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Legends of the NBA: 25 Best Players of the 90s

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IISeptember 24, 2012

Legends of the NBA: 25 Best Players of the 90s

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    In what most experts and analysts call the "golden age of basketball"—the 1990s—the hardwood was graced by some amazing players. From Michael Jordan to Karl Malone to David Robinson, the 1990s brought fans some of the greatest individual and team matchups in the history of the game. 

    In a decade filled with Hall of Famers and NBA legends, selecting the best 25 players is no easy task, but it's certainly possible.

    To be considered for this list, a player must have played at least five seasons during the 1990s, which are defined as the 1989-90 through the 1998-99 seasons.

    Ahead is a breakdown of the best 25 players to play during the 1990s. 

First 5 to Miss the Cut

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    30. Dan Majerle, SG, Phoenix Suns: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons)

    Dan "Thunder Dan" Majerle was an absolute sharp shooter during his years with the Phoenix Suns in the 1990s. He averaged 15.5 points on 44.9-percent shooting in his six seasons with the Suns, but his production declined once he left.

    During the latter parts of his career in the 1990s with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat, his production dipped to 10.6 points per game on just 40.6 percent shooting. Majerle's glory days were clearly with the Suns. It's a shame he wasn't to stay with them for his entire career, because if he did, he might have a spot in the top 25 here. 

     

    29. Dominique Wilkins, PF, Atlanta Hawks: 1990-1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 (Eight Seasons)

    Dominique Wilkins was a dominant player in both the 1980s and 1990s, but his play declined near the end of the 90s when he started to hop around with different teams in the NBA.

    After spending 12 seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Wilkins played with four different teams—L.A. Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic—during the last four years of his career. That certainly impacted his consistency, and it's why he is one of the first five to miss the cut here. 

     

    28. Mookie Blaylock, PG, Atlanta Hawks 1990-1999 (10 Seasons)

    Dominique Wilkins' court general during the latter parts of his career, Mookie Blaylock was a special player. His quickness and agility with the ball in his hands was special to watch and it's what defined him as a player.

    With the Hawks, Blaylock averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Unfortunately, though, Blaylock couldn't translate his individual success into success for his team, as the Hawks were never able to reach the Eastern Conference Finals in the 1990s, or any decade for that matter. 

     

    27. Vin Baker, PF, Milwaukee Bucks: 1994-1999 (Six Seasons)

    Vin Baker was a dominant force in the 1990s. He averaged 18.1 points and nine rebounds per game in seven years with the Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Supersonics.

    Baker, unfortunately, was never able to translate his individual success into success for his team, and that's what ultimately held his career back. After the 1990s, Baker hopped around teams in the league, and that inconsistency carried over into his game. 

     

    26. Glen Rice, SF, Miami Heat: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons)

    Glen Rice is the most deserving of being in the top 25 of any players here. In his 10 years during the 90s, he averaged 20.6 points per game on 46.2 percent shooting from the field and 40.8 percent shooting from beyond-the-arc. 

    The biggest weakness in Rice's game wasn't on the offensive side of the ball. It was the lack of focus he brought on defense. If Rice could've been a more complete player he certainly would've had a spot on this list.

25. Derrick Coleman, PF New Jersey Nets

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    1990's Stats: 18.8 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.5 BLKPG, 44.9 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1991-1999 (Nine Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1991 Rookie of the Year, 1994 All-Star

    Averaging a double-double during the span of nine seasons is no easy feat, but Derrick Coleman certainly made it look easy with the New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.

    The amazing part of that production is that Coleman put those numbers up while seemingly not caring on the court. His career was held back by an inability to stay in shape and what seemed to be a serious lack of effort on the court at times.

    If Coleman had put work in during the offseasons and had some resemblance of a work ethic, he could have easily been regarded in the same light as Karl Malone and Charles Barkley. Instead, he's remembered as a player who never really realized his full potential. Amazingly, though, he's still one of the most productive power forwards of the 1990s. 

24. Latrell Sprewell, SG, Golden State Warriors

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    1990's Stats: 19.8 PPG, 4.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.7 STLPG, 43.5 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1993-1999 (Seven Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Three-time NBA All-Star, 1994 All-NBA First Team

    Latrell Sprewell's career is a sad story of another player who never reached his full potential because of a lack of discipline and maturity.

    If Sprewell had a veteran to mentor him, or had developed maturity himself, he easily could have been one of the best shooting guards to ever play the game. Instead, he's better known for choking his then-coach, P.J. Carlesimo, than he is for his explosive and exciting play on the court.

    Young, immature and undisciplined players need to learn from Sprewell's career because he had every intangible and athletic skill he needed to be one of the greatest of all-time. With all that being said, Sprewell was a prolific shooting guard in the 1990s. It's just a shame he never played on a competitive team.

23. Chris Mullin, SF, Golden State Warriors

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    1990's Stats: 19.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.6 STLPG, 51.5 FG%, 40.1 3PFG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Four-Time NBA All-Star, 1992 All-NBA First Team

    Chris Mullin never looked like a next-level athlete. He never amazed with explosive quickness or athleticism. Instead, he made his way into the Hall of Fame by playing with constant intensity and efficient production day in and day out.

    In the 1990s, Mullin was lighting the Western Conference up by shooting above 50 percent from the field and above 40 percent from beyond the arc. That kind of shooting is nearly unheard of, but it goes to show just how dominant of a player you can be when you play with discipline and within the fundamentals of the game.

    Mullin was more than just a sharp-shooter, though. He brought intensity to the defensive side of the ball, and he never backed down to bigger, stronger or faster players. Mullins' effort was second to none, and that's why he's on this list. 

22. Joe Dumars, SG, Detroit Pistons

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    1990's Stats: 17.5 PPG, 4.4 APG, 0.9 STLPG, 45.1 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1990 NBA Champion, Six-time NBA All-Star, Three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

    Joe Dumars started of the 1990s with a bang when he led the Detroit Pistons to the 1990 NBA Championship after winning the 1989 title also.

    After those titles, though, the Pistons as a franchise began to fall apart. Dumars' production increased, but the Pistons started to lose more games, and that certainly impacted Dumars' legacy.

    The best part of Dumars' game, though, was the way he handled himself on and off the court. While he brought intensity and toughness to the court, he also played with humility and sportsmanship—which is why he earned the first ever NBA Sportsmanship Award, which is now known as the "Joe Dumars Award."

    Current players can learn from Dumars in how he carried himself because it enhanced his legacy. 

21. Tim Hardaway, PG, Golden State Warriors

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    1990's Stats: 19.4 PPG, 9.0 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.9 STLPG, 44.2 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Five-time NBA All-Star, 1997 All-NBA First Team

    Tim Hardaway dominated the 1990s, and he did so by dishing the ball to his teammates, like Latrell Sprewell and Chris Mullin, while also scoring the ball at an All-Star rate.

    When you look at the talent the Warriors had on their roster during the 90s, it's amazing that they weren't a more competitive team. But it also just goes to show how important discipline, maturity and chemistry are when it comes to being an elite team.

    Hardaway's career was held back a bit by inconsistent shooting. More often than not, he would settle for low-percentage shots, which hurt his overall consistency and efficiency. With that being said, Hardaway was a very smart and disciplined player, and that's why he's on this list. 

20. Kevin Johnson, PG, Phoenix Suns

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    1990's Stats: 18.8 PPG, 9.3 APG, 1.5 STLPG, 49.3 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1998 (Nine Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Three-time NBA All-Star

    Kevin Johnson, who is the current mayor of Sacramento, has proven that he will be successful at whatever he does in life, but that all started with his dominance at the point during the 1990s.

    Looking at his 90's averages of 18.8 points and 9.3 assists per game, all while shooting right around 50 percent, it's amazing that his only accolades during the 90s were three NBA All-Star appearances. Johnson led the Suns to nine straight playoff appearances, which included two trips to the Western Conference Finals and an appearance in the 1993 NBA Finals.

    The reason why Johnson was so successful, aside from his explosive play on the court, was because he was the true definition of a leader. He always backed up his talk with his actions, and that's exactly why he's one of the greatest point guards in the 1990s and in the history of the game. 

19. Grant Hill, SF, Detroit Pistons

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    1990's Stats: 20.7 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.6 STLPG, 47.2 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1995-1999 (Five Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1995 NBA Co-Rookie of the Year, Four-time NBA All-Star, 1997 All-NBA First Team

    With the exception of points per game, Grant Hill's production during his first five seasons is shockingly similar to LeBron James' production during his first five seasons—27.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 46.7 FG%.

    I make that comparison to show just how impressive of a player Hill was during the 90s with the Detroit Pistons. His production started to decline after he left Detroit at the end of the 1999-00 season, but in the 90s, he was an absolute force to be reckoned with.

    If Hill's career ended in 1999, he would've had one of the most well-balanced careers in NBA history. Even though his production has declined, he's still one of the most dominant players of the 90s, mainly because he did everything at such a high level. 

18. Penny Hardaway, SF, Orlando Magic

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    1990's Stats: 19.0 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.7 RPG, 1.9 STLPG, 47.2 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1994-1999 (Six Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Four-time NBA All-Star, Two-time All-NBA First Team, 1994 NBA Rookie Challenge MVP

    Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway should be at No. 1 on this list because of his Nike "Lil Penny"commercials during the 1990s. Unfortunately for Penny, that isn't how this list works.

    Even without his famous commercials, Hardaway was without a doubt a next-level player in the 1990s before his NBA career was shortened by knee injuries.

    Hardaway was a much better facilitator than most like to give him credit for. He wasn't just a combo-guard who liked to score. He understood the game and used his athleticism to create opportunities for his teammates. If Shaquille O'Neal wouldn't have left Orlando, he and Hardaway would've been nearly unstoppable. 

17. Mitch Richmond, SG, Sacramento Kings

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    1990's Stats: 23.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.3 STLPG, 45.9 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Six-time NBA All-Star, 1995 NBA All-Star Game MVP

    Mitch Richmond was the best-kept secret of the 1990s. Playing with the lowly Sacramento Kings, Richmond was the franchise's first star player.

    He was a prolific scorer, and he was best when he was running in transition or on the fast break. Unfortunately, the Kings just didn't have enough talent around him to help the team do any serious damage in the Western Conference.

    On a different team with more talent, Richmond could've been a better and more prolific player. He thrived early on in his career alongside talented players like Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin with the Warriors. Even on the lowly Kings for the majority of the 90s, Richmond was able to shine enough to earn a top-20 spot on this list. 

16. Gary Payton, PG, Seattle Supersonics

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    1990's Stats: 16.3 PPG, 6.8 APG, 2.3 STLPG, 47.7 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1991-1999 (Nine Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1996 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Five-time NBA All-Star, 1998 All-NBA First Team, Six-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

    Gary "The Glove" Payton was absolutely ridiculous in the 1990s. Not only was he one half of one of the NBA's best alley-oop tandems, he was also one of the most aggressive and intelligent defensive players of the decade.

    At 6'4'' and 180 pounds, Payton was capable of locking down more than just point guards. Payton locked down Michael Jordan in the 1996 NBA Finals, and that goes to show just how versatile of a defender he truly was.

    That wasn't all the glove did, though. He also scored at an effective rate, all while keeping teammates like Detlef Schrempf and Shawn Kemp involved in the offense. Payton was a truly special player. The kind of defensively-minded player who's hard to come by nowadays.

15. Dennis Rodman, PF, Chicago Bulls

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    1990's Stats: 6.8 PPG, 15.1 RPG, 50.1 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Four-time NBA Champion, Two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Two-time NBA All-Star, Six-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, Seven-time NBA Rebounding Champion

    If you look at Dennis Rodman's career based solely on achievements, you'd think he'd be higher on this list. But the fact that he benefited from playing alongside Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen put his production into an appropriate perspective.

    With that being said, Rodman was without a doubt one of the greatest defensive players and rebounders to ever play the game. It's a shame he never developed any resemblance of polish on his offensive game, because if he did, he would've been a much more dangerous and productive player.

    Averaging above 15 rebounds per game over the span of just one season is impressive, nevertheless averaging that over 10 straight years. That is something that NBA fans will likely never see again, and that's why Rodman was such a special and memorable player. 

14. Alonzo Mourning, C, Miami Heat

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    1990's Stats: 21.0 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.0 BLKPG, 52.1 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1993-1999 (Seven Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Four-time NBA All-Star, 1999 NBA Defensive Player of the Year,  1999 All-NBA First Team, 1999 NBA All-Defensive First Team, 1993 NBA All-Rookie First Team

    Alonzo Mourning owned the 1990s for the Miami Heat by averaging a double-double over a seven year period. If that wasn't impressive enough, consider the fact that he shot above 50 percent in the 90s too. 

    He also managed to solidify himself as a defensive force by winning the 1999 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, which is impressive when you consider that Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo were his competition for that award.

    What set him apart from so many other players in the 90s was his trademark intensity and leadership that he brought to the court night in and night out. Mourning was always willing to put the work in he needed to become better, and that helped him become one of the best centers to ever play the game. 

13. Reggie Miller, SG, Indiana Pacers

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    1990's Stats: 21.0 PPG, 3.2 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 STLPG, 48.2 FG%, 40.5 3PFG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Four-time NBA All-Star

    Reggie Miller was the NBA's leading three-point shooter up until Ray Allen passed him during the 2011-12 season. But during the 1990s, you couldn't find a better three-point specialist, and that wasn't all Miller did.

    While he predominantly focused on his jumper, Miller was an above-average defender who knew how to get into his opponent's head, as evidenced by his intense matchups with the New York Knicks and their biggest supporter, Spike Lee.

    Miller's career was somewhat held back by his inability to lead the Pacers into the NBA Finals by failing four times in the Eastern Conference Finals during the 1990s. Even though he couldn't help the Pacers reach the next level, Miller was still a strong leader on the court. 

12. Dikembe Mutombo, C, Denver Nuggets

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    1990's Stats: 12.9 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 3.6 BLKPG, 52.5 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1992-1999 (Eight Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Five-time NBA All-Star, Three-time NBA Blocks Leader, Two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team 

    The original finger wagger—Dikembe Mutombo—finds his way onto the list, and he does so with his ridiculous ability to know how to block shots.

    While he's best known for his finger wagging and shot blocking on guys like Michael Jordan it should be noted that averaging 12 points and 12 rebounds per game while shooting above 50 percent is absolutely no easy task. 

    Mutombo might be considered a one-dimensional, defensively-minded player, but he was actually a very competent and productive offensive player for the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks as well. His game was defined by intensity on both sides of the ball, and that's what helped him stand apart from other elite centers in the 90s. 

11. Shawn Kemp, PF, Seattle Supersonics

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    1990's Stats: 16.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.5 BLKPG, 50.8 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Six-time NBA All-Star

    Everything inside me wanted to put Shawn "Reign Man" Kemp higher on this list. If you don't know why, just watch this, and you'll immediately understand.

    If this list was ranking the most electrifying athletes in NBA history, Kemp would be at the top of the list. But it's not, so that's why he finds himself right in the middle.

    Nearly averaging a double-double for a decade is no easy task, and Kemp did it while shooting above 50 percent. His tendency to throw down nasty slams certainly was a large reason for that high percentage, but Kemp also knew when to take shots and when to pass them up, and that's what made him such a special player. 

10. Patrick Ewing, C, New York Knicks

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    1990's Stats: 24.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 2.7 BLKPG, 50.3 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Eight-time NBA All-Star, 1990 All-NBA First Team

    Patrick Ewing owned the 1990s by leading the Knicks to a playoff appearance from 1990-1999 and two NBA Finals appearances too. Unfortunately, the NBA title eluded him in the 90s, and it's the one accomplishment he was never able to acquire.

    When you look solely at production, though, Ewing rises to the top of dominant centers of the 90s, as he averaged a double-double and 50-percent shooting over the 10 year span.

    Unlike other centers mentioned on this list before him, Ewing was able to spread the court with his mid-range jumper, and that made him that much more deadly. With his seven-foot, 240-pound frame, he was also a beast on the defensive side of the ball. It's a shame he never won an NBA ring because he certainly deserved one. 

9. Clyde Drexler, SF, Portland Trail Blazers

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    1990's Stats: 20.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.8 STLPG, 45.6 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1998 (Nine Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1995 NBA Champion, Seven-time NBA All-Star, 1992 All-NBA First Team

    Clyde "The Glide" Drexler barely missed the list of the 25 best players of the 1980s, but he's the first player to crack the top 10 in the 90s. When you look at his production across the board, it's clear to see why.

    Putting up the production over nine years that Drexler did is no easy task, and the best part of his production is that it helped the Houston Rockets win the 1995 NBA title.

    Drexler was known best for the way he flew around the court with ease, but he was much more than just an athletic player. He was complete in every fashion of the term. He played defense, he rebounded and he knew how to find teammates. Drexler was a truly special talent and one of the best players to grace the golden age of basketball. 

8. John Stockton, PG, Utah Jazz

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    1990's Stats: 14.9 PPG, 11.9 APG, 2.3 STLPG, 51.6 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Eight-time NBA All-Star, 1993 NBA All-Star Game MVP, Two-time All-NBA First Team, Seven-time NBA Assists Leader

    John Stockton may have been one of the most intelligent players to ever play in the NBA. He picked apart defenses in the pick-and-roll transition and made it look way too easy.

    The fact that he shot 51.6 percent in the 90s doesn't show that was the NBA's greatest shooter. It shows his intelligence and his impressive ability to create high-percentage shots for himself.

    Better than any player not named Magic Johnson, Stockton knew how to draw defense toward him in the paint and dish the ball to wide-open big men for high-percentage shots. Stockton's intelligent play showed that there is more to excelling in the NBA than being an athletically-gifted player.

7. Charles Barkley, PF, Phoenix Suns

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    1990's Stats: 22.4 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.5 STLPG, 52.3 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1993 NBA MVP, Eight-time NBA All-Star, Two-time All-NBA First Team, 1991 NBA All-Star Game MVP

    Charles Barkley made dominating nearly every facet of the game in the 90s look so easy. While he certainly put the work in, the way Barkley played made it look like he was rarely trying. That's just how good he was.

    The "Round Mound of Rebound" was also an extremely cerebral player. He knew how to get into the head of his opponents, which made it that much easier for him to dominate in the paint.

    Barkley's carefree attitude, and the fact that he never won an NBA title, certainly hurts his legacy. But when you look at production, he's one of a few, elite players in the 90s who dominated at a double-double and 50 percent shooting average level. 

6. Shaquille O'Neal, C, L.A. Lakers

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    1990's Stats: 27.1 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.6 BLKPG, 57.8 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1993-1999 (Seven Seasons)

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Six-time NBA All-Star, 1995 NBA Scoring Champion, 1998 All-NBA First Team, 1993 Rookie of the Year, 1993 NBA All-Rookie First Team

    Shaquille O'Neal came into the NBA in 1992, and he dominated from day one. From winning the 1993 Rookie of the Year award to winning the 1995 scoring title two years later, O'Neal showed he was ready to be take over the NBA.

    While he did that on an individual level in the 90s, it wasn't until the next decade when he turned his individual success into rings.

    O'Neal may not have been the most versatile in the league, but he certainly knew how to make the most of his size, and that's all that mattered for the Big Diesel. It's not often that a player is able to dominate over the span of two decades, but O'Neal did just that, and his stranglehold on the NBA started in the 90s. 

5. Scottie Pippen, SF, Chicago Bulls

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    1990's Stats: 19.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 5.9 APG, 2.2 STLPG, 48.1 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Six-time NBA Champion, Seven-time NBA All-Star, 1994 NBA All-Star Game MVP, Three-time NBA All-First Team, Eight-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

    Some will say that Scottie Pippen rode the coattails of Michael Jordan's success, but that couldn't be further from the truth. 

    Looking at Pippen's production in the 90s shows just how complete of a player he was. It doesn't even aptly display how dominant of a defensive player he was. It's shocking that he never won a Defensive Player of the Year award, but that shows the kind of dominant play he was going up against.

    Pippen was an enormous piece of Jordan's success. Pippen's ability to keep opposing defenses honest on the wing made life easier for Jordan, and it also helped display just how complete of a player he truly was. Pippen doesn't get near the level of attention he should for the Bulls' dominance in the 90s. 

    Pippen gave the Bulls the tough-nosed, gritty attitude that helped them dominate in the 90s. If you don't believe me, just ask Patrick Ewing

4. Karl Malone, PF, Utah Jazz

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    1990's Stats: 27.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 3.7 APG, 53.1 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Two-time NBA MVP, Nine-time NBA All-Star, 10-time All-NBA First Team, Three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, 1993 NBA All-Star Game MVP

    The only times when Karl Malone averaged less than 20 points per game during a season were during his first and last years in the NBA. That kind of consistency is what made Malone such a dominant player in the 90s.

    With Malone in the 90s, the Jazz never missed a playoffs, and they even made back-to-back NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998. While they lost those battles with the Chicago Bulls, it shows how dominant Malone was during the decade.

    Malone had to consistently go up against players in the Western Conference like David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, and that shows just how impressive his production in the 90s truly was. It's a shame the "Mail Man" could never turn his dominance into a title, though, because he'll forever be known as another player who just couldn't get it done. 

3. David Robinson, C, San Antonio Spurs

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    1990's Stats: 24.4 PPG, 11.5 RPG, 3.1 BLKPG, 3.0 APG, 52.3 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: 1999 NBA Champion, 1995 NBA MVP, 1992 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Eight-time NBA All-Star, Four-time NBA All-Star, Four-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, 1990 NBA Rookie of the Year, 1990 NBA All-Rookie First Team

    The Admiral, David Robinson, was a truly special player. Not only did he dominate on the court with ridiculous, double-double averages in the 90s, he also carried himself like a true professional off the court.

    While Robinson looked like a professional bodybuilder, he was a polished player on both sides of the ball, as evidenced by the fundamental skills that defined his game.

    That's not to say that he wasn't explosive on either side of the ball. He even scored 71 points in the final regular season game of the 1994 season, trailing Shaquille O'Neal by 33 points for the 1994 scoring title. More importantly, Robinson was a leader, a mentor and a disciplined player. His character on and off the court defined his legacy, and that's why he's in the top end of legendary players of the 90s. 

2. Hakeem Olajuwon, C, Houston Rockets

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    1990's Stats: 23.9 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 3.5 BLKPG, 51.3 FG%

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1999 (10 Seasons) 

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Two-time NBA Champion, Two-time NBA Finals MVP, 1994 NBA MVP, Seven-time NBA All-Star, Three-time All-NBA First Team, Three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

    There's a reason why LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Amar'e Stoudemire want to work out with Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon, and it's because he's one of the greatest post players in the history of the game.

    Not only was he dominant in the post, he was also able to spread the floor with his deadly stroke from anywhere within 15 feet of the basket. His up-and-under and his "dream shake" were absolutely deadly, and they helped him lead the Rockets to back-to-back NBA titles against the Knicks, with Patrick Ewing, and the Magic with Shaquille O'Neal.

    Olajuwon was a man of few words, which meant he did his speaking on the court. During the golden age of basketball, Olajuwon out-shined flashier and more athletic players by simply beating them with the fundamentals of the game.

1. Michael Jordan, SG, Chicago Bulls

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    1990's Stats: 30.8 PPG, 5.1 APG, 6.3 RPG, 2.3 STLPG, 50.1 FG% 

    Years Played in 1990s: 1990-1993, 1995-1998 (Eight Seasons)

    Notable Achievements in 1990s: Six-time NBA Champion, Six-time NBA Finals MVP, Four-time NBA MVP, Seven-time NBA All-Star, Two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, Seven-time NBA Scoring Champion, Two-time NBA Steals Champion, Seven-time All-NBA First Team, Seven-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

    You saw this one coming, right? Michael Jordan isn't just the greatest player in the history of the game. He's also the most dominant player of the 1990s.

    When you consider the talent he went up against, his production looks that much more impressive. Thirty points per game, all while shooting above 50 percent over eight years, is absolutely unbelievable, and it's something that we may never see again.

    While I gave Jordan's court partner, Scottie Pippen, a lot of love a few slides ago, there's no doubt that without Jordan, the Bulls would've never been the team they were during the 90s. Jordan out-shined every player he went up against, and he did so on the biggest of stages in the NBA Finals. Here is a list of players he beat in the NBA Finals: Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton and Karl Malone.

    Not too shabby, especially when you consider that Jordan never lost an NBA Finals series that he played in. Greatness isn't handed out; it's earned, and that's the story of Jordan's career. His hard work and will to win is why he's the greatest player of the 90s. 

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