The Top 10 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time
In the following slides, I will explain who and why are in the top ten greatest players of all time.
I base my picks of the top ten players on this: MVP awards, championship rings, playoff appearances, awards, offensive and defensive stats compared to their era, playoff numbers, league leaders, and longevity.
No. 1 Micheal Jordan
I would like to say more, but he's pretty much the ideal factor if you look at the list. Nothing is wrong about him or his stats. Nothing...
No. 2 Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Six MVP's, six championships, two Finals MVP's, 18 playoff appearances, and a 10-time All-NBA first team.
From 1969-81 he was the leader in scoring, FG percentage, rebounds, and blocks. He averaged over 20 PPG in all except three seasons.
He was a five-time All-NBA Defensive Team and a 19-time All-Star...those are crazy stats!!
Yes, most people oblige into putting Wilt Chamberlain in front because Wilt was indeed more dominant. But then you put longevity into matter. Abdul Jabbar was amazing for 12 seasons meaning he was at the peak of his career. His 19 All-Star appearances will be a record which will undoubtedly stay in history for a long time.
With all this said, his rightful place is No. 2.
No. 3 Wilt Chamberlain
Four MVP's, two Championships, one Finals MVP, 13 playoff appearances, six-time All-NBA first team.
From 1959-66 he is the leader in scoring, rebounding, and second in FG percentage, All-Defensive team twice (didn't keep track until 1968 though), and a 12-time All-star.
The most dominant player of all-time, Chamberlain also had records and made the playoffs almost every year. But when it comes down to longevity, you just have to give the No. 2 spot to Abdul Jabbar.
Both were MVP's numerous times, both led the league in rebounding and FG percentage a couple times in their career, but Abdul Jabbar was just better.
No. 4 Magic Johnson
I know the last two players have been Los Angeles Lakers in some point of career, but you just can't ignore three MVP's, five championships, three Finals MVP's, 13 playoff appearances, nine-time NBA first team.
From 1981-91 among guards, he was fifth in scoring, second in FG percentage, first in rebounding and in assists, 11th in steals, 12 time All-Star appearances, while being in the playoffs every single season of his career.
He was never a great defender, but let the MVP's speak for themselves. Until Kobe Bryant wins one more ring, I put him as the best Laker of all-time.
No. 5 Larry Bird
Probably not the first Boston Celtic most people would put in the top ten, but here he is.
Bird's stats: three MVP, three championships, two Finals MVP's, 12 playoff appearances, nine-time NBA first team, from 1980-88.
Among forwards, he's fourth in scoring, first in FT percentage, first in three-point percentage, third in rebounds, first in assists, first in steals, All-NBA defensive Second team three times, and a 12-time NBA All-Star.
Possibly the greatest forward ever, Bird could assist, score, and rack up rebounds better than any other forward of his era. He would be above Magic if it wasn't for the rings.
No. 6 Bill Russel
The reason for his decline in the top ten will be explained after a couple of stats:
He has five MVP's , 11 championships, 13 playoff appearances, and a three-time NBA first team.
From 1957-65 he was fourth among centers in scoring, seventh in FG percentage, second in rebounds, and most likely first in blocks, although we will never know.
He is a 12-time NBA All-Star and again most likely would be 12-time All-Defensive player.
If you look at most top ten lists, they rank Russel in the top two or three, but I don't see someone in the top five who didn't play well on both sides of the court. He also played with at least four other great players who played really well on the offensive side.
I know it's hard to argue with someone who has five MVP's, but how many championships would he have without the rest of his team?
No. 7 Shaquille O'Neal
I really am not trying to get as many players as possible from the Lakers, but with someone like Shaq who had one (should of been more) MVP, four championships, 14 playoff appearances, and an eight-time NBA First-team, it's hard not to include him on the list.
From 1994-03, he is first in scoring and FG percentage, second in rebounding, fourth in blocks, and a 14-time All-Star (he would probably be in the top five if he had gotten an MVP honor in his two other deserving seasons.
Someone who scored, swatted, and rebounded as dominant as Shaq deserves to be in the top ten though.
If you look at all the active players right now, I think Shaq has had the best career.
No. 8 Bob Pettit
Pettit is usually not mentioned in top ten lists, which kills because of these stats: two MVP's, one championships, nine playoff appearances, and a 10-time All-NBA first team.
From 1956-65, he was second in scoring, 10th in FG percentage, second in rebounding, and 18th in assists, being name an All-Star 11 times.
I mean after looking at his stats, it's hard not to have some respect for the Pettit.
No. 9 Oscar Robertson
I always have arguments about whether Robertson really is as great as people say he was, but then I changed my attitude towards him when I looked at these:
One MVP, one championship, 10 playoff appearances, and a nine-time All-NBA first team.
From 1961-68, among guards, he was first in scoring, rebounding, assists, and FG percentage. He's a 12-time NBA All-Star.
At some point in his career, he was the best guard in the league. Now I realize the reason he isn't higher is because of the one MVP and one championship, while every player in the top eight has more.
No. 10 Tim Duncan
I never really liked the way Duncan played the game, so I didn't want to put him in the top 10, but you really cant argue against these stats:
Two MVP's, four championships, three Finals MVPs, 10 playoff appearances, and a nine-time All-NBA first team.
From 98-04, he is seventh in scoring, fifth in FG percentage, first in rebounding, third in blocks, and a nine-time NBA All-Star, and 10-time NBA All-Defense.
Looking at these stats, I wonder if I should of put him higher up on the list, significantly because of his scoring (a top ten scorer almost every year of his career), and also Duncan being the great defender that he is.
If he leads the Spurs to another title, I can imagine him in the top six.