Every day, people in sports arenas all over the world argue over who is the greatest NBA player ever. Hello, Michael. Maybe it’s LeBron. Have we reached the point where there is no possible solution? Maybe.
However, there is a list of players who are inarguable candidates for the title of “greatest NBA player of all time.” Although you and we may have different lists of the top 15 players, we’ve chosen ours.
Therefore, this is a very debatable list, but here are our top 15 Basketball players of all time.
#1: Lebron James
“King” Lebron James has played 18 years, 3 more than Jordan, and may have 5 more. Lebron has won:
17-time All-Star, 13-time 1st team All-NBA, 5-time Defensive 1st team, scoring champion, and assists leader.
He’s won 4 NBA titles with 3 different teams, including one with a Cleveland club that had been eliminated from the playoffs.
One of Lebron’s championships was harder than Jordan’s because he faced a Warriors team with 4 All-Stars and 2 top 14 players in their prime.
Lebron has the most career postseason points with 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game. Lebron averaged 2 more assists per game than Jordan. Lebron scores more efficiently than Jordan.
Lebron averages 19.5 shots per game while Jordan averaged 23. Lebron has greater field goals and three-point percentages. Lebron is already number 1 on this list, but another title would solidify it. With the way he recruits, it could be soon.
#2: Michael Jordan
Some individuals may be offended by Michael Jordan’s placement at number two. Instead of debating whether Jordan or LeBron is the greatest player of all time, let’s appreciate both players’ accomplishments in this post. The obvious reason why Jordan is a top-two all-time player is;
Six NBA championships in six attempts with six MVP awards in the finals.
- Jordan was also the regular season MVP five times.
- Ten-time All-NBA First Team selection
- 9-time selection to the Defensive 1st Team
- 14 occasions All-Star
- NBA scoring champion ten times
- Three times the leader
- Once awarded Defensive Player of the Year.
Jordan was a 10-time scoring champion, and he also owns the NBA record for the greatest career average points per game (30.1) and best playoff average points per game (33.4). The argument that works against him is that he played for the best NBA team every year of his career against inferior opposition during that era.
Even if you omit him, they would have been a top team with Scottie Pippen, whom some consider to be in the top 20 of all time. Jordan also only played 15 NBA seasons, preventing him from holding some NBA records.
Almost as well-known off the court as he was on it, he may have been the inspiration for the world’s most renowned athletic shoe, the Nike Air Jordan.
#3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Abdul-Jabbar has received the most individual honors of any NBA player in history. He won a record six regular-season Most Valuable Player awards and made 19 NBA All-Star appearances, in addition to receiving 10 All-NBA 1st team and five All-Defensive 1st team honors. Abdul-Jabbar was also a champion, having won six NBA titles throughout his career, the first and last of which were won 17 years apart.
He also won three NCAA titles while attending UCLA. His unguardable sky-hook jumper made him unstoppable, resulting in career averages of 24.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
Since the 1974 season, when the NBA began recording blocks, he has won the blocking title four times.
#4: Wilt Chamberlain
Chamberlain appears to be an urban legend since the statistics he posted in the 1960s and early 1970s were unprecedented.
His career averages per game were 30,1 points, 22.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. As with Bill Russell, the NBA did not measure blocks per game, although it was estimated that he averaged 8 per game.
In 1962, Chamberlain averaged a ridiculous 50,4 points per game and scored 100 points in a single game, both of which were by far the most ever. Chamberlain holds the record for most points per game in a season, with Michael Jordan in fifth place with 37 points per game, which is not even close.
13-time All-Star, seven-time first-team All-NBA, seven-time scoring champion, and eleven-time rebounding champion. His feats are legendary.
Chamberlain must have become bored one season, as he opted to lead the league in assists in 1968 with 8.56 per game.
Wilt Chamberlain is difficult to compare to other players because, during his playing career, he was the tallest and most athletic player by far. It would have been interesting to see Chamberlain compete against larger, more athletic NBA players. Given how powerful he was, it is remarkable that he has only won two NBA titles, which is why he is ranked fourth.
#5: Magic Johnson
Both Magic and Bird are ranked fifth all-time, but what set Magic apart from his opponent Bird was the five championships that Magic and the Lakers won compared to the three that Bird and the Celtics won. Also in 1979, he won the college title by beating Bird.
Despite being tied for fifth and sixth all-time, Magic and the Lakers prevailed over Bird and the Celtics, winning five titles to Bird’s three. In 1979, he won the college title by beating out Bird.
Johnson was just 31 when he was diagnosed with HIV, forcing him to miss four consecutive seasons before making a miraculous comeback in his final year. Our research concludes that Magic is the best point guard in the NBA’s history.
#6: Lary Bird
In the 1980s, the NBA was revitalized by Bird and Magic, who sparked heated rivalries and renewed fan interest. With Bird at the helm, the Celtics made five trips to the NBA Finals and won three titles and two MVP awards.
In his 13 years in the NBA, Larry Bird made the All-Star squad 12 times and was a first-team All-NBA selection nine times. The 1980 rookie scoring champion had a stellar career, averaging 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
The ability to shoot the ball and take over games were two of Larry Bird’s defining traits, and they will forever make him one of the most iconic players of the 1980s.
#7: Tim Duncan
Duncan wasn’t the strongest or fastest player in the league, but he could outsmart and outplay anyone. So it became known as “The Big Fundamental.”
This may explain why Duncan isn’t considered one of the best 10 players of all time, even though he led the underappreciated San Antonio Spurs to five NBA titles during his tenure.
In addition to his two league MVP awards, Duncan also won three finals MVP awards. Througout his career, he earned 15 All-Star nods and 10 first-team All-NBA nods. Duncan was also a rock on defense, earning the first-team all-defense honors eight times throughout his career.
The 1998 Rookie of the Year had a fantastic career, culminating in averages of 19 points per game, 2.2 blocks per game, and 10.8 rebounds per game.
#8: Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq was the most dominant player of the past 50 years, and for a good reason. He was a physical monster. Shaq shot at least 55% from the field in each of his first 15 seasons in the NBA, and he never dropped below a 20-point per-game scoring average.
O’Neal and Kobe Bryant won three NBA titles together in Los Angeles, with Shaq earning Finals MVP honors all three times, and then won another NBA title with the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade.
Shaq was so dominant that he was named Player of the Year in the Associated Press College, the NBA Rookie of the Year, and the NBA Most Valuable Player.
To add to O’Neal’s credentials:
- a 15-time all-star,
- Eight-time selection to the NBA’s first team,
- NBA scoring champ for the second time
- Statistics: 23.7 points, 10.9 boards, and 2.3 blocks per game in a career.
#9: Kobe Bryant
The late Kobe Bryant was the NBA’s most similar player to Michael Jordan. Bryant ranks fourth all-time in scoring and averaged 25 points per game during his career. Bryant has led the NBA in scoring twice. Bryant’s ability to win games was what set him apart from other great scorers.
Bryant won 5 NBA titles, although he was only named Finals MVP twice. On the other hand, Jordan was named Finals MVP all 6 times he appeared in the NBA Finals. Bryant’s winning attitude extended to his defense, as seen by his 9 selections to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team.
Kobe Bryant, who retired from the NBA at age 37, scored 60 points in his final game and owns the record for the second-most points scored in an NBA game with 81.
Even though he averaged 25.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game over his career, he almost retired with that stat line.
#10: Bill Russel
Bill Russell won 11 NBA titles, the most of any player, and they were all with the Boston Celtics. Russell, though, was a part of the San Francisco Dons, a college team, that won two national titles. He is tied for second place with Michael Jordan with five NBA MVP titles.
While Russell averaged only 15.1 points per game over his career, he made up for it with an insane 22.5 rebounds each contest.
Since the NBA did not record blocks per game in the 1950s, experts have calculated that Bill Russel would have led all players with an average of roughly 8 per game.
Bill Russell passed away on July 31, 2022.
#11: Hakeem Olajuwon
For 18 years, “The Dream” was a dominant force at the center of the NBA.
Olajuwon, like many other all-time greats, was equally formidable on defense as he was on offense. He led the NBA in blocks per game three times, including a season in which he averaged 4.6 on the year.
Professional achievements include:
- 12-time All-Star
- 6 time All NBA 1st team
- 2-time Defensive player of the year
1-time league MVP while averaging 21.8 points, 3.1 blocks, and 11.
#12: Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson, nicknamed “The Big O,” entered the NBA in 1960 and became the first-ever triple-double averaging player in league history. in his second season. Since then, only Russell Westbrook has accomplished this feat. Robertson, on the other hand, remains the only player to ever rank in the top 10 in both points scored and assists made per game. And that’s why he’s considered one of the best distributors in NBA annals.
Robertson and Lew Alcindor won a championship together as a dynamic duo for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. Robertson has ridiculous career numbers, including averages of 25.7 points, 9.5 dimes, and 7.5 boards each match. During his 13 years in the NBA, Robertson played the most games, averaged 45.6 points per game, leads the team in scoring once, and leads the team in assists a game seven times.
#13: STEPHEN CURRY
Curry, another active player, is the all-time leader in 3-pointers made, has won three NBA titles, and is currently first in the NBA in 3-point percentage.
Even though Curry has now made the All-Star team seven times in his career, he didn’t do it until his fifth season in the league.
On the other hand, Curry has already won two NBA MVP titles and has been named to the first team All NBA four times. For someone who has never been nominated to the NBA’s first or second-team all-defense, Curry led the league in thefts per game in 2016.
Curry has an absurd lifetime three-point percentage of 43% and a scoring average of 24 points per game. In 2021, at age 33, he still averaged 32 points per game and may rise much higher on this list if he were to win another title or two and another MVP.
#14: KEVIN DURANT
There has never been a player in the top 14 all-time who is still actively playing on the list. With two NBA titles and one Finals MVP already under his belt, Durant has a great chance to win even more before his career is through.
In addition to being named 2007 College Player of the Year and 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year and 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, he has also been named an NBA record 11 times as well as to the NBA’s All-Star squad six times.
Since he is 7 feet tall but operates more like a guard, Durant has been called the greatest scorer in NBA history.
Throughout his career, he has shot over 38% from beyond the arc, leading to an average of 27 points per game. A couple more titles may put Durant in the top five players of all time
#15: Moses Malone’s
Moses Malone’s position here is higher than many people would have predicted.
Despite his three NBA MVP awards, which tie him for sixth place all-time with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, he is often overlooked when discussing the sport’s greatest players. Like Julius Erving, Karl Malone’s career was hampered by his time spent in the American Basketball Association (ABA), but like Erving, he and Malone won the NBA championship in 1983, and Malone was awarded Finals MVP.
With an average of nearly 20 points and 12 boards per game, the 8-time All-NBA First Teamer also led the NBA in boards per game on six separate occasions that season. If Malone hadn’t played 11 or fewer minutes on his games during his final three seasons, his career numbers would be much more astounding.