Friday, 28 July 2017

100 GREATEST PLAYERS IN NBA HISTORY (2017 EDITION)

Back in July 2011, I wrote an article which ranked the top 100 players in NBA history. My methodology was unique; I combined the rankings found in 18 well-respected publications (including Bill Simmons' 'Book of Basketball' and Slam magazine's 'top 500') to create a master list. The results were, in my opinion, the most accurate and reliable rankings available at the time.

However, a lot has changed since 2011, and it's fascinating to see how the following events have affected the rankings of the all-time greats:

- LeBron has made it to the Finals seven (and counting) seasons in a row, winning three championships along the way, including one earned as a result of perhaps the greatest comeback in Finals history.

- Kobe retired with the second most All-Star Game appearances of all-time.... and the most missed field goals.

- Tim Duncan won a fifth championship ring and became the all-time leader in Playoffs minutes played.

- Stephen Curry and the Warriors set unprecedented individual (402 three-pointers made) and team (73-9) records.

- Russell Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as only the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season (while James Harden came close).

- Kevin Durant became just the 10th player in NBA history to win the Regular Season, Finals and All-Star Game MVP awards.

- Meanwhile, Dwight Howard lost his superpowers and got traded for Miles Plumlee.

I believe these are the most balanced and meticulous rankings of the all-time greats that you will see. There are approximately the same number of players from each decade; the oft-overlooked 1950s are represented fairly here, in my opinion, albeit with a handful more players from the 1990s and 2000s to account for the increased level of competition. Meanwhile, there are an approximately equal number of players at each position from point guard to center.

Of course, no matter how diligent and painstaking it is to rank the greatest 100 players, the list is ultimately subjective. But I challenge you to find a more accurate and reliable top 100.

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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, 8 x All-NBA 2nd 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, 3 x All-NBA 2nd 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, 5 x All-NBA 2nd 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 – LeBron James (F, 6'8", 250 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 4 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x Finals MVP, 11 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 13 x All-Star, 5 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 27.1ppg, 7.3rpg, 7.0apg, .501 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).

06 – 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, 1 x All-NBA 2nd 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).

07 – 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, 1 x All-NBA 2nd 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)

08 – 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, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 15 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 23.7ppg, 10.9rpg, 2.5apg, .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).



09 – Kobe Bryant (SG, 6'6", 205 lb)
Awards: 5 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 11 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 18 x All-Star, 9 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 25.0ppg, 5.2rpg, 4.7apg, 1.4spg (1996-2016)
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 (PF/C, 6'11", 255 lb)
Awards: 5 x NBA champion, 2 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x Finals MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 15 x All-Star, 8 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 19.0ppg, 10.8rpg, 3.0apg, 2.2bpg (1997-2016)
Words: “No question he's the greatest power forward ever. It's hard to compare anyone to Tim. He's in a class by himself” (David Robinson).

11 – Oscar Robertson (PG, 6'5", 220 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 9 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


12 – Jerry West (G, 6'2", 175 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).



13 – Hakeem Olajuwon (C, 7'0", 255 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x Finals MVP, 6 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 12 x All-Star, 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 – 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), 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team (+1 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).


15 – 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, 4 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


16 – Elgin Baylor (F, 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).


17 – John Havlicek (SG/SF, 6'5", 205 lb)
Awards: 8 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 7 x All-NBA 2nd 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 – Karl Malone (PF, 6'9", 265 lb)
Awards: 2 x Regular Season MVP, 11 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).



19 – Bob Pettit (PF, 6'9", 205 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 2 x Regular Season MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).

20 – Kevin Garnett (PF/C, 6'11", 220 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 15 x All-Star, 1 x Defensive Player of the Year, 9 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 17.8ppg, 10.0rpg, 3.7apg, .497 FG% (1995-2016)
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).



21 – David Robinson (C, 7'1", 235 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


22 – Charles Barkley (PF, 6'6", 252 lb)
Awards: 1 x Regular Season MVP, 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


23 – 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, 5 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 13 x All-Star
Numbers: 21.7ppg, 7.8rpg, 2.5apg, .879 FT% (1998-)
Words: “Being compared to Bird is not easy, but he certainly deserves it. It's a big honor for Dirk, but it's also a big honor for Bird because Dirk is really special” (Michael Finley).



24 – Isiah Thomas (PG, 6'1", 180 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).



25 – 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).

26 – Bob Cousy (PG, 6'1", 175 lb)
Awards: 6 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 10 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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). 



27 – 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), 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 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).

28 – Scottie Pippen (SF, 6'8", 228 lb)
Awards: 6 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


29 – 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).


30 – Dwyane Wade (G, 6'4", 220 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 12 x All-Star
Numbers: 23.3ppg, 4.8rpg, 5.7apg, 1.6spg (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).


31 – Kevin Durant (F, 6'9", 240 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x Finals MVP, 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 27.2ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.8apg, .882 FT% (2007-)
Words: “The fans kind of awoke a monster that they didn't want to” (Reggie Jackson, after Kevin Durant had 51 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists - including 7 three-pointers - to come back from an 8-point deficit with 48 seconds remaining to help the Thunder beat the Raptors).

32 – Walt Frazier (G, 6'4", 200 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


33 – Stephen Curry (PG, 6'3", 190lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 2 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 4 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.8ppg, 4.4rpg, 6.8apg, .438 3P% (2010-)
Words
Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter that I've ever seen. I'm having more fun watching him than anybody since Michael Jordan” (Barack Obama).


34 – 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).



35 – 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, 4 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


36 – Elvin Hayes (PF/C, 6'9", 235 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


37 – Jason Kidd (PG, 6'4", 195lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 12.6ppg, 6.3rpg, 8.7apg, 1.9spg (1994-2013)
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).


38 – Chris Paul (PG, 6'0", 175 lb)
Awards: 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 9 x All-Star, 6 x All-Defensive 1st Team, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 18.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 9.9apg, 2.3spg (2005-)
Words: “He hates to lose, he has that little man complex. But he's a fierce competitor, and on top of him having that vision, that ballhandling, that jumpshot, that pick-and-roll game, he's unstoppable” (Kevin Durant).

39 – Allen Iverson (G, 6'0", 165 lb)
Awards: 1 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 3 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


40 – 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).

41 – George Gervin (SG, 6'7", 180 lb)
Awards: 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team (+2 x ABA), 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).



42 – 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).

43 – 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).


44 - Gary Payton (PG, 6'4", 180 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-NBA 2nd 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).



45 – 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, 1 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


46 – 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).

47 – 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).


48 – Steve Nash (PG, 6'3", 178 lb)
Awards: 2 x Regular Season MVP, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 14.3ppg, 3.0rpg, 8.5apg, .904 FT% (1996-2014)
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).

49 – 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).

50 – 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: 19.7ppg, 5.6rpg, 3.5apg, 1.3spg (1998-2017)
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).



51 – Ray Allen (SG, 6'5", 205 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 10 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.9ppg, 4.1rpg, 3.4apg, .400 3P% (1996-2014)
Words: “Ray is hands-down the best shooter in NBA history. It's kind of cool just watching him. Every time he gets the ball we think it's going in” (Nate Robinson).


52 – 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)

53 – 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).



54 – Russell Westbrook (PG, 6'3", 200 lb)
Awards: 1 x Regular Season MVP, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 4 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.7ppg, 6.2rpg, 7.9apg, 1.7spg (2008-)
Words: “Russell Westbrook is one of the best talents, most gifted talents this game has ever seen. He goes out every night and proves that” (LeBron James).

55 – Paul Arizin (G/F, 6'4", 190 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


56 – 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).


57 – 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).


58 – Bill Sharman (SG, 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).



59 – Wes Unseld (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).


60 – Bob McAdoo (PF/C, 6'9", 210 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x Regular Season MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


61 – Tiny Archibald (PG, 6'1", 150 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-NBA 2nd 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).


62 – 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).


63 – 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).

64 – 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).

65 – Tom Heinsohn (F, 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).

66 – Earl Monroe (G, 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).



67 – 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).

68 – 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).


69 – Dave Bing (PG, 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 – Dave DeBusschere (PF, 6'6", 220 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 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).

71 – 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).



72 – 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).

73 – 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).

74 – Dennis Johnson (G, 6'4", 182 lb)
Awards: 3 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd 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).



75 – 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, 12.3rpg, 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).



76 – Tony Parker (PG, 6'2", 185 lb)
Awards: 4 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 3 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star
Numbers: 16.2ppg, 2.8rpg, 5.8apg, .493 FG% (2001-)
Words: “Assuming he makes the Hall of Fame - as he should - Parker will be just the fourth point guard enshrined in Springfield with more than two rings (the other players on that esteemed list are Bob Cousy, Dennis Johnson and Magic Johnson)” (Yaron Weitzman).

77 – 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), 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 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).



78 – Carmelo Anthony (F, 6'8", 240 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 24.8ppg, 6.8rpg, 3.1apg, .813 FT% (2003-)
Words: “Whether you give him space or get up on him, he just tries to take advantage of everything you do. With a guy like that, it's like, pick your poison” (Willie Green).


79 – Dwight Howard (C, 6'11", 265 lb)
Awards: 5 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star, 3 x Defensive Player of the Year, 4 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 17.5ppg, 12.7rpg, 1.5apg, 2.0bpg (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).



80 – David Thompson (SG, 6'4", 195 lb)
Awards: 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-ABA 2nd 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 – 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
Numbers: 17.1ppg, 8.5rpg, 1.1apg, 2.8bpg (1992-2008)
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).



82 – 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).


83 – 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).


84 – 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).



85 – Chris Bosh (PF/C, 6'11", 235 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 11 x All-Star
Numbers: 19.2ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.0apg, .494 FG% (2003-2016)
Words: “There are a lot of talented guys around the NBA who don't care about winning. This guy wants to win” (Loren Woods).


86 – Dikembe Mutombo (C, 7'2", 260 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star, 4 x Defensive Player of the Year, 3 x All-Defensive 1st Team (1991-2009)
Numbers: 9.8ppg, 10.3rpg, 1.0apg, 2.8bpg
Words: “Beside rebounding on both ends and playing rock-solid post defense, Deke turned blocking a shot into an art, punctuating rejections with a finger wag on the way to four Defensive POY awards” (Slam).


87 – 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)



88 – Vince Carter (SG/SF, 6'6", 220 lb)
Awards: 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 8 x All-Star
Numbers: 18.2ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.3apg, 1.1spg (1998-)
Words: “Sadly for me, I was on the video, too. I learned people can fly” (Frederic Weis).

89 – Pau Gasol (PF/C, 7'0", 250 lb)
Awards: 2 x NBA champion, 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 6 x All-Star, Rookie of the Year
Numbers: 17.9ppg, 9.4rpg, 3.2apg, 1.7bpg (2001-)
Words: “Gasol is a matchup nightmare to end all matchup nightmares. How do you guard a guy like that?” (Kurt Thomas).


90 – James Harden (G, 6'5", 220 lb)
Awards: 3 x All-NBA 1st Team, 5 x All-Star
Numbers: 22.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.7apg, 1.5spg (2009-)
Words: “It was like NBA 2K numbers” (Brandon Jennings, after Harden scored a career-high 53 points - tied for the most points ever in a triple double - against the Knicks to go with 16 rebounds and 17 assists).

91 – 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), 2 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 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).


92 – 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).

93 – Manu Ginobili (SG, 6'6", 205 lb)
Awards: 4 x NBA champion, 2 x All-NBA 3rd Team, 2 x All-Star
Numbers: 13.6ppg, 3.6rpg, 3.9apg, 1.4apg (2002-)
Words: “He's just hell-bent for leather, absolutely all-out. He plays with a ferocity at both ends of the court that's very unique. Coaches love that stuff” (Gregg Popovich).



94 – 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)

95 – 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).


96 – 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).


97 – 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, 4.1apg, .483 FG% (1994-2013)
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).


98 – Kawhi Leonard (SF, 6'7", 230 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 1 x Finals MVP, 2 x All-NBA 1st Team, 2 x All-Star, 2 x Defensive Player of the Year, 3 x All-Defensive 1st Team
Numbers: 16.4ppg, 6.2rpg, 2.3apg, 1.8spg (2011-)
Words: “He stole it from Curry the other night, just took it from him and went down and dunked it, and his expression did not change. He didn't raise his fist or look cool to the crowd or do any of this stupid-ass stuff. He didn't do a thing. He just goes the other direction, like he's bored to death. I love that about him" (Gregg Popovich).


99 – Walt Bellamy (C, 6'11", 225 lb)
Awards: 4 x All-Star, 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)


100 – Bob Davies (PG, 6'1", 175 lb)
Awards: 1 x NBA champion, 4 x All-NBA 1st Team, 1 x All-NBA 2nd Team, 4 x All-Star
Numbers: 14.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.9apg, .759 FT% (1948-1955)
Words: “Bob Davies was so good with the ball that he could have played with the Harlem Globetrotters” (Slam).

4 comments:

  1. Hello from Inside Hoops. Thanks for the list. I liked the fact that you listed their accomplishments and posted a quote by an expert or a first person witness.

    Kobe should not be ranked ahead of Tim Duncan, and Hakeem Olajuwon is ranked too low.

    Also, I find it very interesting when players in the middle of their prime are included on a list with other retired guys. Very tricky and forces you to pick between the "greatest player" and "best player" criteria.

    This list should be more consistent in listing the criteria for such rankings - is it based on accomplishments, context, records? Then that is according to the "greatest" criteria. Is it based on individual brilliance, talent, independent of external factors such as team success, coaches, teammates, injuries? Then it's according to the "best player" criteria.

    But by mixing the two, you lose some consistency and some credibility.

    Regardless, thanks for the hard work! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Awet, thanks for the comments.

    If players are ranked purely based on their ability, then nearly all of the stars from the NBA's early years will be left out. There'd be no room for Mikan, Pettit, Cousy, etc.

    My rankings factors in everything. It is not simply a case of sorting players by the number of awards they've won, as that would potentially overlook their impact on the game, their legacy, team success, etc.

    By combining different ways of judging players, my rankings are more holistic and, therefore, in my opinion, more historically accurate.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Curry is ranked WAY too high and Harden WAYY to low

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like that you ranked Rodman that high. I feel he gets very underrated for his off court issues.

    ReplyDelete