Top 10 Greatest Players in NBA History

Greatest Players In Nba History

We’ve loved to see these amazing NBA players lighting up the scoreboards across the country.

Ask anyone the question of who they think were the greatest players in NBA history and you’re almost certain to get a different answer each and every time. The issue is always hotly contested among all types of fans no matter what their age or gender. So without further hesitation and in no particular order, I present my list of the ten greatest players in the history of the NBA.

Although I never saw them play live, old film and highlights provide enough examples of why Bob Cousy and Bill Russell are the first two players on my list. Cousy was the consummate floor general who could score as well as pass while Russell was the most dominant rebounder and shot blocker that ever played. These two teammates played on the great Celtic teams of the 1950’s and 1960’s, a team many consider to be one of the greatest ever.

Wilt Chamberlin, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson were three of the most prolific scorers of their time and for that reason alone, I would include them on my list of greatest players. The stats back up Wilt as the greatest scorer and most dominant player ever to step on a court. His record for most points in a game will never be broken. Oscar Robertson was a dynamic player who could do it all; as proven by the number of triple doubles he posted during his career. I’ve heard many stories from relatives about Jerry West and his knack for hitting the big shot. Not many fans, or New Yorkers for that matter, could forget his half-court shot during the 1970 Finals.

During the 1980’s, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Julius Erving were the dominant players in the NBA. It seems like these three teams were constantly in the running for the title throughout the decade. After starring in the ABA, Dr. J became a league MVP and led the Philadelphia 76ers to victory in the 1983 NBA finals. He was the type of player whose moves would leave fans shaking their head in disbelief long before Michael Jordan laced up his sneakers. During the mid 1980’s and early 1990’s Larry Bird and Magic Johnson participated in one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. Although each player was capable of putting up MVP caliber numbers, their greatest attribute was their ability to elevate the players around them.

Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal are the last two players to round out my list. Shaquille O’Neal may seem like a surprising choice to some, but having followed his career closely since his days at LSU I’ve come to the conclusion that no one could physically dominate a game quite like O’Neal. At 7’0″ and 300 plus pounds, there were not many opponents that could match up with him physically. Although it is not a recognized statistic, O’Neal is definitely the all-time leader in broken backboards.
Finally, what else could possibly be said about Michael Jordan that hasn’t been said already? Many, including myself, consider him the greatest player ever. Not just because of his incredible run as the scoring champion, but mainly because of the way he elevated all aspects of his game to become the consummate champion of the 1990’s.

So there you have it, my all time ten greatest players in NBA history. Let the debate begin.

11 thoughts on “Top 10 Greatest Players in NBA History

  1. Ok. I went out today to ask fellow employees, relatives, wife etc who the best basketball player ever was,..100% said one guys name. Michael Jordan. I don’t know what you ‘re talking about but its always unanimous decision in Jordans favor. What planet are you on?

  2. I’m going to have to agree with JayT on this one. There is almost no one who wouldn’t say that Michael Jordan isn’t the best player ever. I’ve asked tons of people and tried to find people that knew more about basketball that I did, but the answer was always the same (except one guy who said Reggie Miller…)

  3. I think that a lot of people say Micheal Jordan these days because he is the most recent great player of basketball. I feel like there are plenty of great ball players out there, but he just came along at a time when more people were into basketball and they still remember it.

  4. All of these players are simply amazing. I think that it is hard to put them in an order however, and I’m glad that you didn’t try. You can’t really compare players, even their stats, when they played different teams and different times in the history of the game.

  5. top 10 for me (in order)

    1.michael jordan
    2.magic johnson
    3.Larry Bird
    4.Wilt Chamberlain
    5.Bill Russel
    6.Oscar robertson
    7.Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    8.Shaquille Oneal
    9.Kobe Bryant
    10.Tim Duncan


  6. 1. Michael Jordan
    2. Kobe Bryant
    3. Magic Johnson
    4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    5. Oscar Robertson
    6. Wilt Chamberlain
    7. Hakeem Olajuwon
    8. Tim Duncan
    9. Lebron James
    10 Bill Russel
    11. Larry Bird
    12. Shaq Oneal
    13. Jerry West
    14. Elgin Baylor
    15. Karl Malone

  7. today it would be
    1. Kobe Bryant
    2. Lebron James
    3. Dwayne Wade
    4. Kevin Garnett
    5. Dwight Howard
    6. Chris Paul
    7. Carmello Anthony
    8. Steve Nash
    9. Time Duncan
    10.Ray Allen

  8. Iverson should be on the list–any list. He has won more scoring titles than anyone except Jordan and a few others. Also, Lebron James should be on the list–ahead of Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant is not the dominating, game stealking player that jordan was–no matter how hard he tries to emulate him (like hugging teh basketball in tears after winning the finals some years back–pathetic)

  9. 1. Air Jordan
    2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    3. Magic Johnson
    4. Allen Iverson
    5. Oscar Robertson
    6. Wilt Chamberlain
    7. Domonique Wilkins
    8. Tim Duncan
    9. Shaq Oneal
    10 Bill Russel
    11. Larry Bird
    12. Shaq Oneal
    13. Jerry West
    14. Elgin Baylor
    15. Karl Malone

  10. I agree that Jordan came along during a time that basketball became very popular. I myself do not really know much about players of the early years, but we must look at what has changed basketball forever. I would have to say the GREATEST PLAYER EVER changed basketball and that is Michael Jordan. No questions ask..

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