25. Kevin McHale – Most have him higher. To me he was a great role player that played on some of the greatest teams ever. Seven All-Stars, 18 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG and shot an amazing 55.4% from the field.
24. Charles Barkley – Greatest undersized player along with Iverson. Eleven All-Stars, 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG and shot 54.1% from the field. Would be higher but choked a lot during the playoffs.
23. James Worthy – A lot like McHale but a little better. Seven All-Stars, 1988 NBA Finals MVP and a three-time NBA Champion.
22. Elgin Baylor – The “Karl Malone” of his day. Great stats, no championship rings. Baylor made 11 All-Stars, averaged 27.4 PPG and 13.5 RPG.
21. John Stockton – One of the greatest point guards of all-time. NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals. Shot 51.5% from the field, 38.4% from three-point range and 82% from the free-throw line. Yet no championships in 20 years.
20. Kevin Garnett – Used to rank him higher but his playing dropped badly after age 32. Still one of the best during my lifetime. Fourteen All-Stars, 9 First All-Defensive Teams, led NBA in rebounds four times and 1-time MVP.
19. LeBron James – Once he wins a championship, he’ll be ranked much higher. Always a triple-double threat; in seven short years James is already a seven-time All-Star and two-time MVP.
18. Karl Malone – Maybe the greatest player never to win a championship. Second in all-time points, two MVPs, 2 All-Star MVPS and 14 All-Stars.
17. David Robinson – Sucks he had too many injuries, Robinson could have been a top ten player of all-time. One-time MVP, 10 All-stars and 1992 Defensive Player of the Year. Won two NBA championships.
16. Julius “Dr. J” Erving – He was so cool he had one of the coolest nicknames of all-time. The forefather of modern dunking, Erving won one NBA Championship, one MVP and made 11 All-Stars while averaging 22 PPG during his career.
15. Isiah Thomas – Wasn’t for Magic Johnson, Thomas would have been the best point guard of the 1980’s. Thomas averaged 19.2 PPG and 9.3 assists for his career. He won two All-Star MVPs and the 1990 Finals MVP.
14. John Havlicek – With 26,395 career points, how can he not be in the top 25? “Hando” as he was known made 13 All-Stars and 11 All-NBA Teams.
13. Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal – Simply known by “Shaq”, O’Neal has won four NBA Championships, won a MVP, and made 15 All-Stars and 14 All-NBA Teams (Eight 1st Teams, Two 2nd Teams and four 3rd Teams). What more do you need to know?
12. Bob Cousy – The forefather of modern point guards. Cousy was a six-time NBA Champion, 13-time All-Star and won the 1957 MVP. He also made the NBA’s 25th, 30th and 50th NBA Anniversary Teams.
11. Moses Malone – A player most young kids don’t know these days. In 20 years Malone won three MVPs, 11 All-Stars and a NBA championship. He averaged 20.6 PPG and 12.2 RPG.
10. Oscar Robertson – Along with Chamberlain, probably the greatest offensive player of all-time. Still the only player in history to average a triple-double in a season, Robertson averaged 26.5 PPG, 9.5 APG and 7.5 RPG. “The Big O” also won one MVP, made 12 All-Stars and won the All-Star MVP three times.
9. Jerry West – He’s the NBA logo, enough said. West won one Championship but made the NBA Finals ten times. He made 13 All-Stars and averaged 27 PPG, 6.7 APG and stole thousands of passes even though the NBA didn’t keep those stats until his final season.
8. Hakeem Olajuwon – “The Dream” averaged 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG and 3.1 BPG. He still ranks 1st all-time in career blocks. Hakeem won one MVP, was a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and made 12 All-Stars. He also led the Houston Rockets to two NBA Championships.
7. Wilt Chamberlain – The most dominant offensive player in NBA history. Chamberlin averaged 30.1 PPG, 22.9 RPG and 4.4 APG. He won seven scoring titles and 11 rebounding titles. He won four MVPs and made 13 All-Stars. To this day he ranks fourth in all-time points, first in rebounds and tied with Jordan for highest scoring average (Jordan played a few more games, however).
6. Kobe Bryant – How he’s only won one MVP is beyond me. Kobe has won five NBA Championships, two NBA Final MVPs, won one MVP and made 13 All-Stars. He’s also won four All-Star game MVPs, made 9 First-NBA Teams and 9 First All-Defensive NBA Teams.
5. Larry Bird – Back injuries couldn’t keep him down. Many consider him the greatest clutch shooter of all-time. Bird won three MVPs, two Final MVPs and one All-Star MVP. The 12-time All-Star shot 88.6 from the free-throw while averaging 24.3 PPG, 10 RPG and 6.3 APG.
4. Bill Russell – Many argue that Russell was the greatest defensive player of all-time. In 13 years Russell won 11 Championships. Russell was a five-time MVP and 12-time All-Star. He still ranks second all-time in rebounds.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – A college legend that did the same in the NBA – win. He still ranks first all-time in career points, third in rebounds and third in blocked shots. In 20 years Kareem averaged 24.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 2.6 BPG. He won six MVPs, won six Championships with two different teams, made a NBA record 19 All-Stars and won two NBA Finals MVPs.
2. Magic Johnson – My personal favorite. The greatest NBA point guard of all-time. Johnson was a three-time MVP that won five NBA Championships during the greatest era of NBA Basketball, the 1980’s. Johnson ended his career averaging 19.5 PPG, 11.2 APG (NBA record), 7.2 RPG and 2 steals per game along with three Finals MVPs.
1. Michael Jordan – I was never a fan, but the man was the best. He tore up the regular season by averaging 30.1 PPG (1st all-time) along with 6.2 RPG and 5.3 APG. Jordan also ranks second all-time in steals. He won five regular season MVPs and made 13 All-Stars. In the playoffs Jordan was even better. He took the Bulls to six Championships while winning a NBA record, six Finals MVPs and also scored 63 in a playoff game, also a NBA record.
I know I am going to take heat from readers. No list is correct. I don’t claim to be an expert. I am sure I left players out that you at home would have listed. Please feel free to tell me where you disagree. My list in no way, shape or form is accurate. Below are players that are sure Hall Of Famers (or are in the Hall) that did not make my list.
- 1. Tim Duncan – Great player with three championships; he’s more of a product of teamwork than individual performance. Still a top 50 Player of all-time and deserves to be among any top 25, just not my list.
- 2. Allen Iverson – Great scorer but could not shoot what so ever. I would rate him in the top 35 or so.
- 3. Scottie Pippen – I would rate him about 30th or so. Great player but was an average at best shooter.
- 4. Bob Pettit – Great big man of his day. Just too many other big men that are better.
- 5. Dwayne Wade – Maybe in another 3-4 years he would make my top 25. Great player that will easily be a Hall of Famer.
- 6. Ray Allen – One of the greatest NBA shooters of all-time. He doesn’t impress me in any other areas besides shooting and scoring.
- 7. Paul Pierce – Great team player and clutch in the playoffs. A lot like Duncan with less titles.