Top 10 NBA Small Forwards of All Time

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Top 10 NBA Small Forwards of All Time

10. James "Big Game" Worthy

Worthy was one of the key players on the legendary Showtime Lakers teams in the 1980s. He fit perfectly with the team, as he was exceptional in the open floor and was one of the greatest finishers near the basket of all time.

In his 12-year career, he had averages of 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists, along with 1.1 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. He also shot a fantastic 52.1 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line.

He was selected to the All Star team seven times and was selected to the All NBA team twice, with both of the selections being on the third team. He was also one of the best big-game performers (opposite of Lamar Odom) as he was nicknamed "Big Game" James.

He helped the Lakers win three championships and he also won the 1988 Finals MVP, as the Lakers defeated the Pistons in seven games. Finally, he had one of the greatest Finals performances in Game Seven, as he scored 36 points, grabbed 16 rebounds, and had 10 assists.

 

9. Alex English

English was one of the greatest scorers of all time, as he is 12th all time in total points with 25,613 career points. He had career averages of 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks per game. He also shot a tremendous 50.7 percent from the field and 83.2 percent from the free-throw line.

He was selected to eight All Star teams and was also selected to the All NBA team three times, with all of the selections on the second team. He won one scoring title in the 1982-1983 season and led the league in total points twice.

 

8. Adrian Dantley

Dantley was also one of the greatest offensive players of all time, as he ranks 18th all time with 23,177 total points. His career averages were 24.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and three assists per game, along with one steal. He also shot an unheard of 54 percent from the field and a great 81.8 percent from the free throw line.

He was selected to six All Star teams in his career, along with winning the 1977 Rookie of the Year Award. He was also selected to the All NBA team twice, with both selections as a member of the second team. Finally, he won two scoring titles and averaged over 30 points per game in three different seasons.

 

7. Dominique Wilkins "The Human Highlight Film"

Wilkins was one of the most exciting and entertaining players in the history of the league. In his career, he averaged a superb 24.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. He also averaged 1.3 steals and shot 46.1 percent from the field and 81.1 percent from the free-throw line. He ranks seventh all time in total points with 26,668 in his career.

He was selected to nine All Star teams and was selected to seven All NBA teams, with one of them on the first team and four of them on the second team. Finally, he won one scoring title in the 1985-1986 season and averaged over 30 points per game in two seasons.

 

6. Scottie Pippen

Pippen was one of the most all-around offensive players of all time and one of the five greatest perimeter defensive players ever. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, two steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. He also shot a solid 47.3 percent from the field and 70.4 percent from the free-throw line.

He was selected to seven All Star teams and was also selected to the All NBA team seven times, with three of the selections on the first team. He was also selected to 10 All NBA defensive teams, with eight of the selections as a member of the first team.

Finally, he helped the Bulls win two different sets of three-peats in the 1990s, six overall.

 

5. Rick Barry

Barry is one of the most underrated players of all time, as he averaged an amazing 23.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, five assists, and two steals per game, as he was one of the most all-around players ever. He also shot a solid 45 percent from the field and an unbelievable 90 percent from the free-throw line. 

Barry was also selected to seven All Star teams and to the All NBA team five times, with four of them on the first team. He also won the 1966 Rookie of the Year Award. He also won a scoring title, as he averaged 35.6 points in the 1966-1967 season.

He also led the Golden State Warriors to a championship in the 1974-1975 season. He won the Finals MVP in the 1975 Finals as his Warriors swept the Bullets.

 

4. Julius Erving "Doctor J"

"Doctor J" was one of the most entertaining and athletic players of all time. As the face of the NBA for several years, he averaged 22 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists, along with a fantastic 1.8 steals and 1.5 blocks. He also shot a fantastic 50.7 percent from the field and 77.7 percent from the free-throw line.

The Doctor was selected to 11 All Star teams and was also selected to the All NBA team six times, with four of the selections as a member of the first team. He also won the MVP Award in the 1980-1981 season and two All Star game MVP's. Finally, he led the Sixers to a championship in the 1982-1983 season.

 

3. Elgin Baylor

Baylor is probably the most underrated player of all time. In his 14-year career, he averaged a fantastic 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. He also shot 43.1 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free-throw line.

He also had one of the greatest statistical seasons ever in the 1961-1962 season, as he averaged 38.3 points and 18.6 rebounds, along with 4.6 assists.

Baylor was selected to 11 All Star teams and an unbelievable 10 times on the All NBA team, with all of the selections as a member of the first team. He also won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1959 and the All-Star Game MVP in 1959.

He ranks fifth all-time in career points per game, but he never won a ring, as his Lakers repeatedly lost to the Celtics in the Finals.

 

2. John Havlicek

Havlicek was one of the most all-around players at both ends of the court. He averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, along with 1.2 steals. He also shot 44 percent from the field and 81.5 percent from the free throw line. He also ranks 10th all time in the NBA, with 26,395 career points.

He was selected to 13 All Star teams and to the All NBA team 11 times, with seven of the selections on the second team and four on the first team.

He was also selected to the All NBA Defense team eight times, with five of the selections on the first team. He also helped the Celtics win eight championships and finally he won the 1974 Finals MVP, as he led the Celtics over the Kareem-led Bucks in seven games.

 

1. Larry Bird

Bird is one of the five greatest players of all time. He averaged an amazing 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks. He also shot a fantastic 49.6 percent from the field, 37.6 percent from the three-point line, and 88.6 percent from the free-throw line. He was selected to 12 All Star teams in his 13-year career.

He was also one of the most clutch players of all time, as he had several legendary performances in the playoffs and several game-winning shots. He also led the Celtics to three championships in the 1980s. He was also selected to the All NBA team 10 times, with nine of the selections on the first team.

Bird also won three consecutive MVP awards from 1983 to 1986, one All-Star Game MVP, and two Finals MVP awards. He also won the 1980 Rookie of the Year Award. Finally, he and Magic revived the NBA with their legendary rivalry in the 1980s after the league's popularity dropped in the late '70s.

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