With the Playoffs approaching and records being broken, here’s a look at the best players in NBA History:
10. Oscar Robertson
By now everyone knows about all the Triple-Doubles this man had as a shooting guard. He nearly averaged a Triple-Double for his career which is incredible. Yet some seem to forget about him when talking about the All-Time Greats. With more TV exposure and a couple more championships, Oscar certainly could have found himself much higher on this list!
9. Shaquille O’Neal
Arguably the most dominant player to ever play the game of basketball. Listed at 7’1 and 325 pounds, Shaq was an absolute force in the paint. He helped bring 3 Championships to the City of Los Angeles and even one to the Miami Heat. Nearing the end of his career, Shaq served as some sort of missionary bouncing around from team to team and eventually ending his career with the Boston Celtics.
8. Kobe Bryant
The Black Mamba. Just nearly edging out Shaq. His work ethic, clutch performances, mid-range jump shot and his ability to takeover the game unlike some Superstars (cough cough LeBron) seem to have. Kobe helped the Lakers take home 5 NBA Championships along with 18 All Star Game appearances and something that is sometimes looked over is that he found himself on the All-Defensive Teams 12 times. If Kobe were able to dominate early on his career like he did in his prime and didn’t struggle at the end of his career, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be #2 on this List.
7. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt the Stilt. We all know about his 100 point performance and his ability to average 50 in a season. Wilt was much more than that. 4-time MVP, 7-time scoring champion, 11-time rebounding leader…the stats speak for themselves. Something to keep in mind when talking about Wilt was certainly his competition. Wilt sky-rocketed most of his competition which gives him a distinct advantage. For people who think height doesn’t matter as a 5’9, fluffy white guy height fucking matters!
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabar
Well the numbers say it all for Kareem. The all-time points leader in NBA History (by a good amount), 6-time MVP (record) and 19-time NBA All Star (record). Kareem holds some of the most important records in NBA History, some of which may never be broken. Kareem was able to notch 6 NBA Championships, with all but one being the Lakers. I think every big man growing up at one point, tries to imitate the Kareem Sky Hook. Something that keeps Kareem out of the top 5 is because he had help from the greatest Point Guard in the History of Basketball.
5. Hakeem Olajuwon
In my opinion, Hakeem is the most underrated and under appreciated player in NBA History. Notching 2 NBA titles was hard to do in the MJ Era, although MJ had retired during this point in time. Hakeem changed the game of basketball with his art of blocking almost any shot coming his way, averaging just over 3 blocks per game and is currently the All-Time Leader in Blocks. On top of that, The Dream averaged over 20 points per game to go along with 11 rebounds. If it weren’t for fucking Michael Jordan, Hakeem could certainly find himself much higher on this list.
4. Magic Johnson
5-time NBA Champion, 3-time MVP, 12-time All Star, and averaging nearly a triple double…I don’t think there is any question why Magic finds himself in the top 5. He revolutionized the Point Guard position with his ability to pass the ball and find the open man like no one else. If Magic were able to find a consistent touch on his jumper and wasn’t forced to retire because of HIV, he could’ve easily been the Greatest Player of All Time.
3. Larry Bird
Larry Legend finds himself edging out Magic, call me biased but it’s hard to argue. 3-time NBA Champion (Magic had better help), 3-time MVP and 12-time All-Star. Larry was that tough, gritty player who could knock down any jump shot he took. Larry became a hero, role model and icon for the City of Boston for many years. Bird was known for his in game taunting of players and if you aren’t familiar with it, I suggest you look up some videos on YouTube.
2. LeBron James
The biggest coward and cry baby in all of sports but it’s hard to argue the raw, physical talent that he possesses. LeBron has been able to dominate the game of Basketball for the past 14 years and probably will continue to do so for at least 5 more. 3-time NBA Champion (should be more or less depending on how you look at it), 4-time MVP (could have won it almost every year he’s been in the league) and 13-time All-Star…LeBron certainly has the stats. If it weren’t for his constant complaining, unwillingness to takeover a game in the final minutes and his ability to not show up in some of the most important moments of his career, LeBron would no-doubt be the GOAT.
Up until recently, I’ve always been a LeBron is the GOAT guy but those days are over. 6-time NBA Champion (in as many tries), 5-time MVP (could have won it every year) and quite frankly the list goes on forever. His accomplishments and impact on the game of basketball has him recognized as the GOAT and some people go as far to say he’s the greatest athlete in any sport! Something that always drew me away from Michael was his competition, was it top of the line? Something to read into as LeBron’s career comes to a close.
Notable Mentions: Bill Russell, Allen Iverson, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan
Chirp me on Twitter: @gerard_saucier