NBA Power Rankings: Tim Duncan and Every Team's Best Power Forward Ever

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IApril 4, 2011

NBA Power Rankings: Tim Duncan and Every Team's Best Power Forward Ever

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    The game of basketball has seen its fair share of fabulous players at each position, and the power forward is no exception.

    Tim Duncan, the game's best at the position, has done his own fair share of protecting his championship legacy by winning titles as well as finding individual success. In today's NBA, that deadly combination is a perfect recipe for success.

    Duncan, as well as others, got me thinking: Who is every team's greatest power forward?

    In keeping up with my series on the "Greatest Ever," I present to you that same question regarding guys who played the 4.

    With that in mind, I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!

     

    Greatest at Each Position for Each Team Series 

    Point GuardMarch 24th

    Shooting Guard—March 28th

    Small Forward—March 31st

    Power Forward—April 4th

    Center—April 8th

Atlanta Hawks: Bob Pettit

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    Years as a Hawk: 1954-1965

    Key Achievements: One-time NBA Champion, Two-time NBA MVP, 10-time All-Star, 10/1/0-time All-NBA, No. 9 jersey retired

     

    Bob Pettit was quite possibly the NBA's first great forward.

    He won the NBA's first Most Valuable Player award in 1958, and it's plausible he could've collected another before the trophy existed. He is also one out of a few players in league history to be named to the All-Star Game in every single one of his seasons.

    More importantly, though, he led the Hawks to their only championship in franchise history back in '58.

    Throughout his tenure with the Hawks, Pettit averaged better than 26 points, 16 rebounds and three assists while never picking up fewer than 20 points and 10 rebounds in a full season.

Boston Celtics: Kevin McHale

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    Years as a Celtic: 1980-1993

    Key Achievements: Three-time NBA Champion, Seven-time All-Star, 1/0/0-time All-NBA, Three-time All-Defensive, No. 32 jersey retired

     

    Nothing goes quite as synonymous like Kevin McHale and the word "tough."

    McHale was a warrior, a guy who played the entirety of Boston's 1987 postseason run with a broken foot.

    He and Larry Bird defined the 1980s Celtics, a team full of compassion as well as athletic and defensive abilities that went almost unmatched throughout the league.

    While he was not the best stat-producer of all time, McHale did have a 26-point, 10-rebound per game average during the season he broke his kicker.

    Additionally, the 6'10" big from Minnesota averaged better than 17 points and seven rebounds over his 13-year career. He shot an incredible 55 percent on all field goals during this time.

Charlotte Bobcats: Boris Diaw

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    Years as a Bobcat: 2008-present

    Key Achievements: None

     

    Boris Diaw has played primarily power forward since coming over to Charlotte in 2008, as opposed to the small forward-first spot he sported in Phoenix.

    Diaw is putting up career numbers as a Bobcat. He is averaging almost 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds throughout his two-plus season tenure in Carolina.

    He also started every single game for the Bobcats during their 2010-11 season.

Chicago Bulls: Horace Grant

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    Years as a Bull: 1987-1994

    Key Achievements: Three NBA championships

     

    Although Horace Grant didn't produce the best stats on this list, his heart and defense are prime reasons for his inclusion into the league's best.

    He spent the first seven seasons of his illustrious career as a Chicago Bull and won three titles as a member of MJ and the Gang. It was there that he established himself as one of the best post defenders in the league, as well as a fantastic rebounder.

    Grant averaged 12.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and shot better than 53 percent as a member of Chicago's finest.

    Dennis Rodman, Bob Love and Charles Oakley just barely missed attaining this spot.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Shawn Kemp

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    Years as a Cavalier: 1997-2000

    Key Achievements: One-time All-Star

     

    In just three seasons, Shawn Kemp established himself as the best power forward in Cleveland Cavaliers history.

    He was the leader of the pack, sporting an 18.5 scoring average to go with a solid 9.1 boards. The best numbers of his 14-year career came in a Cavs uniform.

    As was usually the case for Kemp, he hit the hay due to his poor work ethic, which led to weight problems and a quick departure.

    One could make a convincing Larry Nance argument or perhaps a case for Anderson Varejao, or maybe even a Cliff Robinson debate or Drew Gooden debacle.

Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki

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    Years as a Maverick: 1999-present

    Key Achievements: 2007 NBA MVP, 10-time All-Star, 4/4/2-time All-NBA

     

    As I was putting together this slideshow, it dawned upon me that Dirk Nowitzki has many ways he can call himself the "greatest" at something in league history.

    He's the greatest European in NBA history.

    He's the greatest shooting seven-foot player in NBA history.

    He's the greatest Dallas Maverick power forward.

    Heck, he's even the greatest player to ever don the Maverick jersey!

    No doubt Dirk is the best Mavs power forward, and this is quite evident through his numbers. In 13 seasons in Dallas ,he has averaged 23 points, 8.5 rebounds, one block and shot 87 and 38 percent from the free throw and three-point lines, respectively.

    Did I mention that he was seven feet tall already?

Denver Nuggets: Antonio McDyess

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    Years as a Nugget: 1995-97, 1998-2002

    Key Achievements: One-time All-Star, 0/0/1-time All-NBA

     

    As a seven-year-old playing Kobe Bryant's NBA Courtside a dozen years ago, I distinctly remember how cool his name sounded whenever he put a bucket through the net.

    He might be the first non-'80s Nugget in my series thus far, as Fat Lever, David Thompson and Alex English were the first three chosen, but Antonio McDyess' spot on this list is well-deserved and should be treated as such.

    In his 361 games played in the Rockies, McDyess put up better than 18 points, nine rebounds and a block (1.7 to be exact).

    Alas, McDyess' individual success is hidden amongst mediocre Nugget teams that rarely produced victories.

Detroit Pistons: Dennis Rodman

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    Years as a Piston: 1986-1993

    Key Achievements: Two-time NBA Champion, Two-time All-Star, Two-time Defensive Player of the Year, 0/0/1-time All-NBA, Five-time All-Defensive, No. 10 jersey retired

     

    What can I say about "The Worm" that I haven't already?

    I stated my case for his Hall of Fame candidacy, broke the news on Bleacher Report of his induction and now I have to discuss his inclusion as Detroit's best power forward? No problem.

    During his time as a Bad Boy, Rodman earned his paycheck night in and night out through his grit as well as his exceptional rebounding and defensive skills. While with the Pistons, the Worm took home Defensive Player of the Year trophies in consecutive seasons.

    I suppose I should bring up offense, too. While Rodman primed himself on the other end of the floor, he could still score when necessary, and averaged 8.8 points and grabbed 11.5 rebounds in 549 games.

    His time in Detroit as a two-time champion was just a precursor to the hell that he would raise throughout the duration of his career, and whether you liked him or not, you had to respect his game.

    Bailey Howell put up 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons in the 1960s, sure, but he had nowhere near the impact that Rodman had on the hardwood.

Golden State Warriors: Larry Smith

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    Years as a Warrior: 1980-89

    Key Achievements: None

     

    This spot could've gone to Jerry Lucas, but he played in Golden State for only two seasons.

    Another player that makes a convincing argument is Clyde Lee, another 1960s Warrior who averaged 8.5 points and 11 boards per contest.

    However, the nod goes to '80s rebounding menace Larry Smith. He played more games than any other power forward who played with the Warriors (617), and put up respectable numbers in the process, averaging 8.5 points and 10.4 rebounds.

    His best season was in 1984-85, when the Rolling Fork, Mississippi native had an 11.1 points and 10.9 rebounds.

Houston Rockets: Elvin Hayes

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    Years as a Rocket: 1968-1972, 1981-84

    Key Achievements: Four-time All-Star

     

    While this slideshow is ultimately a culmination of statistics as well as leadership and team success, Elvin Hayes' numbers alone make him the clear winner of this debate.

    Hayes enjoyed the beginning and end of his career in a Houston Rocket uniform, and while in the Lone Star State he averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. He also picked up four All-Star Game appearances in the process.

    Hayes was that rare perfect blend of a superstar, and excelled on both ends of the floor routinely. He spent his first four years as a Rocket before a "quick" nine-year hiatus, one that concluded his NBA career with four more years in Houston.

    Otis Thorpe and Charles Barkley earn the silver and bronze medals of this race.

Indiana Pacers: Dale Davis

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    Years as a Pacer: 1991-2000, 2005

    Key Achievements: One-time All-Star

     

    Dale Davis was a difficult decision here, but after taking a closer look, there is no doubt in my mind he deserves it.

    Playing alongside Reggie Miller and Mark Jackson, Davis spent the first nine years of his NBA career (and then one more later on) in a Pacer uniform, where he averaged double digits in boards and collected an All-Star appearance in the process.

    When all was said and done, Davis' name stood atop the Indiana Pacers' franchise rebounding leaders.

    If poor Clark Kellogg wouldn't have had such a devastating end to his career, he would undoubtedly have found his name etched into this selection.

Los Angeles Clippers: Elton Brand

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    Years as a Clipper: 2001-08

    Key Achievements: Two-time All-Star, 0/1/0-time All-NBA

     

    Elton Brand's second stop on his decade-plus long career was in the City of Angels as a member of the Clippers.

    While there Brand established himself as perhaps a top-five power forward in the NBA, and he blossomed into the prospect everyone wanted to see when he came out of Duke in 1999.

    In L.A., Brand averaged 20.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and an amazing 2.3 blocks per contest, a number that also can be attributed to his solid defense. His best season came in 2005-06, when he averaged 24.7, 10 and 2.5 and became a second-team All-NBA pick.

    I think it is safe to call him the greatest Los Angeles Clipper (obviously before the Buffalo move is different) of all time.

    Three years later, he is struggling to find a true niche in Philadelphia as a Sixer, and his basketball time clock is dwindling, as he is in his 30s.

Los Angeles Lakers: Elgin Baylor

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    Years as a Laker: 1958-1971

    Key Achievements: 11-time All-Star, 10/1/0-time All-NBA, 1959 Rookie of the Year

     

    While there was no obvious position that Elgin Baylor played throughout the duration of his career, he was basically considered a forward. Due to his high production in the rebounding aspect, I think it's safe to say he was a power forward.

    Plus, I didn't feel comfortable selecting Pau Gasol just yet.

    Baylor's saving grace to the NBA was that he was a polarizing figure throughout the days of segregation, and he helped revolutionize and market the game.

    In his days with the Lakeshow, Baylor averaged 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and dished out 4.3 assists per game. In total, he played 846 games with the crew in a career that spanned 13 seasons.

    In a way, he revitalized the Lakers of the 1960s. After George Mikan's departure, the franchise was seemingly on a downward spiral, and they took Baylor with the first pick of 1958's draft.

    After two final seasons in Minnesota, Baylor and the Lakers took their talents to L.A., where they would find success but no titles.

    Even though Baylor was an 11-time All-Star and was selected to 11 All-NBA teams, he might be most remembered for failing to deliver in the clutch and bring Minneapolis and Los Angeles a title.

    Vern Mikkelsen had a solid run with the Lakers additionally and should be mentioned.

Memphis Grizzlies: Pau Gasol

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    Years as a Grizzly: 2001-08

    Key Achievements: 2002 Rookie of the Year, One-time All-Star

     

    Now I feel comfortable choosing Pau Gasol with a pick here (refer to my Lakers' selection if you don't pick up on my humor).

    After being selected third overall in the 2001 NBA draft by the Grizzlies, Gasol was determined to find success individually as well as with the team, but in Memphis there was no such luck for the latter.

    On the bright side, Gasol averaged 19 points and nine rebounds. He also shot well over 50 percent and picked up one All-Star selection, a number that could have been controversially higher.

    However, after seven-plus seasons with the Grizz, Gasol was swapped for his brother Marc and others, a trade that placed him in his current home in Los Angeles.

Miami Heat: Udonis Haslem

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    Years as a Heatle: 2003-present

    Key Achievements: One-time NBA Champion

     

    When it comes to the Miami Heat and guards, there is absolutely no shortage of talent. Forwards, on the other hand, are a totally different story.

    Glen Rice earned the small-forward spot in the series, and the power-forward selection goes to Udonis Haslem, a 30-year-old veteran who has seen the majority of his professional basketball days (and all as an NBA player) along the waves of South Beach.

    Haslem was a key member of the frontcourt during the 2006 title run alongside Shaq.

    The 6'9" former Florida Gator is a solid defender and an excellent presence in the post, and an okay offensive threat. He has averaged 10 points and eight rebounds in over 500 contests as a Heatle.

    Lamar Odom perhaps could've snagged this spot had he become a mainstay in the Heat lineup, and the same goes for Brian Grant.

Milwaukee Bucks: Vin Baker

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Years as a Buck: 1993-97

    Key Achievements: Three-time All-Star, 0/1/0-time All-NBA

     

    Milwaukee presented me with one of the weaker players at the position in Vin Baker, but that's not to take anything away from him as he actually had a fine career in the city more known for its brew over basketball.

    I'll bet you didn't know he averaged 18.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and over a block during his time as a Milwaukee Buck.

    Oh, you did?

    Did you know he was selected to three All-Star Games and was even a second-team All-NBA selection in a year that had Charles Barkley, Kevin Garnett, Dennis Rodman and Chris Webber suit up at the same position?

    Oh, you knew that too?

    Well, I'm stumped. That's all I've got.

    Vin Baker, ladies and gentlemen.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Garnett

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1995-2007

    Key Achievements: 10-time All-Star, 2004 NBA MVP, 3/3/2-time All-NBA, Eight-time All-Defensive

     

    Excuse me for the length of this slide, but Kevin Garnett is the Minnesota Timberwolves, and four years after his departure the statement remains the same. Every single franchise playoff berth in T'Wolves history came when Garnett's name was found on the roster. 

    Easily the best Timberwolf in history, his records above indicate what he has done for the NBA's 26th franchise, which happens to be my favorite team in the NBA if you haven't been able to tell from the Wally Szczerbiak slide.

    In the magical season of 2003-04, "The Big Ticket" won the NBA's MVP, but ultimately the Wolves fell short in the Western Conference Finals. He led the Wolves in scoring in his last 11 (out of 12) seasons with the team. He holds four out of the five single-season scoring totals, with previously mentioned Tony Campbell holding second place amongst the KG plethora of records.

    His last three seasons delivered absolutely nothing, and after the team fell apart in the following years, nothing good happened for "The Kid" and the Pups, and he was shipped off to Boston in a blockbuster trade.

    So how am I even supposed to put someone up to Garnett on this slide? Al Jefferson had three decent years, but then again Garnett had 10 great years for the Wolves.

    Get this though: Garnett is first in franchise history in points (his 19,041 number is 11,000 better than the second-best), rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and free throws.

    Kevin Love's going to need another decade in him, folks.

New Jersey Nets: Buck Williams

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Years as a Net: 1981-89

    Key Achievements: Three-time All-Star, 1982 Rookie of the Year, 0/1/0-time All-NBA, Three-time All-Defensive

     

    Charles Linwood Williams, also known as "Buck," is the greatest player in New Jersey Nets history. He still, 22 years after leaving East Rutherford, leads the franchise in points scored, rebounds and free throws made and attempted.

    He started his career off on the right foot, averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds en route to helping the Nets win 44 games (they won 24 the previous year) and winning himself some hardware: the Rookie of the Year.

    All in all, he averaged 16.4 points and 11.9 rebounds, and shot a fantastic 55 percent from the field. Buck was awarded with three All-Star Game trips.

    His mid-range jumper got fans excited in New Jersey, and it was then that he helped lead inspirational playoff runs but didn't come close to grabbing an NBA title.

New Orleans Hornets: Larry Johnson

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    Years as a Hornet: 1991-96

    Key Achievements: Two-time All-Star, 0/1/0-time All-NBA, 1992 Rookie of the Year

     

    Being that there weren't too many inspirational candidates at this position, Larry Johnson becomes the lesser of two "evils" (or in this case, average basketball players) and grabs the power-forward spot for the New Orleans Hornets.

    Johnson came out of the 1991 NBA draft as an eager kid from UNLV, coming off two Final Four appearances (including the 1990 national championship) and looking for a chance to shine professionally.

    He did right away, averaging better than 20 points and 11 boards en route to a first-place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. The next year he averaged 22.1 and 10.1 and made it to the All-Star Game, which would be the first of two appearances. However, those would be his best two seasons in the Hornets nest, and he would be dealt in '96.

    David West put up a compelling case, but ultimately his 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game finish in a close second.

New York Knicks: Dave DeBusschere

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    Years as a Knickerbocker: 1968-1974

    Key Achievements: Two-time NBA Champion, Five-time All-Star, 0/1/0-time All-NBA, Six-time All-Defensive

     

    The third member of the 1973 NBA Finals champions thus far in the series, Dave DeBusschere joins Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe as the starting Knicks from that team.

    He was as good of a post defender as they came in the '70s, and in addition to that he was a phenomenal scorer and rebounder.

    His averages of 16 points, 11 rebounds and three assists hardly tell DeBusschere's story in the Big Apple.

    He was a hard worker who defined "tough" for the Knickerbockers, much like what Kevin McHale was to the 1980s Celtics.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Spencer Haywood

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    Years as a Super Sonic: 1970-74

    Key Achievements: Three-time All-Star, 2/1/0-time All-NBA

     

    While Shawn Kemp might be the guy you expected to see, give Spencer Haywood a legitimate shot to prove to you his resume is worth it.

    The first star forward in Seattle SuperSonics history, Haywood had a remarkable five seasons wearing the green and yellow unis. 

    He averaged 24.9 points (higher than Kemp's 16.2 clip) and 12.9 rebounds (superior to Kemp's 9.6 number) per game in 326 games for the Sonics. One season Haywood averaged better than 29 and 14. How many forwards in today's version of the league could do that in the '70s?

    The only thing going against Haywood is the fact that he only played nine postseason games for Seattle.

Orlando Magic: Horace Grant

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Years as a Magician: 1994-1999, 2001-03

    Key Achievements: Two-time All-Defensive

     

    I wanted to do a Dwight Howard-Shaquille O'Neal frontcourt in Orlando, but unfortunately (or maybe not?) they are both true centers.

    So, Horace Grant grabs this spot, and he deserves it. No one defined hard work and hustle like Grant did in the 1990s.

    He put similar numbers to what he did in Chicago as a member of the Magic, posting 11.3 and 8.2 scoring and rebounding averages. He also drained over half the shots he took.

    In search of a fourth ring, Horace Grant wouldn't get it in Orlando, but rather later as a washed-up member of the once-again Shaq-led Los Angeles Lakers of the 2000s.

Philadelphia 76ers: Charles Barkley

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    Stephen Wade/Getty Images

    Years as a Sixer: 1984-1992

    Key Achievements: Six-time All-Star, 4/3/0-time All-NBA

     

    Before he became a say-as-you-go announcer on TNT, "Sir Charles" Barkley was one of the best power forwards throughout the 1980s and '90s, and he started it all back in '84 with the Philadelphia 76ers.

    It was there that he became a six-time All-Star in eight seasons, as well as being selected to the All-NBA team seven teams (how do you get more All-NBA than All-Star?). He also won the 1987 rebounding title, snagging 14.6 per game that year.

    Barkley's numbers in Philly were phenomenal, and he averaged 23.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals while shooting an astonishing 57 percent from the floor.

    Charles Barkley was surely the face of the Philadelphia 76ers after the departure of the legendary Julius Erving, and fans embraced him and accepted him as that even though he never won a title.

Phoenix Suns: Amar'e Stoudemire

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Years as a Sun: 2002-2010

    Key Achievements: Five-time All-Star, 1/4/0-time All-NBA, 2003 Rookie of the Year

     

    I know there may be some controversy towards this pick, but ultimately Amar'e Stoudemire's longevity and consistency earns him the top spot for the Phoenix Suns.

    Tom Chambers, Charles Barkley, Truck Robinson and Mo Lucas all had their time in Arizona as the man, but Amar'e's time on the hardwood accounts for half of the four aforementioned combined.

    Sure, he may not be the best defender, but averaging 20 points and nine rebounds while being a member of consistent playoff teams that you perform adequately on (he once averaged 37 against the Spurs) earns you this spot here, even if you did depart for the Big Apple this past offseason.

    Additionally, Stoudemire was a five-time All-Star and five-time member of the NBA's All-Teams during his eight-season tenure as a Sun.

    I expect comments to be well-thought out and listed below (did you get that was humor again?).

Portland Trail Blazers: Rasheed Wallace

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    Years as a Jail Blazer: 1996-2004

    Key Achievements: Two-time All-Star

     

    Man, what a talented group we have here in Portland. Maurice "Mo" Lucas, Sidney Wicks and Buck Williams all have solid cases to take this spot, but Rasheed Wallace takes the cake here.

    'Sheed was the leader of the "Jail Blazers," and although he didn't cause any legal trouble, Wallace will always be noteworthy in the league's history for his uncontrollable temper, which led him to commit the most technical fouls in NBA history.

    Anyways, 'Sheed had seven-plus great (basketball-related, of course) seasons in the Rose City, and in each and every one of them, the Blazers found the postseason.

    All in all, Wallace averaged 16.8 points and seven boards while taking the Blazers to two Western Conference Finals appearances.

    That's more than any of the group above can say, and 'Sheed squeezes out a close one over Lucas.

Sacramento Kings: Chris Webber

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Years as a King: 1998-2005

    Key Achievements: Four-time All-Star, 0/5/0-time All-NBA

     

    I'm not going to lie, I sort of miss the days when Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Webber and Vlade Divac consistently strung together great campaigns for the Sacramento Kings.

    However, only one of the aforementioned will find a permanent place in this series, and his name is Chris Webber.

    Webber was one of the more shy players in the league during his prime, and even though he could dominate low, he didn't prefer to do it all by myself.

    I really liked his game when he ran the floors of the NBA. I also like him for another reason: He missed the series-winning shot against my beloved Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals, so thank you for that Chris.

    He put up great numbers as a King, ranging from the 23.5 points he averaged to the 10.6 clip he put up rebounding. He also grabbed and blocked 1.5 apiece. He was constantly a member of the NBA's Second Team, an honor he was named for five times. He also had four All-Star appearances in his seven years in Sacramento.

    His all-around solid game easily earns him the spot here. Plus, he displayed longevity through the fact that he battled through injuries and still played in 377 games as a member of Sacramento's finest.

San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan

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    Years as a Spur: 1997-present

    Key Achievements: Four-time NBA Champion, Three-time NBA Finals MVP, Two-time NBA MVP, 13-time All-Star, 9/3/1-time All-NBA, 1998 Rookie of the Year, Eight-time All-Defensive

     

    Taking an excerpt from my duel article with Featured Columnist Ethan S. where we compared the Spurs' and Mavericks' chances at getting to the NBA Finals this season, I mentioned Tim Duncan here:

    "Already 14 years (wow, I feel old now), two MVPs and four championships into his illustrious career, Duncan really has nothing to prove, as he is already the greatest player in the history of the NBA at his position. He no doubt will join the best in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He is a top-15 player of all time. If he adds a few titles, he could be a top-10 player when all is said and done."

    I stand by my comments. I also challenge someone to find something Duncan has not done in his career. He's won four titles, three Finals MVPs and two regular season MVPs. Duncan has been an All-Star, All-Defense, All-NBA and lastly was a Rookie of the Year recipient.

    Simply put, "The Big Fundamental" is the San Antonio Spurs franchise.

    Nobody from the Spurs' history matches what Duncan has done for the franchise. He holds every important statistical record of the club other than assists and steals.

    I could mention the fact that he has averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks over his career too, but you already get the point.

    It's hard to believe he's well over 1,000 games into his career already.

    How many years does he have left?

    Only time will tell, but I'll guess three or so. In all honesty though, he's accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the NBA.

    Not many others can say the same.

Toronto Raptors: Chris Bosh

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    Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Years as a Raptor: 2003-2010

    Key Achievements: Five-time All-Star, 0/1/0-time All-NBA

     

    Easily one of the five or so least stressful decisions on the list, Chris Bosh is yet another example of a player who found great individual success in Toronto but got absolutely nowhere beyond April with the team (see Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Andrea Bargnani or Damon Stoudamire). In seven campaigns Bosh only took the underachieving Raptors to the playoffs twice.

    Bosh, while being a top-10 power forward during his time in Canada, was never really considered a superstar like Carter was a decade ago. Fans revered him but weren't attached to him.

    He is as soft as they come now, and even as a member of the Raps he was. Still, that doesn't take away the 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds he averaged while establishing himself as simply a great player on a bad team (see Kevin Love this season). He also had some decent range and could shoot well from the charity stripe.

    I couldn't even name a runner-up in this contest. Bosh easily takes the cake here.

Utah Jazz: Karl Malone

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    Years as a Jazz player: 1985-2003

    Key Achievements: 13-time All-Star, Two-time NBA MVP, 11/2/1-time All-NBA, Three-time All-Defensive

     

    Is it altogether plausible to call Karl Malone the greatest forward to never win a title?

    Well, I'm going to do that anyway.

    Despite his already extremely high standing among NBA greats, "The Mailman" never tasted pay dirt besides having a solid support cast that included the walking pick-and-roll disposal that was John Stockton.

    Now let's get to the non-title winning hardware: He was a two-time MVP, a 13-time All-Star and All-NBA team picks, and even pitched in on D and snagged three All-Defensive selections.

    Now to the stats: 25.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists to go with a career field goal percentage of 51.7. Those are pretty astounding numbers, huh? He played in a grand total of 1,434 games, a number that ranks with the all-time best. 

    Oh yeah, and he is a top-five scorer of all time. I can't believe I forgot to mention that! Sorry, Mailman.

    By the way, I just realized something: the Jazz's all-time team could destroy at least 80 percent of other franchises. Just thinking about a lineup of Stockton, Maravich, Brantley and Malone makes you froth at the mouth, doesn't it?

Washington Wizards: Elvin Hayes

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    Years as a Bullet: 1972-1981

    Key Achievements: One-time NBA Champion, Eight-time All-Star, 3/3/0-time All-NBA, Two-time All-Defensive

     

    Elvin Hayes joins Horace Grant (isn't that weird how that worked out?) as the sole two players who represented two different teams on this list.

    Sandwiched between two four-year stints with the Houston Rockets, Hayes spent a nine-year run with the Washington Bullets, with whom he won a title in 1978.

    He played alongside Wes Unseld in the frontcourt to form one of the greatest rebounding duos ever. Together they would routinely average 27 boards, Hayes snagging just under 13 of those.

    Throw in the 21.3 scoring average and the two swats per game he sported, and you have yourself a fairly simple pick for the franchise of our nation's capital.

    Plus he had eight All-Star Games, six All-NBA selections and two Defensive team selections and the choice has becoming even clearer: Elvin Hayes!

    Antwan Jamison could've made a case had he played more power forward, as opposed to small forward.

About the Author

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    Joseph Fafinski is a 19-year-old, originally from Chaska, Minnesota.

    He is currently a freshman at the University of Missouri pursuing a career in journalism.

    He is a huge fan of basketball, football, baseball and golf, and is a Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also loves the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Twins.

    You can follow Joseph on Twitter at @JosephFafinski.

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