I placed four power forwards in the top-25 in my article "Who are the 25 Greatest Basketball Players of All Time." Here is their ranking and what I wrote about each of them.
1. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs (21.6 ppg, .508 FG%, .685 FT%, 11.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.3 bpg)
Duncan has four NBA Titles, two MVPs, three Finals MVPs, is a nine-time All-NBA first-teamer, and eight-time All-defensive first team. "Boring", but a very consistent, unselfish power forward/center and a great all-around player. I am sure that once his career is finished, he will have to be ranked higher.
2. Bob Pettit, Milwaukee Hawks (26.4 ppg, .436 FG%, .721FT%, 16.2 rpg, 3.0 apg)
One NBA Title, two NBA MVPs, and a 10-time All-NBA first team selection. I never saw him play, so I had to guess where to place him, but his reputation and numbers are too hard to ignore, as his rebounds per game are third all-time behind Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
Pettit also ranks sixth on the all-time scoring list.
He's considered the first great power forward, and was the NBA's first MVP winner. Pettit was known for his hard work and second effort.
3. Karl Malone, Utah Jazz/LA Lakers (25.0 ppg, .516 FG%, .742 FT%, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.8 bpg)
"The Mailman," a two-time MVP, yet retired with no NBA Titles (losing twice to Jordan's Bulls), 11 times an All-NBA first team selection and a three-time All-defensive first team pick. He was a muscular, yet agile player who typified the modern-day power forward.
4. Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers/Phoenix Suns/Houston Rockets (22.1 ppg, .541 FG%, .735 FT%, 11.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.8 bpg).
"Sir Charles" had zero NBA Titles, one MVP, and was a five-time All-NBA first team choice. Barkely was an entertaining personality known for bluntness, and was a great scorer and rebounder. Amazingly, he played power forward, even though he was only about 6'4".
I see no reason to change their order, hence, my all-time top-10 power forwards are as follows, and where the above-mentioned players fell in my all-time players list.
1. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs—No. 14 on all-time best players list
2. Bob Pettit, Milwaukee Hawks—No. 16 on all-time best players list
3. Karl Malone, Utah Jazz/LA Lakers—No. 19 on all-time best players list
4. Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers/Phoenix Suns/Houston Rockets—No. 20 on all-time best players list
5. Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics
6. Elvin Hayes, San Diego Rockets/Baltimore Bullets/Houston Rockets
7. Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves/Boston Celtics
8. Dave Debusschere, Detroit Pistons/NY Knicks
9. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
10. Chris Webber, Golden State Warriors/Washington Bullets/Sacramento Kings/Toronto Raptors/Philadelphia 76ers/Detroit Pistons
Who are your all-time top NBA power forwards?