NBA Rankings: Michael Jordan And The Best NBA Scorers Ever: Minute By Minute
I recently read a good story on the greatest scorers in NBA history, but it was one man's opinion obviously.
There is an easy way to name the actual best scorers in NBA history.
There have been only 59 players in NBA who average(d) 20.0 ppg or more for their career (at least four seasons). I got the facts on all these 59 players and simply divided how many points they scored in their career by how many minutes they played.
This gives us how many points per minute the greatest scorers ever put in the scoring column.
This list is so great because it allows for no opinion or arguments. It just shows who the best scorers for their entire careers are.
Opinion on who are the best scorers ever are interesting, but the facts are even more interesting!
No. 51: Marques Johnson: 0.586 Points Per Minute Career
One of the forgotten greats, Johnson, could score, pass and play defense. In his career, he scored 20.1 ppg in 34.29 mpg. His career per 48 minutes ppg is (.586*48) = 28.13 ppg
No. 50: Clyde Drexler: 0.591 Points Per Minute Career
He glided to tons of scoring. For his career, he scored 20.44 ppg in 34.56 mpg. His per 48 minute career scoring average (.591*48) = 28.4 ppg.
No. 49: Paul Arizin: 0.594 Points Per Minute Career
An old school great who stands the test of time. He scored 22.81 ppg in 38.42 mpg for his career. His career per 48 minute scoring is (0.594*48) = 28.51 ppg
No. 48: Mitch Richmond: 0.597 Points Per Minute Career
Richmond was a big-time scorer from everywhere. In his career, he averaged 21.0 ppg in 35.15 mpg for a per-48 minute scoring average of 28.66 ppg.
No. 47: Michael Redd: 0.599 Points Per Minute Career
Redd has quietly become one of the best scorers ever. His career averages are 20.26 ppg in 33.81 mpg. His per 48 scoring average for career is 28.75 ppg.
No. 46: Bob Lanier: 0.599 Points Per Minute Career
The big man did it all, including score in bunches throughout his career. His career averages are 20.07 ppg in 33.48 mpg for a scoring per 48 minutes average of 28.752 ppg.
No. 45: Lou Hudson: 0.602 Points Per Minute Career
Hudson is all but forgotten or not even known about. He was one of the greatest scorers ever y'all. For his NBA career, he averaged 20.16 ppg in 33.48 minutes per. His career per-48 scoring average is 28.9 ppg.
No. 44: Paul Pierce: 0.604 Points Per Minute Career
The Celtic great has always been a prolific scorer. His career ppg is 22.49 ppg in 37.26 mpg. His career per 48 average is 28.99 ppg.
No. 43: Charles Barkley: 0.604 Points Per Minute Career
Chuck was a bad dude who could score whenever he wanted to. His career averages are 22.14 ppg in 36.65 mpg. His career per 48 scoring avg is 28.992 ppg.
No. 42: David Robinson: 0.607 Points Per Minute Career
He scored 71 in a game once and was always an inside threat. His career avg. is 21.06 ppg in 34.72 mpg. His career per 48 minute scoring average is 29.14 ppg.
No. 41: Billy Cunningham: 0.608 Points Per Minute Career
The Kangaroo Kid could score kids; take my word for it. His career averages are 20.83 ppg in 34.26 mpg. His career per 48 average is 29.18 ppg.
No. 40: Moses Malone: 0.608 Points Per Minute Career
Moses led his teams to the promised land by much more than scoring but his career averages are 20.62 ppg in 33.91 mpg and his career per-48 average is 29.184 ppg.
No. 39: Hakeem Olajuwon: 0.609 Points Per Minute Career
The dream player he was. His career scoring average is 21.77 ppg in 35.72 mpg. His career per 48 scoring mark is 29.23 ppg.
No. 38: Oscar Robertson: 0.609 Points Per Minute Career
The Big O did alot more than score, but it was one of his many specialties. His career average is 25.68 ppg in an amazing 42.20 minutes per game. His per 48 career average is 29.232 ppg.
No. 37: Gilbert Arenas: 0.610 Points Per Minute Career
Gilbert can obviously shoot (pun intended). His career average is 22.71 ppg in 37.25 mpg. His career per 48 scoring average is 29.28 ppg.
No. 36: Patrick Ewing: 0.611 Points Per Minute Career
Ewing had a smooth touch for a big guy, but he took it to the hole really, really hard too. His career average is 20.98 ppg in 34.31 mpg for a career scoring average per 48 minutes of 29.33 ppg.
No. 35: Vince Carter: 0.617 Points Per Minute Career
Above all, Vince is a scorer. His career average is 22.83 ppg in 37.01 minutes per. His career per 48 scoring average is 29.62 ppg.
No. 34: Tracy McGrady: 0.622 Points Per Minute Career
To see him now you'd never guess, but his career average is 21.41 ppg in 34.42 mpg for a per 48 career average of 29.86 ppg.
No. 33: Amar'e Stoudemire: 0.623 Points Per Minute Career
The big guy is still scoring, like always. His career average is 21.36 ppg in 34.29 minutes per. His career per 48 ppg is 29.9 ppg.
No. 32: Dirk Nowitzki: 0.626 Points Per Minute Career
The big man can score from anywhere. His career average is 22.96 ppg in 36.66 mpg. His career per 48 scoring average is 30.05 ppg.
No. 31: Larry Bird: 0.633 Points Per Minute Career
The legend had it all. He was almost perfect except for his back. His career average is 24.29 ppg in 38.4 mpg. His career per 48 average is 30.38 ppg.
No. 30: Rick Barry: 0.638 Points Per Minute Career
Singlehandedly led G.S. to a title in 1975 by his awesome scoring. His career average is 23.17 ppg in 36.3 mpg. His career per 48 average is 30.62 ppg.
No. 29: Julius Erving: 0.641 Points Per Minute Career
Dr. J could, and did, do it all. His career average in the NBA is 21.97 ppg in 34.3 mpg. His career per 48 average is 30.77 ppg.
No. 28: Allen Iverson: 0.648 Points Per Minute Career
You thought he'd be higher? Well, his numbers are bloated because he played 41.12 minutes per game for his career! His scoring in that time was 26.66 ppg. Hence, his career per 48 minute scoring average is 31.1 ppg.
No. 27: Dan Issel: 0.656 Points Per Minute Career
Hey kids!!! Get to know NBA history before you run your mouth. The big guy hustled and in-turn scored like a madman for the fast paced Denver (mostly) team in the 1980s. His career scoring average is 20.42 ppg in 31.12 mpg. His career per 48 NBA average is 31.49 ppg.
No. 26: Pete Maravich: 0.656 Points Per Minute Career
Hey kids! Forget it. Pistol Pete averaged 24.24 ppg for his career in 36.95 minutes. His career per 48 average is therefore 31.49 ppg.
No. 25: Wilt Chamberlain: 0.657 Points Per Minute Career
In his first seven seasons, he went crazy scoring, but his last nine seasons were so totally different, but you don't know that do you? He scored 100 in one game, and that will never be touched, but for his ENTIRE CAREER he scored 30.07 ppg in an astonishing 45.8 minutes per game for his career! Guess his stats were kinda bloated cuz he played so many minutes. His career per 48 scoring average is 31.54 ppg. Still an awesome all around great!!!
No. 24: Bob McAdoo: 0.663 Points Per Minute Career
McAdoo was an awesome scorer throughout, but today's fans do not know him. Now they do! The forward scored 22.05 ppg in 33.25 mpg for a career per 48 scoring average of 31.82 ppg.
No.23: LeBron James: 0.663 Points Per Minute
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
C'Mon, it's LeBron! 31.82 ppg per 48-career.
No. 22: Mark Aguirre: 0.667 Points Per Minute Career
He could score anywhere and was a winner. His career scoring average is 20.0 pts in 30.0 minutes. His career per 48 scoring average is 32.0 ppg.
No. 21: World B. Free: 0.667 Points Per Minute Career
Free was a freestyle scorer that people today hardly talk about. Why? They do not know what's up. That's why. His career average is 20.27 ppg in 30.4 mpg. His career per 48 average is 32.016 ppg.
No. 20: Bernard King: 0.668 Points Per Minute Career
King is a forgotten scoring machine who would light anyone up. He was 6'8" and averaged 22.49 ppg for his career in 37.26 mpg. His career per 48 scoring average is 32.06 ppg.
No. 19: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 0.668 Points Per Minute Career
Kareem played for so long that his career averages went down. But it is obvious if he had retired earlier his ppm would be higher; but he'd have less rings. His career averages are 24.61 ppg in 36.82 mpg for a career per 48 average of 32.06 ppg.
No. 18: Kevin Durant: 0.669 Points Per Minute Career
Only in his fourth season, he is the least-experienced player on the list, but he is still among the all-time greats already. He will stay up there for his career. So far, his career avg. as of Nov. 5, 2010 is 25.3 ppg in 37.8 mpg. His career per 48 scoring clip is 32.1 ppg.
No. 17: George Mikan: 0.672 Points Per Minute Career
He was unstoppable way back in the day and is still an all-time elite player. His NBA career average is 23.13 ppg in 34.4 mpg. His career per 48 average is therefore 32.26 ppg.
No. 16: Karl Malone: 0.673 Points Per Minute Career
The Mailman always delivered scoring. In his long career, he averaged an amazing 25.02 ppg in 37.16 minutes per. His career per 48 scoring average is 32.3 ppg.
No. 15: Alex English: 0.673 Points Per Minute Career
He was as pure a scorer as ever. Believe dat. His career scoring average is 21.47 ppg in 31.91 mpg. His career points per 48 is 32.304 ppg.
No. 14: Dwyane Wade: .0676 Points Per Minute Career
Wade is still on the way up in scoring per minute I believe. Wade's (as of Nov. 6, 2010) career averages are 25.39 ppg in 37.55 minutes per. His career per 48 average is so far 32.45 ppg.
No. 13: Carmelo Anthony: 0.678 Points Per Minute Career
Melo Man Ace has so far averaged (as of Nov. 5, 2010) 24.73 ppg in 36.49 mpg. His career per 48 average is 32.54 ppg.
No. 12: Adrian Dantley: 0.679 Points Per Minute Career
AD was a scoring machine who always took it strong (as pictured). His career averages are 24.27 ppg in 35.76 mpg. His career per 48 average is 32.59 ppg.
No. 11: Bob Pettit: 0.680 Points Per Minute Career
The fact that everyone leaves Pettit off all-time lists always pisses me off. Bill Russell was NOT perfect in the finals as he and the Celtics lost to scoring machine Pettit and the St. Louis Hawks in the 1958 NBA Finals. Pettit's career averages are an awesome (No. 7 all time) 26.36 ppg in 38.75 mpg. His career per 48 minute average is 32.64 ppg.
No. 10: Elgin Baylor: 0.683 Points Per Minute Career
If only today's fans knew. Baylor was sick. His career scoring average is 27.36 ppg (No. 4 all time) in 40.03 minutes per game. His career per 48 scoring average is 32.78 ppg.
No. 9: Shaquille ONeal: 0.686 Points Per Minute Career
Shaq has attacked the rim like no one EVER!!! His career scoring average as of Nov. 6, 2010 is 24.11 ppg in 35.15 mpg. His career per 48 scoring average is 32.93 ppg.
No. 7: Jerry West: 0.689 Points Per Minute Career
The logo was an amazing all-around scorer throughout his career. His career scoring average is 27.03 ppg (No. 5 all time) in 39.24 mpg. His career per 48 average is 33.07 ppg.
No. 6: Kobe Bryant: 0.691 Points Per Minute Career
Bryant is ranked No. 11 in all-time ppg, but his scoring per minute takes him to No. 6 all-time. He hit his scoring peak years ago when he scored 81 in a game, but he's up there all time. His career average is 25.26 ppg in 36.57 mpg. His career per 48 scoring average as of Nov. 6, 2010 is 33.144 ppg.
No. 5: David Thompson: 0.692 Points Per Minute Career
Joins Wilt, Bryant and David Robinson as the only players ever to score 70+ points in a game, but he ranks No. 5 all-time overall for his career. His career scoring average is 22.13 ppg in only 32.03 mpg. His career per 48 scoring is 33.22 ppg.
No. 4: Dominique Wilkins: 0.700! Points Per Minute Career
Don't go with today's hype. Go with the truth. Dominique Wilkins is the No. 4 scorer per minute of all time. This guy was truly fun to watch and an astonishing scorer. His career average is 24.83 ppg in 35.49 mpg. His career per 48 scoring average is 33.6 ppg. He was better at scoring than ANY player in today's game. No argument there—just statistical fact.
No. 3: John Drew: 0.701! Points Per Minute Career
Believe it or not, only two guys in history scored more points per minute in their careers than John Drew. The sad thing is, 95 percent of you B/R readers have never even heard of him. You may be too young or maybe you just like to ignore reality and go with the hype.
Nevertheless, John Drew is an old school Hawks, Jazz player that I have never once seen mentioned before on B/R. Recognize people, this guy was a greater scorer than anyone playing today. For his career he played 11 seasons and scored 20.69 ppg in ONLY 29.5 minutes a game.
Nice. But he is also kind of blacklisted by the NBA because he was caught doing drugs a few times and was banned from the NBA in 1986. I do not know what is sadder, him being banned or you having never heard of him? NBA Fans? Uh...yeah.
No. 2: George Gervin: 0.780!! Points Per Minute Career
Wow, this scored at a whole other level than we all know today, except for player No. 1 on the list.
Gervin was the smoothest mutha ever, and he shot well over 50 percent from the field for his high-scoring career. His NBA career averages were 26.18 ppg in only 33.55 minutes per night! Wow, he was so unstoppable, except in his last season at age 33 when he played for the Bulls and took a backseat to No. 1. His career per 48 scoring average is an off the hook 37.4 ppg!
How you like them apples?
No. 1: Michael Jordan: 0.787 Points Per Minute Career!
Did you think he is the GOAT just because he won six titles, never lost in the Finals, was a six-time Finals MVP and even was defensive player of the year?
Well, in the end, basketball is about scoring and Michael "Air" Jordan is actually the greatest scorer of all-time. He never averaged 50 for a season, and his career high is only 69, but MJ took it out of reach for anyone ever because he steadily led the NBA in scoring 10 freakin times!
This guy was unstoppable by anyone, so don't hate, just appreciate the greatest scorer ever. He averaged 30.12 ppg for his CAREER! in 38.26 minutes a game. His per 48 minute scoring is the highest ever for a career at 37.78 ppg!
DO THE MATH KIDS!