ESPN has recently revealed its controversial top 74 NBA players of all time. The criticism and hatred towards the sports media network have accumulated since then apparently because people have disagreed with the unreasonable rankings of some players. The list has many disputed picks; however, we will only take a look at the top 10 and share our list. While the NBA is still on hiatus, you can register for the best betting platform and get prepared for its return.
10. Tim Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon
We simply couldn’t decide which of these greats we should leave out of the top 10 and we decided to honor them by ranking Duncan as 10A and Olajuwon as 10B. Duncan and Olajuwon have finessed their post-game and they knew exactly how to use the fundamentals of basketball to have a long career. While the 5-time-champion Duncan has the nickname “The Big Fundamental”, the 2-time-champion Hakeem earned the nickname “The Dream” thanks to his grace both on and off the court. When he performed his move “The Dream Shake”, he was just as elegant as a ballerina dancing to Swan Lake. Some say Hakeem could have much won many other titles if he hadn’t faced His Airness. Who knows?
9. Larry Bird
The rivalry between Bird’s Celtics and Magic’s Lakers certainly revolutionized the NBA. Bird was simply ahead of his time. He was knocking threes, getting boards, making flashy assists, and performing in the crunch time just as good as anybody in the business. The 5-time-champion forward averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game throughout his career.
8. Wilt Chamberlain
Chamberlain can be the most dominant player of all time. He holds many unbreakable records, the famous of which is scoring 100 points in a single game. There is even a season where he averaged 50 points a game. The man was a beast and you can easily think he was unstoppable. However, there was one guy that stopped him from getting chips. That man and his team prevented the 2-time-champion Chamberlain from winning more titles and ranking higher on this list.
7. Shaquille O’Neal
If there is one guy that might be more dominant than Chamberlain, it’s “The Diesel”. Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000s was unstoppable. He and the late Kobe Bryant won 3 titles. If the greatest one-two punch ever had got along better, they would have easily won more. Shaq won one other title with D-Wade in Miami; however, despite having played with other great teams later in his career, he couldn’t extend his ring collection. He was unfortunately ranked 10 in ESPN’s list of best NBA players.
6. Bill Russell
We already mentioned his name when we talked about Wilt. Russell is easily the greatest winner in NBA history. He and Celtics won 11 titles in 13 years and created one of the biggest dynasties. Having averaged 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game, he earned 5 MVPs and 11-All NBA selections. The blocks were not counted back in his days. There is no question he would be on top of the all-time blocks list if they had been counted.
5. Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson was the LeBron before LeBron. The 6-foot-9 point guard played center in the finals in the absence of Kareem Abdul Jabbar only in his rookie season. He won the title and was named the FMVP that year. His rivalry with Bird made the NBA greater than it was before and he truly revolutionized the game. The greatest point-guard ever was a triple-double machine. His flashy assists were the core of the “Showtime” Lakers. He appeared in 9 NBA Finals and he won 5 titles.
4. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Kareem Abdul Jabbar has legitimate reasons to be in the G.O.A.T. talks. He played 20 seasons, averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He is also the all-time leading scorer with a total of 38.387 points. In his long career, he managed to earn 6 MVPs. He was named to 15 All-NBA teams. He has also 19 All-Star appearances. The 6-time-champion is just good as anybody on this list. If you want to learn more about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, you can take a look at his biography.
3. Kobe Bryant
We can argue how unfair of ESPN to rank Kobe 9 and refute their excuses all day long. However, we just want the numbers to speak for themselves. The late Kobe Bryant went to the NBA straight from high-school. In his first two years, he couldn’t get the minutes he deserved. His last years in the NBA were cursed with terrible injuries. That’s why his averages took a toll not to mention that he played several years with the most dominant player of all time and he couldn’t get the touches he wanted. Let alone the average points per game. The man won 5 titles, earned two FMVPs, scored 81 in a game, averaged 35.4 points a game in one of the slowest paced seasons ever, spent 20 seasons in purple & gold uniform, and finished his career as the greatest Laker ever. He was the closest thing to Michael, period.
2. LeBron James
While Kobe Bryant was the closest thing to Michael Jordan, LeBron had his own path. The King is the only active player on this list. We cannot know for sure if he will dethrone His Airness. What we know is that the 4-time MVP and 3-time champion is pursuing another championship in his 17th season. If you are wondering when you will be able to see LeBron on the court again, check out our article to learn when the major sports restart will start.
1. Michael Jordan
Air Jordan cannot be dethroned. He is easily the greatest player of all time. He led his team to 6 championships and earned 6 FMVPs. He had two three-peats, ten scoring titles, one DPOY, 14 All-Star appearances, 11 All-NBA selections, 5 regular season MVPs. What can we say more? If you didn’t watch him live, go and watch the Last Dance. You will understand why he is untouchable.