1. Michael Jordan
2. Magic Johnson
3. Larry Bird
4. Wilt Chamberlin
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
6. Bill Russell
7. Kobe Bryant
8. Oscar Robertson
9. Shaquille O'Neal
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
11. Tim Duncan
12. Jerry West
13. Julias Erving
14. Elgin Baylor
15. Karl Malone
16. John Stockton
Come on... the man is the greatest player and leader of all time...
Only a top 3 ranking would legit... Sorry, but he deserves the respect..
Kobe over Shaq???
he should move to 11th atleast. how many nba finals mvps does he have? if your not the best player on your team when you win it ever you're not that great.
This should be a controversial post...
I think B-Russ may be a little overrated as an individual in the grand scheme of things. I don't think he had near the talent of Wilt, Shaq, Kareem, or Hakeem. He was a great team player in a great situation, and you can't knock 11 rings, but I think that is different from being one of the great individual players of all-time.
Given the increase in competitiveness and overall talent in the league, I think in some ways, you could argue that Shaq's 3 straight titles this decade were as much of an accomplishment as Bill's 11 in 13 years in the 60's.
Just a topic for discussion. I know he is one of the greats...but just HOW great of an individual player seems to be the question? Would we remember him quite as fondly if he were drafted by the Warriors and not surrounded by guys like Cousy, Havlicek, Sharman and Jones?
Another strange note about 1950s-60s NBA basketball: Russell won the MVP award 5 times, but only made the All-NBA First Team 3 times.
Hon. Mention...Kobe, West, Malone, Stockton, Baylor
10. jerry west
but he doesnt belong at no.7 but besides that and maybe Russell this is a great list
6. Bill Russell
7. Oscar Robertson
Not enough respect for Wilt around here if you ask me...
Putting Lebron in the top 10 right now is a joke. That could obviously change however.
Pete Maravich should be on that list! or else that list is garbage.
1) Michael Jordon
2) magic Johnson
3)Kareem Abdul jabbar
5) Bill Russel
6) Larry Bird
7) Oscar robertson
10) Karl Malone
11) Kobe Bryant
12) Pistol Pete
10. Duncan - The greatest power forward to ever play the game. He's boring to watch, but he's a winner. He's a great defender & consistent.. Clutch when the game is on the line. 4 NBA Championships.
9. Olajuwon - He's the most skillful center on both sides of the ball that the game has ever seen. His footwork & moves around the basket were amazing, which is why he got the nickname "The Dream". 2 NBA Championships (thanks to MJ retiring).
8. Shaq - Other than MJ, Shaq is the most dominant player I've ever seen. If he would've focused harder on his conditioning (preventing injuries) & free-throw shooting, he might have been the best center ever. 4 NBA Championships.
7. Oscar "The Big O" Robertson - Paved the way for "big" guards like Magic. He's one of the most versatile players in the history of the NBA. He's the standard "all-around" players are compared to. 1 NBA Championship.
6. Bill Russell - Wasn't a great offensive player, but is considered one of the best rebounders of all time. Averaged 22.5 rebounds per game for his career. He was also a great defender (blocking shots & on the ball). He had a Kevin Garnett type of impact (Minus the yelling, etc)... He brought passion & intensity. 11 NBA Championships.
5. Larry "Legend" - Lol, this was a bad ass white boy... PERIOD. Watch his highlights. 6' 10", could shoot the lights out, pass out of his ass & he didn't back down from anybody. His career truly defined consistency. He played great defense & was a hustler. He had that "IT" factor like MJ & Magic. He was a competitor. I bet y'all didn't know he averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds & 6.3 assists per game during his career! 3 NBA Championships.
4. Magic - The greatest PG ever. When he came into the league, they'd never seen anything like him (similar to how we look at LeBron). He was 6' 9", but had amazing handles & passing ability. He had that "IT" factor & had a major love for the game. 5 NBA Championships.
3. Kareem - He was hyped like LeBron James when he was in high school. His team had a 72 game winning streak. He also dominated college. He's the the NBA's all-time leading scorer. He played for 20 years! Invented the sky hook. 6 NBA Championships.
2. Wilt aka "The Big Dipper" - Not only one of the greatest basketball players ever... He was one of the greatest ATHLETES ever. He dominated to a point, where they had to change the rules. He consistently led the NBA in scoring, assists (yes, I said assists) & rebounds. We all know about his 100 point game. He also had a 55 rebound game! They didn't keep defensive statistics when he played, but there's a story that he had 25 blocks in one game. Imagine how many he had during his whole career. 2 NBA championships.
1. MJ aka "Air Jordan" - The greatest player to ever put on a pair of basketball shoes. He redefined the term "superstar" in the NBA. He more than dominated his era... He obliterated it. He went beyond stardom to mythic during his career. His impact goes far beyond the basketball court. He's legendary. 6 NBA Championships (would've had 8 if he didn't retire).
"There's Michael Jordan, then there's the rest of us." - Magic
"That was God disguised as Michael Jordan." - Larry Bird
You guys are absurd, many of those guys couldn't start in todays game. This is a different era. Continue living in the past.
You must be about 15 years old? Did you ever see any NBA basketball before 2000?
I think Tezo's got the most legit list I've seen so far.
how bout yall post NBA questions in the NBA section?
Those guys actually played the game the way its supposed to be played with high IQ.......
Cant be lower than number two sorry. Russell won 11 titles in 13 seasons nuff said.
I like cumoneileen8's list the best so far.
Not rying to be captain obvious but you have to look at it from two angles.The best players to dominate their respective eras, and the best players vs each other in their prime. There is no question that guys like Russell and Wilt and Oscar belong on this list. But they could'nt play in todays NBA. The athletes are bigger and more skilled then ever. Each generation pushes the next generation. When Jordan was dominating there was no one else doing anything close to what he was doing. But now you got 3 guys in Kobe, Lebron and Wade who are all as good as Michael was. I'm not saying they are better, just equal talent wise. Russell was 6-9 220 and dominating the paint. There were guys grabbing 50 rebounds and averaging 20+rebounds on the regular. It is just a different game nowadays.
You are absolutely right. Look at the 100-meter dash record, and it's progression from when Wilt and Russell were playing to now. People are constantly evolving and becoming faster and stronger. Add that to the increased popularity of the league, and obviously today's overall NBA talent pool is going to be stronger, faster and more athletic than those of the past.
However, I think you guys are a little off if you believe that guys just 15-20 years removed from being the best in the league could not compete with today's players. The game has changed some over that period, but to say that there are 3 players as talented as Michael might be taking it a step too far. There is always going to be some "recency bias" but let's not sell players like Michael, Hakeem, David Robinson, Karl Malone, Dominique, Isiah, Clyde, Scottie or Charles short. Those guys were all tremendous athletes, and in their primes, I think they would all be just as effective, if not moreso, in today's NBA.
On that note, I agree...we need to get posts like this in the NBA section of the forum. There is only so much I can discuss if Stephen Curry or Tyreke Evans will score more points in their 3rd year in the league.
2. Bill Russell
5. Wilt The Stilt
6. Larry Bird
8. The Big O
9. Tim Duncan
10. Dr. J
11. John Stockton
12. Bob Cousy
14. Kobe Bryant
15. Kevin Garnett
Players in the past where far more fundamentally sound than the players now that rely on athleticism..... Most players in the in the late 90's and 2000's are exposed to the media, college coaches, and a celebrity life style at an early age and never develop the proper fundamentals and you can tell in the quality of baskeball being played (no ball movement, poor one-one defensive, the lost art of the mid range shot, and no team defensive). Please stop with the Jordan comparisons they are dumb. Wade, Bryant, or James could NOT have won with what Jordan had... The game now is called way too soft and refreess overract...
Im seeing these list u have and im truly wondering do all of u idiots seriously think bird is better than kobe? i mean seriously kobe is always being compared to jordan for his heroics on the court. Do u honestly think kobe can be guarded by bird? please revise these lists
I think Bird is better than Kobe... He couldnt guard Kobe but Kobe couldnt guard him either if Carmelo can average 28 aganist the Lakers how much would Bird average??? Larry Bird was on the best shooters of all time and played excellent team basketball (offensive and defense). Its hard to compare players from diffrent era's but Birds ability to play basketball would translate to any era could HE COULD SHOOT the ball and his ability to pass was underrated.... Bird has a better resume than Kobe, he was sorta like Dirk Nowitzki with more balls..... Personally I would take Bird over Kobe ANY DAY!!!!
That's the worst post I've ever seen on this site...and there have been some bad ones.
Bird was my favorite player growing up by a landslide. In fact he is my second favorite player to have ever played this game period. With that said, Kobe would have &$#%#&@! all over him all day. Not even close, so ch25r36is, you can take your terrible comment elsewhere.
I am also an idiot when it comes to him. I was embarrassed to even type this but I too am not that high on Russell. I have been watching basketball my whole life and I have watched a lot of older stuff too (I was born in '80), but I have a hard time not thinking to myself "Not one person on that list could guard Shaq". There, I said it. It's true. Sorry.
(well, not 2009 Shaq, although if he was in 1960 all the 6'9'' centers would start trying to bring the ball up the court and jacking up 3's)
Isn't this a forum on the NBA draft?
billyk i understand u sayin that since melo avergaed 28 against the lakers then bird wat do worse to them but lets keep in mind that melo was being guarded by trevor not kobe. im not saying kobe would lock bird up but kobe is smart enough to at least keep him from dropping 30 on him please believe that. I cant remember the last time i saw someone jus go at kobe and hit 40 on HIM. o and ch15r36is i aint forgot about yo b**** a**. u tried 2 call me dumb and llperez22 agreed with me about kobe. obviously u dont knos*** about basketball if u dont think kobe would destroybird. i understand u may be a 1st timer when it comes 2 talkin bout basketball but i have actually PLAYED the sport. u may wanna chill on them comments about the worst u seen on the site cuz i cant tell u aint seen many.
"u may wanna chill on them comments about the worst u seen on the site cuz i cant tell u aint seen many."
I am also glad to know you "aint forgot about my b**** a**."
What is easily agreed upon is that Michael Jordan is #1.
Other than that, it's difficult to compare guys from other generations considering that the game is continually evolving with increasinly faster, stronger and overall-game skilled players. Its tough to assume how dominant guys like Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain would be today?
As great as he was, I do think that Magic Johnson is highly overrated and doesn't belong on a top 10 list.
kobe would beat bird one on one but i think a lot of people would rather have bird on their team for 5v5 and last time i checked, basketball was 5v5 right?
MB6297 WHAT HAVE U BEEN SMOKING? U MUST BE A CELTIC FAN...MAGIC maybe in most people minds.. in the top 2 of alltime ..IN a recent survey..SEVERAL HALL OF FAMERS were asked which hall of famer they would've love to have played with...71% said MAGIC....
Duncan is the greatest PF ever he needs to be top 10 so if Malone is in there Duncan knocks him down a slot.