People always talk about how great Kobe and LeBron are. They are all great, but some are just better than others.
There are five levels of greatness in the NBA: Icons, Legends, Hall of Famers, Super Stars, and All-Stars.
I don't care what you say, the first level of greatness is limited to two players and two players only. That would be Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James. They are by far the best in the league.
Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, and Dwight Howard are just a level short. Kobe and LeBron both have MVP awards and are the faces of the league. Icons are people who are never forgotten, and Kobe and LeBron are building legacies that will never be forgotten.
I already mentioned the second tier of players in Wade, Anthony, Duncan, and Howard. I would like to add Chris Paul and Kevin Garnett to that list. Shaq has been at this stature in the past and I think his legacy is great enough to be in the Legends category. Four of these players have won an NBA title, and Howard will be a favorite to return next year. I don't think Paul will win a title with the Hornets, but Carmelo has a chance with Denver.
The next level of players are Hall of Famers. I think it is fair to think Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Tony Parker are on this level. Granted, they may not all make the Hall of Fame, but they are studs in their own right.
The fourth level is the Super Stars. I think they include Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and Deron Williams. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are also added to this list. They are arguably the best players on their respective teams but in my opinion not Hall worthy.
The fifth is the All Stars. Carlos Boozer, Michael Redd, and Derek Fisher are players I would consider All Stars. They are all good at their own things and none of them ever gives up. Fisher has four NBA titles, and Michael Redd and Carlos Boozer are Olympic Gold Medalist.
Note: I did not use retired NBA players for this list and I did not use every player that could have been added.