankings I have seen. Let me know what you think.

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01 – Michael Jordan (SG, 6'6", 215 lb)
Awards: 6 x NBA champion, 5 x Regular Season MVP, 6 x Finals MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 14 x All-Star, 1 x Defensive Player of the Year, 9 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 30.1ppg, 6.2rpg, 5.3apg, 2.3spg (1984-1993; 1995-1998; 2001-2003)
Words: “That was God disguised as Michael Jordan” (Larry Bird after Jordan scored an NBA record 63 points in the playoffs against the Celtics).


02 – Bill Russell (C, 6'9", 220 lb)
Awards: 11 x NBA champion, 5 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star
Numbers: 15.1ppg, 22.5rpg, 4.3apg, .440 FG% (1956-1969)
Words: “Each year the Finals MVP is given to an exceptional, extraordinary player based on his performance on the grandest stage in all of basketball: the Finals. Who better to name this prestigious award for than one of the greatest players of all time and the ultimate champion?” (David Stern).

03 – Wilt Chamberlain (C, 7'1", 275 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 4 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x Finals MVP, 7 x All-NBA 1st Team, 13 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 30.1ppg, 22.9rpg, 4.4apg, .540 FG% (1959-1973)
Words: “He’s like T-Rex, so big and god-awful, stomping through his world as other, thunderstruck creatures seek shelter from his wrath” (Michael Bradley).

04 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (C, 7'2", 225 lb)
Awards: 6 x NBA champion, 6 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 19 x All-Star, 5 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 24.6ppg, 11.2rpg, 3.6apg, .559 FG% (1969-1989)
Words: “He developed the skyhook after dunking was banned in college to neutralize him. Instead, the ban helped lead to the perfection of the greatest shot the game has ever seen” (Peter Vecsey).

05 – Magic Johnson (PG, 6'9", 215 lb)
Awards: 5 x NBA champion, 3 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x Finals MVP, 9 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.5ppg, 7.2rpg, 11.2apg, 1.9spg (1979-1991; 1996)
Words: “There have been times when he has thrown passes and I wasn’t sure where he was going. Then one of our guys catches the ball and scores and I run back up the floor convinced that he must’ve thrown it through somebody” (Michael Cooper).

06 – Larry Bird (SF, 6'9", 220 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 3 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 9 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 24.3ppg, 10.0rpg, 6.3apg, 1.7spg (1979-1992)
Words: “Larry Bird was the only one that I feared. A lot of black guys always asked me 'Could Larry Bird really play?'. And I said 'Man, Larry Bird, he was so good it is frightening'" (Magic Johnson)

07 – Shaquille O’Neal (C, 7'1" 325 lb)
Awards: 4 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x Finals MVP, 8 x All-NBA 1st Team, 15 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 24.7ppg, 11.2rpg, 2.6apg, .582 FG% (1992-2011)
Words: “All the greats are blessed with something…  and Shaq – along with his criminally underrated athleticism, passing ability and court vision – has mass. Hate if you want, but the Daddy has taken utmost advantage of his gift, and the results are undeniable” (Ryan Jones).

08 – Oscar Robertson (G, 6'5", 220 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 9 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 25.7ppg, 7.5rpg, 9.5apg, .838 FT% (1960-1974)
Words: “Oscar was the best player I ever played against. The guy did not have a weakness. He was such a powerful player and had such great control that he could move whoever was guarding him all over the floor. There's nothing Oscar Robertson couldn't do” (John Havlicek).


09 – Kobe Bryant (SG, 6'6", 205 lb)
Awards: 5 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 15 x All-Star, 9 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 25.5ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.7apg, 1.5spg (1996-)
Words: “There's no better player that I've ever seen than him... He's the greatest Laker player that we have ever seen” (Jerry West).


10 – Tim Duncan (C, 6'11", 255 lb)
Awards: 4 x NBA champion, 2 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x Finals MVP, 9 x All-NBA 1st Team, 14 x All-Star, 8 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 20.2ppg, 11.2rpg, 3.1apg, 2.2bpg (1997-)
Words: “He excelled as one of the few big guys polished enough to punish players down low and talented enough to guard quicker players on the other end. He made everyone else better and came through when it mattered” (Bill Simmons).

11 – Jerry West (G, 6'2", 175 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 14 x All-Star, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 27.0ppg, 5.8rpg, 6.7apg, .814 FT% (1960-1974)
Words: “Jerry, I once wrote that success is a journey, and that the greatest honour a man can have is the respect and friendship of his peers. You have that more than any man I know. Jerry, you are, in every sense of the world, truly a champion” (Bill Russell).

12 – Elgin Baylor (SF, 6'5", 225 lb)
Awards: 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 11 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 27.4ppg, 13.5rpg, 4.3apg, .431 FG% (1958-1971)
Words: “I know this sounds weird, but I thought you played Elgin great today” (Bob Cousy to defensive specialist Tom Sanders after Elgin Baylor scored 63 points against the Celtics in a playoff game).

13 – Hakeem Olajuwon (C, 7'0", 255 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 12 x All-Star, 6 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x Defensive Player of the Year, 5 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 21.8ppg, 11.1rpg, 2.5apg, 3.1bpg (1984-2002)
Words: “I really felt like I could keep him under control, play well and defend him. I was in my prime defensively. But I didn’t stop him very well… he just controlled the series” (David Robinson).


14 – Bob Pettit (PF, 6'9", 205 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 2 x Regular Season MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 11 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 26.4ppg, 16.2rpg, 3.0apg, .436 FG% (1954-1965)
Words: “Bob made 'second effort' a part of the sports vocabulary. He kept coming at you more than any man in the game. He was always battling for position, fighting you off the boards” (Bill Russell).

15 – Julius Erving (SF, 6'7", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion (+2 x ABA), 1 x Regular Season MVP (+3 x ABA), 5 x All-NBA 1st Team (+4 x ABA), 11 x All-Star (+5 x ABA)
Numbers: 24.2ppg, 8.5rpg, 4.2apg, 2.0spg (1971-1987)
Words: “If you went to watch Julius Erving play every single night – you would learn something new that you hadn’t seen before. You can’t say that about too many players” (Phil Jasner).


16 – Moses Malone (PF/C, 6'10", 260 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x Finals MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star (+1 x ABA)
Numbers: 20.6ppg, 12.2rpg, 1.4apg, .491 FG% (1974-1995)
Words: “He could do anything. He was tenacious. Greatest rebounder I ever saw. He was so smart. A real workhorse” (Joe Maloof).

17 – John Havlicek (SG/SF, 6'5", 205 lb)
Awards: 8 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 13 x All-Star, 5 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 20.8ppg, 6.3rpg, 4.8apg, .815 FT% (1962-1978)
Words: “I would take John Havlicek [as the greatest forward ever]. He was fluid, he never tired and he came at you consistently. Zoom, zoom, zoom. It was a relentless assault on you” (Elvin Hayes).

18 – Dirk Nowitzki (PF, 7'0", 245 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x Finals MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 11 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.6ppg, 8.2rpg, 2.6apg, .877 FT% (1998-)
Words: “We'll remember him as one of the 20 best basketball players of all time, the best European player ever, one of the best shooters ever, someone who came through when it mattered” (Bill Simmons).

19 – Karl Malone (PF, 6'9", 265 lb)
Awards: 2 x Regular Season MVP, 11 x All-NBA 1st Team, 14 x All-Star, 3 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 25.0ppg, 10.1rpg, 3.6apg, .516 FG% (1985-2004)
Words: “Championships and all those things aside, he was a championship guy. A lot of guys won championships. But not many put as much work into it as he did” (Jerry Sloan).

20 – Charles Barkley (PF, 6'6", 252 lb)
Awards: 1 x Regular Season MVP, 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 11 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.1ppg, 11.7rpg, 3.9apg, .541 FG% (1984-2000)
Words: “I am not paid to be a role model. I am paid to wreak havoc on the basketball court” (Charles Barkley).

21 – Isiah Thomas (PG, 6'1", 180 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.2ppg, 3.6rpg, 9.3apg, 1.9spg (1981-1994)
Words: “If he were five inches taller, we’d be talking about the greatest player in the history of basketball, no questions asked” (Chuck Daly).

22 – Bob Cousy (PG, 6'1", 175 lb)
Awards: 6 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 13 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.rppg, 5.2rpg, 7.5apg, .803 FT% (1950-1963; 1969-1970)
Words: “He always shows you something new, something you've never seen before... One step and he's past the defense. He's quick, he's smart, he's tireless, he has spirit and he is probably the best finisher in sports today" (Joe Lapchick). 

23 – Rick Barry (SF, 6'7", 205 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 5 x All-NBA 1st Team (+4 x ABA), 8 x All-Star (+4 x ABA) , Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 24.8ppg, 6.7rpg, 4.9apg, .893 FT% (1965-1980)
Words: “Rick was sensational. He was one of the smartest players of all time. He was a terrific passer. There have been a lot of great players, but you can’t forget about Barry” (Marv Albert).

24 – Kevin Garnett (PF, 6'11", 220 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 15 x All-Star, 1 x Defensive Player of the Year, 9 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 19.1ppg, 10.5rpg, 4.0apg, .498 FG% (1995-)
Words: “If KG had played on a contender his entire career, people would speak of him as a candidate for best player ever” (Paul Shirley).

25 – LeBron James (SF, 6'8", 250 lb)
Awards: 3 x Regular Season MVP, 6 x All-NBA 1st Team, 9 x All-Star, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 27.6ppg, 7.3rpg, 6.9apg, .490 FG% (2003-)
Words: “I may go as far as to say LeBron James may be the greatest player to ever play the game because he is so potent offensively that not only can he score at will but he keeps everybody involved” (Scottie Pippen).

26 – John Stockton (PG, 6'1", 175 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star, 5 x All-Defensive 2nd Team
Numbers: 13.1ppg, 2.7rpg, 10.5apg, 2.2spg (1984-2003)
Words: “I hope and I pray people realize a couple of things. There absolutely, positively, will never ever be another John Stockton – ever” (Karl Malone).

27 – David Robinson (C, 7'1", 235 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 10 x All-Star, 1 x Defensive Player of the Year, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 21.1ppg, 10.6rpg, 2.5apg, 3.0bpg (1989-2003)
Words: “If it’s possible to have achieved as much as David has – and still not get the credit – then Robinson isn’t nearly as appreciated as he should be. His greatness transcends the court” (PJ Carlesimo).

28 – Walt Frazier (G, 6'4", 200 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 7 x All-Star, 7 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 18.9ppg, 5.9rpg, 6.1apg, .490 FG% (1967-1980)
Words: “His greatest asset was remaining unrattled by pressure. His performance increased in direct proportion to the importance of the moment” (Peter Vecsey).

29 – Dwyane Wade (G, 6'4", 220 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 9 x All-Star
Numbers: 24.8ppg, 5.1rpg, 6.1apg, 1.8spg (2003-)
Words: “He scores and creates for others; he’s an excellent defender; he rises to the occasion when it matters; and, most important, he straddles the line between ‘making everyone else better’ and ‘it’s time for me to take over’ as well as anyone” (Bill Simmons).

30 – Scottie Pippen (SF, 6'8", 228 lb)
Awards: 6 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 7 x All-Star, 8 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 16.1ppg, 6.4rpg, 5.2apg, 2.0spg (1987-2004)
Words: “When we went into battle, I knew I had someone to watch my back. I love him like a brother. He pushed me to be the best basketball player every day in practice. And I pushed him to be the best Scottie Pippen he could be” (Michael Jordan).

31 – George Mikan (C, 6'10", 245 lb)
Awards: 5 x NBA champion, 6 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-Star
Numbers: 23.1ppg, 9.5rpg, 2.8apg, .404 FG% (1946-1956)
Words: “Is it fair to ‘punish’ Mikan because the game wasn’t as popular when he played? In its own way, I feel that dominating the league in the 1950s was as much of an accomplishment as dominating it in the 1990s” (Elliot Kalb).

32 – Willis Reed (PF/C, 6'9", 240 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 7 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 18.8ppg, 12.9rpg, 1.8apg, .476 FG% (1964-1974)
Words: “Willis Reed had the heart of a champion. [He] was unreal. He lit a fire in every player... he exemplified the word 'captain'” (Elvin Hayes).

33 – Elvin Hayes (PF/C, 6'9", 235 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 12 x All-Star
Numbers: 21.0ppg, 12.5rpg, 1.8apg, 1.4bpg (1968-1984)
Words: “What he had was unstoppable. The ultimate weapon, like Alcindor’s sky hook, Dream’s shake, Jordan’s fadeaway. Elvin Hayes had that turnaround” (Scoop Jackson).

34 – Kevin McHale (PF, 6'10", 210 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 7 x All-Star, 3 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 17.9ppg, 7.3rpg, 1.7apg, .554 FG% (1980-1993)
Words: “Kevin McHale became the most difficult low-post player to defend in the history of the league. He was totally unstoppable because of his quickness, diversity of moves, and the long arms that gave him an angle to release the ball over a taller man or a more explosive jumper” (Hubie Brown).

35 – Dave Cowens (PF/C, 6'9", 230 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 7 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 17.6ppg, 13.6rpg, 3.8apg, .460 FG% (1970-1983)
Words: “I thought he was a wild man. I'd never seen anybody with that much talent play that aggressively. Dave just wanted to win. And he played so hard that he wouldn't accept any less from anybody around him” (Paul Silas).

36 – Jason Kidd (PG, 6'4", 195lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 10 x All-Star, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 8.7apg, 1.9spg (1994-)
Words: “He’s like the quiet assassin. The only thing that separates him from Magic Johnson is five inches. He has the heart and desire. No one else can win games without scoring like Kidd can” (Byron Scott).

37 – Allen Iverson (G, 6'0", 165 lb)
Awards: 1 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 11 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 26.7ppg, 3.7rpg, 6.2apg, 2.2spg (1996-2010)
Words: “He had a knack for going 9-for-24 but somehow making the two biggest shots of the game. And he played with an eff-you intensity only KG and Kobe matched (although MJ remains the king in this category)” (Bill Simmons).

38 – George Gervin (SG, 6'7", 180 lb)
Awards: 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 9 x All-Star (+3 x ABA)
Numbers: 26.2ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.8apg, .511 FG% (1972-1986)
Words: “Nobody in history scored points easier than Gervin. He would light you up and you didn’t even know that match was lit. He had the efficiency and ability to be unstoppable” (Steve Jones).

39 – Patrick Ewing (C, 7'0", 240 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 6 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 11 x All-Star, 3 x All-Defensive 2nd Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 21.0ppg, 9.9rpg, 1.9apg, 2.4bpg (1985-2002)
Words: “I think people appreciate Patrick now. It’s funny. When we had him, people were saying one thing. Now they’re saying another thing. Sometimes you don’t appreciate things until they’re gone. I think that’s definitely the case with Patrick and the fans of New York” (Allan Houston).

40 – Dolph Schayes (PF, 6'7", 195 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 6 x All-NBA 1st Team, 6 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 12 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.5ppg, 11.3rpg, 3.1apg, .849 FT% (1948-1964)
Words: “Nobody moved better without the ball. He didn’t just hit layups but picturesque, beautifully released jumpers as well” (Peter Vecsey).

41 – Gary Payton (PG, 6'4", 180 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 9 x All-Star, 1 x Defensive Player of the Year, 9 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 16.3ppg, 3.9apg, 6.7apg, 1.8spg (1990-2007)
Words: “Payton is very underrated. Make no mistake about it, he’s one of the best. You can look at his body of work and it compares to… most of the other great point guards” (Isiah Thomas).

42 – Clyde Drexler (SG, 6'7", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star
Numbers: 20.4ppg, 6.1rpg, 5.6apg, 2.0spg (1983-1998)
Words: “During the most competitive stretch in league history (1990-93), Portland made the Finals twice with Drexler as its lone blue-chipper” (Bill Simmons).

43 – Steve Nash (PG, 6'3", 178 lb)
Awards: 2 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 14.4ppg, 3.0rpg, 8.5apg, .904 FT% (1996-)
Words: “The two MVPs he got, he deserved. Part of the reason that he’s so good and so effective is that the guys like playing with him. He creates an atmosphere where they win games” (Bill Russell).

44 – Tiny Archibald (PG, 6'1", 150 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 6 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.8ppg, 2.3rpg, 7.4apg, .810 FT% (1970-1984)
Words: “Tiny had it all: instinct, vision, and most importantly attitude - the unselfishness to give up the ball. Nobody moved a team like Tiny” (Bob Cousy).

45 – Dominique Wilkins (SF, 6'8", 230 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 9 x All-Star
Numbers: 24.9ppg, 6.7rpg, 2.5apg, .461 FG% (1982-1997)
Words: “He’s probably the most underrated player of our generation. He carried the Hawks. When you went to Atlanta, you had to bring it… because of him” (Charles Barkley).

46 – Wes Unseld (PF/C, 6'7", 245 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 10.8ppg, 14.0rpg, 3.9apg, .509 FG% (1968-1981)
Words: “Unseld was the consummate team basketball player; his only objective was to win. Statistics were never important to him. You can’t begin to imagine what he did to make his teammates better – set picks, made outlet passes, guarded the bigger center” (Mitch Kupchak).

47 – Earl Monroe (PG, 6'3", 185 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 18.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.9apg, .807 FT% (1967-1980)
Words: “Black Jesus. That’s how sick he was. People in Philly (his hometown) and down in Carolina (where he dropped 42 points per game as a senior at Winston-Salem State) were so moved by the way he played, they compared it to a religious experience” (Scoop Jackson).

48 – Sam Jones (SG, 6'4", 198 lb)
Awards: 10 x NBA champion, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star
Numbers: 17.7ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.5apg, .803 FT% (1957-1969)
Words: “He was a great shooter, a great defensive player and he had great speed. There wasn't anything Sam Jones couldn't do. If he had played with a team other than the Celtics, he'd be held in the same esteem as Jerry West or Oscar Robertson” (John Havlicek).

49 – James Worthy (SF, 6'9", 235 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 2 x All-NBA 3rd Team, 7 x All-Star
Numbers: 17.6ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.0apg, .521 FG% (1982-1994)
Words: “I don't think there has been or will be a better small forward than James, and don't think people appreciated that. When he was in his prime, I can guarantee you, there wasn't anybody who could touch him” (Pat Riley).

50 – Nate Thurmond (C, 6'11", 225 lb)
Awards: 7 x All-Star, 2 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 15.0ppg, 15.0rpg, 2.7apg, .421 FG% (1963-1977)
Words: “One of the greatest shot blockers of all time. He totally intimidated Pettit by playing 4 feet off him but still being quick enough to block his shot. Nobody wanted to be guarded by this Rolls Royce of centers” (Peter Vecsey).

51 – Billy Cunningham (F, 6'6", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x ABA Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team (+1 x ABA), 4 x All-Star (+1 x ABA)
Numbers: 20.8ppg, 10.1rpg, 4.0apg, .446 FG% (1965-1976)
Words: “You are talking about a freak of nature. He was a 6-foot-7 guy who could jump out of the gym. He was a great scorer. He would go inside and mix it up with anybody” (Steve Jones).


52 – Pete Maravich (G, 6'5", 197 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star
Numbers: 24.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 5.4apg, .820 FT% (1970-1980)
Words: “The legendary following that Pete Maravich has is the truest testament to how great he was” (Bill Walton).

53 – Bill Walton (C, 6'11", 250 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-Star
Numbers: 13.3ppg, 10.5rpg, 3.4apg, 2.2bpg (1974-1987)
Words: “Bill was probably the most complete center I ever saw. Offense, defense, passing, ball-handling, rebounding, he did it all” (Dan Issel).

54 – Jerry Lucas (PF, 6'8", 230 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 7 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 17.0ppg, 15.6rpg, 3.3apg, .499 FG% (1962-1974)
Words: “He had championships on every possible level: high school, college, the Olympics and the NBA. And that’s even more impressive than memorizing every play run by every team in the League, for which he was famous” (Alan Paul).

55 – Bob McAdoo (PF/C, 6'9", 210 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 22.1ppg, 9.4rpg, 2.3apg, .503 FG% (1972-1986)
Words: “He was impossible to guard. He'd blow by a center or a big forward, and if they put a little guy on him, he'd take him down low and post up all night. He was a scoring machine” (Dr. Jack Ramsay).

56 – Dave DeBusschere (PF, 6'6", 220 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 8 x All-Star, 6 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 16.1ppg, 11.0rpg, 2.9apg, .432 FG% (1962-1974)
Words: “He took away my first, second, third and fourth offensive moves” (Connie Hawkins).

57 – Dennis Johnson (G, 6'4", 182 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-Star, 6 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 14.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 5.0apg, 1.3spg (1976-1990)
Words: “He was the original Scottie Pippen, the first Joe Dumars, the second KC Jones. No guard in the NBA has played D the way DJ play D” (Scoop Jackson).

58 – Hal Greer (SG, 6'2", 175 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 7 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.2ppg, 5.0rpg, 4.0apg, .801 FT% (1958-1973)
Words: “Hal was tremendously quick and he was the greatest midrange jump shooter in the history of the game. When things broke down, he always found a way to score” (Dolph Schayes)

59 – Dennis Rodman (PF, 6'6", 210 lb)
Awards: 5 x NBA champion, 2 x All-Star, 2 x Defensive Player of the Year, 7 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 7.3ppg, 13.1rpg, 1.8apg, .521 FG% (1986-2000)
Words: “The man was a physical freak. We’ll see another fifty Horace Grants before we see another Dennis Rodman. And thank God. I think one was enough” (Bill Simmons).

60 – Reggie Miller (SG, 6'7", 195 lb)
Awards: 3 x All-NBA 3rd Team, 5 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.2ppg, 3.0rpg, 3.0apg, .395 3P% (1987-2005)
Words: “He authored the ultimate example of clutch: First round, ’95, Game 1, MSG. Eight straight points in 8.9 seconds. Pacers win. Damn” (Khalid Salaam).

61 – Robert Parish (C, 7'0", 230 lb)
Awards: 4 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 9 x All-Star
Numbers: 14.5ppg, 9.1rpg, 1.4apg, .537 FG% (1976-1997)
Words: “He had tremendous touch around the rim, part of why he was able to hang around long enough to win four rings and play in three decades” (Slam).

62 – Bernard King (SF, 6'7", 205 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 4 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.5ppg, 5.8rpg, 3.3apg, .518 FG% (1977-1991; 1993)
Words: “If you were a kid in the early eighties, you had a Nerf hoop in your room, you loved basketball and you didn’t pretend to be Bernard on those running two-handed slams… well, I say you’re lying” (Bill Simmons).

63 – Alex English (SF, 6'7", 190 lb)
Awards: 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 21.5ppg, 5.5rpg, 3.6apg, .507 FG% (1976-1991)
Words: “The most deceptive player that I ever played against. He was so smooth on the court that you would never realize how many damn points he was scoring” (Dan Issel).

64 – Paul Arizin (G/F, 6'4", 190 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 10 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.8ppg, 8.6rpg, 2.3apg, .810 FT% (1950-1962)
Words: “One of the toughest guys I had to play against was Paul Arizin. He was an amazing shooter... I probably admired him the early days as much as anybody... His jump shot was perfect. There was no stopping it” (Dolph Schayes).


65 – Lenny Wilkens (PG, 6'1", 180 lb)
Awards: 9 x All-Star
Numbers: 16.5ppg, 4.7rpg, 6.7apg, .774 FT% (1960-1975)
Words: “In today’s game, he would demand a double-team. He was unstoppable despite only going left” (Pete Vecsey).

66 – Bill Sharman (G, 6'1", 175 lb)
Awards: 4 x NBA champion, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 17.8ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.0apg, .883 FT% (1950-1961)
Words: “Sharman was just an incredible shooter with great concentration, great practice habits. He was a very good defensive player, and people didn't give him credit for that. He was a tough player, who didn't lose many fights" (Ed Macauley).

67 – Dan Issel (PF/C, 6'9", 235 lb)
Awards: 1 x ABA champion, 1 x All-ABA 1st Team, 4 x All-ABA 2nd Team, 1 x All-Star (+6 x ABA)
Numbers: 20.4ppg, 7.9rpg, 2.5apg, .506 FG% (1970-1985)
Words: “Impeccable long-distance shooting (and drive if you played up on him) created insufferable mismatches for centers. Savvy, size and strength made it impossible for power forwards to negotiate with him inside” (Peter Vecsey).


68 – Adrian Dantley (SF, 6'5", 208 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 24.3ppg, 5.7rpg, 3.0apg, .540 FG% (1976-1991)
Words: “He's [a] piranha. He'll eat you alive. He would score in a raging storm at sea” (Frank Layden).

69 – Dave Bing (SG, 6'3", 180 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 7 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 20.3ppg, 3.8rpg, 6.0apg, .441 FG% (1966-1978)
Words: “He was awesome and he had such great leadership that he could draw the team together with his scoring or his passing. I remember him gliding to the hoop and slamming over Kareem [or] slamming it over Nate Thurmond” (Bob Lanier).

70 – Connie Hawkins (F, 6'8", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x ABA champion, 1 x ABA Regular Season MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team (+2 x ABA), 4 x All-Star (+1 x ABA)
Numbers: 18.7ppg, 8.8rpg, 4.1apg, 1.2spg (1967-1976)
Words: “He made some moves I've never seen before. Hawkins belongs in the same class with Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and John Havlicek” (Bill Sharman)

71 – Dwight Howard (C, 6'11", 265 lb)
Awards: 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 7 x All-Star, 4 x Defensive Player of the Year, 3 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 18.2ppg, 13.0rpg, 1.5apg, 2.2bpg (2004-)
Words: “That kid is a freak of nature, man. I don’t know what they put in the milk these days for these young kids, but that kid is a freak of nature. I was nowhere near that physically talented. I wasn’t that gifted, as far as body and physical presence” (Kevin Garnett).

72 – Artis Gilmore (C, 7'2", 240 lb)
Awards: 1 x ABA champion, 1 x ABA Regular Season MVP, 5 x All-ABA 1st Team, 6 x All-Star (+5 x ABA), 4 x ABA All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 18.8ppg, 12.rpg, 2.3apg, 2.4bpg (1971-1988)
Words: “He was almost a mythic figure, thanks to his dominating play in college and five mammoth seasons with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA” (Michael Bradley).

73 – Paul Pierce (SF, 6'7", 235 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star
Numbers: 21.8ppg, 6.0rpg, 3.9apg, 1.4spg (1998-)
Words: “[Pierce] repeatedly raised his level of play in big games… [he]finished the Double Zeros as the best small forward not named LeBron… [he was]a memorably tough competitor who didn’t miss a single 2000 preseason game after getting nearly stabbed to death two weeks earlier” (Bill Simmons).

74 – Bob Lanier (C, 6'11", 250 lb)
Awards: 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 20.1ppg, 10.1rpg, 3.1apg, .514 FG% (1970-1984)
Words: “Bob was big, burly and quick. Once he got you on his hip, he'd throw up that hook shot and you'd be helpless. He also had nice ball fakes and a face-up jumper that was almost impossible to stop” (Bob McAdoo).

75 – Tracy McGrady (SF, 6'8", 235 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 7 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.6ppg, 5.6rpg, 4.4apg, 1.2spg (1997-2012)
Words: “People talk about Kobe, Iverson, and the other guys, but to me, Tracy is the best player in the league behind Shaq. More than anyone else, he does it all” (Sam Cassell).

76 – Walt Bellamy (C, 6'11", 225 lb)
Awards: 4 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 20.1ppg, 13.7rpg, 2.4apg, .516 FG% (1961-1974)
Words: “Walt Bellamy was one of the most consistent scorers and rebounders the game has ever seen. The burly pivot man snatched 1,000 rebounds a staggering nine times in his career” (Ken Shouler).

77 – Chris Mullin (SF, 6'7", 215 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.2ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.5apg, .865 FT% (1985-2001)
Words: “Mully honed his lefty J to the point that you started counting buckets upon his release… As Warrior watchers saw it, he was the West Coast Larry Bird” (Ben Osborne)

78 – Joe Dumars (SG, 6'3", 195 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 16.1ppg, 2.2rpg, 4.5apg, .843 FT% (1985-1999)
Words: “Joe D was… capable of sizing up any situation and delivering whatever was needed to win a game, be it a steal, a dish, a board, a lockdown, a drive or a trey. He had no holes in his game” (Slam).

79 – Tom Heinsohn (F/C, 6'7", 218 lb)
Awards: 8 x NBA champion, 4 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 18.6ppg, 8.8rpg, 2.0apg, .790 FT% (1956-1965)
Words: “He was probably the best all-around forward other than Pettit and Baylor from ’57 to ’64, someone who defended bigger guys and provided a little muscle during a hockey-like era where everyone threw down” (Bill Simmons).

80 – David Thompson (SG, 6'4", 195 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-Star (+1 x ABA), Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 22.7ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.3apg, .505 FG% (1975-1984)
Words: “We’ll remember Thompson as the Intellivision to Jordan’s Playstation 2, an original prototype for every high-flying two-guard who followed. Blessed with a lightning first step, a reliable jump shot and a 44-inch vertical leap” (Bill Simmons).

81 – Ray Allen (SG, 6'5", 205 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.4ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.4apg, .401 3P% (1996-)
Words: “For his nine-year prime (1999-2007), Ray-Ray was remarkably efficient [and] had the prettiest jumper of any star player” (Bill Simmons).

82 – Alonzo Mourning (C, 6'10", 261 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star, 2 x Defensive Player of the Year, 2 x All-Defensive 1st Team (1992-2008)
Numbers: 17.1ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.1apg, 2.8bpg
Words: “Before Alonzo Mourning was diagnosed with kidney disease, we viewed him as almost inhuman – in a good way – like some machine-made Hercules. But think about it for a second. If the NBA had a lab where it created paint-banging big men, the prototype might very well be Zo” (Bonsu Thompson).

83 – Chris Webber (PF, 6'10", 245 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 20.7ppg, 9.8rpg, 4.2apg, .479 FG% (1993-2008)
Words: “He liked to control games from different spots on the floor, distributing from the high post before crashing the glass, or using his big, soft hands to throw down monstrous jams” (Slam).

84 – Spencer Haywood (PF/C, 6'8", 235 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x ABA Regular Season MVP, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team (+1 x ABA), 4 x All-Star (+1 x ABA)
Numbers: 20.9ppg, 10.6rpg, 1.9apg, .796 FT% (1969-1983)
Words: “A 6-8, 225-pound power forward who could do it all, Haywood was headed for the HOF before personal demons slowed him down” (Slam).

85 – Sidney Moncrief (SG, 6'3", 180 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star, 2 x Defensive Player of the Year, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 15.6ppg, 4.7rpg, 3.6apg, .502 FG% (1979-1991)
Words: “When you play against Moncrief, you're in for a night of all-around basketball. He'll hound you everywhere you go, both ends of the court. You just expect it
” (Michael Jordan).

86 – Chris Paul (PG, 6'0", 175 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star, 2 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 18.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 9.8apg, 2.4spg (2005-)
Words: “Sitting there watching Chris really develop into the best point guard in this league, it’s amazing to watch how he’s really risen his game to another level. But that’s what great players do. He’s definitely one of the best in this league right now” (Byron Scott).

87 – Bob Dandridge (SG/SF, 6'6", 195 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 4 x All-Star, 1 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 18.5ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.4apg, .484 FG% (1969-1981)
Words: “Dandridge was someone who did all the little things, drifted between three positions, defended every type of forward (famously outdueling Julius Erving in the ’78 Playoffs) and routinely drained monster shots” (Bill Simmons).

88 – Gail Goodrich (PG, 6'1", 170 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.6ppg, 3.2rpg, 4.7apg, .807 FT% (1965-1979)
Words: “The crafty southpaw… had an unorthodox low-post game, punishing smaller guards down low, and attacking the rim like a crazed Manu Ginobili” (Bill Simmons)

89 – Maurice Cheeks (PG, 6'1", 180 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 4 x All-Star, 1 x All-Defensive 1st Team, 4 x All-Defensive 2nd Team
Numbers: 11.1ppg, 2.8rpg, 6.7apg, 2.1spg (1978-1993)
Words: “The most underrated player of all-time… he had an implausible knack for when to go for the steal and a consecrated gift for running the team” (Peter Vecsey).

90 – Cliff Hagan (SG/SF, 6'4", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star (+1 x ABA)
Numbers: 17.7ppg, 6.6rpg, 3.2apg, .799 FT% (1956-1969)
Words: “[Hagan] had the uncanny ability to get his little hook shot off and this twisting little lay-up off against Russell and Chamberlain. Nobody else could do it except Cliff" (Cal Ramsey)


91 – Kevin Johnson (PG, 6'1", 190 lb)
Awards: 4 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 3 x All-Star
Numbers: 17.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 9.1apg, .493 FG% (1987-1998; 2000)
Words: “He's the best point guard in the League in my eyes, and I've guarded all of them" (Sam Cassell).

92 – Joe Fulks (SF, 6'5", 190 lb)
Awards: 1 x BAA champion, 3 x All-BAA 1st Team, 2 x All-Star
Numbers: 16.4ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.2apg, .766 FT% (1946-1954)
Words: “
He was a great, great player. He could shoot them any way, from any place. We set up our defense to revolve around him" (Red Auerbach)

93 – Jack Sikma (C, 6'11", 230 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 7 x All-Star
Numbers: 15.6ppg, 9.8rpg, 3.2apg, .849 FT% (1977-1991)
Words: “Sikma combined toughness (10 seasons of 80 or more games) and a sweet shooting touch (he led the league in FT percentage in ’87-88) to earn seven All-Star Game appearances” (Slam).

94 – Jo Jo White (G, 6'3", 190 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 7 x All-Star
Numbers: 17.2ppg, 4.0rpg, 4.9apg, .444 FG% (1969-1981)
Words: “He's so beautiful to watch, so graceful, yet a tough competitor. He is the cohesive force, the orchestrator of the Boston offense, as well as the team leader on the floor” (Mendy Rudolph).

95 – Neil Johnston (C, 6'8", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 6 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.4ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.5apg, .444 FG% (1951-1959)
Words: “Johnston led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons (’53-55) – mostly due to his sweet hook shot – and led in rebounding in ’55 as well” (Slam).

96 – Bailey Howell (SF, 6'7", 210 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.7ppg, 9.9rpg, 2.0apg, .480 FG% (1959-1971)
Words: “The term ‘garbage man’ was used more than once to describe the pesky inside game of Bailey Howell. It was not a pejorative term; in fact, it was paying homage” (Ken Shouler).


97 – George McGinnis (PF/C, 6'8", 235 lb)
Awards: 2 x ABA champion, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team (+2 x ABA), 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team (+1 x ABA), 3 x All-Star (+3 x ABA)
Numbers: 20.2ppg, 11.0rpg, 3.7apg, .458 FG% (1971-1982)
Words: “After four dominant ABA seasons, winning two titles and scoring as much as 29.8ppg, McGinnis joined the 76ers. The bruising 6-8, 235-pound forward had seven straight 20-10 seasons spanning two leagues” (Slam).

98 – Lou Hudson (SG/SF, 6'5", 210 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star
Numbers: 20.2ppg, 4.4rpg, 2.7apg, .489 FG% (1966-1979)
Words: “Lou Hudson was the leading scorer five years running on those highly competitive Hawks teams that could never capture the national spotlight” (Slam).

99 – Grant Hill (SF, 6'8", 235 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 7 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 16.7ppg, 6.0rpg, 4.2apg, .483 FG% (1994-)
Words: “Just like Mike, only better. A combination of Iceman and Big O, Grant Hill has grown into the mantle of the game’s best player as if he was born to fill the role” (Tony Gervino).

100 – Mitch Richmond (SG, 6'5", 215 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 21.0ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.5apg, .388 3P% (1988-2002)
Words: “Able to drain from range or use his burly 6-5 frame to get to the cup, Rock was a Swiss Army knife in a League where most players were blunt hammers” (Slam).

57 comments:

  1. I disagree with a lot of this. If you were starting a team and could draft any of these players would you really take Russell second? Would you really take Iverson over Patrick Ewing? Reggie Miller should be higher than 60 but I will give you a pass on that since most lists seem to have him between #50 and #65. Grant Hill in his prime was better than about 70 guys on this list but I get that his prime was short lived due to injury so I can't complain too much. Overall it was an enjoyable read though.

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    1. If I was an nba gm I would take russell 1st. Youre right about Iverson and hill. I can't have reggie in the top 60 because he passed the 200 3 mark only once (with a shortened line) and averaged a mediocre 18 3 and 3 for his career. He never won a ring, despite playing for one of the best coaches ever in larry brown, played in a diluted league, and was a defensive liability.

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    2. I agree with iverson and ewing and hill, but as an nba GM I would take russell 1st. Reggie Miller isn't top 60 because he only passed the 200 3 mark once (with a short 3 pt line) never won a ring despite having one of the best coaches ever in larry brown while playing in a diluted league, only averaged 18 3 and 3 for his career, and was a defensive liability.

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. If it was based purely on "who would you draft over who?" then it would look completely different. LeBron would be higher for one thing. Meanwhile, a lot of the players from the 1950s wouldn't even crack the top 100. But, if you take everything into consideration (success, statistics, dominance, etc), then I think Russell belongs 2nd on the list. He ranks 2nd, 3rd or 4th on each of the publications' rankings. Players like Shaq and Wilt had much greater deviation. As for Iverson vs Ewing, I tend to agree with you. Iverson's appeal was much greater than Ewing's though, and I think that has to be factored in somehow. Same goes for players like Earl Monroe, Pete Maravich, etc.

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  3. You are right, who would you draft is a different argument. Anyway I don't think Iverson's appeal was greater than Ewing's. Patrick Ewing was a massive star in the 1980's which you may have been to young to remember. When Ewing was drafted it was massive. I never make lists of players I didn't see...so my lists are from 1985 on and obviously Reggie Miller is the top player since then.

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  4. I'm well aware of Ewing's hype when he entered the league. It was called the Ewing lottery for a reason. And, although he never quite lived up to some of the lofty expectations (Bill Russell II?), he was still a fantastic player on both ends of the court. I would certainly prefer to build a team around Ewing than Iverson. Iverson has his merits, but I won't try to convert you. I spent enough time trying to do that in the early 2000s - I'll never succeed!

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  5. Zo was part a big part of that 2006 Heat team. He is a 1x NBA champion.

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  6. Thank you, I overlooked that - I'll change it now.

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  7. Nice work with this list... but I think Pierce is way too low.

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  8. Thanks for the kind words. You're right, Pierce certainly wouldn't look out of place 15 spots higher. Mind you, if you look at the players above him - people like Dantley, Bing, Arizin, etc - they all have impressive credentials of their own.

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  9. A pretty fantastic job. I think you are still underrating guys from the 50's and before. Mikan and Fulks should be higher, you forgot Bob Davies etc. Overall though, a very solid list. The top 8 is exactly right IMO, the top 25 is pretty much spot on (save for Mikan who I have at #9 all-time) though I have Isiah and his two rings above Barkley and Malone.

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  10. Thanks Joe, I appreciate the comments. You're absolutely right, a lot of people underrate Mikan, Fulks, etc, which is why they are relatively low in these rankings. Remember, this list is a combination of various publications' rankings. Mikan could only beat those players and teams put in front of him at the time, and he did just that. I agree about Isiah - he is one of my all-time favourite players and often gets overlooked in discussions about the best players ever. At a later date, I might adjust the rankings to reflect how I think they ought to be.

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  11. By the way, Bob Davies ranks 128th... one place ahead of Carmelo Anthony. Only two of the nine publications ranked him at all, hence his low overall ranking.

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  12. Tracy Mcgrady is way too low IMO. Let me just go back over his accomplishments for you:

    7x all-star
    2x all-NBA 1st
    3x all-NBA 2nd
    2x all-NBA 3rd
    2x scoring champion
    1x MIP
    6x top 8 MVP award shares (twice in the top 4)

    Career averages of 20/6/5/1/1 (keep in mind he developed slowly out of HS, and had a couple of seasons as a role player post-injury)
    Playoff Averages of 29/7/6/1/1

    And you have people like Alex English listed over him?

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  13. It's funny you should say that, because the feedback I've been getting elsewhere is that McGrady is ranked far too high. Personally, I think McGrady was a phenomenal offensive player at his peak and truly entertaining to watch... but he never took his team past the first round of the Playoffs. For that reason, it's nearly impossible to move him any higher than 75th.

    As for Alex English, I have a feeling you're unaware how good he was. He averaged 20ppg or more for 10 consecutive seasons compared to TMac's 8 seasons. English averaged 25ppg or more for 8 seasons compared to TMac's 2 seasons. Meanwhile, English scored 25,613 points compared to TMac's 18,108.

    I could go on.

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  14. English also didn't accomplish anything of note as far as team success is concerned. He was his generation's Carmelo Anthony.

    He never finished in the top 5 of MVP voting, only made 3 All-NBA teams (never the 1st team). He is the epitome of empty stats. His only advantage over McGrady is having a long, injury free career.

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  15. Very good list. I would have moved Russell down below KAJ and Wilt thought but that is nitpicking. Like that Dirk got respect as he deserves by being in the top 20.

    Think Nash has to be in top 100 even though his 2 MVPs are criminal when Shaq and Kobe only have 1 each.

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  16. Anonymous 1, you said it yourself, English's advantage over McGrady is that he had a long, injury free career. Hence he is ranked above him accordingly. In every other way, they are comparable.

    Anonymous 2, not sure if you missed it, but Nash is ranked 43rd on my list (and is one of my all-time favourite players). I'm really glad to hear you like the list, thanks for taking the time to read it.

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  17. As a fellow Brit, and basketball fan, I love this post and the effort that must have gone into it.
    Could you please give a full list of the sources for the megalist? I absolutely understand if you don’t want to but thought it was worth asking. The intro suggests that the list is purely a mathematical feat on your part with no personal intervention except in the weightings given to each list, is that correct?

    Moving on to the comments, Alex English certainly has a longevity edge over T-Mac but I wouldn’t say “in every other way, they are comparable”. McGrady once led his team in each of the 5 per game boxscore stats over a season (matched only by Erving (ABA), Cowens, Pippen and Garnett. LeBron came close in 09, leading 4 categories and having superior total blocks to Ben Wallace and Ilagauskas). T-Mac is also one of an elite few players to have posted a season with a PER of above 30. McGrady also had a solid defensive rep until he was forced to shoulder a humongous offensive load on some otherwise dreadful Orlando teams.
    English was an exceptional player (indeed he scored the most points in the 80’s), but was primarily a scorer in a high paced era, on a high paced team, in which small forwards weren’t generally known for their defensive abilities.
    Indeed T-Mac is such a hard player to rank precisely because his peak was brief but matched by so few (albeit few recognise how effective he was at his peak because Orlando sans Hill in that era were otherwise terrible).
    Anyway like I said an amazing list, thank you for the effort put in.

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  18. Hi Martin,

    It's great to see a fellow Brit commenting. The full list of sources:

    - Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball (top 96)
    - Slam 500 (top 500)
    - Slam '03 (top 75)
    - Elliot Kalb's Who's Better, Who's Best? (top 50)
    - Total Basketball Encyclopedia (top 100)
    - Michael Grange's Basketball's Greatest Stars (top 50)
    - NBA Legacy (top 25)
    - SPORT Magazine (top 50)
    - GOAT List - Insidehoops (top 150)

    Some of the publications/websites simply listed their top 100 (in no particular order), e.g. Total Basketball. Therefore, I gave those players a 1-100 ranking based on where they ranked in the other 8 publications.

    Meanwhile, for active players, I had to weight their rankings according to the most recent publications (Bill Simmons, Slam 500, NBA Legacy, GOAT list).

    I chose to include the older publications' rankings (e.g. Slam 2003 and Sport magazine from 1996) because I personally felt that they are just as valid - if not more so - than recent publications, since the older players were fresher in the mind back then. It's shocking, for example, to see how Pippen's legacy has increased since his retirement, whereas players like Dan Issel seem to have plummeted in people's estimations in recent years. The human mind seems to have selective memory.

    In conclusion, although my rankings are based on those from 9 different publications, I suppose you could argue that my methodology makes it my own personal list. If someone else compiled this list, they might have weighted it or adjusted it differently to how I did, yielding different results.

    I hope that makes sense!

    Regarding TMac, I was watching the 2001 All-Star Game yesterday and TMac did an amazing job defending Kobe Bryant. He was certainly a great defender... when he could be bothered. Which says it all really! I'm a huge fan. I just wish he'd played hard ALL the time.

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  19. The Biggest problems that I have with your Top 40, which is quite good,
    are that Julius Erving at #15 is way too high. His ABA stats are meaningless,
    and in interleague games with the NBA he was routinely destroyed
    by John Havlicek, despite their 11 year age difference;

    I was never a Bob Cousy (#22) fan,

    and I think that Willis Reed (#32) is too high,
    since Reed's career average against Bill Russell was something like 13 ppg.

    On the other hand, the ranking favors individuals over
    players that played on Good teams, for the most part.

    My favorite Celtic of the championship era was Sam Jones,
    who took the last shot from 1959 thru 1969, winning 10 championships.
    Although you have him at #48 All Time, at least you posted
    John Havlicek's revealing insight.

    "48 – Sam Jones (SG, 6'4", 198 lb)
    Awards: 10 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 5 x All-Star
    Numbers: 17.7ppg, 4.9rpg, 2.5apg, .803 FT% (1957-1969)
    Words: “He was a great shooter, a great defensive player and he had great speed. There wasn't anything Sam Jones couldn't do. If he had played with a team other than the Celtics, he'd be held in the same esteem as Jerry West (#11) or Oscar Robertson (#9)” (John Havlicek)."

    Also, I detested BIlly Cunningham (#51),
    who is the poster boy for reasons why a player from a 9 win team (1973 Sixers)
    should be not be eligible for consideration for First Team All NBA
    (somebody has to shoot, even on a crappy team).

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  20. Thanks for the feedback, you raise some interesting points.

    Why are Erving's ABA stats meaningless? Even if we ignore them, he still did enough in the NBA to warrant a high ranking.

    Cousy's assist numbers would be through the roof if they recorded them in the same way as they do now (back then, if the receiver took even one dribble before scoring, then the passer wouldn't be attributed with the assist). It's also difficult to overlook his 10 All-NBA 1st Team selections.

    Most player's scoring took a dip against Bill Russell, so it's harsh to hold that against Willis Reed.

    I do agree with you about Cunningham though. I think 51st overall is quite generous.

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  21. fantastic job you've done. I would like to thank you for the moments of joy I had reading your list. You're right with 1st Place and who are the guy's from the 50-80's ;-)

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  22. Thanks! It's much appreciated. I put a lot of time and effort into this but enjoyed every second of it, so I'm glad people enjoy reading it too.

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  23. Good list, but I do think Dirk is about ten spots too high and that Pierce should be hovering around the top 50. Both Pierce and KG were really hurt by mismanaged teams and would have more career accolades if they had better supporting casts or had gotten to play with each other sooner.

    KG was out of his prime in 2008 and that was probably the last year of Pierce's prime.

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  24. i completely agree with the last comment anyone who is still young and in the league today with no rings cant be over anyone who is current in the league with a ring i makes no sense at all and i would take .. pierce kg and ray ray for that matter all deserve to be higher and tmac should not even be on that list along with a few other guys but i have no problems with the first five

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  25. Glad to see some Celtics fans commenting on the rankings! Remember though, these rankings were compiled by using other publications' rankings. I must admit, if they were purely my own work, then Pierce and Allen would both be higher and KG might be moved up a place or two as well.

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  26. Good job with the list !
    I would change some minor things though,
    Chris Webber in my opinion should go higher, I know he had his shortcomings (mentally he was not the killer Alpha dog type) but man, what a freaking player he was, like Magic from the post. The best passer of all times as a big man (Sabonis also comes to mind- I actually think that the big fellow should have been in your list as well), absolutely amazing hands and touch.
    Should have accomplished more things I'll give you that, but still, an unique talent, a match-up nightmare, almost impossible to stop, and just a thing of beauty to watch.

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  27. Sabonis was a tremendous player... before he joined the NBA. His NBA career was good but short and not legendary enough to deserve a top 100 rating. If this list considered player's non-NBA/ABA careers, then I'd have to include players like Oscar Schmidt too.

    If you're a fan of Webber and Sabonis' passing, then you might like my other article about the fanciest passers in NBA history - both players are in my starting five!

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  28. Where is D Rose?

    I'm assuming you didn't watch him last year, because if you did you must be crazy to leave him off and put someone like Paul on.

    D Rose is the youngest MVP in league history that alone makes him one of the GOAT. That aside he has lead his team to a better record and just as far in the playoffs as Paul has ever done. Stop slurping Paul for his high assists

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  29. I'm assuming you didn't read the introduction. By the way, I'm a Bulls fan and Derrick Rose is my favourite player in the NBA. Just thought I'd mention that.

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  30. KG should not be ranked higher than David Robinson... Robinson's numbers and accolades are way better despite starting his career later, and messing up his back in 1997 (played with a herniated disc since). In fact, even with Robinson playing the last 7 years of his career with a pretty bad back and taking a strong backseat to Duncan offensively in his last 5, he still has better career averages than KG across the board.

    Prior to Duncan's arrival and before his injuries, Robinson would routinely drop triple doubles on Shaquille O'Neal, Ewing, Mourning and Hakeem. People forget how much of a beast he was on both ends of the floor...

    Credit Peter Holt and Popovich for changing the culture in San Antonio and building a championship squad that wasn't centered around the all-around brilliance of only one player... People assume that Robinson coat-tailed Duncan to his champoionships but people disregard the fact that his teams were never as balanced as Duncan's championship squads... nor did he have the benefit of Pop's coaching 'til after his injuries...

    David will forever be underrated...

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  31. I haven't forgotten how great the Admiral was... he was truly outstanding. But in the Playoffs? Less so. Hakeem outplayed him and I think that hurt his legacy somewhat. Also, many authors (who's rankings were the basis of this article) bemoaned Robinson's shirking of the big moment. He lacked the killer instinct.

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  32. As great as Hakeem was in that series (and he was - to the tune where I also believe he should be rated higher than Shaq)... Several of those games were decided by clutch three pointers from one of the greatest group of three point specialists ever assembled... Robert Horry, Mario Elie, Sam Cassell, Kenny Smith and even Clyde Drexeler. Teams win series... and unfortunately, pre-injury Robinson never had the benefit of being surrounded by that type of cast (instead he had erratic players like Dennis Rodman who decided he would chuck several 3 pointers in the first half of Game 1, because he was trying to prove a point to the coach)... or Avery Johnson, who at that point couldn't make a jumper to save his life... making it far easier to double and triple team The Admiral...

    Truth be told Robinson managed to steal Games 3 and 4 at Houston before Rodman's shenanigans came back to bite them again in Game 5... of course the media chooses to selectively forget those details, because David Robinson is the epitome of class and took all the blame upon himself... unfairly tarnishing his own legacy...

    None of the great centers of his day have a winning record against a pre-injury Robinson (he beat them all and even drew a 7-7 deadlock with the GOAT in the middle of the Bulls' Dynasty)

    Like I said, I've heard every argument to suggest that David was soft or unclutch but all they can really bring to the table is that another great player (Hakeem the Dream) beat Robinson's team in a hotly contested series... that one outlier shouldn't be the end-all/be-all argument... I mean, didn't Hakeem also go on and sweep Shaq's team in the Finals that very year? Why don't people hold that over Shaq's head as much as they do with David? I don't believe even Jordan's Bull's could have prevented the Rockets from taking the title that season... Hakeem was simply not going to be denied...

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  33. I wonder if, over the next few years, people will begin to recognise Robinson's talents and rank him higher than he is in my article? I wouldn't be surprised. Remember though, this article is based on other authors' rankings. If they were my own personal rankings, I would have Robinson higher and I agree with all of your points.

    We sometimes give too much credit to championships. It's not necessarily Robinson's fault that he didn't win a championship. Put him next to a Kobe or a Pippen and I'm sure he'd have a couple of rings. Then again, Rodman and Sean Elliot were great players themselves, so he did have some help.

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  34. Being the FOX Sports Color analyst for Spurs games over the past several seasons even Sean Elliott (two t's) admits Duncan's teams have been far more stacked than Robinson's ever were... I mean, who would one take? Vinny Del Negro or Manu Ginobili? Avery Johnson or Tony Parker? The latter two options could also take over games to ease the burden on Duncan, the way the former options couldn't ever dream of doing...

    Even the 3-pt specialists that Pop brought over to effectively play the inside/outside game were far more clutch (Steve Kerr, Mario Elie, Darren Jackson, Stephen Jackson, Manu Ginobili and later Robert Horry) than the old-beyond-their prime players (think Chuck Person) that David had available in that same role... like you said only Sean Elliott seemed to "step up" enough... but even Clyde Drexler wore him out in that '95 series...

    As for Rodman, well yeah he was a great rebounder and a pesky defender... but all that goes out the window when he's throwing temper tantrums during the most critical juncture of a season... had he played to his abilities and not left Horry to freely roam the perimeter (while seeking out more rebounds), that '95 series could have turned out differently despite Hakeem's masterful performance... Like I said, stealing two games on the road after dropping the first two at home is not easy to do... and Robinson did all he could to win that series...

    But enough about that...

    I simply don't see enough of an argument to suggest Garnett was a better player than Robinson... Robinson was the better defender, a more effective player on the offensive end, despite being equally athletic, Robinson was faster and stronger than Garnett... given the numbers Robinson beats him out fair and square... For that matter as much as I like Nowitzki, I don't think he was a better player than Robinson either (the German is ranked too high IMO)... in their prime Robinson would have nulliefied all of Nowitzki's strengths in a way that Nowitzki couldn't have stopped The Admiral...

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  35. I agree regarding Robinson. With the addition of him (and to a lesser extent, Elliott) the San Antonio franchise did a complete 180 in the '90s. Outside the '95 playoff series, where Olajuwon was clearly the better player on both ends of the court, Robinson generally proved to be equal in skill level in head-to-head meetings.

    I think Robinson should be a lot closer to Olajuwon.

    Of course, there can be an argument made about the longevity of Robinsons domination especially in comparison to someone like Shaq. Robinson lost a year due to his naval obligations and suffered chronic back issues which shortened his playing career. That would be the biggest knock against him.

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  36. I wouldn't worry about where some of these young players are on the list. in 10 years or more some of these players will move up the list after they prove their merit. i can almost promise you that in 10 years Derrick Rose will be in the top 25.

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  37. Just asking.... Manu Ginobili???? where you rank him.. I have him in my top 1oo but maybe its just me. thanks and good work!!!

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  38. I really like Manu. I'd personally rank him around 125th best all-time. If you factor in his career in Europe and for Argentina in various international competitions, he's a future hall of famer.

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  39. Are you going to do a "who would you draft over who" list? Do you know of a good one?

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  40. I did something similar to that. The following article is a fantasy draft based on how good the players were at the age of 20.

    http://basketballjournalist.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/nbas-ultimate-fantasy-draft.html

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  41. I think kobe should be higher. I think after this last year Kobe should be regarded as top 5 player of all time just because of his clutch ability late in games and his consistency as regard to All Star games and 1st Team All NBA selections.

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  42. Stay tuned for updated rankings this summer.

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  43. Looking forward to seeing updated rankings. Does updated rankings mean new lists (though I'm not aware of any lists created since the original post until NBA List Jam by Pat Williams comes out) or an opinion based adjustment?

    Also I'm looking at acquiring the SPORT Magazine containing Pete Vecsey's 50 best players list on eBay, do you think it's worth getting it shipped to the UK? Are the rankings argued/justified or is it just potted biogs?

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  44. Vecsey's rankings aren't really argued or justified. However, he writes a paragraph about each player and offers his opinion. It's quite an unusually honest appraisal of each player.

    I've bought many publications since I wrote this article. Some of them feature rankings while others simply feature 'top 12 players' for example (and in no particular order). Here are the publications I will use in my updated rankings (which weren't used in my rankings last year):

    - Basketball's 100 Greatest Players (Wayne Patterson)

    - APBR (The Association For Professional Basketball Research) 100 Greatest Players

    - The Expert's Picks: Basketball's Best 50 Players in the Last 50 Years (Kenneth A. Shouler)

    - 100 Greatest Players of All Time (Sachare)

    - Basketball: A History of the Game (Wolff)

    - Biographical History of Basketball (Bjarkman)

    - Basketball Reference Hall of Fame Probability

    - Associated Press Player of the Century

    I will also probably factor in my own opinion this time around. I'm considering making it the best 100 players in basketball history, as opposed to just the best NBA players. I think players like Bobby McDermott, Pop Gates and Hank Luisetti deserve a mention.

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  45. lol at no Vince Carter on the list.
    don't kid yourself he's in all time great. I grew up watchin the 90s Bulls so I got some knowledge of what it takes to be an all-time great. Vince is one of the most incredible players I've witnessed play. Probably the most talented, and most exciting player...for that he deserves to be on the list, top 75.. He did a lot for the league and his stats are easily good enough.

    pair him with Shaq in his prime and there wouldn't be any questioning. And how can you have Tmac on here but not Vince when Vince has had a better overall career?

    pretty good list otherwise I'll say. I think you underrate the wings of the early 2000s era. Tmac, Pierce, Vince, Allen, AI, Kobe all could do things no other player could in the past or present.

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  46. Great list, Will. I particularly like how you merged together these divergent lists from other sources in your considerations. While I would not necessarily put every last player in the same place, I think you have credited a solid, respectable, consensus ranking.

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  47. LeBron has 1 title as of 2013!

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  48. Indeed he has! I will be re-doing this article in the near future with updated rankings.

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  49. Top 100 Nba greatest players of all time.
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Lebron James
    3. Julius Erving
    4. Bill Russell
    5. Larry Bird
    6.Wilt Chamberlain
    7. Kareem Abdul Jubar
    8.Magic Johnson
    9. Kobe Bryant
    10. Tim Duncan
    11. Hakeem Olojuan
    12 Nate Archibald
    13 Red Aurabach
    14. Karl Malone
    15. John Stockton
    16. John Havelchek
    17 Reggie Miller
    18. Paul Pierce
    19. Kevin Garnet
    20. Steve Nash
    21. Bob Cousey
    22. Isaiah Thomas
    23. Charles Barkley
    24. Ray Allen
    25. Shaq
    26 Jason Kidd
    27. Dwayne Wade
    28. Kevin McHale
    29. David Robinson
    30. Robert Parish
    31 Jerry West
    32 Kevin Durant
    33 Dirk N
    34 Patrick Ewing
    35 Moses Malone
    36 James Worthy
    37 Dominique Wilkins
    38 Clyde Drexler
    39 CP3 (Chris Paul)
    40 Dennis Johnson
    41 Derrick Rose
    42 Rajon Rondo
    43 Russel Westbrook
    44 Bernard King
    45 Steve Kerr
    46 Dwight Howard
    47 Ralph Sampson
    48 Dennis Rodman
    49 Mutumbo
    50 Spud Webb
    51 Danny Ainge
    52 Scottie Pippen
    53 Derron Williams
    54 Chris Bosh
    55 Vince Carter
    56 Al Jefferson
    57 Rudy Gay
    58 Pau Gasol
    59 Marc Gasol
    60 Joe Dumas
    61 Gary Payton
    62 Dave Cowens
    63 Bill Walton
    64 Manu Ginoblie
    65 Tony Parker
    66 Andre Iggy
    67 Paul George
    68 Allen Iverson
    69 Steph Curry
    70 Monte Ellis
    71 Blake Griffin
    72 Joe Johnson
    73 Kenny Smith
    74 Chris Webber
    75 John Paxson
    76 Grant Hill
    77 Chris Mullin
    78 Rick Barry
    79 Kyrie Irving
    80 James Harden
    81 Brandon Jennings
    82 Ricky Rubio
    83 Ron Harper
    84 Justin Harper
    85 Zach Randolph
    86 Carmelo Anthony
    87 Kevin Love
    88 Doc Rivers
    89 Mike Conley
    90 Joe Porter
    91 David Thompson
    92 Chris Kanman
    93 Jeff Green
    94 Amire Stodamire
    95 Earl Monroe
    96 Roy Hibbert
    97 Avery Bradley
    98 LaMarcus Aldridge
    99 Demar Derozan
    100 Ricky Davis
    Created By: Joe Vittorioso :-)
    In my opinion

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  50. Hi Joe,

    Are you really only 10 years old? You've got great knowledge of NBA legends for a 10 year old!

    However, you need to remove Red Auerbach from the top 100 because he was the Celtics coach but didn't play basketball in the NBA.

    Also, it's surprising to see names like Justin Harper in your top 100.

    You've chosen some great players in your top 10 though! It's hard to argue with those.

    Who is your favourite player in the NBA today?

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  51. Gail Goodrich is ranked much too low. He should be in the Top 50. And Jerry West should be in Top 5.

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  52. Lakers fan by any chance? Goodrich was good... but not worthy of a top 50 place. Meanwhile, much as I like West, it's hard to think of an argument to justify his inclusion in the top 5. Be my guest though - I'd like to hear it.

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    Replies
    1. Like the list, although id have to put kareem over wilt. Wilt might have been more dominate but kareem understood what it took to win more. Not nearly as selfish and played much longer. Besides that without nitpicking to much its a great educated list. Here is my top 30
      1. Michael jordan
      2. Bill russell
      3. Larry bird
      4. Magic johnson
      5. kareem abdul jabaar
      6. Kobe Bryant
      7. Tim duncan
      8. Shaquille oneal
      9. Wilt chamberlin
      10. Jerry west
      11. Oscar robertson
      12. Hakeem olajawon
      13. Lebron james
      14. Moses malone
      15. Elgin baylor
      16. John havelchick
      17. Julius erving
      18. Charles barkely
      19. Dirk nowitski
      20. Bob pettit
      21. Kevin garnett
      22. Karl malone
      23. Isaiah thomas
      24. Bob cousy
      25. Dwayne wade
      26. John stockton
      27. Rick barry
      28. David robinson
      29. Scottie pippen
      30. Walt frazier
      31. Bill walton
      32. Kevin mchale
      33. Willis reed
      34. Steve nash
      35. Allen iverson
      36. Jason kidd
      37. Clyde drexler
      38. George gervin
      39. Patrick ewing
      40. Elvin hayes

      Delete
  53. Good list . Here is mine
    1. Michael jordan
    2. Bill russell
    3. Larry bird
    4. Magic johnson
    5. Kareem abdul jabbar
    6. Wilt chamberlin
    7. Kobe bryant
    8. Shaquille O'Neal
    9. Tim duncan
    10. Jerry west
    11. Hakeem olajuwon
    12. Oscar Robertson
    13. Lebron james
    14. Moses malone
    15. Elgin baylor
    16. Julius erving
    17. John havelchik
    18. Charles Barkley
    19. Dirk nowitski
    20. Karl malone
    21. Kevin Garnett
    22. Bob pettit
    23. Bob cousy
    24. Dwayne wade
    25. Isaiah Thomas
    26. John stockton
    27. Rick barry
    28. David robinson
    29. Scottie pippen
    30. Bill walton
    31. Kevin mchale
    32. Walt frazier
    33. Allen Iverson
    34. Steve nash
    35. Dave cowens
    36. Willis reed
    37. Wes unseld
    38. Clyde drexler
    39. George gervin
    40. Patrick ewing
    41. Jason kidd
    42. Gary payton
    43. Sam jones
    44. George mikan
    45. Dominique wilkins
    46. Nate Thurmond
    47. Hal greer
    48. Jerry lucas
    49. Paul pierce
    50. James worthy

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