The NBA has been around for a long time. And we saw some of the biggest athletes there all the time. There have been several playing styles that have bridged various ages.
Who is the best basketball player of all the time? Have you wondered about it before? We have the right article for you. In this article, we will tell you who the best players are. Let’s find out via the article.
Table of Contents
- 1 Who is the best basketball player?
- 1.1 Top 10: Kobe Bryant
- 1.2 Top 9: Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon
- 1.3 Top 8: Bill Russel
- 1.4 Top 7: Tim “The Big Fundamental” Duncan
- 1.5 Top 6: Earvin “The Magic” Johnson Jr.
- 1.6 Top 5: Larry Bird
- 1.7 Top 4: Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal
- 1.8 Top 3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- 1.9 Top 2: Michael Jordan
- 1.10 Top 1: LeBron James
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Conclusion
Who is the best basketball player?
We have the top 10 players to cover this aspect. They are:
- Kobe Bryant
- Hakeem Olajuwon
- Bill Russell
- Tim Duncan
- Earvin Johnson Jr.
- Larry Bird
- Shaquille O’Neal
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Michael Jordan
- LeBron James
Shooters now dominate the sport, but the center position ruled the game only a few decades ago. We’ve seen defensive domination. They have three-point shooting snipers, clever slashers, and all-around godlike athletes.
With so many different abilities, playstyles, athleticism, skill, and coaching levels. Determining who the best player of all time is difficult.
To establish who was actually the best, we must look at numbers, honors, what the era provided at the time. And what strengths and flaws each player possessed.
Top 10: Kobe Bryant
He was an all-time great scorer with a killing instinct that made his opponents dread him. Bryant got his moniker from being as lethal on the floor as a poisonous black mamba.
He played in the NBA for 20 years, earning five championships, including three in a row.
Bryant is still regarded as one of the most cold-blooded shooters of all time. Having made 17 game-winning baskets in his career. And another 7 game-tying shots that resulted in OT victory.
Kobe Bryant was well-known for his exceptional athleticism and clutch shots. His highlight tapes featuring devastating dunks and game-winning shots may be found.
The laser focus and mental power he had are not visible on a highlight reel.
Top 9: Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon is the name you should mention. Especially when it comes to defensive players. Olajuwon was not just a defensive player. But he was also a superb attacking player.
In his career, he averaged 21.1 points per game. During his career, he won two NBA titles and was named Finals MVP in each. Regardless, Olajuwon was a tremendous defender and big man in NBA history.
He is the first player in NBA history to earn league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP in the same season.
“The Dream” twice led the league in rebounding and three times led the league in blocked shots. In reality, he still leads the NBA’s all-time blocked shot chart by over 500 blocks. His total blocks were 3,830.
As a result of this amazing achievement, he was named Defensive Player of the Year twice.
Top 8: Bill Russel
With 11 championships, Bill Russell currently holds the record for the most in NBA history. In fact, he only missed out on a title in two of his 13 NBA seasons.
Russell won at other levels as well, including the NCAA title in 1955 and 1956. In addition, he earned a gold medal for the United States in the 1956 Summer Olympics.
Russell is most remembered for his rings. But, he is also one of the best rebounders and defensive players in NBA history. Russell is one of just seven players in history to have won an NCAA title.
He also won an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal.
Top 7: Tim “The Big Fundamental” Duncan
Tim “The Big Fundamental” Duncan is the most dominant power forward in NBA history. He defeated elite players such as LeBron James twice, Ben Wallace, Jason Kidd, and others to win five championships.
Duncan is not a flashy player, which is why we believe he ranks low on many all-time lists. He was never interested in the money or the jewelry; he was only interested in winning.
Duncan was recognized for his efficiency. But it was his defensive abilities that actually distinguished him as a player. He is still rated third all-time in NBA defensive efficiency.
Despite never winning Defensive Player of the Year, he was a 15-time All-Defensive pick and a two-time MVP. Duncan possessed the ability to play good, fundamental basketball.
Top 6: Earvin “The Magic” Johnson Jr.
Earvin “The Magic” Johnson and the Lakers were part of the franchise’s greatest dynasty. Because of their fast-paced, run-and-gun attack, they were dubbed the “Showtime Lakers.”
The Lakers and Magic were able to win five rings while competing in the Finals nine times. Thanks to Magic’s passing talents and Kareem Abdul-scoring Jabbar’s prowess.
Magic’s career was nothing short of spectacular. He won five titles during his career. But he could have won even more if it hadn’t been for his health.
Magic was forced to quit prematurely in 1991 after revealing to the public that he had contracted HIV.
Top 5: Larry Bird
Nothing is more difficult than choosing who is better, Larry Bird or Magic Johnson. They have the greatest rivalry in basketball history, and maybe in any sport ever.
Larry was the first player to score 50% on field goals, 40% on three-point attempts. And 90% on free throws in a single season in NBA history. He did it twice during his career.
He also won three straight three-point shooting competitions. Bird led the Celtics to a remarkable dynasty. Earning three rings and three straight MVPs throughout his tenure.
Bird is one of just three players in history to win the award three years in a row. He was a terrific basic ballplayer who could score with the best of them and defend against anyone.
His resume is chock-full of accomplishments that few people have attained.
Top 4: Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal
Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal is the most dominating NBA player in history. He was a center for the Orlando Magic.
He also played and centered for other teams. Such as the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics.
Shaq was also nicknamed “Diesel” because he was a hulking man.
Shaq controlled the floor on both sides of the ball. He scored 28,596 points during his career, which ranks him eighth all-time in lifetime points.
He also set an all-time high with 13,099 rebounds, which ranks him 15th all-time. Defensively, he blocked 2,732 shots, ranking him eighth all-time in that category.
Top 3: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem established himself as one of the league’s most productive scorers. He can also be an all-around performer. To dominate his opponents, he employed his famous “skyhook” shot, an unblockable swing lob.
Kareem led his club to the Finals ten times throughout his career, earning six titles. He also set a record with six MVP trophies, which he currently holds.
He retired at the age of 42. Still, he owned the records for most points scored, most rebounds, most blocks, most games played, and most victories.
It proves that he is one of the greatest players.
Top 2: Michael Jordan
Jordan is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. He wasn’t born with Shaq’s strength or Kareem’s stature. But he couldn’t be stopped by any player on the court.
During his career, he won the league scoring championship ten times, which helped him rack up the victories. Jordan had the most victories.
When he guided the Bulls to 72 victories and a championship in 1996. He set a record for wins in a season that was not broken for 20 years. He also has two three-peat title streaks and a perfect Finals record of 6–0.
Jordan was a godlike attacking player who was also a terrific defender. Jordan led the league in steals three times. And was selected to the all-defensive team nine times!
He also twice led the postseason in steals and ten times led the postseason in scoring. Despite two consecutive retirements throughout his career. Jordan was an unstoppable force during his tenure in the NBA.
Top 1: LeBron James
LeBron James is the best player of all time. He has dominated the NBA since his debut at the age of 18, right out of high school.
James first entered the league, he was viewed as “The Chosen One”. The man who would assume Jordan’s mantle as the greatest, and he did. LeBron has accomplished feats that no other player has accomplished before him.
He dragged a shambles Cleveland Cavaliers club to the 2007 NBA Finals on his own. He’s won titles against not one, but two of the league’s greatest dynasties. The San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors were defeated by him.
He also delivered a championship to Cleveland, which had been without one for 52 years.
James has not only done amazing things, but he also plays at a higher and more well-rounded level than anyone in history. James is capable of doing everything.
He is able to score on any given night, rebound the ball. And he is the best passer in league history. He is presently the only player in league history to be in the top ten in both points scored and assists.
He is also among the top 50 all-time rebounders. He is the first player in history to have scored more than 34,000 points. There were 9,000 assists and 9,000 rebounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many times has Michael Jordan won the NBA championship?
Six times. Michale Jordan won NBA Champion six times. Also, he won League MVP 5 times, Finals MVP 6 times.
2. What do LeBron James have?
Here is the list of accolades that LeBron James had in his career:
- 2003-2004: he won Rookie of the Year
- 2003-2004: he achieved All-Rookie selection
- He won All-Star selection 16 times.
- He won All-NBA selection 16 times.
- He gained All-Defensive selection 6 times.
- 2007-2008: he won Scoring league leader
- He achieved League MVP 4 times.
- He won NBA Champion and became Finals MVP 4 times.
3. Does Michael Jordan play other sports besides basketball?
Yes. There was the time that Michael Jordan playing baseball.
We showed you “who is the best basketball player” via this article. This is our list. It depends on the players’ accolades and stats. We hope you share the same opinion with us here.
Reference Source: The Top 10 Greatest NBA Players Of All Time