Top 10 Greatest Basketball Players of All-Time

There are so many legends when it comes to the sport of basketball, how can we possibly pick the top ten of all-time!?

Usually, these types of pieces are just one person’s opinion. And then when you read it there are a ton of people that are upset because they didn’t include their favorite player. So instead, I took the opinions of many people and compiled this list from the average amount of times each player appeared in the different top ten ranks.

Unfortunately, we can’t make every person happy when it comes to these posts, but here are ten of the all-time superstars of basketball.

10) Tim Duncan

The forty-four-year-old is a three-time NBA Finals MVP who is from San Antonio, Texas (although he was born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands). His first accomplishments at the very start of his NBA career include being the Spur’s first pick and earning the title of Rookie of the Year. He was named an All-Star for thirteen straight years from 98-2011. He also won the NBA Championship five times! In 2004, he realized his dream by playing for the national team in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

 

9) Larry Bird

Larry Bird helped the Boston Celtics win the Atlantic Division crown ten times and also led the team to win three NBA Championships. He also led the entire NBA league in highest free-throw percentage. He was also the first-ever (non-center) player to win three consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Awards. Bird won the NBA Finals MVP award twice and he was a twelve-time All-Star. He also was a crowd favorite with his mesmerizing last-minute feats of backward lay-ups and jumping over multiple defenders to deliver a game-winning shot.

 

8) Shaquille O’Neal

Along with another top ten NBA player Kobe Bryant, O’Neal led the Lakers to three NBA Championships in a row during his eight years with the team. O’Neal also won the Finals MVP title three times! He also won the regular-season MVP award and was almost the first player to win the award unanimously (he was just one vote short of accomplishing the feat). O’Neal also led the entire league with the scoring title. He was so good that teams would plan their entire game strategy around his skills, but it still wasn’t usually good enough to defeat the skills of this legend.

 

7) Kobe Bryant

We lost this amazing athlete this year in a tragic accident, but his legendary basketball career will be remembered forever. He was an All-Star eighteen times and during his twenty-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he won the NBA Championship five times! Bryant was also the scoring champion two times and was a two-time Olympic gold medalist. In his final NBA game, he scored sixty points! In December of 2017, he was given the honor of having both of his Laker jerseys hung up on banners in the Staples Center to commemorate his legendary career playing for the Lakers.

 

6) Wilt Chamberlain

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the over seven feet tall center won two NBA Championships (one with the Philadelphia 76ers and one with the Los Angeles Lakers) and was the NBA MVP four times. He also was an NBA All-Star thirteen times. Chamberlain was so talented that NBA rules were actually changed because he had too much of an advantage over his competitors. He also holds the all-time record for number of rebounds (that number is 23,924!)

 

5) Bill Russell

He played his entire career (thirteen seasons) with the Boston Celtics. Of that time, he was an eleven-time NBA Champion (he still holds this record for the most amount of NBA Championship rings), a five-time NBA MVP, and a twelve-time NBA All-Star. The 6’10” center from Louisiana also won two NBA Championships when he was also the head coach of the Celtics. Although he wasn’t picked by the Celtics in the NBA draft (a couple of trades had to happen for them to get him) he was picked second overall.

 

4) Magic Johnson

Earvin “Magic” Johnson won five NBA Championships during his career. He is also an Olympic gold medalist and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. Johnson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (the highest honor a basketball player can receive). In the 1986-1987 season, he averaged 23.9 points (his career-high) and his highest-scoring game with forty-six points was also in 1986 (he passed the forty-point threshold ten times throughout his career).

 

3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar held five records when he retired and his stats are still absolutely incredible. He was Rookie of the Year, a six-time NBA MVP, a six-time NBA Champion, and a 19-time All-Star. Abdul-Jabbar retired at the older age (at least by athlete standards) of 42, but even at the older age, the younger players couldn’t handle his skills. This was due to his talent and also his fitness regimen that put him ahead of his time in physical capabilities. He even trademarked his own move called the “sky-hook”.

 

2) LeBron James

The four-time NBA Champion has one of the most well-known names in basketball. His accomplishments include being the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Before he even played a single NBA game he accepted a crazy $90 million endorsement deal with Nike. But he lived up to the expectations put on him by winning Rookie of the Year among setting other records for the Cavaliers. He played for Miami too, then went back to the Cavaliers but eventually signed with the Lakers where he just won another NBA Championship. His accomplishments also include two gold and one bronze Olympic medals.

 

1) Michael Jordan

Where do we even begin with this all-time basketball superstar!? He won six NBA Championships, was Rookie of the Year, a fourteen-time NBA All-Star, a six-time NBA Finals MVP, and has ten scoring titles! Though he tried to retire twice, his final season was the 2002-2003 season. Funny enough, he was cut from his high school varsity basketball team in his sophomore year, but then went on to become the greatest basketball player of all time!

 

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