My 75 Greatest Players Ever


In honor of the NBA's 75th Anniversary, the league announced they will be making an updated list of the 75 Greatest Players to have ever played in the NBA.

So I will also make my own list and to be fair to all generations and to give a fair and true representation to the history of the game, I will firstly be selecting 10 players from each era (50s/60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s) with the 50s and 60s sharing since there were so many less teams and talent in the early 50s especially. 

* Note that just because a player is chosen for a particular decade, I will still of course be including his whole Career and have just chosen the decade they played the most years to separate the list more easily.

That leaves 15 available spots and 10 of them I have decided to go with players who may not have been the superstars of their team, but they contributed heavily to winning an important title or multiple titles.  Then the Final 5 players, I am going with 4 great individual players and scorers who couldn't quite lead their teams to a title and finally 1 current MVP.    

I am not considering any players who have not played at least 5 seasons which means young superstars who are sure to crack this list in the future such as Luka Doncic will not be included for now.    

And these selections are based on Greatness and Career Achievements with Pure Talent and Peak Level of play also considered.  Another important factor is how much impact and influence they had on peers, fans and future players and did they change or influence the game in any way with their style of play.  

I will also be spending a bit more time on the difficult last picks and less time on all the legends that we know will be included.

So Starting with the 2010s, here are the 1st 10 selections:

2010s (1st 5 Players)

LeBron James (2003-Now)

- 4 x Titles, 4 x Finals MVP, 4 x MVP, ROY

- 17 x All Star, 17 x All NBA, 6 x All Defense

(Top 2 Player Ever)

Steph Curry (2009-Now)    

- 3 x Titles, 2 x MVP, 2nd All Time 3PM

- 7 x All Star, 7 x All NBA, 2 x Scoring Champ

(Top 15 Player Ever and Climbing)

Kevin Durant (2007-Now)

- 2 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP, ROY

- 11 x All Star, 9 x All NBA, 4 x Scoring Champ

(Top 15 Player Ever and Climbing) 

 

Dwyane Wade (2003-2019)

- 3 x Titles, 1 x Finals MVP

- 13 x All Star, 8 x All NBA, 3 x All Defense  

(Top 20 Player Ever)

Giannis Antetokounmpo (2013-Now)

- 1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP, 2 x MVP, DPOY

- 5 x All Star, 5 x All NBA, 4 x All Defense

(Top 25 Player Ever and Climbing)

Can't really argue with the 1st 5 guys on this list, all of them NBA Champions and with 9 MVPs between them.  LeBron is a Top 2 GOAT and KD and Curry could force their way into the Top 10 Players Ever very soon.  These 3 players dominated the decade winning 7/10 of the titles and 6/10 of the MVPs with LeBron of course getting most of them with 4 Titles and 3 MVPs in the decade (4 MVPs overall). 

And Giannis may only be 26 years old, but he already has won everything there is to win - an NBA Title (with his original team), a Finals MVP, 2 Regular Season MVPs, an All Star MVP, a Defensive Player of the Year Award, 5 All NBA, 5 All Star, 4 All Defense Teams and even a Most Improved Player Award!  

The only real question was whether to put Wade here or with the 2000s players.  Clearly Wade's prime was in the 2000s and he won his Finals MVP way back in 2006.  But Wade formed one of the greatest duos ever with LeBron and they came into the league together and won 2 titles together so it seemed only right to put them in the same era.  Also I had 10 clear cut guys (11 actually) from the 2000s so it was easier to slot Wade in here.

2010s (2nd 5 Players)

Kawhi Leonard (2011-Now)

- 2 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 2 x DPOY

- 5 x All Star, 5 x All NBA, 7 x All Defense

(Top 30 Player Ever and Climbing)

Chris Paul (2005-Now)

- 4 x Ast Champ, 6 x Steal Champ, ROY 

- 11 x All Star, 10 x All NBA, 9 x All Defense

(Top 35 Player Ever and still Climbing) 

James Harden (2009-Now)

   

- 1 x MVP, 4 x Scoring Champ, Ast Champ

- 9 x All Star, 7 x All NBA, 6MOY

(Top 35 Player Ever and Climbing)

Russell Westbrook (2008-Now)

- 1 x MVP, 4 Triple Double Seasons

- 9 x All Star, 9 x All NBA, 2 x Scoring Champ

(Top 35 Player Ever and Climbing)

Dwight Howard (2004-Now)

- 1 x Title, 3 x DPOY, 5 x Reb Champ

- 8 x All Star, 8 x All NBA, 5 x All Defense

(Top 60 Player Ever)

4 Players here, Kawhi, CP3, Harden and Westbrook all have their claims to be a Top 30 Player Ever.  Kawhi has the Titles and Finals MVPs, CP3 has the longevity and continued excellence for a decade and a half+, while Harden and Westbrook are one of a kind talents who have racked up some ridiculous stats and individual records. 

Russ is arguably the lowest ranked of this group but his fans could argue that he is the All Time Triple Double Leader who has averaged a triple double in 4 different seasons, while Oscar Robertson who is widely regarded as a Top 15 player only did it once?  Why?  Well the main cases against Westbrook and Harden being ranked higher is they don't perform their best in the playoffs and they don't have a title.  But something tells me that may change this year with the Nets and Lakers favorites to meet in the Finals.  

Finally Dwight Howard rounds out the 2010s, although you could easily say he was not at his best for most of the decade and his best year was 2009.  That year he won DPOY, made the All NBA 1st Team and All Defense 1st Team and lead the Magic to the Finals, upsetting LeBron's top seeded Cavs on the way.  Howard finished Top 5 in MVP voting 4 straight seasons including a Career Best 2nd in 2011 - beating out LeBron, Kobe and KD but losing out to Derrick Rose.

2000s (1st 5 Players)

Kobe Bryant (1996-2016)

- 5 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP

- 18 x All Star, 15 x All NBA, 12 x All Defense

(Top 5 Player Ever)

Tim Duncan (1997-2016)

- 5 x Titles, 3 x Finals MVP, 2 x MVP, ROY

- 15 x All Star, 15 x All NBA, 15 x All Defense

(Top 7 Player Ever) 

Shaquille O'Neal (1992-2011)    

- 4 x Titles, 3 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP, ROY

- 15 x All Star, 14 x All NBA, 3 x All Defense

(Top 10 Player Ever) 

Dirk Nowitzki (1998-2019)

- 1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP

- 14 x All Star, 12 x All NBA

(Top 20 Player Ever)

Kevin Garnett (1995-2016)

- 1 x Title, 1 x MVP, 1 x DPOY, 4 x Reb Champ

- 15 x All Star, 9 x All NBA, 12 x All Defense

(Top 25 Player Ever) 

The 2000s produced 3 Top 10 Players of All Time in Kobe, Shaq and Tim Duncan.  They dominated the decade, winning 8 of the 10 titles, with Duncan also winning another title in 1999 and Kobe in 2010 (making it 10 titles in 12 years). 

Shaq won the Finals MVP from 2000-2002 with the most dominant Back to Back to Back Finals Performances the league has ever seen from a Big Man.  Duncan, the greatest Power Forward of All Time won the 99,03 and 05 Finals MVP and also won titles in 2007 and 2014, making it the biggest gap between titles at 15 years.  And Kobe won 5 titles and 2 Finals MVPs between 2000-2010 while setting some unforgettable scoring records throughout the decade including an 81 point game, 62 Points in 3 Quarters (outscoring the Mavs himself 62-61!), 11 straight 40 point games, 4 straight 50 point games and of course a never before seen 60 point finale.   

Only 2 titles were not won by these 3 players in the decade and one of them was from Kevin Garnett when he formed his Big 3 in Boston after more than a decade of MVP Level play for the Wolves.  One of the most skilled and best all around big men ever, Garnett made all 10 All Star Games, all 10 All NBA Defense Teams and 8 out of 10 All NBA Teams during the 2000s decade as well as an MVP in 2004 and DPOY in 2008.  

And Nowitzki actually won his title in 2011 but he had the vast majority of his prime in the 2000s when he won MVP in 2007 and made the All NBA Team every year.  Dirk played a record 21 seasons for the same team and he revolutionized the game for big men with his outside shooting.  He is still the only 7 footer ever to have a 50/40/90 season.  

2000s (2nd 5 Players)

Allen Iverson (1996-2010)

- 1 x MVP, 4 x Scoring Champ, 3 x Stl Champ

- 11 x All Star, 7 x All NBA, ROY

(Top 35 Player Ever)

Jason Kidd (1994-2013)

- 1 x Title, ROY, 5 x Ast Champ

- 10 x All Star, 6 x All NBA, 9 x All Defense

- Top 40 Player Ever 

Steve Nash (1996-2014)    

- 2 x MVP, 5 x Ast Champ

- 8 x All Star, 7 x All NBA

(Top 40 Player Ever) 

Paul Pierce (1998-2017)

- 1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP

- 10 x All Star, 4 x All NBA

(Top 60 Player Ever)

Ray Allen (1996-2014)

- 2 x Titles, All Time 3PM Leader

- 10 x All Star, 2 x All NBA

(Top 60 Player Ever) 

The next 5 guys are lead by Iverson, Nash and Kidd who all lead their teams to Top records in the early to mid 2000s.  Iverson won an MVP carrying a pretty terrible Philly team all the way to the Finals in 2001.  Kidd didn't win an MVP but many thought he should have in 2002 when he lead the Nets to a 26 win improvement but he narrowly missed out to Duncan.  And Nash may not have made the Finals like Iverson and Kidd, but he won 2 MVPs at a time when Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Duncan, Garnett and Dirk were all in their prime! 

All Time Kidd is 2nd in assists (and 2nd in steals) and Nash is 3rd with both of them winning 5 assist titles each.  Kidd is the only one of the 3 with an NBA title and he made 6 All NBA Teams and 9 All Defensive Teams while Nash made 7 All NBA Teams and had a record four 50-40-90% shooting seasons.  Meanwhile A.I was the biggest star of the 3 making all 10 All Star Games in the 2000s (starting 9 of them) and winning 4 scoring titles and 3 steals titles, finishing his Career with almost 25,000 points.  

The last 2 guys Paul Pierce and Ray Allen won a title together after teaming up with Kevin Garnett to form the best Big 3 of the decade.  Both players made 10 All Star Games with Pierce considered by most the slightly better overall player but Ray the All Time 3 point leader and also a 2 Time Champion.  Allen won his 2nd title with Miami in 2013 where he hit the title saving 3 in what many argue is the most clutch Finals 3 ever.  His clutch play in the playoffs helped Allen just get the last spot of this decade, edging out T-Mac (and Vince Carter).  

1990s (Top 5 Players)

Michael Jordan (1984-2003)

- 6 x Titles, 6 x Finals MVP, 5 x MVP, DPOY, ROY

- 14 x All Star, 11 x All NBA, 9 x All Defense

- 10 x Scoring Champ, 3 x Stl Champ

(GOAT)

Hakeem Olajuwon (1984-2002)

- 2 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP, 2 x DPOY

- 12 x All Star, 12 x All NBA, 9 x All Defense

(Top 15 Player Ever) 

Karl Malone (1985-2004)

-  2 x MVP, 2nd All Time Points

- 14 x All Star, 14 x All NBA, 4 x All Defense

(Top 15 Player Ever)

Charles Barkley (1984-2000)

- 1 x MVP, Reb Champ

- 11 x All Star, 11 x All NBA

(Top 25 Player Ever)

Scottie Pippen (1987-2004)

- 6 x Titles, Steal Champ

- 7 x All Star, 7 x All NBA, 10 x All Defense

(Top 30 Player Ever)

The 90s of course had the GOAT Player Michael Jordan, the Greatest Team the 72-10 Title Winning Chicago Bulls and arguably the Greatest Ever Coach too in 11 Time Champion Phil Jackson.

Nobody has ever dominated the NBA Finals year after year the way MJ did and once he reached the top of the mountain, he never let any of his rivals win again.  Malone, Stockton, Barkley, Ewing, Miller and countless more players are ringless because of MJ.  And Hakeem and Clyde only won when he switched to baseball, while Robinson only won in 1999 after Jordan retired again (and after luckily winning the lottery to get Tim Duncan).

Hakeem Olajuwon was clearly the 2nd greatest player from this generation and took full advantage of MJ's first retirement to win back to back titles as well as back to back Finals MVPs, a regular season MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award.  The Rockets 95 title is arguably the most impressive title ever with Hakeem needing to win ALL 4 Series on the Road including beating the Malone/Stockton Jazz in Game 5 on the road, beating the Barkley/KJ Suns in Game 7 on the road (after being down 3-1), embarrassing top seed and MVP David Robinson in the WCF and finally sweeping a young Shaq and Penny Orlando team (who had knocked out MJ's Bulls).

Malone and Barkley were the 2 best Power Forwards ever at the time, each winning MVPs and leading their teams to the Finals.  Malone especially was dominant in the 90s making a record all 10 NBA 1st Teams in the decade (11 straight overall).  He was also the most durable player ever and didn't miss a game due to injury (only suspensions) between 1989-2001...over 1,100 games straight!  You don't get to 2nd All Time in Scoring without showing up to work everyday...

Finally you cant mention the Bulls Dynasty without mentioning Scottie Pippen, the best Small Forward of the 90s and one of the best Defenders in NBA history.  He may be one of the best sidekicks ever, but he proved in 1994 when Jordan retired that he could lead the Bulls to 55 wins and within a game of the Eastern Conference Finals.  He finished 3rd in MVP voting, made 1st Team All NBA and 1st Team All Defense, and he even won the All Star Game MVP. 

1990s (2nd 5 Players)

David Robinson (1989-2003)

- 2 x Titles, 1 x MVP, 1 x DPOY, ROY

- 10 x All Star, 10 x All NBA, 8 x All Defense

(Top 30 Player Ever)

John Stockton (1984-2003)

- All Time Ast & Stl Leader, 9 x Ast Champ

- 10 x All Star, 11 x All NBA, 5 x All Defense

(Top 30 Player Ever)

Patrick Ewing (1985-2002)

- ROY, 11 x All Star

- 7 x All NBA, 3 x All Defense

(Top 40 Player Ever)

Gary Payton (1990-2007)

- 1 x Title, 1 x DPOY, Stl Champ

- 9 x All Star, 9 x All NBA, 9 x All Defense

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Reggie Miller (1987-2005)

- 3rd All Time 3PM, 50/40/90 Club

- 5 x All Star, 3 x All NBA

(Top 60 Player Ever)

David Robinson is one of the most underrated players of All Time and was actually rated even higher than Hakeem in the early 90s and was considered the best Center in the league.  The Admiral could do everything on both sides, averaging 30p/11r/5a in his peak while also posting an NBA record 6.8 combined blocks (4.5 bpg) and steals (2.3 spg) in 1992, showing off his incredible defensive versatility.  He is Top 5 All Time in PER and 2nd only to Jordan EVER in Win Shares per 48!  If he didn't come in to the league so late and if he played a little better in the playoffs, the Admiral would easily be a Top 20 player ever.

Ewing like Robinson was very underrated and if he didn't have to compete with Hakeem/David/Shaq every year then he would have many more accolades and All NBA selections.  A great example is in 1994 when Ewing was 5th in MVP voting but didn't even the make All NBA 3rd Team!   That is because Hakeem was 1st, David 2nd and Shaq 4th and they couldn't switch positions for the All NBA Teams.  

John Stockton and Gary Payton had some great battles and there is no doubt they were the 2 best point guards of the 90s (since Penny's prime was so short).  Payton was the much better scorer and better defender but Stockton the better shooter and of course the better passer.  I have Stockton around the Top 30 players of All Time with Payton around 10 places lower because of all of Stockton's Unbreakable NBA Records including most ever Assists (15,806) and Steals (3,265).

Finally Reggie as mentioned was one of the most clutch shooters ever and growing up in the 90s there was nothing better than an intense physical Knicks Pacers series, with Reggie making some crazy clutch shots and egging on the Madison Square Garden crowd (and Spike Lee in particular).  His 8 pts in 8 seconds to come back from 6 down in front of a shocked MSG is still one of the greatest playoff moments of All Time, as was his Game Winner over MJ to force a Game 7 in the 98 ECF.

1980s (Top 5 Players)

Magic Johnson (1979-1991)

- 5 x Titles, 3 x Finals MVP, 3 x MVP

- 12 x All Star, 10 x All NBA, 4 x Ast Champ

(Top 5 Player Ever)

Larry Bird (1979-1992)

- 3 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 3 x MVP, ROY

- 12 x All Star, 10 x All NBA, 3 x All Defense

(Top 10 Player Ever)

Moses Malone (1976-1995)

- 1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP, 3 x MVP

- 13 x All Star, 8 x All NBA, 6 x Reb Champ

(Top 20 Player Ever)

Julius Erving (1976-1987)

- 2 x Titles, 1 x MVP

- 11 x All Star, 7 x All NBA

(Top 20 Player Ever) 

Isiah Thomas (1981-1994)

- 2 x Titles, 1 x Finals MVP

- 12 x All Star, 5 x All NBA, Ast Champ

(Top 30 Player Ever)

No arguments with the Top 5 guys of the 1980s with Magic (5 titles), Larry (3 titles), Isiah and Dr.J+Moses winning all of the titles of the decade. 

The Showtime Lakers were clearly the Team of the Decade making 8 Finals, winning 5 of them and losing once each to the Celtics, Sixers and Pistons.  Magic was probably the Player of the Decade and was the clear leader of LA winning 3 MVPs and 3 Finals MVPs.  But he had lots of help from Kareem and Worthy as well as Norm Nixon, Jamaal Wilkes, Byron Scott and defensive specialist Michael Cooper forming some of the greatest teams ever.

Bird is also a Top 10 Player All Time and also won 3 MVPs as well as 3 titles in the 80s, playing with multiple Hall of Famers including McHale, Parish, Dennis Johnson, Tiny Archibald and Bill Walton.  Bird actually finished above Magic in MVP voting EVERY year until 1987 when he hit 30 years of age so he has a strong case to be the Player of the Decade too. 

The Lakers and Celtics dominated the decade but you could argue nobody dominated 1 season as much as the 83 Sixers.  They went 65-17, then went 12-1 in the playoffs while sweeping Magic and the Lakers in the Finals.  Moses at the time was the MVP of the team and won 2 MVPs in the 80s (3 overall) but Dr. J is the greatest ever Sixer since he spent more than a decade there, winning MVP and making the All Star Team every year.  Both are Top 20 Legends All Time.

And to close out the decade was Isiah Thomas's Bad Boy Pistons who also swept the Lakers in the Finals, getting revenge for the year before when they lost a heartbreaking Game 7 by 3pts.  That was 1 game after Isiah's famous NBA Finals Record 25 4th quarter points on just 1 leg after he suffered a badly twisted ankle earlier in the game.  This was after also sweeping the Celtics in the 1st round AND beating Jordan's Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals...Isiah is the ONLY legend who can say he beat Magic, Larry AND MJ in the playoffs!  Isiah's backcourt partner Joe Dumars would win Finals MVP in 1989 but the Pistons would repeat again the next year with Thomas getting his well deserved Finals MVP.

1980s (2nd 5 Players)

George Gervin (1976-1986)

- 4 x Scoring Champ

- 9 x All Star, 7 x All NBA

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Kevin McHale (1980-1993)

- 3 x Titles, 6 MOY

- 7 x All Star, All NBA, 6 x All Def

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Clyde Drexler (1983-1998)

1 x NBA Title

10 x All Star, 5 x All NBA

(Top 50 Player Ever)

James Worthy (1982-1994)

- 3 x Titles, 1 x Finals MVP

- 7 x All Star, 2 x All NBA

(Top 60 Player Ever)

Dominique Wilkins (1982-1999)

- Scoring Champ, 2 x Dunk Champ

- 9 x All Star, 7 x All NBA

(Top 60 Player Ever)

The next 5 guys include 2 dynamic scorers George Gervin and Dominique Wilkins and 2 championship sidekicks Kevin McHale and James Worthy.

The Iceman George Gervin is one of the greatest scorers and finishers ever, with his unblockable trademark finger roll.  He won 4 NBA scoring titles after coming over form the ABA, topping out 33ppg in 1980 while earning All NBA 1st Team Honors 5 years in a row. 

And Dominique Wilkins was the most exciting player in the league next to Michael Jordan, winning multiple Slam Dunk contests and scoring 26,668 Career Points over 16 years, good for 14th All Time.  And he had one of the Greatest Playoff Duels of All Time vs Larry Bird in 1988 when he scored a Game 7 record 47 points (to 34 for Larry), but ultimately lost in heartbreaking fashion by just 2 pts at the Boston Garden.   

Worthy and McHale were huge pieces in the Lakers and Celtics Title Teams with Worthy winning Finals MVP in 1988 vs the Pistons when he scored a huge 28 pts in Game 6 to win by 1 and then a monster 36 point, 16 rebound, 10 assist Triple Double in Game 7 - one of the Greatest Finals performances ever.  And McHale was arguably the best Power Forward ever at the time, with unstoppable post moves as well as elite post defense.  He made 6 All Defense Teams and 7 All Star Teams, enjoying his best year in 1987 when he averaged 26 and 10 while making the All NBA 1st Team.  

Finally Clyde Drexler should really be with the 90s guys but I had 11 90s guys and only nine 80s guys and since Clyde was drafted in 1983 and averaged a Career Best 27 ppg in 1988 and 1989, I thought it would be fine to balance out the decades.  Overall, Clyde made 10 All Star Teams, 5 All NBA Teams and made 3 NBA Finals, finally winning a title in 1995 with Hakeem.  

1970s (Top 5 Players)

Kareem Abdul Jabbar (1969-1989)

- 6 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 6 x MVP

- 19 x All Star, 15 x All NBA, 11 x All Defense

-  All Time Leading Scorer, 2 x Scoring Titles

(Top 3 Player Ever)

John Havlicek (1962-1978)

- 8 x Titles, 1 x Finals MVP

- 13 x All Star, 11 x All NBA, 8 x All Defense

(Top 25 Player Ever)

Rick Barry (1965-1980)

- 1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP

- 8 x All Star, 6 x All NBA, Scoring Champ

(Top 40 Player Ever)

Willis Reed (1964-1974)

- 2 x Titles, 2 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP

- 7 x All Star, 5 x All NBA, All Defense

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Walt Frazier (1967-1980)

2 x Titles, 7 x All Star

6 x All NBA, 7 x All Defense

(Top 50 Player Ever)

The 70s was dominated by Big Men, with Kareem the cream of the crop winning 5 of his 6 MVPs during that decade.  Obviously he won 5 of his 6 titles in the 80s with the Showtime Lakers, but the 70s was when Kareem was dominating individually.  And in 1971 with Oscar Robertson, he won MVP, the NBA Title and Finals MVP, averaging 32 ppg and 16 rpg while leading the Bucks to their best ever record 66-16.  

But if you had to pick one Franchise in the 1970s that stood out, it is probably the Knicks who won 2 titles and made 3 Finals lead by Hall of Famers Willis Reed and Walt Frazier.  Nobody can forget one of the greatest Finals moments ever when an injured and hobbled Willis limped back on to the floor at MSG to help stop Wilt and spark the Knicks to their first ever title.  Reed is still the ONLY player to win MVP, All Star MVP, Finals MVP and the Title in the same season.  And Teammate Walt Frazier was one of the greatest 2 way guards ever and like James Worthy above had one of the greatest Finals and Game 7 performances ever scoring 36 points and dishing out an incredible 19 assists to carry the Knicks home in 1970.  

And John Havlicek and Rick Barry were easily the best Small Forwards of the 70s with Hondo leading the Celtics to titles in 1974 and 1976, while Rick Barry carried the Warriors to their 1st ever title in 1975, averaging 30p/6r/6a during the season and 30ppg to sweep the Finals over the Bullets (the 2nd leading Finals scorer was Wilkes who averaged just 11.5 ppg!).  Havlicek had already won 6 titles in the 60s with Bill Russell and overall he won 8 titles,  and made 13 All Star Games, 11 All NBA Teams and 8 All Defensive Teams in one of the most underrated Careers ever.

1970s (2nd 5 Players)

 Bill Walton (1974-1987)

2 x Titles, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP, 6MOY

- 2 x All Star, 2x All NBA, 2 x All Defense

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Dave Cowens (1970-1983)

2 x Titles, 1 x MVP, ROY

- 8 x All Star, 3 x All NBA, 3 x All Defense

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Elvin Hayes (1968-1984)

1 x Title, Scoring Champ, Reb Champ

- 12 x All Star, 6 x All NBA, 2 x All Defense

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Wes Unseld (1968-1981)

1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP, 1 x MVP, ROY

- 5 x All Star, All NBA, Reb Champ

(Top 70 Player Ever)

Pete Maravich (1970-1980)

- 5 x All Star, 4 x All NBA, Scoring Champ

(NCAA Div 1 All Time Leader Pts)

(Top 75 Player Ever)

The next 5 include 4 Hall of Fame Centers and a Flashy Combo guard with insane handles, vision and shooting ability. 

First up the Big Men.  No doubt the 70s produced more Hall of Fame Big Men then any other era.  After the Knicks, Lakers and Bucks dominated the early 70s, the Celtics found their replacement for Bill Russell, with the equally defensive minded Cowens displaying Russell like leadership qualities to lead Boston back to championship glory in 1974 and 1976.

Then Walton and the Unseld/Hayes Big Man Combo won titles in the late 70s winning the Blazers and Washington Bullets their first and only titles.  Elvin Hayes was the only player to make all 10 All Star Games in the 70s and is 11th All Time in scoring, while Wes Unseld is still the only player along with Wilt Chamberlain to win the MVP as a rookie.

Walton was one of the greatest ever players coming out of college but chronic foot injuries ruined his Hall of Fame Career.  He was healthy enough for a few elite prime years in the late 70s - enough to win an MVP and a title during 'Blazer Mania' when they beat Dr.J's Sixers in 1977.  And then he helped Boston to another title in 1986, winning the 6th Man of the Year Award.

Finally Pistol Pete was literally the 70s version of Steph Curry.  Insane handles and unlimited range were two of his specialties and some of his moves and passes would be legendary even if done today.  He averaged 25 ppg over 10 seasons with the Jazz and Hawks, topping out at 31.1 ppg in 1977 while making 4 All NBA Teams and 5 All Star Teams.  He didn't enjoy much playoff success and some people may question this pick but I think the Pistol was an important part of NBA history and a pioneer of the modern game so I believe deserves his place among the 75.  

1950s/1960s (Top 5 Players)

Bill Russell (1956-1969)

11 x Title, 5 x MVP, 12 x All Star

11 x  All NBA,  4 x Reb Champ

(Top 10 Player Ever)

Wilt Chamberlain

2 x Titles, Finals MVP, 4 x MVP, ROY

13 x All Star, 10 x All NBA, 2 x All Defense

7 x Scoring Champ, 11 x Reb Champ, Ast Champ

(Top 10 Player Ever)

Oscar Robertson

1 x Title, 1 x MVP, ROY, 6 x Ast Champ

12 x All Star, 11 x All NBA, 

(Top 15 Player Ever)

Jerry West

1 x Title, 1 x Finals MVP

14 x All Star, 12 x All NBA, 5 x All Def

(Top 20 Player Ever)

Elgin Baylor

ROY, 11 x All Star

10 x All NBA 1st Team 

(Top 25 Player Ever)

The 60s is lead of course by Russell and Wilt who won a combined 8 of the 10 MVPs of the decade and ALL 10 titles, with Russell winning 9 of them!

Wilt dominated statistically with his 50 ppg 26 rpg season, his 100 point game and many other unbelievable records including averaging over 48 minutes for a whole season, never fouling out of a game and being the only Center to lead the NBA in assists.  He finally won his title in 1967 after joining a Sixer team with Hall of Famers Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham and Chet Walker.  Wilt would win a 2nd title in 1972 with Jerry West and the Lakers, winning Finals MVP for the 2nd time.

But it was Russell who stopped Wilt year after year, winning an incredible 11 titles including 8 straight in the late 50s and 60s.  He won 5 MVPs and probably would have won 9 or 10 Finals MVPs and 9 or 10 DPOYs as well if they had awarded it back then.       

The Big O Oscar Robertson was the only player who managed to win MVP during Wilt and Russell's prime, winning in 1964 when he averaged a virtual triple double 31.1 ppg, 11rpg and 9.9 apg.  He would also finally get his title after teaming up with Kareem in the early 70s in Milwaukee.  

But nobody suffered more heartache then Lakers Duo Jerry West and Elgin Baylor who lost year after year to Russell and the Celtics.  Both were unstoppable scorers with Baylor making 9 All NBA 1st Teams and West making 10.  But they could not win with West going 1-9 in the Finals before his single win against the Knicks after Russell retired.  And Baylor fared even worse going 0-7 in the Finals and in a cruel twist of fate, the Lakers finally won the title the same year Elgin retired during the season due to injury. 

1950s/60s (2nd 5 Players)

Bob Pettit

1 x Title, 2 x MVP, ROY

11 x All Star, 11 x All NBA

(Top 30 Player Ever)

Bob Cousy

6 x Titles, MVP, 8 x Ast Champ

13 x All Star, 12 x All NBA

(Top 40 Player Ever)

Sam Jones 

10 x Titles

5 x All Star, 3 x All NBA

(Top 50 Player Ever)

George Mikan

5 x Titles, 3 x Scoring Champ

6 x All NBA (BAA), Reb Champ

(Top 50 Player Ever)

Hal Greer

1 x Title, 1 x AS MVP

- 10 x All Star, 7 x All NBA

(Top 70 Player Ever)

The last 5 guys include Wilt's best teammate, a pair of Russell's teammates and a pair of 50s stars who dominated the league during its early years. 

Bob Cousy was the star of the Celtics before Russell arrived winning MVP in 1957 and making the All Star Team all 13 years that he played.  And Sam Jones was Russell's running mate for all 9 of their titles in the 60s, making countless clutch shots and leading them in scoring in multiple Finals.  

Hal Greer gets the last spot on this decade's list and it was a tough choice between him and other players who made the Top 50 Players from his era such as teammate Billy Cunningham and Big Men Jerry Lucas and Nate Thurmond.  Greer gets the nod for his leading role in Wilt's title, his consistency leading his team in scoring every year and for making 9 straight All Star Games and 7 straight All NBA Teams in the 60s. 

And finally George Mikan and Bob Pettit, along with Bob Cousy were easily the best 3 players of the 50s.  Admittedly I did not include other 50s players (most notably Dolph Schayes) as I did not think the talent, competition and depth of the league was at a high enough standard (most of the best players were not in the NBA yet) and there were just too many other modern great players that were hard to leave out.  But you can't leave out Mikan or Pettit. 

Mikan literally started it all and dominated the first half of the decade winning 4 of the first 5 titles and leading the league in scoring and rebounding on multiple occasions.  Bob Pettit then took over, winning 2 MVPs in the late 50s, and making 11 straight All NBA and All Star Teams.  Pettit would get his only title in 1958 when he famously scored 50 pts in Game 6 (exactly what Giannis just did) to beat Russell's Celtics 4-2 - the only time Bill lost in the Finals.

10 Leading 'Sidekicks'

So after selecting 10 players from each of the decades, I will now pick 10 players on Championship Teams who were essential to them winning a title. 

Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker 

   

Both - 4 x NBA Champ)

Parker - 6 x All Star. 4 x All NBA, FMVP

Ginobili - 2 x All Star, 2 x All NBA, 6MOY

First up is Spurs Backcourt Duo Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, 2 of the most underrated players of All Time and key contributors on 4 Title Winning Teams.  Nobody would argue that both players could have had much better stats and more individual accolades if they weren't so unselfish and didn't play in Pop's teamwork orientated offense. 

Manu in particular easily could have been a Top 10 Player in the league and averaged 25+ppg if he was given the opportunity, but he sacrificed his own stats to do what's best for the Team and became the best 6th Man of All Time instead.  He carried the Spurs home in Game 7 and arguably should have won the 2005 Finals MVP (Duncan narrowly won the votes 6 to 4) and you will not find a better competitor in the history of the NBA, as confirmed by legends such as Kobe Bryant and Pop himself.  Manu just HAS to be on this list.  

And Parker DID actually win the Finals MVP in 2007 and doesn't get enough credit for leading the team in scoring most years after 2006 while keeping them at the top of the league, allowing Duncan to conserve some energy for another long playoff run.

Overall, Parker is 11th ALL TIME in Playoff Scoring, 5th in Assists and 6th in Playoff Wins, while Manu is 25th in Points, 10th in Steals, 7th in 3 Pointers and 8th in Playoff Wins.  Along with the 4 titles, these are more than worthy numbers for a Top 75 Player ever.

Klay Thompson and Draymond Green

Both - 3 Titles (5 straight Finals)

Klay - 5 x All Star, 2 x All NBA, All Def

Draymond - 3 x All Star, 2 x All NBA 

                  - DPOY, 6 x All Defense

Next up Dubs Duo Klay and Dray, again 2 key components of one of the Greatest Teams ever - the 2015-2019 Golden State Warriors who made the Finals 5 years straight, winning 3 titles.

Klay Thompson in my opinion has the sweetest shooting stroke ever and is the 2nd greatest pure shooter ever behind fellow Splash Bro Steph Curry.  He has some insane ALL TIME records including 14 3 pointers in a game, 60 points on just 11 dribbles and a mind boggling 37 points in a single quarter.  Klay does things other Superstars cannot do and as a Triple Champion and one of the greatest shooters ever, I think Klay has earned his place on this list.

And like Manu and Tony with the Spurs, it is just unfair to mention or include one without the other.  Draymond was probably an even more important piece to the Warriors success than Klay - especially in 2017 and 2018 when they also had KD to score the ball with Steph.  And he is one of the few players that gets better the more important the situation, so it is no surprise that his best ever playoff game (32 pts, 15 reb, 9 ast) happened to be Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Many people don't realize that during the 2016-2019 Playoffs, for 4 straight Finals runs Draymond Green lead the the Warriors in Rebounds, Assists, Steals AND Blocks every single year!  That is 4 of the 5 main categories!  Draymond was basically running one of the greatest offenses EVER while leading in rebounding AND anchoring the defense too! 

So as one of the Greatest Defenders, Leaders and Playmaking Forwards of All Time, as well as being the heart and soul of one of the Greatest Teams Ever, Draymond has done just enough to make one of the last spots of my Top 75 Players.

Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving

 

Both - 1 Title each with LeBron

AD - 8 x All Star, 4 x All NBA, 4 x All Def

Kyrie - 7 x All Star, 3 x All NBA, ROY

Now comes 2 of LeBron's greatest ever teammates (with Wade of course) and huge pieces to half of LeBron's title winning teams.  

Firstly many people will question Kyrie's place on this list but he is truly one of the most gifted and skilled basketball players ever.  And he comes to play in the biggest games and biggest moments.  41 points in Game 5 of the Finals (after 30 and 34 pts in Gms 3 and 4) when 3-1 down as a SIDEKICK to LeBron is insane.  How many times can you say a sidekick clearly outplayed a Unanimous MVP (Curry) and outscored him in BOTH Finals that they played? Not to mention making the Game 7 Clutch Title Winning 3! 

People don't realize that Kyrie is 5th in Finals PPG since the NBA Merger in 1975 (and 8th overall), behind only Jordan, Shaq, Durant and LeBron!  That is some serious company and for being such an important piece to shaping LeBron's legacy, I believe Kyrie should be on this list and he will prove it in the coming years with the Nets.     

As for AD, he is clearly an even better overall player than Kyrie and it is actually wrong and insulting to call him LeBron's Title Winning sidekick considering during the regular season he lead the Lakers in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, PER, Win Shares AND was their best defender and rim protector AND even the best Free Throw Shooter! 

Like Kyrie AD is 7th on the All Time Playoff ppg list at 27.3ppg and 4th All Time in Playoff PER behind only Jordan, George Mikan and LeBron!  AD may not have played enough years to merit inclusion on this list yet, but his talent and ability is undeniable and after winning a title playing the way he did, I think it is more than fair to call him a Top 75 player ever.

Dave DeBuscherre and Earl Monroe

DeBusschere - 2 Titles, 8 x All Star, 6 x All Def

Monroe - 1 Title, 4 x All Star, ROY

Now we go way back to the early 70s for the next duo, Knicks legends Dave DeBuscherre and Earl 'The Pearl' Monroe who both made the Original Top 50 list and were 2 key pieces to the greatest Knicks Team of All Time. 

Tough as nails DeBuscherre was a 2 time champion, 8 time All Star and 6 Time All Defensive member (would have been more if they awarded Defense Teams in the 60s).  He was so good that he made the All Star Team every year he was with the Knicks (even though they also had Willis Reed and Walt Frazier) and he was a consistent double double machine while being perhaps the best Defensive Forward ever before the NBA Merger in 1976. 

And 'Black Jesus' Earl Monroe was a legend and had moves and handles that had never been seen before.  Hesitation dribbles, pump fakes, spin moves, you name the move and Pearl probably did it first.  He may not have the most impressive Individual Resume amongst the Top 75 but like many of the last 10 players he sacrificed stats to become a Champion.  There is no doubt he was a Pioneer for so many NBA moves that you see today and deserves his place for being one of the most skilled and exciting guards of All Time.     

Pau Gasol and Dennis Rodman

Gasol - 2 Titles, 6 x All STAR, 4 x All NBA, ROY

Rodman - 5 Titles, 2 x All Star, 2 x All NBA

              - 2 x DPOY, 8 x All Def, 7 x Reb Champ

The last 2 title contributors were both part of Multiple Title Winning Teams, both played for Phil Jackson and both played with the 2 greatest Shooting Guards of All Time - Dennis with Jordan and of course Pau with Kobe. 

Firstly Pau who of course was the Robin to Kobe's Batman while winning back to back titles in 2009 and 2010.  He clearly outplayed KG in the 2010 Finals and had a huge 19pts/18reb double double to help win Game 7.  Pau made 6 All Star Teams and 4 All NBA Teams and is quite clearly the 2nd greatest European Player ever to play in the NBA after Dirk.  That point alone merits inclusion to this list.  

Finally Dennis the Menace gets in for being the Greatest Pound for Pound Rebounder of All Time as well as one of the greatest Defenders ever and of course a 5 Time Champion.  He was a key part of the Bad Boy Pistons winning 2 Defensive Player of the Year Awards and 2 titles before winning 7 straight rebounding titles and joining the Bulls for another 3 Peat.  

Special Honorable Mention

Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Nate 'Tiny' Archibald

It was extremely hard to leave out these 3 especially since they were all key components on Title Winning Teams, with DJ even winning a Finals MVP with the Sonics in 1979.  But DJ didn't even make the original 50 players and the only snubbed player I made an exception to add to the list was Dominique Wilkins.  'Tiny' Archibald and The 'Chief' did make the Top 50 with Tiny still the only player ever to lead the league in Points and Assists in the same year while Parish made 9 All Star Teams and played over 1600 games.  Definitely 2 of the tougher omissions from this list.

The Final 5

Now we're down to the Final 5 and admittedly when it was a close call I leaned towards more modern players because the talent pool and level of competition was slightly higher than before the NBA / ABA Merger and also because I actually watched these players throughout their whole Careers. 

I already included 10 players from each era to make sure there was a fair spread and representation from every generation and I already included 10 key contributors to Title teams to reward Team Success. So now for the Final 5, I will choose 5 unbelievably talented individual players who just may not have had the team success of most others on this list.  

          

Tracy McGrady

7 x All Star, 7 x All NBA

2 x Scoring Champ, M.I.P

(Top 60 Player)

First up T-Mac who in my opinion is the easiest choice of the 5 and actually I think he is easily in the Top 60 actually but he just missed out the Top 10 of his Era and wasn't a sidekick to a title team so he ends up here.  

In terms of pure talent T-Mac would be ranked even higher and would be Top 5 of his Era but injuries and a lack of Playoff Success (he never lead his team out of the 1st round) clearly impacted his All Time Ranking.  He made 7 All NBA Teams, 7 All Star Teams and won 2 scoring titles.  The only other retired players to make more than 7 All NBA Teams and win 2 scoring titles are Wilt, Kareem, Jordan, Shaq, Iverson and Kobe.  That is quite an elite list for T-Mac to be a part of and there is no doubt he was a bonafide superstar in his prime, even more than other players like Paul Pierce and Ray Allen who are ranked ahead of him because of Team/Playoff success. 

T-Mac also has some all time memorable moments such as a record 13 pts in 35 seconds, including 3 three pointers and a 4 point play to lead the Rockets to a huge comeback win over the Spurs.  He scored over 18,000 Career pts with 7 straight seasons over 24ppg, including a Career High over 32 ppg in 2003 - which was one of the greatest individual seasons of the modern era.  

Vince Carter

8 x All Star, 2 x All NBA, ROY

Most Seasons Played (22)

(Top 70 Player)

Next is T-Mac's cousin Vince Carter who was an even bigger star than McGrady in the early 2000s.  He won the 2001 Slam Dunk contest in spectacular fashion which elevated him to 'Greatest Dunker Ever' Status and he also has some of the greatest In-Game Dunks and Alley Oops of all time too.

But unlike what some young people think, Vince was not just a high flyer.  He had one of the smoothest floor games and pull up jump shots of All Time, with a mean fade away jumper as well.  Vince was also a great 3 point shooter, making 2,290 Career 3 Pointers - good for 6th in NBA History.

And Vince was one of the most clutch players of All Time and could always be relied upon when the game was on the line.  He had 31 Game Winners in his Career, SECOND ALL TIME only to Kobe!  Among those, he had Five 3 Point Game Winning Buzzer Beaters and 3 Buzzer Beaters from 30+ feet out, which are both 1st All Time!  

Add in the fact he is the greatest Dunker ever and is the ONLY Player in NBA History to play 22 seasons over FOUR DECADES, then it is clear that 'Vinsanity' was an important part of NBA History and deserves his place on this list.

Carmelo Anthony

10 x All Star, 6 x All NBA

Top 10 Scorer All Time, Scoring Champ

(Top 70 Player)

Carmelo Anthony may not have won a title (yet), but one thing Melo could do as well as anyone in history is put the ball in the basket.  He averaged 20+ pts a remarkable 14 years in a row with 9 of those years over 25+ppg, including 28.7ppg when he won the Scoring Title in 2013 and finished 3rd in MVP voting to only LeBron and Durant.

There are quite a few other scoring specialists who did not come close to winning a championship like Bernard King, Alex English and Adrian Dantley, and you could argue their case as well.  But I only had room for one of them and I think Melo clearly deserves it the most.  He is after all 10th on the ALL TIME Scoring List with over 27,000 pts and will pass Moses for 9th very soon.  And by the time his Career is done he could be in 8th place over Shaq and behind only Legends Kareem, Karl Malone, LeBron, Kobe, Jordan, Dirk and Wilt!  Keeping company with those Hall of Famers while making 10 All Star Teams and 6 All NBA Teams should be Top 75 worthy in anyone's book.     

Damian Lillard 

6 x All Star, 6 x All NBA, ROY

Best Playoff Game Ever Played (55p/10a/12 3P)

(Top 75 Player Ever)

This selection may seem a bit premature, but Damian Lillard on ability alone is simply one of the best Point Guards and Scorers of All Time.

He is 7th All Time in 50 Point Games with 12, behind only Wilt, Jordan, Kobe, Harden Baylor and Rick Barry.  That's ahead of some of the greatet scorers ever like Kareem, Iverson, Curry and it is double the 50 pt games Durant has and 4 times the amount Shaq and Dwyane Wade have!   He also has the 2nd most 50pt/10 assist games ever and for 60 pt games, only Wilt, Jordan, Kobe and Harden are ahead.

And in terms of Game Score, only Jordan and Harden have more Top 100 Games than Lillard who has 6 (double the Top 100 Games as LeBron!).  And it's not just the regular season, Lillard just had the GREATEST Playoff Game according to Game Score this past year when he had an incredible line of 55p/10a/6r/3bk/1st and an All Time Playoff Record TWELVE 3pointers!  He also had 0 fouls and just 1 Turnover and had insane 71/71/90% shooting splits for a record Game Score of 55.9.  For comparison LeBron's best ever Playoff Game Score is 44.7, Kobe 43.6, Shaq 41.4 and Duncan 40.8.

And everyone knows about Dame Time with Lillard being one of the most clutch players of All Time as well as one of the greatest long range shooters ever with Curry.  Dame is also the ONLY player in NBA History with 2 Walk Off 3 Pointers to win a Playoff Series and his 36 foot bomb in PG13s face to send OKC packing was quite simply one of the greatest shots ever. 

These are some historical achievements, then throw in 6 All Star and 6 All NBA Selections, a Rookie of the Year and almost 17,000 points, and it becomes more and more clear that Lillard has already earned his place on this list. 

Nikola Jokic

MVP, 3 x All Star, 3 x All NBA

Top 10 PER Season Ever

(Top 75 Player Ever)

Finally the last guy to make my list might be the most controversial, only because of the fact he is still only 26 and nobody else under 29 except Giannis was considered for this list.  

But make no mistake Nikola Jokic at this early stage of his Career is already an NBA Legend.  He is without a doubt the greatest passing Big Man we have ever seen in history and he is already 9th All Time in Triple Doubles (and should be 7th very soon).  

He just won MVP and had insane numbers of 26.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 8.3 apg while shooting 57/39/87% for a PER of 31.3 which is the 10th greatest individual season of All Time behind only Giannis, Wilt, Jordan, LeBron and Curry's unanimous MVP season. 

And as a measure on how good he is, Jokic gets even better in the playoffs.  He has lead Denver out of the 1st round 3 straight years including to the WCF in 2020 and he is FOURTH ALL TIME in Playoff PER (27.5) behind only Jordan, Mikan and LeBron!  Shaq, Hakeem, Giannis, KD, Duncan and Kawhi round out the Top 10 ALL TIME and Jokic is ahead of all of them so that says a lot about the level of player he is.

Sure I agree it is slightly early to put Jokic on this list, but he is right there with an MVP, 2 First Team All NBA Selections (plus a 2nd Team) and some incredible individual stats in the regular season AND playoffs.  So even if he has not played enough years yet, he will for sure be on this list in the very near future and no doubt he is on his way to being an All Time Great.  I want to be able to look back on this list in a couple years and still have the right players listed and I am almost 100% sure that Jokic will safely be on this list, so I am happy to include him now.  

Snubs

Now for my 50 snubs which are separated into 3 categories.  Firstly the players that made the original 50 but did not make this list, then the players who had a short peak or had their career cut short due to injuries and finally other players who just missed out for whatever reason. 

Top 50 Snubs

Dolph Schayes, Paul Arizin, Bill Sharman, Nate Thurmond, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry Lucas, Dave Bing, Billy Cunningham, Tiny Archibald, Robert Parish 

It is quite harsh to take away some Top 50 Legends and all of these 10 players have a case to stay in the Top 75, but something had to give.

50s stars Schayes, Arizin and Sharman dominated their time but the talent level, depth and competition was very weak in comparison to all the other eras and many of the best players were not playing in the NBA yet.  So I decided to replace them with 3 current players (Carmelo, Dame and Jokic) and only keep the 3 best stars from the 1950s - George Mikan, Bob Pettit and Bob Cousy.  

60s Big Men Nate Thurmond and Jerry Lucas were really great players and I wish I had room to put them in but I went with 2 modern players who were big parts of multiple title winning teams - Pau Gasol and Dennis Rodman.  Similarly with Cunningham and Bing, I replaced them with Parker and Ginobili because of their huge role in one of the greatest Dynasties in sports.  I also replaced 60s All Star Point Guard Lenny Wilkens with Kyrie Irving who I think has already passed him in individual and team accolades.  

Finally it feels bad to also leave out Celtics Champions Tiny Archibald and Robert Parish but I went with Warriors Champion Duo Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.  Steph, Klay and Draymond have played their whole Career together, made 5 straight Finals together and formed one of the Greatest Ever Teams together, so in my opinion they also all deserve to be on this list TOGETHER. 

Short Peak / Injured Snubs

Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Derrick Rose, Chris Webber, Chris Bosh, Shawn Kemp, Amare Stoudemire, Yao Ming, Jermaine O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Gilbert Arenas, Brandon Roy, Bernard King, Bob McAdoo, Drazen Petrovic, Maurice Stokes.

Leading this list has to be Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway and Derrick Rose who were all Mega Stars who dominated the league but suffered chronic injuries that would make them never the same again.  All were MVP calibre, with Rose actually winning the MVP in 2011 and Penny/Hill MVP candidates for a few years in the Mid 90s.  

Big Men Yao Ming, Chris Webber, Amare Stoudemire, Shawn Kemp, Alonzo Mourning, Jermaine O'Neal and Chris Bosh all still had great Careers with Yao and Alonzo even making the HOF and Bosh and C-Webb just getting in this past month.  But all of them could have had much longer peaks if not for injuries, other health issues (e.g. Alonzo's Kidney and Bosh's Blood Clots) and in Shawn Kemp's situation cocaine/alcohol addiction and weight problems.  

Gilbert Arenas and Brandon Roy, like Derrick Rose were the future guards of the league but knee injuries robbed us of seeing them reach their full potential. 

Old legends and 2 of the best scorers ever Bernard King and Bob McAdoo also suffered a variety of serious leg injuries which derailed their career.  But McAdoo still managed to win an MVP, 3 scoring titles and 2 championships and King also won a scoring title and made 4 All NBA Teams.  Both players were still enshrined in the Hall Of Fame showing how great they were.  

Finally Drazen Petrovic and Maurice Stokes are 2 of the saddest what if stories in NBA History.  Petrovic was the greatest ever player from Europe and a budding superstar in the NBA before a tragic car accident after just his 4th season and just weeks after making his 1st All NBA Team.  And 1956 ROY Stokes was an incredible all around player, leading the league in rebounds and dishing more assists then anyone except Cousy.  He made the All Star Team and All NBA Team in each of his first 3 years in the league before a horrific accident on court where he hit his head left him paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.  His story and friendship with teammate Jack Twyman who became his legal guardian after the injury is one of the Greatest Stories in all of sports.  

Other Snubs 

Adrian Dantley, Alex English, Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson, Mark Price, Chris Mullin, Joe Dumars, Dikembe Mutombo, Sidney Moncrief Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Bobby Jones, Paul Westphal, Connie Hawkins, Spencer Haywood, Jojo White, Bob Lanier, Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, Walt Bellamy, Jamaal Wilkes, Gail Goodrich, Neil Johnston.

Finally these snubs who were mostly Hall of Famers were all great players but just missed out as well.  I can't go through all of these snubs as well but thought they deserved to be mentioned as they were part of the Final Pool of Considerations.  

So that's it, my 75 Greatest Ever Players done!  Below is a summary of the 75, split up into Tiers.  

Tier 1 Top 15 Iconic Legends

Jordan, LeBron, Abdul Jabbar, Kobe, Magic, Bird, Duncan, Russell, Shaq, Wilt, Hakeem, Curry, Durant, Oscar, West

Tier 2 Generational Talents

K.Malone, M.Malone, Dr. J, Wade, Nowitzki, Garnett, Barkley, Baylor, Havlicek, Giannis, Pippen, Robinson, Kawhi, Pettit

Tier 3 Greatest Playmakers

Stockton, I.Thomas, Iverson, Harden, Paul, Westbrook, Kidd, Nash, Cousy,

Tier 4 Top 50 Players Ever

Barry, Ewing, Payton, Reed, Frazier, Gervin, McHale, Hayes, Drexler, Walton, Mikan, S.Jones 

Tier 5 1st Ballot Hall Of Famers

Pierce, Allen, Miller, Worthy, Wilkins, T-Mac, DeBusschere, Howard, A.Davis, Unseld, Carmelo

Tier 6 Secondary Stars (and 1 Current MVP)

Greer, Monroe, Ginobili, Parker, Gasol, Carter, Klay, Rodman, Kyrie, Lillard, Maravich, D.Green and N.Jokic  

 

Thanks for reading!  Follow my Instagram @startingvbasketball for daily posts  on Player Rankings, Comparisons and All Time Teams and learn all about NBA History!   

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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