My Attempt At An All Time List
Some of these picks will not be in line with popular belief But that's okay, I'm not afraid to state my opinion.
Here goes my Top 5 All Time List per Position
1. Magic Johnson
2. Jason Kidd
3. Isaiah Thomas
4. John Stockton
5. Gary Payton
Honorable Mention (Bob Cousey, CP3, Steve Nash, Pete Maravich and Jerry West)
1. Micheal Jordan
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Allen Iverson
4. Oscar Robertson
5. Tracy McGrady
Honorable Mention (Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Penny Hardaway, Clyde Drexler, Mitch Richmond, D.Wade and George Gervin)
1. Larry Bird
2. Lebron James
3. Scottie Pippen
4. Julius Irving
5. Dominique Wilkens
Honorable Mention (Grant Hill, Vince Carter, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Mullin and Toni Kukoc)
1. Tim Duncan
2. Kevin Garnett
3. Karl Malone
4. Charles Barkley
5. Dirk Nowitzki
Honorable Mention (Pau Gasol, Shawn Kemp, Dennis Rodman, Amare Stoudimire, Rasheed Wallace and Antonio Mcdyess)
1. Karreem Abdul Jabbar
2. Bill Russell
3. Wilt Chamberlain
4. Shaquille O'Neal
5. Hakeem Olajawon
Honorable Mention (Bill Walton, Patrick Ewing, Moutumbo, Alonzo Mourning, Yao Ming, Arvydas Sabonis and Moses Malone)
I'd consider Oscar Robertson and Penny Hardaway more as point guards than shooting guards but overall I think you did a very nice job. Your all-time "starting five" is the exact same as mine would be.
Larry Bird is a better basketball player than LeBron James? No. No. No.
Your PF honorable mention needs some work. Amare, Sheed, Gasol, and Antonio Mcdyess?? Hmmm Ever hear of Dolph Schayes, Bob Pettit, Kevin McHale, Chris Webber, Connie Hawkins, Dave DeBusschere, Elvin Hayes, James Worthy, and others.........
Same goes for SF... Carter, Mullin, Kukoc, and Melo. You would rather have Toni Kukoc over Kevin Durant? Bernard King, Adrein Dantley, Alex English, The Truth, Elgin Baylor, Hondo,
You should say your list starts after the 80's or something. Toni Kukoc and Antonio Mcdyess on an all time list!!
But, Bird over LeBron? I don't like the Celts or LeBron, but have a hard time with that.
Also, and this is just a question, was Jerry West a PG? I always thought he was a SG.
Like Oscar over Iverson too.
Not too many arguments so overall good job.
I had a hard time leaving KD off the honorable mention list for Sf's but its too early to place him right now
The Big O and Penny could have been higher if not for the fact Allen Iverson was so dynamic a scorer and Pound for Pound the best 6'0 or below player ever...
I may have put GP too high as well, the older players were just as decorated throughout their careers...
Duncan and Garnett were just better overall players than Malone who benefitted hugely from playing with John Stockton, I almost put Dirk over Charles and Malone because of his versatility and Championship win over LBJ...
I JUST NEGGED MYSELF. ..
Paul Pierce is definitely an All Time great Sf, in fact he's better than Wilkens at 5, and yes I should have added James Worthy, Alex English and Adrian Dantley too, good call on that I knew I was missing a few guys
Mchale should be included in the top Pf list too, Webber and Bernard King were great Pf's too
Elgin Baylor was hard to place as I never saw him play...
I only kept Bird at 1 for now because Lebron only has 1 ring and has to win a few more before he's through to pass the living legend.
When I skimmed through this I was confused when I saw Hakeem at 5, then I saw those above him.
disagree with Tracy McGrady being put over Reggie Miller (and Ray Allen for that matter).
With that being said, you just made an all-time list and I would only strongly argue one point of it, nice job! Also, I like how you added Not-My-Vydas-Not-Your-Vydas-But-Arvydas Sabonis to the honorable mention list. He may be one of the top 5 centers to ever play and we will never know because he came over so late in his career.
Not a bad list but you were very focused on todays or this era. Jerry West, Moses Malone or some of the old Boston players should make it higher. I loved Gary Payton but Jerry West has to be infront of him imo.
Penny as a SG is not really the right choice to me and T-Mac was a a SF in his prime.
But still a good list.
I have a hard time putting T-Mac over Wade at the 5 spot. Dynamic scorers, passers, and rebounders but Wade was a much better defender. Anything T-Mac did, Wade did except Wade has two titles to his name and is in his 4th Finals while T-Mac never made it out of the 1st round (I don't count the 2013 playoffs).
To be honest, the only thing T-Mac was better than Wade is being injury-prone. And Wade is pretty damn good at that too.
If T-Mac's prime would have lasted as long as it should have (sans injuries) then he'd definitely be in the top-5. Maybe even top-3 -- but sadly, it didn't.
Very solid list overall though. It is very difficult to make these kind of lists but you've seem to get everyone near or at their perfect spot.
I see someone finally respects Jason Kidd as much as I do. I wouldnt have Tmac before Ray Allen, that would be my only argument. Great List Though. I would probably rank Oscar about Iverson as well.
There is no way Kidd should be ahead of Stockton on the all-time PG list. It really isn't close. They both had 19-year careers.
Kidd: 12.6 ppg, 8.7 apg, 6.3 rpg, 1.9 spg, 2.9 tov, .400 fg%, .349 3pt%, .785 ft%
Stockton: 13.1 ppg, 10.5 apg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 spg, 2.8 tov, .515 fg%, .384 3pt%, .826 ft%
Stockton was a better scorer, passer and defender. He was also a MUCH more efficient offensive player and while Kidd's screens were good, Stockton's picks/screens were legendary. Kidd broke 10 apg three times in his career. Stockton had two seasons of over 14 apg, five straight seasons over 13 apg, eight straight seasons over 12 apg and ten straight seasons over 10 apg. Kidd's averages in his peak five years are amazing: 16 ppg & 10 apg. Isiah Thomas' averages were 20 ppg and 11 apg during his peak five years. However, Stockton's averages over his peak five years were 17ppg and 14 apg. That's insane, and imo better than either. IT's career stats look amazing (19/9), but he left at the end of his prime--Stock & Kidd played an addition 6-7 years, which diminished their career averages.
Additionally, I read a great article on Stockton's head-to-head stats vs. other top pgs during his career. The ONLY pg that got the best of Stockton was Magic, and it was still pretty close. Stockton got the best of Payton and Thomas (though these were close match ups). Stockton destroyed Kidd head-to-head even though Stockton was well out of his prime by the time they started playing each other.
To me, only Magic is a shoe in ahead of Stockton at the pg position. Oscar (if considered a pg) probably is ahead as well. I can even see a few arguments for Thomas in his prime. However, I can see no reasonable argument for why Kidd should be ahead of Stockton. To pass Stockton's assists/steals records Kidd (#2 on both lists) would need 5+ more years averaging the stats he put up in his prime. Do people not realize how insane that is?
John Stockton is one of the most underrated players ever.
But IMO Jason Kidd was a better overall player...I can't argue this point based on stats because Stockton holds some very important records. I just feel Kidd was so good by himself that he literally took an average New Jersey team to the Finals, and people forget he guarded Wade in the Maverick's championship series against the Heat...
I think you mean to say that Jason Kidd was a better rebounder than Stockton? That is pretty much the only thing that he was better at than Stockton. I am saying this as a huge fan of Jason Kidd's. Peak Jason Kidd put up some really impressive numbers, but peak stockton was putting up as good if not better numbers in everything except rebounding. As a shooter the difference is huge.
The 2 years Kidd got NJ to the finals, none of the teams in the East were anything amazing. With that said you have Carter on your list of considerations for all time players. Jefferson was still a good player back then and they had pre-injury Kenyon Martin. Not perfect, but also not Lebron's Cavs team that made it to the finals. I'm not trying to rewrite history, but I think that if Malone didn't come up small in the 2nd year Utah met the Bulls in the finals that Stockton would have went out with a championship.
I'm always uneasy when someone tells me they can't argue stats, but persists in their feeling-based opinion. I think objective criteria are more helpful when comparing similar players.
I think if you considered Stockton's individual feats and performances you'd see they correlate with his superior overall production. Stockton would have had a pair of championships if not for the fact that he had to face the #1 team in history twice. To get to the finals he beat some historically great teams as well--Hakeem's Rockets (3-1), Robinson's/Duncan's Spurs (4-1) & Shaq's/Kobe's Lakers (4-0). Yes, the Jazz lost in the end. However, it took the best team ever assembled until the final play of game 6 to dispatch the Jazz twice. I think when you carefully review how good Stockton was and what he did to help his team, it's hard to say his accomplishments are less impressive than Kidd's even if he never got a ring. Moreover, if we go back to actual production, the argument is over.
Just puttin Jerry West out of top 3 PG or SG mean you have no idea of basketball or you never see him play and what he´s been to basketball in his time
Scarecrow, you need a lesson in NBA history. WHERE IS ELGIN BAYLOR?
Jerry west is a SG, and light years better than freaking TMAC. Tracy McGrady isnt even a hall of famer, how can he possibly make an all time list?
Here's my all time list:
Payton (I bleed green and yellow, homer pick...RIP SONICS. Gary Payton was a G)
ELGIN BAYLOR (could make argument hes a SF or PF but im sticking him here)
Lebron (if Lebron wins the title this year, ill put him above bird, but for now, Larry Legend owns my top spot)
John Havlicek (biggest snub from your list outside of Baylor)
(this is tough because there are several guys who had short, dominant runs as SF's, but dont have the longevity or resume of Pierce, hondo and erving; like Bernard King, George Gervin, Wilkins, etc. I also understand the impluse to put pippen in there, but for real, if he played his career with anyone but jordan, would he really be considered a top five all time SF when there are guys who were better scorers who also were the best player on title teams? also, time will probably land Durant on this list eventually)
(cant really argue with your top 5, but there are a few caveats here...many guys who would be PF's in 2013 were C's back in the day- Elvin Hayes, Walt Bellamy, Moses Malone, Nate Thurmond, Willis Reed, Dave Cowens) and your runner up list is crazy. Druneave3 broke it down well, although I have Elgin as a SG, the reality is he had no position, but he played facing the basket and had a great handle and shooting range, so even though he put up some insane rebounding numbers, I think in the modern NBA he would have been a wing. Probably the most underrated player in NBA history. He was the first guy to play above the rim. and if you know his back story, it gets nuts. Dude moonlighted as an NBA player while serving in the military and was wrecked by injuries. In the modern NBA, he would be in an argument for whether he was a better player than Lebron. Elgin is the &$#%#&@!.)
stockton is the all time assist and steals leader in the NBA. he has to be in the top 3 at least.
I am glad that these lists are Nash free. I am not hating on Nash. I have been around for his whole career, it just always seemed that people (media) were rating him far higher than he ever should have been for a guy that never played any type of defense, especially when you have had some amazing guards on both ends of the floor in NBA history. With all of that said, if with two MVPs, and no one thinks he is a top 5 player at his position, what does that say about his two MVPs?
your pg list should be
Lebron is better than Larry Bird, Wade is better than T-Mac, Pau Gasol as an honorable mention for greatest power forward ever? Give me a break.
For anybody on social security, this original list must be from someone too young to be my kid!!
West was not a point guard and is every bit Kobe's equal....would have had as many rings if not for two words....Bill Russell
Cousy was far superior to Kidd and especially Isaiah
How does McGrady even get consideration for top 25?.....an insult to Oscar and twnty others....Oscar averaged a triple double
Agree that Havlicek was a major oversight
Interesting exercise though
I am willing to be you every penny I've ever had that Bob Cousy would have never played in the NBA if he was born in 1985.
Tell me exactly what his current comp. would be? A small, unathletic point guard that can't shoot?
I just wanted to 2nd this comment. This isn't true for every guy that played "way back when," but it is in his case.
Totally unfair to compare a player to a different era and say they wouldn't play. Based on that logic, Babe Ruth would be an awful baseball player, Jack Johnson wouldn't be able to hold his weight in boxing, etc. Ignorance.
Elvin Hayes and Elgin Baylor both missing? Instant NEG...
Dont make lists like this if you dont know history
Toni Kukoc? Am I reading that right? Also, Jason Kidd should not be #2, and Nash should be in the top 5 he has 2 MVPs.
I would go with Stockton over Kidd both smart but Stockton was a better shooter and more efficient.
Also to the guy who said the Jazz would have rings if not for the Bulls being the best in history what were you watching. The Bulls 97 and 98 title team weren't cloe to being the best ever I can name 3 other Bulls teams that were better.
I don't really have a problem with the Pg list except where is Walt Frazier he should be an honorable mention and West was a top SG.
SG should have West and take out Tmac. Also Oscare Robertson was a better player than Iverson he made 11 straight All NBA teams and obiviously was a great rebounder, passer, scorer and shot .485 while averaging 8.5 free throws a game. We can debate what position either was but they were scorers so you can call them SGs.
Sf can't argue with it though i'm sure plenty of ppl will have Lebron ahead of Bird lets wait a year or 2 for that. Bird faced some real competition in the 80s winning those titles while Lebron faces very lil in the East.
Where is James Worthy, Baylor, Havlicek.
If anything honorable mention should be Detleft Schrempf, Marion, Durant over Kukoc.
Toni Kukoc shot 33% on 3s and averaged 4 rebs a game nothing special there and he scored just 11 ppg.
Kevin Garnett is not better than Malone don't let the title fool you. That Celtics team beat the Lakers w/out Bynum and Ariza barely played, don't forget how many times KG lost in the 1st round. The real argument is between Barkley and Malone both great Pfs who could score on anyone and Barkley had some historical playoff games in the early 90s.
Honorable Mention should have Hayes not McDyess.
I have Olajuwon ahead of Shaq I saw both play and Hakeem was a much better all around player look at his defense, blocks shots, jumper, free throw shooting and he never played with superstar wings like Kobe, Penny, Wade.
Can't really comment on Kareem's early yrs, Russell, Chamberlain that was a diff. era of basketball.
Honorable mention you forgot David Robinson probably by accident I hope.
Also Dave Cowens, Lanier are ahead of Mourning, Sabonis if you only count his NBA career.
Bill Walton averaged 13, 10 with 2 blocks in 10 yrs and less than 500 games and only 117 stars he shouldn't be an honorable selection for a few excellent seasons.
This has some strange god awful names on it, and yes Toni Kukoc is the highlight of that.
From a pure basketball standpoint, I have come to believe these are the 10 best ever:
1. Michael Jordan
2. LeBron James
3. Bill Russell
4. Kareem Abdul Jabar
5. Magic Johnson
6. Wilt Chamberlain
7. Tim Duncan
8. Shaq O'Neal
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
Oscar is the biggest omission, and I'm sure most of you will think another certain player was left off, but I'm willing to debate that.
This list is almost perfect. But from all the hate LeBron recieves, I'm not sure #2 will go well with people on this site.
I think this is pretty biased towards the modern era but it's your opinion and I respect that. That being said the honorable mentions in every category could use some major tweaking (the SFs and PFs were merely good NBA players and no David Robinson among the centers). Here's my list with players all in capitals who weren't listed by you) so feel free to rip me apart as well, lol.
1. Magic Johnson
2. Oscar Robertson
3. Isaiah Thomas
4. John Stockton
5. Jason Kidd
Honorable Mention (Bob Cousy, WALT FRAZIER, Gary Payton, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, NATE ARCHIBALD, LENNY WILKENS)
1. Micheal Jordan
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Jerry West
4. George Gervin
5. Allen Iverson
Honorable Mention (Clyde Drexler, Dwyane Wade, Pete Maravich, Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, Reggie Miller)
1. Larry Bird (in terms of his entire career still ahead of Lebron at the moment IMO)
2. Lebron James
3. Julius Erving
4. Elgin Baylor
5. Scottie Pippin
Honorable Mention (JOHN HAVLICEK, RICK BARRY, Dominique Wilkins, ADRIAN DANTLEY, PAUL PIERCE, ALEX ENGLISH, JAMES WORTHY, Carmelo Anthony)
1. Tim Duncan
2. Karl Malone
3. BOB PETIT
4. Kevin Garnett
5. Charles Barkley
Honorable Mention (Dirk Nowitzki, ELVIN HAYES, KEVIN MCHALE, BOB MCADOO, Dennis Rodman, JERRY LUCAS, DOLPH SCHAYES)
1. Karreem Abdul-Jabbar
2. Bill Russell
3. Wilt Chamberlain
4. Shaquille O'Neal
5. Hakeem Olajuwon
Honorable Mention (Moses Malone, DAVID ROBINSON, Patrick Ewing, GEORGE MIKAN, WILLIS REED, DAVE COWENS, Bill Walton)
What exactly in your opinion makes Larry Bird better than LeBron?
LeBron is 100X the athlete Larry Bird was
LeBron can score in just about every way possible, Bird couldn't just get around guys and get to the rim.
Bird was a very good passer, but LeBron is one of the best passers of all time.
LeBron is a more physical player than Bird.
LeBron is better than Bird in every conceivable way. In the era Bird played, he was able to do all those things, but if he was playing today I guarantee you he wouldn't be on LeBron's level. LeBron can do things that Bird couldn't imagine. Skill and instincts only go so far, you need the athletic ability to succeed in today's game, and Bird just didn't have that. LeBron would score on Bird at will, and could shut him down too.
I think you are overrating athleticism. Unlike a guy like Javale, Lebron has a high IQ to go with his athleticism so that gives him a huge advantage, but it doesn't automatically make him leap people. Bird is a very underrated defender. Bird despite being slower and not being able to jump as high was also a better rebounder than Lebron. I would also say Bird was a better passer. On top of that you can add 3 NBA championships. He got his career cut short and lost some good years because of injury. When it's all said and done, I think it would be a safe bet that Lebron will surpass Bird, I just would not make that claim yet in my opinion.
The funny thing is that everyone talks as if Lebron is the best passing forward in the league, but the best passing forward is Luke Walton, bad back and all. For those that cannot read, I am ONLY comparing their passing ability.
Bird was a better shooter, rebounder, and passer. Had a higher bball IQ. Who cares if Bird "couldn't get around guys". He was a lethal shooter, career 50% on fg's. Lebron still has time to pass Bird as the greatest SF ever, but he isn't there yet.
I hate when people make arguments like this...Yes Bird was a better shooter and rebounder than LeBron (He wasn't a better passer). That isn't what makes great players great. Plenty of players can shoot and rebound. LeBron makes plays that no one else on the planet can make that's what makes him the best player in the league. It has nothing to do with his shooting or rebounding.
For the record yes Lebron is a better athlete and defender. In terms of passing I'd say they're about equal, Lebron might have a slight edge. Bird was a very physical player too even though he wasn't nearly as big or strong as Lebron. Bird was a better shooter and rebounder.
It's also not so much that Bird was better than Lebron. Bird IMO had the better career at this point in LBJ's career. He had played more seasons at the top of his game, won more championships etc. That being said if Lebron continues to play at an All-NBA level for 2 or 3 more years he'll probably eclipse Bird in my eyes. Until he does that though I'm not just going to assume he will.
My list is more based on how great a career someone had than just pure ability and how good someone was during their peak. If it was just based on the latter Wilt would be the #1 center, TMac would be higher, Durant would already be ahead of most of those honorable mentions, and Connie Hawkins would probably be a top 5 PF.
Having a better career isn't being better. Then lets just do it by rings, and Russell is #1 on everyones list.
Bird also played on the Celtics in an era where they were loaded with HOF/semi-HOF players, while LeBron has had what? An all star in Bosh, and yes one legit HOF guy in Wade, who has gottten worse all 3 seasons they've played together.
Basing it on accomplishments is fine, but I believe in weighing overall talent vs winning. LeBron was a better player than Bird. I get that Bird did some things good, but LeBron literally does EVERYTHING on the floor on top of being a phenomenal athlete. Bird wouldn't be able to guard LeBron James, and LeBron James would be able to guard Bird. I'm not saying Bird couldn't play in today's game, or wouldn't be good. He wouldn't be LeBron, LeBron does things Bird couldn't even dream of doing.
IF we're basing it on just who's a better basketball player talent and ability wise, then yes... LeBron is above Bird.
However, if we're basing it on a combo of things such as winning, stats, talent, etc, etc... Then I have no problem with Bird being above LeBron.
I don't think LeBron and Bird are really comparable. LeBron is a ball dominant point forward, while Bird was a combo forward. It wasn't his job to dominate the ball. However, what's nuts is that Bird averaged 6.3 assists for his career WITHOUT dominating the ball. There was no dribble, dribble, dribble and then either shoot or pass to a wide open three-point shooter in a spread offense. I love the fact that Bird averaged 10 rebounds for his career, not to mention he was basically a 50, 40 and 90 guy. Oh and he was tough as sh*t and never was afraid of big moments. He was a complete offensive player.
Another thing to throw out there is that even though Bird did have HOF teammates, let's not let that fool you that he couldn't have done what LeBron did in Cleveland. Bird came into the NBA as a rookie on a team that won only 29 games the year before... Bird led that same roster to *61* wins as a rookie... I think the biggest turnaround in NBA history.
Don't sleep on Bird.
Another thing I think people need to start doing is respecting guys for what they did during their era and not just saying, "They'd get killed today or they wouldn't stand a chance today."
IF we're going to think about a player from the 70's, 80's, etc playing in today's game, let's also think about the fact they'd be getting the same benefits as today's players with all of this improved technology, advanced weight/physical training, etc, etc.
Larry Bird was great in his time, and that is fine. I just think their is a such thing as an eye test. And the eye test tells me LeBron James is a lot better than Larry Bird. Maybe that has to do with the different era of technology and everything, I'm not denying that.
The only thing Bird has over LeBron is championships. I know that is undeniable fact at this point. But everyone forgets bsketball is a team game, and Bird played with some great great players. Kobe is a "5 time champ" and we treat him like he's one step behind Jordan despite the fact he had a 7'1 290 guy dropping 35/18 on people for 3 of those.
In discussing Bird's great teams, its reminding me how unfathomably (and suspiciously) lucky the Lakers and Celtics were back in those days...
1. The Celtics drafted Larry Bird a year before he came out of college. With the 6th pick.....did the other teams even know you could do that? Were Rick Robey and Purvis Short really guys you'd take over Larry Bird if it meant waiting a year? Would any team in this 2013 draft pass up Wiggins even if he had to play at Kansas for a year? Helllll No.
2. The Lakers get the #1 pick (Magic) in 1979 because they some how got 3 firsts from the Jazz "As compensation for signing a washed up Gail Goodrich"...Really?
3. In 1980, the Celtics got picks for Bob McAdoo, which turned out to be the #1 pick. Yes, McAdoo was a great scorer, but that was really all he was and the Pistons at that time really weren't going anywhere. They then sent the First pick to the Warriors for the 3rd and Robert Parish. The Warriors then picked Joe Barry Carroll first, and the Celtics picked McHale third. This is defensible, but still broke perfectly for the Celtics. Carroll was no better than Parish, and definitely not better than Parish and McHale. Trading a guy who averaged 17-11 his 4th season just to move from 3rd to 1st? Was Joe Barry Carroll that great in college?
4. The Lakers somehow hijacked the #1 pick from Cleveland, after winning the championship in 82, and picked James Worthy.
5. Now, obviously what happened to Len Bias was tragic and we missed the entire career of someone who was destined to be great. But really Seattle? The #2 pick for Gerald Henderson? When LEN BIAS was projected to go 2nd?
I mean honestly, those are 5 seperate scenarios where teams that were competing for championships ended up with top picks. Imagine the Heat somehow getting Wiggins or if the Thunder somehow got Kyrie a couple years back. What was going on with this league? Were Sam Presti and Darryl Morey running the Celtics and Lakers and was David Khan running every other team? Its crazy.
Here goes my new list
1. Magic Johnson
2. John Stockton
3. Isaiah Thomas
4. Jason Kidd
5. Gary Payton
Honorable Mention (Walt Frazier, Tiny Archibald, Bob Cousey, Pete Maravich, Lenny Wilkens, Mo Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Penny Hardaway, Steve Nash, Chris Paul)
1. Michael Jordan
2. Jerry West
3. Oscar Robertson
4. Kobe Bryant
5. Allen Iverson
Honorable Mention (George Gervin, Rick Barry, Clyde Drexler, Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Tracy Mcgrady, Mitch Richmond, Vince Carter, Dwayne Wade)
1. Larry Bird
3. Elgin Baylor
4. Julius Irving
5. Scottie Pippen
Honorable Mention (John Havlicek, Adrian Dantley, James Worthy, Dominique Wilkens, Alex English, Bernard King, Detliff Schremp, Drazen Petrovic, Chris Mullin, Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant)
1. Tim Duncan
2. Karl Malone
3. Elvin Hayes
4. Charles Barkley
5. Kevin Garnett
Honorable Mention (Bob Petit, Bob Macadoo, Walt Bellemy, Nate Thurmond, Kevin Mchale, Jerry Lucas, Dennis Rodman, Shawn Kemp, Larry Johnson, Dirk Nowitzi, Pau Gasol, Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Kevin Love)
1. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
2. Bill Russell
3. Wilt Chamberlain
4. Hakeem Olajawon
5. Shaquille O'Neal
Honorable Mention (George Miken, Willis Reed, Dave Cowens, Ralph Sampson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Diekembe Moutumbo, Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Yao Ming, Dwight Howard)
Basing it on accomplishments is fine, but I believe in weighing overall talent vs winning. LeBron was a better player than Bird.
If that's the case why do you have Wilt, Kareem and Shaq ranked below Russell on your all-time list? Wilt could do everything and could do things that Russell couldn't do, ditto Kareem. What about Shaq? I'm willing to bet Shaq could guard Russell really well but do you honestly think Russell could guard Shaq? Having a informative opinion is great but it needs to be consistent. If based on that logic LBJ is better than Bird then Shaq should be better than Russell.
Russell was built like LeBron. He was one of the greatest athletes of all-time. Russell changed games on the defensive end that no one in that era could even adjust to. Russell wasn't an elite scorer, you're right, but thats because scoring wasn't something he was concerned about. He was concerned about stopping the other team from scoring, and helping his teammates anyway he could. He is the most unselfish star in the history of basketball, and the GREATEST WINNER ever.
The difference between Russell's 11 rings and Shaq's 3 is much different than Bird having a couple more than LeBron when LeBron still has somewhere between 5-8 prime years left.
You also brought up Wilt. Russell beat Wilt EVERY SINGLE time they played in a big game. If LeBron and Bird had the exact same career stats they do now, but Bird played during LeBron's peak and won 8 straight titles, then yes, I would have Bird ahead of LeBron for sure. Russell was the team first winner, Chamberlain was the me first stat stuffer. If Wilt was the better player, he wouldn't have been dominated so emphatically by Russell.
Also, his ability to dominate Wilt only furthers the weakness in your Shaq argument. I know Shaq was 30-40 pounds heavier than Chamberlain, and of course that woulda mattered for something. But the fact Russell handled a physical force like Wilt so well makes me know that he could play against someone like Shaq. Russell would have memorized the way Shaq played, and his speed and athleticism would have caused major problems for Shaq on the other side of the floor.
Meanwhile, Bird never faced anyone even vaguely similar to LeBron. Magic was a PG and not even close to the athlete or scoring force of LeBron. He never really played DR J in his hayday, and even then, the Dr. couldn't shoot like LeBron. Dominique Wilkins was a scoring machine, and an athletic freak. But he lacked all the all around game LBJ had. He played Michael, but save the game where MJ set the playoff scoring record, what meaningful game did they ever have? Bird was wearing down by the time MJ was becoming the man.
It's a small point of contention, but I think it's hard to make an argument for Hakeem over Shaquille O'Neal. The Rockets did beat the Magic in the 95 finals, but Shaq, in only his third year in the league, basically played Olajuwon to a draw in that series. Shaq then went on to win three titles as the undisputed "man" on his team, while Olajuwon won two.
I generally tend to think that Shaq gets pretty underrated by casual basketball fans. I think this is partially due to the fact that people remember the old, washed up O'Neal, as opposed to possibly the most dominant force the NBA has ever seen. I think people especially tend to underrate Shaq's longevity as a top tier player in the NBA. He played 14 seasons at an All Star level, and he was far from useless even in the twilight of his career, where he still put up very impressive per-36 numbers. For comparison, Tim Duncan, someone frequently touted for his longevity, is just now entering his 16th season.
People, are quick to point out Shaq's flaws, and he certainly did have them. He wasn't always in the best shape, he didn't always try on defense and he was prone to missing large chunks of the regular season. However, Shaq was always in shape for the playoffs and always put forth his best effort on defense in the playoffs where it mattered most. In fact, O'Neal is one of the best and most consistent playoff performers of all time.
Once you consider the fact that Shaq has a peak level (00-02) on par with Jordan, I think that Shaq has a case for top 5 all time. I don't think he's for sure a top 5 player, but at least has an argument against several players consistently ranked above him.
What makes Lebron the 2nd best player all time and how close is he to #1?
Is it him being the most athletic, his defense, rebounding, passing, scoring, his PER which is 2nd all time.
How does he rank compared to other Sf's, well he's better offensively then Pippen, defensively than Bird and better overall then anyone. Before ppl dismiss Bird he did average 24 ppg, 10 rebs, 6.5 asts, 1 block and 2 steals in the playoffs in 12 yrs and was in the top 3 in MVP voting 8 times.
Based on Lebron's numbers he seems to be the best all around player in the league ever so why isn't he # 1?
Couple of reasons 1st MJ never lost in the Finals and despite playing with HOF players he never had great offensive players on his team. He faced better teams then Lebron did just look at the Blazers team that beat the Lakers in 92, the Jazz teams in 97, 98. Even the Suns team in 93 was better than any the Heat have faced in the East. Also MJ led the Bulls to 72 win and that year they only lost in the playoffs 3 times.
I don't think Lebron gets 6 rings, next year will probably be the Heat's last being such a dominant team in the East. Not sure how they change the team since they are capped out for the remainder of the big 3s contracts. Wade is clearly aging and these old vets are almost done Allen, Battier, Anthony, Jones, Lewis, Miller. Bosh is solid but he's not superstar and can't carry a team. It'll be interesting if Lebron opts out and where he goes the critics and haters will have fun with that. Since he's 28 and been playing till 18 I wonder how long he'll play maybe 5-6 more yrs or 8 even outside of that would be asking too much for a man of his size.
Historically now he has a ring might win his 2nd and has made 4 Finals appearance in 10 years which is the same as some all time greats he's apparently passed on these lists.
To me he will always have the stats because he's played on teams w/out dominant big men.
He actually averaged more assists this year then all but 1 of his years in Cleveland which is a special feat considering Wade is on this team.
No way I would rank him now ahead of Kobe and I'm not even a big Kobe fan.
Yeah I know Kobe played with Shaq since day 1 and had Horry, Fisher and later on Gasol, Bynum, Odom.
Also Kobe had an all time great coach in Phil Jackson for almost all his career but Kobe has been clutch and won games in the playoffs in the Finals since he was 22 and has played in a much tougher conference. Outside of the Pistons and Celtics the East hasn't had dominant teams till the Heat. Kobe had a killer instinct and was the best clutch player since Jordan. I won't put Lebron ahead of Kobe, Shaq, Duncan they all made at 5 Finals at least and Kobe made 7.
Lebron has been a much better closer the last 2 years but thats 2 years.
The title last year and beating a superstar like Durant imo put him ahead of many players and his great regular season and postseason has put him in the top 15 depending on how you rank bigs and other players.
The way Lebron plays he's basically the most dominant player who isn't a big man the league has ever seen.
Who else leads their team in pts, rebs, assists and so many other stats.
No one is going to beat him out in the MVP race the next few yrs unless the Thunder win 70 or Dwight Howard plays like Shaq used to but neither is likely.