The 1990s were a thrilling decade for the National Basketball Association (NBA), with many talented players taking the court and leaving their mark on the league. Here are the 10 best NBA players of the 1990s, in no particular order:
Michael Jordan: 30.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.3 apg
Perhaps the most iconic player in NBA history, Jordan dominated the 1990s, winning six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and earning five MVP awards. He was a scoring machine, known for his incredible athletic ability and clutch performances in big games.
Shaquille O’Neal: 23.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 2.5 apg
Shaq was a force to be reckoned with in the paint, using his size and strength to overpower defenders and dominate the boards. He won four NBA championships in the 1990s, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat.
Hakeem Olajuwon: 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.5 apg
Hakeem, also known as “The Dream,” was a dominant center for the Houston Rockets, leading them to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. He was a versatile player, known for his footwork and defensive prowess as well as his scoring ability.
Scottie Pippen: 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 5.2 apg
Pippen was Jordan’s running mate on the Chicago Bulls, and together they formed one of the most dominant duos in NBA history. Pippen was a versatile forward who could score, pass, and defend at a high level. He won six NBA championships in the 1990s with the Bulls.
Charles Barkley: 22.1 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 3.9 apg
Barkley was a dominant power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets in the 1990s. He won an MVP award in 1993 and led the Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993. He was known for his strong personality and his ability to score and rebound at a high level.
David Robinson: 21.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg
Robinson was a dominant center for the San Antonio Spurs in the 1990s, winning an MVP award in 1995 and leading the Spurs to the NBA Finals in 1999. He was a dominant defensive player and a skilled offensive player, able to score from inside and out.
Magic Johnson: 19.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 11.2 apg
Although he retired in 1991, Johnson made a comeback in the mid-1990s and played for the Lakers until 1996. He was a dominant point guard who led the Lakers to five NBA championships in the 1980s, and he was known for his passing ability and leadership on and off the court.
Karl Malone: 25.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 apg
Malone was a dominant power forward for the Utah Jazz in the 1990s, earning two MVP awards and leading the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. He was a skilled scorer and a tenacious rebounder, and he formed a formidable duo with point guard John Stockton.
John Stockton: 13.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 10.5 apg
Stockton was the quintessential point guard, known for his incredible court vision and passing ability. He played his entire career with the Jazz and formed a dominant duo with Malone, leading the Jazz to the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998.
Dikembe Mutombo: 2.8 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 1.5 apg
Mutombo was a dominant defensive center for the Denver Nuggets in the 1990s, earning four NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was known for his shot-blocking ability and his signature finger wag after rejecting an opponent’s shot.