I know listing your 10 is like asking for negs, but give it a shot here's mine including current players.
1. Michael Jordan
2. LeBron James
3. Magic Johnson
4. Wilt Chamberlain
5. Larry Bird
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
7. Hakeem Olajuwon
8. Bill Russell
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Shaquille O'neal
Honorable Mentions: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Tim Duncan.
Good looking top 10, only change I would make is probably Olajuwon as my first center on the list.
Ok not a bad list, and I k ow its each persons opinion but where is Kobe? I hate Kobe and his balldominant play style but to leave him off and mention Iverson is ignorant.
In my honest opinion, Tim Duncan should be ahead of Kobe.
Weird to see shaq so low considering his 3 finals mvps and 4 rings and Duncan not on but still solid.
Maybe move Kobe to 10 and shaq to 9 and then maybe Duncan will be 11. These lists are really hard to do because I feel I am undermining certain players like Kobe and Duncan putting them so low.
1. Michael Jordan
5. Bill Russell
6. Larry Bird
8. Oscar Robertson
9. Tim Duncan
Honorable mention: Kobe, West, Elgin Baylor, Hakeem, Stockton, Moses Malone
At the end of the day though Duncan is the fourth best big ever.
10 seasons in, LeBron has been as good as anyone. I think he can finish his career in the top three along
with MJ and Wilt.
Someone explain to me, why the only player to ever average a triple double, and kept a consistent all-around game his entire career and biggest fault was that he couldn't get more than a ring is kept out of the top 10? I'm not saying it's not true, I'm just curious why the guy gets left out.
Anyway here's my 10
1. Michael Jordan.. I still think it's impossible to compare era's because the game has gotten stronger and better tools to make you a better play over time but I give Jordan the edge over anybody even with that.
2. Wilt Chamberlain.. So dominant. Probably a little high but I'll never get over the 100 point game etc and things that will never be reached.
3. Bill Russell.. He has more rings than fingers, enough said.
4. Magic Johnson.. Slight edge over Lebron, Lebron likely will surpass him but going to keep Magic over him for now.
5. Lebron James.. Has a good chance to surpass anyone above him, he'll need to be more dominant in the playoffs though to surpass Jordan though.
6. Larry Bird
7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.. Most points.. That sky hook..
8. Hakeem Olajuwon ..
9. Tim Duncan.. Surprisingly, can still move up this list.
10a. Kobe Bryant The closest to match Jordan, yet falls to 10, why? because that's just it, he'd have to be better than Jordan only to move up to be honest.
10b. Shaquille O'Neal.. Not sure if he should be above Kobe, definitely helped Kobe win 3 of his rings, but I doubt he'd have won them without him. Shaq was amazing though, and fun to watch. Still entertaining us to this day.
Someone I'd like to talk about though is Allen Iverson.
When talking about pure born basketball skill, Iverson has to be right by Jordan. The man is 6'1 and could score at will. He never seemed to try hard enough because his skill was basically handed to him. But the physical tools combined with pure basketball skill makes me think if he were a harder worker, he'd be in the top 10. His ability to pickpocket, score, and his pure athleticism were truly amazing. He didn't really have the best of teammates though, but he wasn't a good teammate. It depends on how you judge the best player ever. Let's say we include their disadvantages they had and how they were able to overcome them such as Iverson's height, make him 6'6 is he a better Jordan? I don't know. But oh well, even with what he was able to do and his amazing talent, it still feels as if there was some talent wasted with him.
You put Wilt at #1 with no explanation? Cmon man. Nearly everyone believes Jordan is #1 and with good reason, in the end Jordan actually outscored him in career PPG, and had more rings, and did more overall. I still like the different selections though, some variety is nice, but I guess I prefer reason with variety.
I feel that, since its difficult to compare players from different eras, at different positions, you have to go with who was the most dominant when they played. Wilt was a beast, the likes of which we have never seen. And I obviously don't put much emphasis on championships; it's a team game, after all...
And I'll take the negs, because Magic is the greatest player ever. Played all 5 positions, won constantly. If he didn't retire early, no telling how many rings he'd have.
Because I am a little older than most of you in here, I have had the opportunity to see some players that many of you have never seen. For that reason, I added a few comments regarding a couple of the oldsters that you might never have had a chance to see play. Please indulge me.
2. Russell- 5 time MVP, 11 titles in 13 seasons, averaged 22.5 rpg over his career, best defensive player EVER
4. Wilt- his lowest season average for rebounds was 18.2 (seriously), 7 time scoring leader, 12 time rebound leader, 1 time assist
5. Oscar- averaged a triple double in 1961, 181 career triple doubles, 3 time college POY and scoring champion
9. West- the "logo" averaged 27ppg over his career, made 12 All-NBA 1st or 2nd teams, and was first team defense multiple times
Notes: LeBron rises, and likely ends up in the top 5 if he continues to play at this level for another 6 or 7 years, with a couple more championships and MVP's. Kobe cracks the list with two or three more seasons of All-star caliber play.
Honorable mention, and I hated to leave you off: Kobe, Shaq, Stockton, Petit, Baylor, Olajuwon, K. Malone, Doc
I love this list and the reasoning is sharp. My favorite players ever were Stockton and Malone - I appreciate the hat tip even though they didn't make the list. I also agree that they don't quite belong on the list, though I think they both make it into the top 20. It was amazing to watch these two play. No two players ever got more benefit from a teammate than these two did from each other. K. Malone is #2 all-time in scoring and #7 all-time in rebounding. Stockton is #1 all-time in steals and #1 all-time in assists (and Stockton's records will seriously NEVER be broken).
Honorable mention: Shaq, Kobe, Malone, Doc, Petit, Havlicek
1. Kendrick Perkins
2. Luke Walton
3. Robert Swift
4. Kendrick Perkins
5. Luc Longley
6. Will Perdue
7. Kendrick Perkins
8. Jason Collins
9. Antoine Walker
10. Kendrick Perkins
Honorable Mention: Tom Chambers, Mike Mitchell, and Kendrick Perkins
I'm gonna crucified for saying this, but I really don't care. Bill Russell is definitely one of the greatest players to ever play this game, but he's also overrated. How he consistently appears to so many top 5 (let alone top 10) lists is mind-boggling to me. Neg me all you want but the man was a limited and offensively mediocre player who won 11 rings in an era in which there were like 8 teams. I consider him to be a slightly better version of Dennis Rodman (which is saying a lot by the way). He's definitely one of the greatest defensive players ever and is one of the 50 greatest players ever, but 2nd all-time? Give me a break...
Also, Kobe Bryant is better than both Magic Johnson and Jerry West at this point. Besides that and what I mentioned above, my top 10 concurs with just about everyone else's.
No one on this forum has actually seen him play, so how can any of us comment on something we don't know about? What we do know is that Bill Russell won 11 rings, was a player coach (so obviously he had a high bball IQ), and has been a great ambassador for the sport even today. He had two NCAA titles, as well as a gold medal as caption of the USA squad that year….I mean come on, the Finals MVP is presented the BILL RUSSELL AWARD…what more could you ask from a ball player? I have no problem if someone has him ranked 2nd all time.
I am one of the Russell supporters, so I guess I will have a shot at this. I saw Russell play probably close to a hundred times, if not more. The battles with Wilt and Nate were epic.
Russell won 5 MVP awards, behind only Kareem with 6. You brought up Kobe, who I feel badly in leaving off my list, but there is only so much space. Kobe has one MVP award. I will concede that it was easier to win titles in the 60's as there were fewer teams, ranging from 8 in 1960 to 12 in 1969.
Russell won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons, Kareem 6 in 20, and MJ 6 in 15. Magic won 5 in 13 years, Kobe 5 in 16 seasons. Russell also won 2 NCAA championships at San Francisco during his 3 years there.
Russell was a terrific rebounder, shot blocker, passer, and defender. You are correct in that Russell was a limited offensive player, generally averaging around 16 ppg on mid .40's shooting.
We can measure greatness many different ways. Is it scoring prowess? If so, where is "pistol pete"? Is it awards? Titles?
One thing that we cannot argue is that Russell did one thing better than anyone whom has ever played the game...............win.
You can have the scorers for your list, I'll take the winners for mine.
"The greatest defensive man I have ever seen."
John Wooden, speaking about Bill Russell
The amount of teams in the league does have a big factor in that though. It's easier to be on the best team in the league in an 8-12 team league than it is in a 27-29 team league. It's simple math. As far as I'm concerned MJs 6 championships are more impressive and if Duncan and Kobe win another one I'll be just as impressed with their winning ways.
There is no doubt that it is easier to win a title when there are 12, or less, teams in the league versus now.
Another consideration is that it is a team game, and all of these players, except "The Big O" had a lot of help. Jordan had Pippen, Horace Grant, Cartwright, and others. Kobe had Shaq. Magic and Kareem had each other, plus James Worthy and Michael Cooper. Bird had McHale, Parish, Ainge, and Dennis Johnson. West had Elgin, and Wilt at the end.
In the end, titles say something about you, but they also speak to whom you had for teammates, and how many teams you had in your league.
All of these guys are great champions.