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NBA 75 Greatest Players of All Time

Updated: Aug 5, 2022



From the Mikan drill, to Wilt & Russell, to Kareem & Dr.J, to Magic vs Bird, to Michael Jordan, to Kobe & Shaq, to LeBron, Steph, and KD, to Giannis, the NBA has had a numerous amount of luminary players that has graced the courts over the years. From countless game winners, sick chasedown blocks, crossovers, and posterizers, the NBA has given us fans a legion of exciting plays over the decades and innumerable moments to remember. For those of you who don’t know, the NBA will be celebrating its 75th season by commemorating a list of the 75 greatest players in league history, just as they did for the league's 50th anniversary in 1997. The list is constructed by a blue-ribbon panel of media members, former players and coaches, current players and coaches, general managers, and team executives.


In this article I will be ranking my 75 greatest players ever just to make things a little more fun and controversial. This is the beginning of my NBA 75 series where throughout the season I will be educating you on each player who makes the official NBA 75 list, doing short blogs on each player's career to educate you guys on these legendary players. I hope you all enjoy this series, but, without further ado here are my 75 greatest players in NBA History. Let the debates begin!




1.Michael Jordan- Considered the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) by most, Jordan changed the whole complexion of the league with his aerial assault of moves and wreaking havoc on his opponents psyche. Jordan has six NBA titles (1991-93, 1996-98) with six Finals MVPs, to go along with five NBA MVPs (1988, 1991-92, 1996,1998), a DPOY (1988), which he won in the same season as his 1988 MVP. He is a record 10-time scoring champion (1987-93, 1996-98), 14-time All-Star, three-time All-Star MVP, 11-time All-NBA selection, the 1985 Rookie of the Year, a nine-time All-Defensive first team member, and led the league in steals three times (1988, 1990, 1993).


He helped turn basketball into a global phenomenon and inspired many future NBA stars after him such as Kobe, LeBron, Allen Iverson, and many others. He was the face of the NBA for a long time and proved you can combine scoring and winning together. He had no weaknesses in his game and will probably never be surpassed legacy wise.




2.LeBron James-The man who came into the NBA with unreal expectations and was dubbed “The Chosen One” on the cover of Sports Illustrated as just a junior in high school. He has surpassed those expectations- and then some. James is the best all-around player in league history when you combine the ability to playmaker, score, defend, rebound, and be a ridiculous athlete all in a freakish 6’8 260 pound frame that looks built to be a NFL tight-end.


James is a four-time champion (2012-13, 2016, 2020), has four Finals MVPs, four NBA MVPs (2008-09, 2012-13), been All-NBA a record 17 times and counting, along with numerous other awards, such as a six-time All-Defensive selection, 17-time All-Star, three All-Star MVPs, scoring champion (2009), and assists leader (2020).. He has a few more seasons to add to his legacy by breaking Kareem's scoring record and adding some rings to his legacy. Enjoy LeBron while he’s here because we will never see another like him again.

3.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar- In my opinion the absolute greatest center of all time in a position that is loaded historically with giants such as Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaq, and many others. Kareem has the winning of Russell with six NBA titles, and the dominance of Wilt with a record six NBA MVPs, two Finals MVPs and the all-time scoring leader, for now. Kareem was also a dominant defender, being an 11-time all defensive team member. He is the greatest basketball player ever when you combine high school, college, and pro, winning three national titles at UCLA as the Most Outstanding Player and a 79-2 record in high school! His longevity was something to behold, with an NBA record 19 all star appearances in 20 NBA seasons. He is “The Captain!”


4.Kobe Bryant- The most absolute ruthless competitor in league history, alongside Bill Russell, and his idol Michael Jordan. The closest thing we will ever see to MJ. Kobe gave us fans countless moments from the five championships he won, three with Shaq and two without Shaq as the best player on those 09 and 2010 Laker teams, proving he can win without the big fella. He gave us the 81 point game, the second most points scored in a game in league history, 62 points in three quarters, shooting free throws on a torn Achilles, numerous game winners, and so many more. Bryant made kids say “Kobe!” whenever they shot in trash cans growing up because of his iconic fadeaway and dazzling shot-making ability.


He is the best tough shot-maker in league history. Bryant is a five time champion, has two Finals MVPs, an NBA MVP, 18 time all star, 15 time all-NBA, 12, all-defensive teams, most All-Star Game MVPs ever, with four, and has led the league in scoring twice, averaging over 35 a game in 2006, only Wilt, Jordan, and James Harden have ever averaged 35 or more in a season. He is the greatest Laker of all time, as even the great Magic Johnson said Kobe was. Kobe’s legacy will live forever, as Jalen Rose would say, “ If Jordan is the original, Kobe is the remix baby!”


5.Magic Johnson-The engine of the “Showtime” Lakers of the 80s and the greatest point guard of all time who helped save the league, alongside his rival Larry Bird. When Magic came into the league the NBA Finals were on tape delay, that’s how bad things were when he and Larry came in. He brought a happy, exciting energy to the league with that charm of a smile he always had on that 6’9 frame of his. But, don’t let that fool you as he was the ultimate competitor winning five championships in nine finals appearances, three NBA MVPs, three Finals MVPs, a 12 time all-star, 10 all-NBAs, two All Star MVPs, four time assists leader, and two time steals leader. He is the greatest passer and point guard the league has ever seen and it will probably forever stay that way.

6.Wilt Chamberlain-The most dominant big man offensively in NBA history, from averaging a video-game like 50 points and 25 rebounds per game in a season, to scoring an NBA record 100 points in a game! You can literally name the NBA record book after Wilt as he has 72 NBA records, 68 of them to himself. He is a two-time champion, NBA Finals MVP, four-time NBA MVP, 13-time all-star, 10-time all-NBA selection, 1960 ROTY, two-all defensive teams, which would've been way more had they had them his entire career. He also is a seven time scoring champion, 11-time rebounding champion, the only center to lead the league in assists in a season, and the all time rebounding leader and rebounds per career average with 22.9! He gets discredited because of the era he played in but he gave his main rival Bill Russell, Kareem, Wes Unseld, Nate Thurmond, and many other great bigs problems. Who knows how good he’d be today if he had the nutrition and training players get today.

7.Bill Russell-Perhaps the best leader in league history and the ultimate teammate. Bill Russell was the best winner in league history as he was the driving force for the Celtics 11 championships in his 13 seasons in the league! He was the ultimate professional, doing his job at an elite level despite going through racism in a tough Boston city. He helped speak on social justice issues during a time where it was very hard and scary to be a black man in America. He is the greatest defender ever, being the originator in blocking shots by keeping them inbounds to start a fastbreak. He wasn’t the greatest scorer, averaging just 15.1 points per game on 44% shooting for his career, but made up for his lack of scoring with his elite defense, intangibles, and knack for rebounding. He is an NBA record 11-time champion, has five NBA MVPs,12-time all star, 11 all-NBA selections, one all-defensive team, which he would’ve had a plethora of if awarded his entire career. Russell also led the league in rebounding four times and rightfully has the NBA Finals MVP award named after him.

8.Larry Bird- The “Hick from French Lick” as he is known by the name of Larry Bird or “Larry Legend.” The rival to Magic’s Showtime Lakers of the 80s, Bird was a cold-blooded assassin in the clutch, never fearing the moment no matter how big it was. Despite lacking elite athleticism, Bird made up for it with deft shooting touch, high basketball IQ, and knowing how to use his body. He is arguably the greatest passing forward ever alongside LeBron. The 1984 Celtics are among the greatest teams ever, playing with hall of famers Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Dennis Johnson where he won the first of his three straight league MVPs (84-86), one of only three players to ever do that, the others are Wilt and Russell. He is a 12-time all star, three-time champion, 10-time all-NBA, All Star Game MVP, NBA ROTY, three all defensive teams, and won the three point shootout three times. He is also one of nine players part of the vaunted 50-40-90 club, doing it twice in his career. He and Magic helped save the NBA and usher in a new era of basketball.

9.Tim Duncan-The “Big Fundamental” as they call him was the driving force of the Spurs dynasty from the moment he came into the league in 1997. He was an all star and All-NBA first team as a rookie and never missed the playoffs in his whole 19 year career! He helped lead the San Antonio Spurs to all of their five NBA championships in franchise history. He and David Robinson, who you’ll see later on this list formed one of the most dominant Twin Tower pairings in league history which culminated in two championships together in 1999 and 2003.


He won back to back MVPs in 2002 & 2003 and has three Finals MVPs to his name. He’s a 15-time All-NBA member, 15-time all defense, 15-time All-Star, the 1998 ROTY, and perhaps the best defensive player ever to never win a Defensive Player of the Year award. Duncan wasn’t the flashiest player and probably the quietest, most boring superstar in league history but, the impact he made on both ends was incredible. He’s the only player to ever win a championship in three different decades (90s, 2000s, 2010s), has the most wins of any player on one team, with 1,001, and most wins by a trio, with NBA legends Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili with 575.

He’s one of four players to be named Finals MVP three times or more, the others are Jordan (six), LeBron(four), Magic(three), Shaq(three). He had 17 consecutive 50-win seasons and is one of four players (Kobe, Stockton, Dirk) to spend 19 or more seasons with one franchise. He was the ultimate competitor, true team leader, and is by far the greatest power forward of all time.

10.Hakeem Olajuwon-Doing just a picture would be doing a disservice to the most graceful big man to ever grace a basketball court in Hakeem Olajuwon. They called him "The Dream" for his marvelous footwork, the best ever of any big man and arguably any player in NBA history. Olajuwon is arguably the best defender in NBA history, being a two-time DPOY, all-time leader in career blocks with 3,830 and the only big man to be top 10 in steals all time with 2,162! Olajuwon was one of the most versatile defenders ever whether it’s guarding guards on perimeter, like blocking John Starks shot in the 1994 NBA Finals to seal a game or in the post guarding giants such as Shaq and David Robinson.


Olajuwon also is an MVP (1994), two-time champion, winning back-to back in 94 and 95, has two Finals MVPs, 12-time All star, 12 time All-NBA, and nine time All defensive team member. He also led the league in rebounds twice and blocks three times. On his way to his two chips he outplayed all the star 90s bigs from Shaq, to Robinson, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley. The Dream was the most elegant ballet dancer on the hardwood that league has ever seen and probably will never see again from someone that size, he was a true unicorn.



11.Shaquille O'Neal- The most dominant force in NBA history this side of Wilt Chamberlain and definitely the most dominant force ever in the modern era and that there will probably ever be. ”The Big Diesel,” as they called him, literally broke backboards and rims in the NBA that they had to change the way the hoops were made to sustain his level of ferocity when he dunked the ball. Just imagine if he was more dedicated and made free throws… frightening. He first formed a duo with the dynamic Penny Hardaway where they would help the Orlando Magic reach their first ever NBA Finals in 1995, but ultimately came up short to Olajuwon and the Rockets.


He would later form the most dynamic guard-big man duo in league history with the Black Mamba in Kobe Bryant, they would go on to three-peat (2000-2002) which all of just three teams in NBA history have ever done, Russell’s Celtics, and Jordan’s Bulls. He would win all three of those Finals MVPs, being one of just five players in league history with three or more Finals MVPs. He bruised and battered defenders out of his way for powerful slams, making them have body aches and pains after having to guard him. He was a force the moment he came into the league winning the 1993 ROTY.


He also was a league MVP (2000), four-time champion, three-time All-Star Game MVP, 14-time all-NBA, with three all-defensive team selections. He also led the league in scoring twice and was the youngest member of the NBA’s 50th anniversary team, being just 25 years old at the time… boy did they get that right. His personality was infectious and contagious to his teammates and fans worldwide. He showed you can be more than a basketball player by making movies and even rapping early on in his career. He was a giant with a gentle heart but when it came time to be on the court he was an absolute menace. He and Bryant sadly rifted and would’ve won more championships together, but, he would win another with Dwyane Wade in 2006 as the second fiddle and bounce around the league until his retirement in 2011. We will never ever see another Shaq.


12.Kevin Durant- “The Slim Reaper,” as they call him. It was as if he was built in a lab to play basketball, being seven-foot tall with a handle, can pull up from 30, and his shot is virtually unblockable. Durant is the unicorn of unicorns because we have never seen anyone at his size with his athleticism, handle, and skill. Dirk was great but he didn’t have Durants handle or quickness. Kevin Garnett was a unicorn himself but he couldn’t score like KD or have a handle as good as him. Durant is one of one and is a two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP, an NBA MVP(2014), 11-time all-star, nine-time All-NBA, four-time scoring champion, the 2008 ROTY, and part of the historic 50-40-90 club.

He, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden all played their first three years together and made the NBA Finals in 2012 as a young team that looked like it was on the verge of being a dynasty. They sadly lost to LeBron and the Heat in five games. Harden was then traded in the summer of 2012 to Houston and it was just him and Westbrook until 2016 where they formed among the most dynamic duos in the league in their time together. They reached the Conference Finals twice in 2014 and 2016 but ultimately fell short of the NBA Finals. He would controversially join the Golden State Warriors in 2016, the team that beat him coming back down 3-1 that same season and had just won 73 games in a season, an NBA record.


Durant would win two chips with the Warriors, but with much scrutiny. He, Steph, Klay, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala formed the Hampton Five and became the most powerful offensive unit in league history. He would sadly leave the Warriors tearing his Achilles and joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 as he tries to bring them a championship and show he can win without the Warriors. He is the youngest to ever win a scoring title, score 10,000 points, and one of seven players to ever win the scoring title in three straight seasons. He has changed the game of what a big guy can do which has led to players such as Giannis, Brandon Ingram, Jayson Tatum, and soon to be in the NBA, Emoni Bates. He is the ultimate unicorn!

13.Stephen Curry- The second greatest point guard ever and the man who “ruined the game” some would say but instead he absolutely revolutionized it with his ridiculous shooting ability from all over the court. Curry is by far and away the greatest shooter in NBA history when you consider the way he does it, the volume, efficiency, and the fact that it has won him multiple MVPs and championships. The way he shoots he makes it look “Stephortless,” as the great Shaq would say. He’s a three-time NBA champion, two-time league MVP(2015, 2016), with 2016 being unanimous and the only unanimous MVP in league history! He was the engine behind that 73-9 Warriors team and helped turn the franchise into a winner alongside his Splash Brother Klay Thompson and swiss army knife Draymond Green.


He also is a seven-time all-star, seven-time All-NBA, has led the league in scoring twice , steals leader (2016), and made the prestigious 50-40-90 club in his unanimous MVP season. He has made Mike Breen's “Bang!” call synonymous around the world and has inspired kids to shoot threes and that you don’t have to be the biggest or most athletic to be successful in the league. He has broken every three point record imaginable, most in a season with a whopping 402 in 2016, he owns four of the top five threes made in a season in NBA history! It leaves you speechless what this man has done and can do on a basketball court.


He unselfishly welcomed KD with open arms and helped spear them into a dynasty powerhouse, winning back-to-back Finals in 2017 & 2018. He is going to shatter the three point record by the time his career is over, just needing 141 this season to pass Ray Allen, which he’ll assuredly do barring injury. He brings joy to the game as the baby faced assassin and has made the game fun to watch again. He is the ultimate competitor and with another chip or two with some Finals MVPs he can assuredly climb up this list.

14.Oscar Robertson- The “Big O” as they called him was an essential figure in NBA lore. He’s the one who got the NBA to accept free agency on April 29,1976, which allows players the freedom to choose wherever they would like to play and give them more power. He also was a marvelous player, being one of two players in league history to average a triple-double in a season, the other, Russell Westbrook. He held the triple-double record for 55 years until Westbrook broke it which is absolutely insane. He’s an NBA MVP (1964), 12-time all-star, three-time All-Star Game MVP, 11-time All-NBA, the 1961 ROTY, led the league in assists six times, and won that elusive championship in 1971 with Kareem after years of losing to the Cincinnati Royals. At 6-foot-5 210 pounds, Robertson was the first big guard, which paved the way for future star big guards such as Magic, Penny Hardaway, Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball. He is one of the best all-around players in league history and is a big part of the NBA’s story.

15.Julius Erving-Known as “Dr.J” Erving was the most graceful and coolest player whenever he was on the court with his cool afro flying back as he so elegantly flew to the rim for a vicious slam over a defender. I was debating whether to put Erving over Oscar Robertson but he played five years in the ABA which kind of hurt his career stats and accolades since the NBA, wrongfully hasn’t integrated the ABA’s stats to this day. He is a three-time ABA MVP, two-time ABA champion and playoff MVP. He also is a four-time All-ABA first team, and a has a host of other ABA awards. He also was the first man to ever jump from the free throw line! Winning the first ever dunk contest for the ABA in 1976.

Now let's get into his NBA accolades. He is an NBA champion, NBA MVP (1981), 11-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA, and a two-time All-Star Game MVP. Erving was a vital part of NBA History because he was the preeminent player from the ABA who became an icon in the NBA with his gracious style on and off the court and stylish Afro. If you ain’t feeling well call “The Doctor.”

16.Karl Malone-Fairly criticized for not coming up in the clutch despite his nickname being “ The Mailman.” Despite that Malone was one of the most durable and strongest players to ever grace an NBA floor. Alongside John Stockton they formed the most dangerous pick-and-roll duo in NBA history. He’s the second all-time leader in scoring with 36,374 points and scored 2,000 or more points a record 12 seasons, including 11 in a row. He’s a two-time MVP (1997, 1999), 14-time All-Star, 14-time All-NBA, four-time all-defense, and a two-time All Star Game MVP.


Malone also has two gold medals, with one being on the iconic 1992 Dream Team and had back to back NBA Finals appearances, sadly coming up short both times to the Jordan-led Bulls. He was a freight train on the fastbreak and was an iron man. His longevity and production, along with his two MVPs make him the second greatest power forward ever behind Duncan and ahead of guys such as Kevin Garnett, who on any given day I might put over Malone but for this list I didn’t and believe he’s over Dirk and Barkley. He is sadly exiled by the media and should be commemorated more on his illustrious career as a player.

17.Moses Malone- The absolute best offensive rebounder in NBA History (6,731) having the nickname “Chairman of the Boards” along with being a top 10 scorer all time on the all time scoring list, ranking 9th with 27,409 points. He is an NBA Champion (1983), Finals MVP (1983), a three-time MVP (1979, 1982, 1983), 12-time NBA All-Star, eight-time All-NBA, led the league in rebounds six times, and two-time all defense.


He and Erving formed one of the most dynamic duos in NBA history, helping lead the 83 Sixers to an NBA title along with other hall of famers Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones. Malone is now severely underrated when media pundits talk about the greats of the game and the greatest centers of all time but make no mistake he was among the best to ever play this game and his place here is justified.



18.Kevin Garnett-Known as “The Big Ticket, KG, or the Kid,” Kevin Garnett is one of the most intense, if not the most intense competitor in NBA History. He would talk trash to his opponents, get in your face, and let you hear it after he made a great play. He was a tremendous all-around player and in my opinion a top five defender of all time, being a Defensive Player of the Year (2008), 12-time all-defensive team member, and can literally guard every position except big burly centers, ala Shaq. He was the original unicorn who could do it all, paving the way for today's current star bigs such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis.


He sadly didn’t have much playoff success as a member of the Timberwolves in his 12 seasons there, with the highest being reaching the 2004 Western Conference Finals in his 2004 MVP season. He joined forces with legends Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and a young Rajon Rondo after being traded by the Wolves in the summer of 2007. They would go on to reach the Finals twice in 2008 and 2010 against the Lakers, coming up victorious in 2008 against the Kobe, Pau Gasol-led Lakers. After he won the championship in 2008 he yelled out loud in exhilaration, “Anything is possible!” A culmination of the blood, sweat, and tears he has put into the game.


Garnett never ever cheated us with his effort night in and night out on both ends as he is also a nine-time All-NBA selection, and led the league in rebounding four times. He sadly got injured in 2009 in what could have been another title for KG. What makes him more unique is he’s the only player ever to score 25,000 points, grab 10,000 rebounds, dish 5,000 assists, pick over 1,500 steals, and swat over 1,500 shots in their career… that is special! One of four players ever to lead his team in five statistical categories, the others are Dave Cowens (Boston Celtics 1977-78), Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls 1994-95), and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2016-17). He’s one of five players to ever win MVP and DPOY in their career, the others are Jordan, Olajuwon, Robinson, and Giannis.


Garnett is definitely underrated when they talk about the greats, considering how impactful he was on both ends. He never averaged over 25 ppg in any season in his career but was a marvelous all around player. If he won more chips in his career, he’d be way higher on this list but despite that he helped revolutionize the big man position alongside his contemporary Dirk Nowitzki.

19.Jerry West-Known as “The Logo” and “Mr.Clutch.” Combine a deadly jump shot, tenacious defense, obsessive perfectionism, unabashed confidence, and an uncompromising will to win, and you’ve got Jerry West, one of the greatest guards in NBA history. Playing his whole career with the storied Los Angeles Laker franchise, West became an NBA champion(1972), Finals MVP (1969), 14-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1972), a 12-time All-NBA selection, and five-time all-defensive selection. West also led the league in scoring (1970) and assists (1972).


He earned the nickname “Mr.Clutch” because of his ability to come through in the waning moments of the game. He reached the NBA Finals nine times but unfortunately lost several times to the Russell-led Celtics and once to the Willis Reed and Walt Frazier-led Knicks. He’s the only player to ever win Finals MVP on the losing team, as he did in 1969 and had a obsessive drive for perfection that we would later see in legends such as Jordan and Kobe.


He left the game in 1974 as the third highest career scorer, behind only Chamberlain and Robertson with 25,192 points in 932 career games. His average of 27.0 PPG game stands as the fourth highest among retired players, behind Michael Jordan, Chamberlain and Baylor. After his retirement he would coach for a few seasons and would become the Lakers General Manager in 1982, helping to build the Lakers dynasty of the 1980s. He also was at the forefront of rebuilding the Lakers again after the Magic & Kareem era with signing Shaq in free agency in the summer of 1996 and trading for a brash young teenager from Lower Merion High School in the 1996 NBA Draft named Kobe Bryant. Those two players formed a nucleus that would win three straight titles.


He would also be named Executive of the Year in 1995 and showed you a great player can be successful in the front office as well.

20.Giannis Antetokounmpo-The man from Greece known as “The Greek Freak” and Giannis Antetokounmpo has defied all odds since coming into the NBA as a scrawny 6-foot-9 kid with insane long limbs and a wingspan that looks like it could cover the whole court, Giannis burst onto the scene out of nowhere in 2017 when he became an All-Star for the first time, won Most Improved Player of the Year, and made the All-NBA team for the first time.


He came from the Greece second division and no scout saw him becoming the player he has become today, going 15th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft to the Milwaukee Bucks behind guys like Anthony Bennett, Victor Oladipo, Otto Porter, and others.. Oof that’s got to hurt those franchises' hearts everyday. His work ethic is impeccable, improving every single season and never being satisfied. He is the reigning Finals MVP (2021), has an NBA title, won back-to-back MVPs (2019, 2020), won DPOY (2020), five-time NBA All-Star, All-Star MVP (2021), five-time All-NBA, won Most Improved as mentioned earlier and is a four time all-defensive selection.


Giannis is only 26 years old and still has another decade plus to add to his resume, which is frightening. He is one of three players to have a Finals MVP, MVP, and DPOY on their resume, the others are Jordan and Olajuwon, some company right? He also joins them as the only three to ever win MVP and DPOY in the same season, Jordan (1987-88), Olajuwon (1993-94), and Giannis (2019-20). He became just the seventh player in NBA history to have 50 points in the Finals, joining Bob Pettit, Elgin Baylor, Rick Barry, Jerry West, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James.


Not only that, he became the first player in NBA history with 50 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks in a Finals game, recording 50 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks in a 105-98 win over the Phoenix Suns in a legendary Game 6 performance for the ages. He also silenced critics by shooting 17-of-19 from the foul line, something he has struggled with throughout his career thus far but came up big for his team when it mattered.


Giannis is the 1st player in NBA Finals history to average 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists on at least 60% shooting and is the most dominant player since Shaq. He now looks like he has an improved jumper, as we’ve seen some early on in the preseason and if that isn’t a mirage the NBA better watch out! Expect Giannis to skyrocket up this list and be top 10 all time when it is all said and done.

21.Isiah Thomas-Known as “Zeke” Isiah Thomas was the leader of the Bad Boy Pistons of the 80s that would go on to win back-to-back NBA Finals in 1989 and 1990. He’s one of the greatest point guards and small men to ever play the game, standing just barely over 6-feet tall. The only point guard better than him during his time was Magic Johnson. He was a feisty competitor and perhaps the toughest point guard to ever play the game.


That smile of his buried an inner toughness that made him a scrappy player on those Pistons teams. He was a dangerous mid-range shooter, had sick handles, a clever playmaker, had incredible speed, and had amazing acrobatic drives to the hoop, similar to a Kyrie Irving today. Thomas is a two-time NBA Champion (1989-1990), Finals MVP (1990), 12-time NBA-All Star, two-time All-Star Game MVP, five-time All-NBA selection, led the league in assists (1985), and All-Rookie first team (1982).


He’s the only player to beat Magic, Jordan, and Bird on his way to his championships which is a feat not any other great player can say. He’s one of nine players to have over 9,000 career assists and would have better career stats if a torn Achilles didn’t shorten his career to just 13 seasons. Despite that Thomas is among the top point guards in league history and is the only player on my list thus far, aside from Giannis who never played with a top 50 NBA Player of All Time, which makes his achievements even more impressive.

22.Dirk Nowitzki-Known as “The Germanator” Dirk Nowitzki was a 7-foot German monster who, similar to Curry, revolutionized the game with his insane shooting ability from all over the court for a big man. He was the first big man who shot from the perimeter consistently and at a high volume and efficiency level. He got called “soft” a lot in his career because he wouldn’t bang down low like most bigs did during his time. He was drafted ninth overall by the Bucks in 1998 but later traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night.


He struggled his first few years in the league struggling to adjust to the speed and physicality of the NBA game that he wasn’t used to playing over in Germany but by his fourth year in the league in 2002 he became an NBA-All Star. He formed a dynamic duo with the legendary point guard Steve Nash early in his career and would’ve won a championship together had they stayed together if it wasn’t for owner Mark Cuban not wanting to sign Nash to a new contract.


With Nash leaving in the summer of 2004 Dirk took his game to new heights. He would go on to finish his career as a NBA Champion (2011), Finals MVP (2011), an MVP (2007), 14-time NBA All-Star, 12-time All-NBA selection, a part of the 50-40-90 club, the only 7-footer to win a three point shootout (2006), and even a Teammate of the Year award (2017). Dirk had historic playoff performances from the 2002 series against Garnett and the Timberwolves, to the 2006 WCF against the San Antonio Spurs where he averaged 27 points and 13 rebounds per game, absolutely dominating the Spurs big three of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili en route to the 2006 Finals.


He would sadly lose a 2-0 series lead against the Miami Heat in 2006 because of Dwyane Wade’s historic Finals performance. The next season he would win MVP but would get embarrassed and exposed by the “We Believe” Warriors team losing to the number eight seed Warriors in six games as a number one seed that season. Critics started to wonder can Dirk ever win and can you win with a primarily jump shooting big man.


He would answer that question in 2011, going on one of the most historic individual playoff runs in NBA history, defeating the Blazers, sweeping the defending champion Lakers with Kobe Bryant, and beating the Thunders young big three in five games of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden. He would meet the newly put together Miami Heat Big Three that year of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh and beat them in six games to capture his one and only elusive title in historic fashion by being down 2-1 in the series and winning the next three straight games. Nowitzki would be named Finals MVP by averaging 26.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, and 2.0 APG.


That title would give Nowitzki the respect he deserved by the media and solidified him as one of the best to ever do it. He also is one of seven players to ever score 30,000 or more points, the others are Kareem, Karl Malone, LeBron, Kobe, Jordan, and Chamberlain. He is the only player to record at least 31,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists, 1,000 steals, 1,000 blocks and 1,000 three-point field goals. He helped pave the way for bigs to space the floor and has influenced the next generation of bigs such as guys like Karl Towns, Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis, and others. He was a great teammate and the greatest Maverick of all time, unless Doncic stayed there his whole career.

23.Dwyane Wade-Given the nickname “The Flash” by his then teammate Shaquille O’Neal because of his blazing speed in the open court, ability to blow by defenders with ease, and get in the passing lanes for a steal. Coming into the NBA in the historic 2003 NBA Draft that had LeBron, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh, Wade went fifth overall to the Miami Heat, a team that went 25-57 the year prior. He turned them into instant winners, making the playoffs in just his first season, which included a game winner against the New Orleans Hornets in Game 1 of the first round, showing his clutch ability, something that would continue throughout his career.


He would become an All-Star in just his second season and win a championship and Finals MVP in just his third season in the league! He averaged an unprecedented 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 6 games in the 2006 NBA Finals, arguably the best individual Finals performance in NBA History after being down 2-0 that series by the Dirk-led Mavericks. He was a tenacious defender, having the most blocks by a guard all time with 885 and 1,650 steals, good for 30th all time in NBA History. He also was arguably the best finisher in NBA history, finishing through all types of contact and angles throughout his career while also posterizing defenders and had a solid mid-range jumper.


In 2008-09 he led the league in scoring, averaging 30.2 points per game in a season in which he probably should’ve won MVP. He would team up with LeBron and Bosh to form the Big Three and would go on to four more Finals and win two more championships (2012, 2013) to give him a total of three titles. He owns the Heat record book, being the leader in franchise points, steals, assists, free throws, field goals made, minutes played, games played, free throw attempts, and field goal attempts. He made Miami a basketball town and known as “Wade County,” who could ever forget when he stood on the podium after a game winner and said “this is my house!”


Injuries ruined what would have been a longer prime but Wade was too good on both ends and won too much to not be this high. Aside from his championships and Finals MVP Wade is a 13-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP, eight-time All-NBA selection, three-time all-defense, and led the league in scoring (2009). He was an unselfish player who made others better and sacrificed his stats, accolades, and career totals to bring LeBron & Bosh along to help win two more titles. The only weakness in his game was he wasn’t a great shooter from three but despite that he made an indelible impact on the game and is the greatest player and athlete in Heat and Miami athlete in history.


24.Elgin Baylor-One of the most underrated and unfortunate legends of the game, Elgin Baylor was unfortunate to never win a title because of Russell’s Celtics and the Willis Reed, Walt Frazier-led Knicks despite appearing in eight finals appearances. He was the first high-flying forward who revolutionized the game once he arrived in 1958, paving the way for future stalwarts such as Connie Hawkins, Dr.J, Jordan, Kobe, LeBron, and Vince Carter. His teammate Jerry West once said, “He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known,” He told Hoop Magazine in 1992.


He was a strong and graceful 6-5 and 225 pounds, being able to hold his own down low and being among the best rebounding forwards of all time, if not the best ever., averaging an astounding 13.5 throughout his career. He also averaged 27.4 points during his 14-year career with the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers, while also averaging 27 points and 12.9 rebounds in 134 career playoff games. From 1960-61 through 1962-63 he averaged 34.8, 38.3, and 34.0 points, respectively. He led the Lakers to the NBA Finals eight times, was a 10-time All-NBA First Team selection, and played in 11 NBA All-Star Games.


Baylor also is a All-Star Game MVP (1959), the 1959 ROTY, and has the most points ever scored in a NBA Finals game ever with 61, which he scored in Game 5 of the 1962 NBA Finals against the Celtics, a game in which he also grabbed 22 rebounds in a 126-122 victory over the Celtics. He had great body control, being able to change where the ball went and was the pioneer of that. Knee troubles sapped what could have been a longer career and unfortunately retired at the beginning of the 1971-72 season when West, Wilt, and the Lakers went on to win the championship.


In all Baylor is a true legend of the game who helped revolutionize the style of play for future wing players.

25.Charles Barkley-Known as “Sir Charles” or the “Mound Round of Rebound” Charles Barkley has become the standard of a former legendary athlete to transition to broadcasting, becoming an iconic, colorful personality on Inside the NBA. But, he also was one hell of a ball player. Coming into the league in the legendary 1984 NBA Draft that had Jordan, Olajuwon, himself, and Stockton, Barkley would go fifth to the Sixers that had legends Moses Malone and Dr.J to help guide him and give him veteran advice. Barkley has always stated Moses changed his life by stating, “your fat and your lazy,” which changed his whole perception of the game.


Barkley was an anomaly being listed at 6-6 but actually closer to 6-foot-4, he played power forward as well as anyone in the history of the NBA, often dominating players half a foot taller. He is one of only six players in NBA history to have compiled at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. The others are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. All those guys are 6’10 or taller with the exception of Karl Malone. He was a tenacious rebounder, skilled scorer, great passer, and a nice handle for his size.


He would spend the first eight seasons of his career with the Sixers and transition to the Suns in 1992-93 after the gold medal he obtained from the Dream Team. He would go on to win the 1993 MVP, leading the Suns to a magical season in his first year there, finishing with league’s best record of 62-20 and a berth in the 1993 NBA Finals, where the Suns lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in a memorable six-game series. He unfortunately would never get back to the Finals, losing in the semifinals in 1994 and 1995 to Olajuwon’s Rockets.


He would join Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen to win a championship in his twilight years but it didn’t work out. Barkley would retire in 2000 after a 16 year NBA career and would go into broadcasting, something he still does to this day. Aside from his MVP he is a 11-time NBA-All Star, 11-time All-NBA Selection, All-Star Game MVP (1991), All-Rookie First Team (1985), and led the league in rebounding (1988).


Barkley was a bruising and among the most brash, colorful, and exuberant personalities in NBA History.

26.David Robinson-A physical marvel, as you see in this photo, known as “The Admiral” as if he was built in a lab to play basketball and dominate, standing 7-foot-1 with a lean, muscular frame that was also agile, fast, and strong. He was the No.1 pick in the 1987 NBA Draft to the Spurs but spent two years in the Navy before making his debut in 1989. He could run the floor unlike any big to ever play the game as if he was a gazelle. One of the top centers of all time, Robinson in his first six NBA seasons won Rookie of the Year, MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards, in addition to a rebounding title, a scoring crown, six All-Star bids, three selections to the All-NBA First Team and three selections to the All-Defensive First Team.


A contemporary of Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing, Robinson posted career averages of 21.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks and won two championships with the help of Tim Duncan — the second in his final season — to stake his claim as one of the NBA’s greatest legends. He and Duncan formed one of the most dominant “Twin Tower” pairings in NBA History, with both being dominant two-way players despite Robinson declining due to age and injury in his latter years. Outside from his two titles Robinson is an MVP (1995), 10-time NBA All-Star, 10-time All-NBA Selection, a DPOY (1992), eight-time all-defensive selection, led the league in blocks (1992), rebounds (1991), and scoring (1994).


He is one of the preeminent philanthropists in all of sports, having the NBA Community Assist Award named in his honor. He was a tremendous teammate and soft spoken man, who some thought at times should have been meaner on the court or else he be higher on this list, but, his impact on both ends was tremendous throughout his career and he is among the most unique players to ever touch a basketball because of his size, agility, strength, and all-around game.

27.John Havlicek- “Hondo” aka John Havlicek is the all-time scoring leader in Celtics history. Think about that a franchise that has been graced with the likes of Bird, Russell, Dave Cowens, Paul Pierce, Garnett, and so on and he is the all-time leader with 26,395 points scored, that’s saying something. He could literally run all day, having the iconic “Havlicek stole the ball!” by the great former Celtics broadcaster, Johnny Most in Game 7 of the 19965 Eastern Finals against Wilt, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, and the Sixers, which exemplified how clutch of a player Havlicek was.


At 6-foot-5 and a former quarterback at Ohio State, who also was drafted to the Cleveland Browns as a seventh round pick in the 1962 NFL Draft, Havlicek was a perpetual-motion machine, a human dynamo who was legendary for wearing opponents out with his relentless baseline-to-baseline attacks. A star at both forward and guard, Havlicek’s versatility made him perhaps the finest all-around player in the history of the NBA, according to Sports Illustrated. He was a crucial member of two different generations of Celtics basketball, providing a spark off the bench during the Celtics’ dynasty years of the 1960s, and during the 1970s was the trusted veteran who captained youthful teams to championships in 1974 and ’76.


Havlicek was a marvelous all-around player, grabbing 8,007 rebounds, and dishing out 6,114 career assists to go along with being the all time scoring leader in franchise history. He appeared in 13 consecutive NBA All-Star Games, earned 11 selections to the All-NBA First or Second Team and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team eight times. He also is a whopping eight-time champion and the 1974 Finals MVP.


He was like a better version of Manu Ginobili coming off your bench who was a better scorer and defender and then showed he could be the man once Russell retired, winning two titles as one of the top players on the team in 1974 and 1976. In 1980, he was named to the NBA 35th Anniversary All-Time Team. In 1983, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 1996 he was named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and will assuredly make the 75 greatest ever list. To me he is arguably the most underrated legend ever, along with Moses, Baylor, and Garnett.


Jerry West once told Sports Illustrated, “The guy is the ambassador of our sport. John always gave his very best every night and had time for everybody-teammates, fans, the press.”Cowens added, “You tell me how many class guys there are like him anywhere. They ought to retire his number from the whole NBA. Just take 17 and stash it up there in lights.” The Celtics did just that by retiring his No.17 in the rafters. He will be remembered forever for his brilliance on both ends and as one of the clutchest performers to ever play the game.

28.Bob Pettit- Considered the best forward of his era, Pettit was the only player to ever beat Russell’s Celtics, which he did in 1958, and also was a two-time MVP (1956, 1959). When he first came out of Louisiana State University in 1954, no one thought he was talented enough to make it as a professional basketball player, as he was deemed too frail at 200 pounds to survive a NBA season… boy scouts were wrong. He started his career off strong by winning the league’s Rookie of the Year award by averaging 20.4 points and 13.8 rebounds. He also played in his first All-Star Game that season and earned the first of 10 consecutive selections to the All-NBA First Team with one second team one as well. He also has four All-Star Game MVPs (tied for most with Kobe), led the league in rebounds (1956), and scoring twice (1956, 1959).


He was the leader of the St. Louis Hawks as the lone team to dethrone Russell’s Celtics in 1958 by scoring 50 points in the clinching Game 6 victory. A knee ailment sadly forced Pettit to retire in 1965 at just the age of 32. Who knows what else he would have accomplished if he played five more seasons. Despite that Pettit accumulated 20,880 points (26.4 ppg), the most ever scored in the NBA at that time, and his 12,849 rebounds ranked him second all-time.


He never averaged fewer than 20 points, nor did he miss an All-Star Game in any of his 11 seasons. His rebounding totals were no less impressive: he never fell below 10 rebounds per game for a season and his career average was 16.2 — third best in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain and Russell. He is sadly never mentioned among the great power forwards ever due to the media always discrediting players pre-1980s which is in my opinion disgraceful.


Pettit was a ferocious rebounder, had a sweet jumper, and can put the ball on the floor. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970, and was named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.

29.Allen Iverson-The “Answer” or “AI” as they call him changed the whole culture of the NBA game from the dress code, to wearing tattoos, earrings, headbands, arm sleeves, cornrows, and so on. He brought a hip-hop culture to the game, taking the hits and bumps from the media to allow players to express themselves in what they wear, as we see today with stars such as Russell Westbrook and many others. He was a mere 6-feet tall but played like a giant, finishing through contact and always getting back up. He had the most devastating crossover of all time, leaving numerous defenders in quick sand with his turbo speed throughout his illustrious career, including Jordan, who he crossed in his rookie season..


He came into the NBA in the 1996 NBA Draft, which is in my opinion the best draft class ever, which included Kobe, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, undrafted hall of famer, Ben Wallace, and others. Iverson had one of the best rookie seasons ever, averaging 23.5 points per game, 7.5 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game for the season, which ended in him winning the 1997 ROTY award. He’s the second youngest to ever score 50 points in a game, which he did in his historic rookie season and also is the only rookie to ever score 40+ points in five straight games.


Iverson would put it all together in 2001 by winning the league MVP and leading the Sixers to the NBA Finals where they fell in five games to the Shaq & Kobe Lakers. In that Game 1 he gave us a historic 51 point performance where he stepped over Tyronn Lue, one of the most iconic moments in NBA history. He sadly never won a championship but still became an 11-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA Selection, two-time All-Star Game MVP, led the league in steals three times, and somehow, at his miniature 6-foot frame led the league in scoring four times!


He gave us the famous “we ain’t talking about practice” and helped inspire generations after him, such as LeBron, Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Ja Morant, Stephen Curry, and others due to swag and the way he carried himself. He was the ultimate competitor and is arguably the greatest “little man” to ever play the game. If you have a problem, call “The Answer.”


30.Kawhi Leonard-"The Klaw” because of those mits he has of hands, Kawhi Leonard has had quite the rise to stardom in the NBA since he arrived in 2011, starting off as a defensive specialist for the Spurs, to becoming one of the best mid-range assassins and two-way players to ever touch a basketball. He was a late bloomer offensively, as he didn’t average over 20 points per game until his fifth season in the league. But, his real coming out party might have been the 2014 NBA Finals where he won the Finals MVP and played tough defense on LeBron, making each shot tough for him.


He would continue to blossom as a player, making his first All-Star Game in 2016, and winning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Awards (2015, 2016). He’s one of eight players in history to win back-to-back DPOY awards, the others are Sidney Moncrief, Dennis Rodman, Olajuwon, Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard, who’s the only one to ever win three straight, and Rudy Gobert. Leonard is one of three players to have won Finals MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year in their career, the others are Giannis and Jordan.


He has finished top five MVP finishers three times, with his highest being third in 2017, behind Westbrook and Harden. He would leave the Spurs after a weird 2017-18 season where he missed all of nine games due to a quad injury and didn’t trust the way the staff was treating his injury. He would get traded to the Toronto Raptors for Demar Derozan, for basically a one year rental, but man did it pay off.


He would go on to lead the Raptors to series victories over the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers (he hit the amazing game-winner in Game 7 of that series), Milwaukee Bucks (led by league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo), and the beaten down Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, who loss Klay Thompson in Game 6 to a torn ACL, and Durant to a torn Achilles.

He led the Raptors franchise to their one and only championship in franchise history in 2019, having one of the best individual postseason runs in NBA history, scoring a grand total of 732 points in 24 games, good for third all-time in a single postseason. He trails only Jordan (759) and LeBron (748), while the other two guys in the top five are Hakeem Olajuwon (725) and Allen Iverson (723). The only two active players in the top 10 are LeBron and Leonard.



He would then leave the Raptors to go to his hometown Los Angeles and join the Los Angeles Clippers with All-Star Paul George. They haven’t lived up to expectations quite yet, blowing a 3-1 lead in the 2020 Western Semifinals to the Denver Nuggets, and then Leonard going down with a torn ACL against the Utah Jazz in this past postseason. As he returns from his injury, Leonard will look to become the second player ever (LeBron) to win a championship and Finals MVP for three different franchises.


He is a two-time champion, two-time Finals MVP, five-time All-Star, five All-NBA selections, seven All-Defense selections, two DPOY awards, and led the league in steals (2015). He is arguably the best perimeter defender ever in my estimation, with the only who can challenge him being Pippen. His lack of an MVP and low career totals put him lower on this list but look for him to rise as his career progresses.

31.James Harden-Known as “The Beard” James Harden has become one of the best offensive players in league history and arguably a top five shooting guard of all time. Starting off his career as a sixth man for the Thunder, where he played with future hall of famers KD and Westbrook. He would win the Sixth Man of the year award in 2012. Sam Presti, for some odd reason, didn't want to give Harden a few more million so they traded him to Houston, where he would transform into the offensive force we know today.


Harden would do magical things in Houston, becoming a perennial All-Star (nine times), seven-time All-NBA Selection, leading the Rockets to the Conference Finals twice (2015, 2018), lead the league in scoring for three straight years (2018-2020), and the MVP in 2018. In those three years he led the league in scoring, he did so by averaging 30+ points per game in all three seasons (30.4, 36.1, 34.3). He also is a tremendous passer, leading the league in assists back in 2017. Unfortunately his less than stellar defense and playoff blunders, such as Game 6 of the 2017 Western Semifinals against the Spurs where he shot two of ten from the field, finishing with just 10 points, along with six turnovers, virtually disappearing, something he has done a lot of in big games in the postseason which keeps him outside my top 25.


He exiled his way out of Houston last season and got traded to the Brooklyn Nets, teaming up with his friends KD and Kyrie to form the most devastating collection of one-on-one scorers in league history. He will now look to add to his legacy by capturing a championship with the Nets.

32.John Stockton-Probably the best quintessential point guard in league history, John Stockton was the point guard who had that flawless pick-and-roll game with Karl Malone, as the greatest P & R duo ever. He helped lead the Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 & 1998, with the 97 one coming after a series winning buzzer over Barkley, to sink Olajuwon and the Rockets, which is an iconic moment in NBA lore.


He led the league in steals twice (1989, 1992), assists for nine straight seasons (1988-1996), is a 10-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1993), 10-time All-NBA selection, and five-time All-Defensive selection. He also is the all time steals and assists leader and it’s not even close! Stockton has 15,806 career assists, the next closest is Jason Kidd with 12,091..almost 4,000 more! He also is the all-time leader in steals with 3,265, the next closest being Kidd again with 2,684. That is mind-boggling.


The Jazz never missed the playoffs in his 19 seasons there and made the Conference Finals five times in a seven-year span. He and Malone unfortunately never captured a title as one of the best duos ever, thanks to Jordan. Despite that Stockton will forever be remembered as one of the best point guards and floor generals in league history, while also being amongst the most durable players ever.

33.Chris Paul-The “Point God” he is known by Chris Paul is one of the best point guards to ever touch a basketball period. From the moment he came in the league in 2005 he wowed us with his IQ for the game, slick handles, absurd playmaking ability, elite defense, and ability to take over a game with his scoring when his team needed him to. He is an amazing finisher at the rim despite his small 6-foot frame and a master in the mid-range game.


He sadly didn’t get past the second round, until 2018 with Harden and the Rockets, never doing it on the Hornets and Clippers. He has had a slew of injuries in the postseason throughout his career, from the 2015 series against the Rockets where they blew a 3-1 lead, Paul missed the first two games with a hamstring injury. In 2016 of the first round against the Portland Trail Blazers he suffered a broken hand injury that would cost him the final two games and the Clippers the series. But, the biggest one of all might have come in the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the juggernaut Warriors with Steph, KD, Klay, and Draymond, where Paul hurt his hamstring in Game 5 in Houston with the Rockets up 3-2 in the series heading into Game 6 and without Paul couldn’t dethrone the Warriors, which could have been his best shot at a ring.


Paul would then leave the Rockets to join the Thunder for a year and regain his stardom and respect around the league, helping lead a Thunder team to the playoffs that had no business being there. He’s now on the Phoenix Suns with young stars Devin Booker & Deandre Ayton where they reached the 2021 NBA Finals, but came up short in six games to the Giannis-led Bucks. Despite his lack of a ring, Paul is one of six players in NBA history to record over 10,000 career assists. He also has the most consecutive games with a steal (109), only player to have a 20 points, 20 assists with no turnovers, only player to lead league in assists and steals per game, which he has done three times!


Paul is a 11-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (2013), 10-time All-NBA selection, nine-time All-Defensive selection, led the league in assists four times (2008, 2009, 2014-15), steals six times (2008-09, 2011-14), and the 2006 ROTY. He has helped show what a true elite point guard is in the 21st century and was the best point guard after the Kidd-Nash era and before Curry took over the league. He is aging gracefully and is the “Point God!”

34.Rick Barry-Nicknamed the "Miami Greyhound" by longtime San Francisco Bay Area broadcaster Bill King because of his long and slender physical build, whippet-like quickness and remarkable instincts, the 6 ft 7 in Barry won the 1966 NBA ROTY award after averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Barry is the only player to ever lead the NCAA, NBA, and ABA in scoring. He scored more than 25,000 points in his professional career and averaged more than 30 points in four different seasons.


He was an unstoppable offensive juggernaut who can shoot from deep, was a brilliant passer, passionate competitor, and unwavering desire to win that would grate his rivals and rub teammates the wrong way. He led the Warriors to their first ever championship in 1975 over the Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes-led Washington Bullets as the primary option, averaging 30.6 points per game to capture Finals MVP , good for second in the league. He’s the youngest player to ever score 57 points in a game (21), and has the highest points per game average in Finals history with 36.3.


Aside from his Finals MVP and NBA title, Barry would become an ABA champion (1969), eight-time NBA All-Star, an All-Star MVP (1967), six-time All-NBA selection, four-time ABA All-Star, four-time All-ABA first team, and make All-Rookie first team (1966). He also led the NBA in scoring (1967) and steals (1975). He is one of the best scorers and forwards to ever play the game.

35.Scottie Pippen-The ultimate “Robin” and Jordan’s sidekick during the 90’s Bulls dynasty that saw them win six championships (1991-93, 1996-98). Scottie Pippen was a force on both ends of the floor, while being among the most versatile and talented players ever. Pippen orchestrated the offense like a point guard, rebounded like a power forward, scored like a shooting guard and defended on the perimeter like few others, arguably the best perimeter defender ever.


He missed the playoffs just once in his 17-year career, allowing him to have the second-most playoff appearances ever (208) at the time of his retirement, behind only then-leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (237). More than anything, his all-around game became the prototype for the next generation of small forwards such as Grant Hill, LeBron, Giannis, and so forth. He was a two-time gold medal winner, including with the 1992 Dream Team where he and Jordan shut down and tortured future teammate Toni Kukoc.


Besides his titles, Pippen was a seven-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP (1994), seven-time All-NBA selection, led the league in steals (1995), and a 10-time All-Defensive selection, with eight of those first team! He also almost helped lead the Bulls to the Conference Finals in 1994 against the Patrick Ewing-led Knicks, but lost in seven games. He did have a legendary, filthy dunk on Ewing though for good measure. Pippen is a top five defensive player of all time and was the ultimate complimentary player, and perfect complement for Jordan, forming the best duo in NBA history, and best wing defender duo ever.


As the second-best player on the championship Bulls teams alongside Michael Jordan, Pippen may never get his due, but let’s not get it twisted without Pippen, Jordan doesn’t win all those titles and isn’t as revered as he is today. He was a freak of nature and we give him his flowers here as the best “Robin” ever.

36.Steve Nash-The wizard behind the famous Mike D'Antoni "Seven Seconds or Less" offense in the mid-2000s to early 2010s. He formed a lethal pick-and-roll duo with Amare Stoudemire that was virtually unguardable. He first came into the league in 1996 as an unheralded, unathletic guard from Santa Clara as the 15th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He struggled his first few seasons in the league, trying to adjust to the speed and athleticism of the players, but he seemed to find his stride once he was traded to the Mavericks, where he joined fellow legend Dirk Nowitzki.


They both struggled to adjust to the league their first few years but would eventually become an offensive dynamo, forming a devastating pick-and-pop with both being able to shoot the ball exceptionally well. He would eventually get traded to the Suns, where he would have the best years of his career, including winning back-to-back MVPs (2005, 2006). The Suns won just 29 games the year before Nash joined the team and he would lead them to a 62-20 record in 2005, good for best in the NBA.


He was an efficient shooter from all over the court, a wizard of a passer, a master of controlling the pace, and a tremendous teammate and leader of galvanizing his troops. He helped lead the Suns to four conference finals appearances, but unfortunately never reached the NBA Finals due to Duncan’s Spurs or Kobe’s Lakers being in the way of him reaching the biggest stage. Nash is one of 12 players in league history to win back-to-back MVPs , with Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Bird, Moses, Magic, Jordan, Duncan, LeBron, Steph, & Giannis being the other recipients.


He is a four-time member of the exclusive 50-40-90 club, the most seasons ever, and is among the best free throw shooters of all time, being a career 90% shooter. Aside from his MVPs, Nash is a eight-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, and five-time assists leader (2005-07, 2010, 2011). Nash was never able to obtain that elusive ring all players strive for, but he was able to revolutionize the game and go down as a kid from Canada who wound up becoming one of the greatest NBA players of all time, helping to inspire future Canadians such as Andrew Wiggins, Tristan Thompson, and so on.

37.Russell Westbrook-Known as “Mr. Triple-Double” or “Brodie” Russell Westbrook is the most athletic point guard in NBA history and one of the most polarizing figures to ever step on the court. He’s among the most scrutinized players in history, due to his unapologetic attitude and always going 110%, sometimes forcing the issue offensively which has led to inefficiency and a high volume in turnovers. He didn’t have a great showing in his one and only Finals appearance thus far in 2012 with the Thunder, along with KD and Harden. Even Magic Johnson said “That was the worst point guard in the championship finals I’ve seen.”


Despite all the criticism, he and KD formed one of most feared duos in the league until KD’s departure in 2016. They sadly never reached the NBA Finals again together as a duo, the closest being in 2016 in the Conference Finals against the Warriors where the Thunder blew a 3-1 lead. Durant would join the Warriors and it would be the Westbrook solo show in 2016-17 where he would go on to win MVP and average a triple-double for a season (31.6 PPG, 10.7RPG, & 10.4APG), the first since Oscar Robertson!


He has the most triple-doubles of all time (193), with LeBron being the next closest active player with 105. Westbrook holds records for most triple-doubles in a season (42), most consecutive triple-doubles (11), only player to average a triple-double for three consecutive seasons, which makes it four times in his career he has done so! He also is the only player to ever win the scoring title, MVP award, and average a triple-double in the same season, and first player in NBA history with multiple 20-rebound, 20-assist career games. He is also a nine-time All-Star, two-time All-Star MVP (2015, 2016), nine-time All-NBA selection, led the league in scoring twice (2015,2017), and assists three times (2018, 2019, 2021).


The list of records Westbrook owns is a laundry list, but the one thing he has yet to capture is a NBA title. He has been on three teams since he was traded from the Thunder (Houston, Washington, Lakers) and now is in his hometown Los Angeles with AD, LeBron, and Carmelo to try to capture his first title. Capturing a title would do wonders for his legacy and hush many of the naysayers, such as Skip Bayless. However you want to put it, love him or hate him, Westbrook never cheats us fans with his energy toward the game and is a true trendsetter from his style off the court, to his unique game on it.

38.Elvin Hayes-One of the most talented, durable, and productive players in league history, “The Big E” Elvin Hayes used his signature turnaround jumper and aggressive defense to secure his place amongst the greats of the game. An All-Star for each of his first 12 seasons, he scored 27,313 career points (11th all-time) and grabbed 16,279 rebounds (4th all-time). Hayes was immensely popular with fans, appreciating his dominating style of play as well as his persona off the court. But he was less endearing to coaches and teammates. Critics felt he had an attitude problem that sometimes short-circuited the teams he played for and probably prevented the Bullets from repeating.


He formed a frontcourt nightmare with his teammate Wes Unseld, ultimately making three Finals appearances and capturing the 1978 title in seven games over the Seattle Supersonics, the only championship in Washington’s franchise history. During that 1978 run Hayes averaged 21.8 points and 12.1 rebounds per game in 21 playoff games and set an NBA Finals record for most offensive rebounds in a game (11), in a May 27, 1979 game against the Supersonics.


Hayes is an NBA champion (1978), 12-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA selection, two-time All-Defensive selection, led the league in scoring (1969), and led the league in rebounds twice ((1970, 1974). He is one of the most underrated greats and forwards in league history who was a lethal scorer, strong rebounder, and disciplined defender.

39.Dave Cowens-Nicknamed “Big Red” because of his bright red hair, Dave Cowens was an undersized 6-foot-9 center who played with intense fire and tenacity. Playing in the era of Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlain, and Pete Maravich, Cowens didn’t possess the flash and glamour of those high-profile superstars. Instead, it was Cowens consistency, unselfishness, versatility and energy that established him as one of the most solid and respected centers in recent NBA history.


He was an unlikely hero in a sport dominated by men of greater size and natural ability, the red-haired lefthander relied on hustle and heart to achieve NBA greatness. His determination helped to resurrect a Celtics dynasty presumed dead after the departure of legend Bill Russell, helping lead them to two championships in 1974 & 1976. At his 1991 Hall Of Fame Induction Cowens stated, “I never thought of myself as a superstar, I represent the working class of the NBA. I’m honored they’ve selected me, because I could name a whole lot of guys who were better than Dave Cowens. You have to play with the right people and get picked by the right team. Let’s face it — I was pretty lucky.”


He played with other great players such as Havlicek, Jo Jo White, Cedric Maxwell, and others. Cowens is an MVP (1973), eight-time All-Star, All-Star MVP, four-time All-Defensive selection, the 1971 ROTY, and has his No.18 retired by the Celtics. He was the ultimate hustle player any coach would love to have on their team.

40.Willis Reed-”The Captain” of the New York Knicks teams in the 1960s and 1970s, Willis Reed helped lead the Knicks to their two and only NBA titles (1970, 1973), along with capturing both of those Finals MVPs. There have been many thrilling baskets scored throughout NBA history, there have been few more renowned than the two Willis Reed made in the opening minutes of Game 7 of the 1970 Finals. Prior to Game 7, on May 8, 1970, at 7:30 P.M, Reed, the captain and main force of a multi-talented New York Knicks team that also featured Walt Frazier, and Dave Debusschere, was apparently sidelined with a severe thigh injury, that was a torn muscle that threatened his team’s chances to win the championship. Fifteen minutes later he had become a legend, and the Knicks were on the way to their first title.


In the first four games of the Finals against the West, Wilt, and Baylor-led Lakers, Reed had scored 37, 29, 38 and 23 points, respectively, while averaging 15 rebounds. At 7:34 p.m. Reed was limping onto the court. The crowd went wild, while his teammates’ confidence returned with a vengeance. Reed somehow managed to out-jump Wilt Chamberlain on the opening tip, then scored the game’s first basket on a shot from the top of the key. He then scored a second basket from 20 feet out.


He did not need to score again, as he already lifted the spirits and confidence of his teammates by hitting those two shots. Frazier would go on to have a historic Finals performance, finishing with 36 points, 19 assists, and seven rebounds. But, it was Reed who gave his team the extra bolt of energy they needed, being the heart, soul, and backbone on those championship Knicks teams.


Besides his titles and Finals MVPs, Reed is an MVP (1970), seven-time All-Star, All-Star MVP (1970), five-time All-NBA, the 1965 ROTY, and an All-Defensive first team selection, where he would’ve made more had they had the award his whole career. He was a true leader and champion.

41.Clyde Drexler-Known as “The Glide” for his high-flying, jet-like explosive swoops toward the basket and ferocious slams on opposing defenders, Clyde Drexler was amongst the best shooting guards of his era, probably second behind Jordan. Drexler was the leader of the Blazers team that made the Finals in 1990 & 1992, but came up short to Isiah’s Pistons and Jordan’s Bulls.


He was also a member of the 1992 Dream Team, where he would win a gold medal. Drexler spent 11 ½ years with the Blazers and would eventually get traded to the Rockets in 1995, teaming up with Olajuwon and Sam Cassell. The Rockets would go on to win the title that year, beating the Shaq and Penny Hardaway-led young Magic squad in five games, helping Drexler win his first and only NBA title.


It’s fitting he won this title in Houston, the college he went to with Olajuwon where he starred on the “Phi Slamma Jamma” teams of the early 1980s. Drexler is also a 10-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA selection, and has his No.22 retired by the Rockets and Blazers. He was one of the finest highflyers and all-around players in league history.

42.Bob McAdoo-One of the best scoring and shooting forwards in NBA history, Bob McAdoo had one of the best starts to a career ever, garnering Rookie of the Year honors (1973), three consecutive scoring championships (1974-76), and an MVP Award (1975), where he averaged a whopping 34.5 PPG, 14.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 2.1 BPG, all in his first four years. One of the best shooting bigs of all time, McAdoo won the first of his three scoring championships in only his second year in the NBA, 1973-74, the same year he led the league with a .547 field-goal percentage.

His star slowly faded in the middle of his career, due to being on losing teams, but was reignited in the early 1980s, joining the Magic-led Lakers where he would win two titles (1982, 1985). Over 14 seasons, McAdoo scored 18,787 points and averaged 22.1 points. A five-time NBA All-Star, he shot .503 from the field and .754 from the line, scoring in double figures in all but one season. McAdoo is also a two-time All-NBA selection, and also won two EuroLeague titles (1987, 1988), EuroLeague Final Four MVP(1988) and top scorer (1988).


He is severely underrated, due to being on losing teams early in his career, but he was one hell of a player on both ends, being the original stretch-big prototype we would see come later on such as Dirk, Towns, Nikola Jokic, and so forth.

43.George Mikan-Known as “Mr. Basketball” and the first true star player and big man in NBA history, George Mikan was the first dominant player who helped lead the then Minneapolis Lakers to five NBA titles (1949, 1950, 1952-1954). He also won two NBL championships (1947, 1948) and won the NBL MVP (1948). He is the creator of the “Mikan Drill”, a drill where a player stands directly in front of the basket and shoots the ball off the backboard with his right hand, catches it and puts up the same shot with his left hand and then his right and then his left again, repeating the routine again and again.


Mikan helped keep basketball alive in its early years, standing 6-foot-10, 245 pounds, he redefined the game from one that had been controlled and dominated by small, quick players into a sport that would be ruled by giants. He helped anchor the first dynasty of the NBA, the Lakers, in the 1940s and 50s.Mikan is a four time All-Star, All-Star MVP, six-time All-BAA/NBA first team, two-time All-NBL first team, NBL/NBA scoring leader (1948-51), and led the league in rebounds (1953).


Mikan was a dominating force in the league’s infant stages, but, one thing's for sure is that if he wasn’t the star he was, who knows if the league could’ve flustered into the global brand it is today. He was named the greatest player of all time of the first half of the 20th century in 1950.

44.Patrick Ewing-The ultimate warrior and arguably the greatest New York Knick of all time, Patrick Ewing was one of the best shooting centers to ever play the game, with the signature turnaround jumper of his, while also being a defensive force on the other end. His knees unfortunately sapped his athleticism from his college and early NBA years, but he was still one of the top centers in the league.


Ewing would never win that championship in New York, he, and the fanbase have been craving for since the Reed, Frazier days due to Jordan and Olajuwon, who beat him in the 1994 Finals, being in the way. He is an 11-time All-Star, a member of the 1992 Dream Team, seven-time All-NBA, three-time All-Defense, the 1986 ROTY, and a member of the 50th and 75th Anniversary teams.


Ewing left the game as the Knicks all time leader in points (23,665), rebounds (10,759), blocks (2,758), and steals (1,061). He was a true competitor and had the heart of a champion.

45.Jason Kidd-One of the best point guards in NBA history, known for his uncanny vision and creativity with his passing as if he has eyes in the back of his head. Being a strong, big guard at 6-foot-4, Jason Kidd was able to see over the defense, helping him become second in assists all-time (12,091) and be an elite defender, becoming second all-time in steals (2,684). Kidd also was a triple-double machine in his prime, with 107 in his career, good for fourth all-time, behind Westbrook, Oscar, and Magic in that order.


Kidd was a difference maker the moment he came into the league, winning Co-Rookie Of The Year in 1994-95 with his contemporary Grant Hill. Kidd would never lead the Mavericks to the playoffs in his first stint there but would eventually join the Suns and become the best point guard in the league. While he became a big star in Phoenix, he became an even bigger star on The New Jersey Nets, where he was traded to in July of 2001 for Stephon Marbury and others.


He would help lead the Nets to back-to-back Finals appearances (doubling their win total in his first season) in 2002 and 2003, their two most successful seasons in their 45 years since the NBA/ABA Merger. Kidd would finish second in MVP voting in 02 behind Duncan and won nine playoff series as a Net, losing just once in the first round. He would eventually force his way back to the Mavericks in a trade in 2008 and would eventually win a championship as a role player in 2011 with Dirk and the crew.


Made front of by commentators early in his career, calling him “Ason Kidd” because of his lack of a jumper. He would eventually end up third on the all-time threes when he retired, and currently 11th all-time. He is one of the best passers and floor generals of all-time.

46.Kevin McHale-Arguably the best post player ever, with an array of different moves and impeccable footwork, probably only rivaled by Olajuwon. His awkward, lanky 6-foot-10 frame made him a tough cover to go along with his shooting skills. He played a key role for the Celtics in his rookie season in 1981 where they would go on to win the championship. He would continue excelling in the bench role, winning back-to-back Sixth Man Of The Year awards (1984, 1985). He has the second highest points scored in a game in Celtics history (56), behind only his teammate Larry Bird (60), which broke McHale’s record just nine days later.


He would win three titles alongside Hall of Famers Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, and Bird. He used his physical gifts to excellent advantage during his 13-year career with the Boston Celtics, becoming one of the best inside players the game has ever seen and forming one of the greatest frontcourts in NBA history, alongside Bird and Parish. Former NBA coach, Hubie Brown stated, “He became the most difficult low-post player to defend — once he made the catch — in the history of the league. He was totally unstoppable because of his quickness, diversification of moves and the long arms that gave him an angle to release the ball over a taller man or more explosive jumper.”


McHale ranks among the Celtics top five all-time in points, games, and FG percentage. McHale is a seven-time All-Star, All-NBA first team (1987), six-time All-Defensive team member, and has his No.32 retired by the storied Celtics franchise.

47.Paul Pierce-Known as “The Truth” as Shaq bestowed on Pierce after he dropped 42 in a 112-107 victory over the Lakers in March of 2001. One of the clutchest players and greatest scorers of all-time, Pierce career has become somewhat disrespected since he’s retired, due to his post-career antics. Despite that, Pierce would get help from legends Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett in the offseason of 2007 and they would go on to defeat the Lakers in 2008, capturing their first title in 22 years and the Finals MVP.


He has given us iconic moments, from the Al Harrington game-winner, to the classic wheelchair moment in the 08 Finals, the one on one battles with LeBron over the years, or even the “I called game!” postseason interview with Chris Broussard after he hit a game-winner against the Atlanta Hawks in Game 3 of the 2015 Semifinals. Along with his title and Finals MVP, Pierce is a 10-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection, and one of three players in Celtics history to score over 20,000 career points (Havlicek, Bird).


Don’t call, “The Truth!” if you can’t handle it.

48.Gary Payton-Known as “The Glove” for his intimidating defense, quick hands, and elite defensive instincts, Gary Payton was one of the cockiest and brash trash talkers in league history, using it to get into his opponents heads while fueling his intensity. Payton helped lead the Sonics to the 1996 NBA Finals with his partner in crime, Shawn Kemp, but fell to the Jordan, Pippen-led Bulls team that had won a then NBA record 72 games in the regular season.


Payton is considered one of the greatest defenders of all-time, and arguably the greatest defensive guard ever, being the only point guard to win DPOY (1996) in the awards 39-year history. The only guards I would say are on or near his level defensively are Dennis Johnson and Walt “Clyde” Frazier. He was one of the toughest defenders on Jordan in the finals, holding him to just 23.7 points on 36.7% shooting in the last three games of that series.


He played his 13 of 17 NBA seasons in Seattle, where he unfortunately could never capture a title, but, he would later go on to win a ring as a role player in 2006 as a member of the Miami Heat, with Shaq, Wade, and Alonzo Mourning.


Payton is also a nine-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA, nine-time All-Defensive First team, won a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and led the league in steals (1996). If you wanted someone who was the ultimate trash talker, competitor, and needed a defensive stop “The Glove” was the one you would call.

49.Anthony Davis-Just recently, officially named to the prestigious 75th All-Time Team, Anthony “The Unibrow” Davis has been one of the best two-way bigs in league history since coming in as a highly touted prospect out of Kentucky and drafted No.1 overall in 2012 by the then New Orleans Hornets. Davis has been astounding throughout his career, making the All-Star game every year of his career, except his rookie season, and even winning a gold medal before he ever stepped foot on an NBA court.


A three-time leader in blocks (2014, 2015, 2018), Davis already ranks top 50 all-time on the career leaderboard with 1,325. He was the best player on the Hornets/Pelicans in his 7 seasons there but he didn’t have much postseason success, only reaching the second round once in 2018, and also due to a lack of a passable supporting cast.


He would eventually force his way out of New Orleans, which included a hysterical “That's All Folks” T-shirt to join the Lakers with LeBron and form one of the most dynamic duos in the league. In his first season there he will make All-NBA and the All-Defensive First Team to go along with winning his first NBA title over the Miami Heat in 2020. He has sadly missed a chunk of games each season throughout his career, only playing over 70 games in a season just twice in his 10 year career thus far. He’s coming off an injury-riddled 2020-21 season and looks to redeem himself this season, especially after Barkley has been calling him “Street Clothes,” due to him always missing games.


Davis' lack of an MVP, Finals MVP, or DPOY keeps him from reaching higher on this list thus far in his career, but, if he obtains one of those and wins more titles he can easily rise to the top 30-35 by the time his career is done. Davis is a eight-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP, four-time All-NBA (all being first team), and a four-time All-Defensive selection.


Davis is arguably the most talented power forward ever, but, if he wants to reach Garnett’s, Dirk, or Barkley’s level he will need to stay healthy, along with capturing a MVP, Finals MVP, or DPOY. He surely has the talent to pass Dirk and Barkley because of his elite defensive ability, something those two players didn’t have on the level of AD, but, to pass Garnett he will need to win a DPOY, along with an MVP or another title to pass the Minnesota legend.


Davis is unicorn in today’s games of unicorns and look for him to skyrocket up this list in the next five to eight years as his career plays out, if he can stay healthy.

50.Dominique Wilkins-Known as the “The Human Highlight Film” due to his violent assault on the rim and his opponents, Dominique Wilkins was one of the most prolific scorers and iconic dunkers in league history. He helped bring excitement to the Atlanta Hawks franchise after, helping them become a contender in the Eastern Conference. He is the Hawks all-time leading scorer with 23,292 points, and currently ranks 14th all-time with 26,668 points.


He had one of the most legendary duels of all-time with his contemporary Larry Bird in the 1988 Conference Semifinals, which included a 47 point performance in Game 7, to Bird’s 34 in a losing effort to the Celtics. He averaged 31.2 PPG during that postseason run and gained more league wide respect as a result. He participated in some of the most iconic dunk contests of all-time, coming up victorious twice (1985, 1990), including a duel for the ages against Jordan in 1988.


Wilkins helped lead the Hawks four straight 50-win seasons from 1985-89. During that span, he poured in more than 30 points per game twice, including the scoring title (1986), and for the four years combined he averaged 29.1 PPG. Nique is one of 22 players to score over 25,000 career points, is a nine-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, and the Hawks all-time scoring leader.


Despite not winning a title, Nique is one of the most ferocious punishers in NBA history and one of the best scorers the league has seen. It was a travesty he didn’t make the original NBA at 50 list, but, he gets his rightful place here on the NBA 75 list.

51.Dolph Schayes-One of pro basketball’s earliest superstars. Dolph Schayes helped to revolutionize the game for the power forward position with his high-arching jump shot and constant movement off the ball, becoming the first player to score 15,000 career points in NBA History, while also being one of the greatest rebounders of all time. His career stretched from the NBA’s inaugural year to basketball’s emergence as a major sporting attraction.


He helped lead the Syracuse Nationals to the playoffs on 15 occasions, winning his lone title in 1955 over the Fort Wayne Pistons as the best player. Schayes led the NBA in free-throw percentage three times and averaged a double-double for 11 consecutive seasons. Schayes retired with 19,249 career points, playing in what was then an NBA-record 1,059 games. He made the All-NBA First Team six times and the All-NBA Second Team six times. He would also lead the league in rebounding (1951) and become a member of the NBA’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary teams.


One of the early pioneer stars of the game, Schayes was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1972.

52.Bob Cousy-The first true star point guard and showman in NBA history. Before there was “Pistol” Pete Maravich, Magic, Nash, Kidd, CP3, and so on, there was Cousy, who set the tone for future great point guards to follow decades later, and one of the leaders of those dynastic Celtics teams of the 1950s and 60s, alongside Russell, Havlicek, and other Hall of Famers. One of the greatest passers and playmakers ever, Cousy led the NBA in assists for eight straight seasons (1953-1960), hit clutch free throws and was an All-Star every year in his 13 year career.


He was a revolutionary player at the time, earning his nickname “The Houdini of the Hardwood.” He can go at full speed and see guys others couldn’t, even those trailing behind him. The league had never before seen someone with his exquisite peripheral vision. He was a tremendously passionate and intense player, so much so that he would often suffer from stomach cramps and chest pains in the locker room before big games, similar to his teammate Bill Russell. Cousy was the heart and soul of those Celtics teams that featured hall of famers Bill Sharman, Russell, Satch Sanders, Tommy Heinsohn, K.C. Jones, and others.


Cousy list of accomplishments is impeccable, being a six-time champion (1957, 1959-63), becoming the first guard to win league MVP (1957), a 13-time All-Star, two-time All-Star MVP, 12-time All-NBA, and a member of the NBA’s prestigious 25th, 35th, 50th, and 75th anniversary teams. In 1971 he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


Cousy left the game respected by players, and worshipped by fans as no other player had been before him, and as few have been since. He was a pioneer showman who razzle-dazzled fans like no one had before with his passing flare and dribbling skills. He was “The Houdini of the Hardwood” with the ball.

53.Walt Frazier-Nicknamed “Clyde” by a Knicks trainer from the folk-hero robber Clyde Barrow, whose life was chronicled in the film Bonnie and Clyde, Walt Frazier was known for his big hats and stylish attire, he was a stifling defender, one of the best perimeter defenders in league history and a smooth offensive player. He was a key part of two Knicks championships (1970, 1973), including an iconic 36 point, 19 rebound, and seven assist performance in Game 7 of the 1970 Finals, which was overshadowed by his teammate Willis Reed’s return from his severe thigh injury.


Fans admired his cool demeanor, rarely indulging in angry outbursts and almost never expressed displeasure with officials. He became a certified hero in New York, which led to many magazine articles, photoshoots as well as commercial advertising opportunities. He became one of the first athletes to be paid to wear a sneaker, which was a suede Puma version.


Frazier’s accolades include being a seven-time All-Star, All-Star MVP (1975), six-time All-NBA, a seven-time All-Defensive first team selection, and a member of the 50th and 75th NBA anniversary teams. He also has his No.10 retired by the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. He was one of the best two-way guards of all-time and one of the most fashionable stars ever, who helped pave the way for future stars such as Dr.J, Iverson, and Westbrook, just to name a few.

54.Wes Unseld-A 6-foot-7 bull as if he was built from a block of granite, Wes Unseld was known for his toughness, laser-beam outlet passes, and relentless pursuit of crashing the boards. He and Wilt Chamberlain are the only players to ever win Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same season, as Unseld did in 1968-69.He helped lead the Bullets to four finals appearances, alongside Elvin Hayes to form a fearsome frontcourt duo, and wound up winning the 1978 title over the Sonics in seven games, ultimately winning Finals MVP.


He has the most rebounds in franchise history (13,769) and was the most feared screener of his time, hearing opponents yell “Ah!” whenever they ran into him, even fearing him when they felt a screen coming. Unseld was intelligent on and off the court, and over the course of his career he came to personify the virtues of hard work, dedication, and courage. He would become a five-time All-Star, All-NBA First team, and lead the league in rebounding (1975).


He would be named to the 50th and 75th anniversary teams and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

55.Paul Arizin-One of the early pioneer stars of the NBA, Paul Arizin burst onto the scene in 1950 with a new weapon never yet seen in the league: the jump shot, which at the time, the league had two-handed set shot shooters and slow offenses. In addition to his unrivaled shooting accuracy, Arizin was a great leaper, slick ball handler, and a gritty defender. This was a guy who took two years out of his career to serve in the Korean War for America, put some respect on his name!


Arizin was one of the best scorers during the league’s formative years, holding career averages of 22.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. In 10 seasons with the Warriors, Arizin made the NBA All-Star team every year, won two scoring titles (1952, 1957), was a four-time All-NBA selection, won an NBA championship ring (1956), and recorded the third-highest scoring average in the newly formed league. Along with George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Larry Foust, Bill Sharman, Dolph Schayes and teammate Joe Fulks, Arizin was a pioneering force in a circuit that was decades behind baseball and football in popularity. Arizin and those other stars gave the fledgling NBA the boost it needed to achieve respectability.


He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978 and has been a member of the 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversary teams. A true pioneer of the game, and the first true jump shooting superstar, where other great shooters would follow later on, from Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, and Steph Curry… Arizin is smiling down proud.

56.Dwight Howard-Probably the most disrespected superstar in NBA history, which is now more evident after the NBA revealed its full NBA official 75 list and left Dwight Howard off! Howard makes my list as one of the most athletic, freakish big men we have ever seen who was a powerful force in the paint and a dominant defender. He sadly has been a journeyman since he left the Magic, but when he was on the Magic those eight seasons he was the best big man in the game.


Howard led the 2009 Magic to the NBA Finals past teams like the LeBron-led Cavs and the Celtics that had Hall of Famers Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and a young Rondo on that team. They would eventually lose to the Kobe, Pau Gasol-led Lakers in five games but he clearly established himself as the premier big in the game.


Howard would move on to the Lakers in the offseason of 2012 and hasn’t been the same player since suffering a herniated disk in his back that year. The Laker experiment with him, Nash, and Kobe never worked out, he and Harden didn’t get along, and he’s been to the Wizards, Hawks, Hornets, and Sixers as well. He came back to the Lakers a role player and won a championship in 2020, being an active paint protector and rebounder for that Laker title team.


Howard is a eight time NBA-All Star, eight-time All NBA selection, five-time All-Defensive team member, and won three straight Defensive Player of the Year Awards(2009-11)! He also led the league in rebounding five times and blocks twice. He’s the only player to ever win three straight DPOY awards since the award was first given out in 1982.

Howard said it was “disrespectful” he wasn’t on the NBA 75 greatest players list, but, on my list he gets his rightful justification as one of the greats.

57.George Gervin-Known as “The Iceman” because of his silky smooth scoring ability and overall offensive game, George Gervin was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. His 26.2 points per game average ranks ninth in league history and he’s one of five players in Nba History- Wilt, Jordan, Durant, and Iverson are the others with four or more scoring titles. Talk about a pure bucket!