The most well-rounded players in the history of the NBA have had some fairly unique skill sets.
While their offensive efficiency is on clear display, these athletes have established themselves at both ends of the court in a rather big way.
There has been a lot of talent in the league, but these 50 guys really knew how to play the game of basketball with impressive skill in every aspect of the game.
Career stats: 15.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.2 stl, 0.3 blk, 83.1 FT %, 50.2 FG %
While Moncrief’s career statistics may not exactly be labeled an automatic qualifier here, his numbers were really skewed by his final four seasons in the NBA.
Prior, Moncrief was seemingly a lock for 20-plus on a nightly basis, at least a steal per game, and he kicked in a handful of rebounds and assists to boot.
Career stats: 10.8 ppg, 14.0 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.1 stl, 0.6 blk, 63.3 FT %, 50.9 FG %
Another player who really deserves more attention than he’s received in past years, Unseld showed the ability to be much more than just a double-double threat during his playing days.
Showing impressive durability and a sky-high field goal percentage throughout his career, it’s no wonder Unseld was a real problem on the court for the opposition that attempted to cover him.
Career stats: 18.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 7.4 apg, 1.1 stl, 0.1 blk, 81.0 FT %, 46.7 FG %
Archibald is noted for his ability to find his teammates all over the court regardless of where they stood, but passing wasn’t his only good quality.
He had the ability to fill up the bucket in a big way with five seasons of 20-plus points nightly, including one where he led the league with 34.0 ppg and 11.4 assists.
Career stats: 24.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.0 stl, 0.2 blk, 81.8 FT %, 54 FG %
Despite his obvious ability to find the bottom of the net, Dantley is often left out of the discussion when talking about the most productive scorers in league history.
Not only could he score, but Dantley did it with a beautiful stroke that left his stat line sparkling with sky-high marks from the field and the charity stripe.
Career stats: 15.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.6 stl, 0.4 blk, 77.4 FT %, 45.8 FG %
Injuries really ruined Hardaway’s very promising potential, but when he was on the court, Hardaway really flashed some special skills.
Illustrating the ability to score 20-plus per night, drop dimes as soon as he saw an opening and be a force on the defensive end, it would’ve been truly incredible to see Penny’s career unfold had he been able to stay healthy.
Career stats: 18.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 7.5 apg, 80.3 FT %, 37.5 FG %
Cousy didn’t need to light up the floor to illustrate his well-rounded game, and that is evidenced in his impressive statistics in addition to his career scoring average.
He really showed off his passing prowess by leading the league in assists for eight straight seasons, earning the nickname Houdini of the Hardwood.
Career stats: 14.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.7 stl, 0.4 blk, 74.3 FT %, 47.7 FG %
Robertson wasn’t a huge contributor on the offensive end in terms of scoring, but his ability to do the little things for his team shouldn’t be discounted.
The man averaged an insane 2.7 steals over the course of his career, including five seasons of at least three per game.
Career stats: 17.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 8.2 apg, 1.6 stl, 0.1 blk, 78.2 FT %, 43.1 FG %
Hardaway’s career is often left as one of the least talked about, but it’s hard to wrap my head around the reason for that, considering just how good he was.
Showing off his skills from the very first season he came into the league, there weren’t many point guards like Hardaway capable of lighting it up from all over the floor while maintaining a steady hand in facilitating the offense.
Career stats: 18.8 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.6 stl, 2.4 blk, 69.8 FT %, 58.2 FG %
There’s not a lot that Gilmore couldn’t do as part of his well-versed repertoire, and he really brought it on both ends of the floor.
In addition to his astounding ability to find the hoop on the offensive end, Gilmore protected the rim on defense and never shied from someone attempting to challenge his space.
Career stats: 19.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 9.3 apg, 1.9 stl, 0.3 blk, 75.9 FT %, 45.2 FG %
Thomas’ electric playing days are readily masked by his terrible tenure in the front office, but that’s not a distraction that fans should let get in the way of appreciating a solid career.
Blessed with the ability to score, pass and even play a very solid role on the defensive end, Thomas' well-rounded attack was instrumental in the Pistons' success during his time in the league.
Career stats: 16.1 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 69.9 FT %, 43.2 FG %
DeBusschere appeared on six NBA All-Defensive Teams, was a five-time All-Star and was even named one of the league’s 50 greatest players during the league’s 50th anniversary.
Impressively, DeBusschere averaged a double-double despite standing just 6’6”, and his ability to contribute on both ends of the floor made him one of the most well-rounded players of his generation.
Career stats: 22.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.5 stl, 0.6 blk, 80.5 FT %, 44.8 FG %
“The Truth” simply goes about his business on such a consistent basis that it often gets overlooked because it’s become expected.
He has always been a prolific scorer, but his ability to defend often gets overlooked, as well as his willingness to grind it out and do whatever it takes for his team to win.
Career stats: 13.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 6.2 apg, 2.2 stl, 0.3 blk, 77.1 FT %, 44.7 FG %
Lever is one of those guys who really doesn’t get his proper due among most basketball fans, but it would be a mistake to leave him off of this list.
While he certainly didn’t dominate a single category, he was able to chip in across the board and always played the role that his club asked of him throughout his career.
Career stats: 21.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.6 apg, 0.9 stl, 0.7 blk, 83.2 FT %, 50.7 FG %
English really proved to be valuable in a plethora of areas throughout his career, and his efficiency was absolutely astounding in the process.
While he definitely didn’t stretch the floor by any means, English’s ability to dominate from mid-range and shoot with extreme precision made him anything but usual in terms of talent.
Career stats: 17.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 9.1 apg, 1.5 stl, 0.2 blk, 84.1 FT %, 49.3 FG %
Johnson’s contributions aren’t readily discussed among the most productive point guards of his era, but that’s mind-boggling considering just how well he played.
Proving that he can do just about anything that his team asked, Johnson regulated the offense in more ways than one while maintaining his role as a defensive enforcer.
Career stats: 17.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.3 stl, 0.6 blk, 77.0 FT %, 48.5 FG %
Hill is one of the biggest “what-if’s” in NBA history considering injuries largely decimated the prime of his career, but he made his presence felt nonetheless.
One of the more versatile forwards of his generation, Hill could really provide value on both ends of the floor without sacrificing anything at either end.
Career stats: 23.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.7 apg, 0.9 stl, 1.0 blk, 87.7 FT %, 47.6 FG %
When Nowitzki came into the NBA, he single-handedly revolutionized the way that the power forward position with his style of play.
The product of Germany has really demonstrated a proclivity to do the unthinkable for someone his size, and his shooting finesse is something that other seven-footers can only dream about
Career stats: 20.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.3 stl, 0.9 blk, 74.7FT %, 43.5 FG %
T-Mac is another candidate who could fall into the “what-if” umbrella, but he showed more than enough throughout his career prior to dealing with knee woes.
Twice leading the league in scoring while maintaining extraordinary production in other categories, T-Mac was a regular beast all over the court, including on the defensive end, where he roamed the perimeter with remarkable ease and skill.
Career stats: 16.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 6.7 apg, 1.8 stl, 0.2 blk, 72.9 FT %, 46.6 FG %
Payton’s defensive skills are what garnered him the appropriate nickname of “The Glove,” but he did a lot more than just play defense.
Payton averaged 20-plus points in seven seasons, enjoyed prolific assist totals and brought a cerebral approach that’s hard to find in today’s game.
Career stats: 20.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 5.6 apg, 2.0 stl, 0.7 blk, 78.8 FT %, 47.2 FG %
The Glide really knew how to show off his abilities, doing it all on a nightly basis no matter what his team needed from him.
Although Drexler was undoubtedly a very sound scorer, he did far more than just that, and many are far too quick to overlook his contributions on the defensive end when reminiscing about what he brought to the court.
Career stats: 25.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 stl, 0.8 blk, 74.2 FT %, 51.6 FG %
The Mailman may have not garnered the coveted championship throughout his career, but his incredible contributions should never be discounted.
Malone did it all with remarkable consistency and fantastic ability, never taking a single day off.
Career stats: 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg, 4.4 apg, 51.1 FT %, 54.0 FG %
Not only did Chamberlain dominate the competition above and beyond anyone who was on the court with him, but he did it with such ease that it looked rather effortless.
While his statistics are certainly eye-popping, Chamberlain’s passing abilities were largely underrated and vastly unappreciated.
Career stats: 20.6 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 0.7 stl, 2.3 blk, 68.8 FT %, 50.8 FG %
One of the best power forwards ever to play the game, watching Duncan’s journey throughout the NBA for the Spurs has been absolutely priceless.
TD has the ability to contribute equally on both ends of the floor, shows remarkable efficiency and has always put the team before himself since his rookie season.
Career stats: 13.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 10.5 apg, 2.2 stl, 0.2 blk, 82.6 FT %, 51.5 FG %
Stockton registered an insane 10 straight seasons of double-digit assists, leading the league in nine of those.
But Stockton’s story isn’t just about his passing skills. He also twice led the league in steals, including three seasons where he averaged at least three per game, and his impressive shooting skills were on display far too irregularly.
Career stats: 24.2 pg, 8.5 rpg, 4.2 apg, 2.0 stl, 1.7 blk, 77.7 FT %, 50.6 FG %
Erving is often remembered for his highlight-style play that left fans with their jaws on the ground, but there are other aspects of his game that should be readily appreciated.
A much better defensive player than most give him credit for, Erving controlled the flow of the game in more ways than one, and his insane athleticism allowed him to do almost anything that he wanted.
Career stats: 20.7 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 4.2 apg, 1.4 stl, 1.4 blk, 64.9 FT %, 47.9 FG %
C-Webb not only rocked through the competition with emphasis, but it’s even more impressive to think that he did it without ever playing a full slate of games in the regular season.
Webber could really do it all on the NBA hardwood, and he really presented a matchup problem for opposing power forwards in an era that saw the position change forever.
Career stats: 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.0 stl, 0.8 blk, 70.4 FT %, 47.3 FG %
Pippen’s historic career was obviously masked by Jordan’s because the two played together for a long while, but there’s no taking away any of his accomplishments.
The forward was a regular menace on the defensive end, even leading the league in steals during the 1994-95 season, and he showed impressive versatility to do anything that his team needed from him at every point in his career.
Career stats: 18.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.1 apg, 1.9 stl, 0.2 blk, 78.6 FT %, 49.0 FG %
Frazier is a legend in New York, and that’s a direct result of his ability to do a little bit of everything for his team.
His ability to shake and bake through the defense and be the definition of a triple-threat really made him nearly invaluable to a Knicks team that relied on him for success.
Career stats: 24.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 4.9 apg, 2.0 stl, 0.5 blk, 89.3 FT %, 45.6 FG %
Barry is most remembered by basketball fans for his infamous style from the charity stripe, but he did much more than just light it up from the line.
There wasn’t a lot that he was incapable of doing, and his versatility was something that didn’t present itself very often during his playing days.
Career stats: 25.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.2 stl, 1.0 blk, 84.1 FT %, 50.4 FG %
Just one look at the numbers is all it takes to tell the story of exactly how valuable Gervin was throughout his career.
A bona fide scorer, capable rebounder and sound defender, Gervin torched through the competition while showing off his electric skills.
Career stats: 22.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 stl, 1.5 nlk, 75.4 FT %, 50.3 FG %
McAdoo was an electric player, but not in the traditional sense of the word.
He didn’t possess elite speed, but he was able to destroy anyone who attempted to challenge him at either end beneath the rim, making them a complete afterthought in the assertion of himself as top dog.
Career stats: 25.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.8 stl, 1.0 blk, 76.9 FT %, 48.5 FG %
While Wade’s career still has plenty of time left, it’s fairly easy to see the uniqueness of his talent by watching him play and glancing at the numbers.
His value may be primarily as a scorer, but Wade is an excellent defender, fantastic passer and can even get up on the boards with regularity.
Career stats: 18.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 9.9 apg, 2.4 stl, 0.1 blk, 85.3 FT %, 47.1 FG %
Up to this point in his young career, CP3’s numbers have been downright unbelievable as he asserts himself as an elite NBA point guard.
Capable of being his Hornets’ lead facilitator as well as the club’s primary scorer, there’s not a lot to harp on about Paul’s rock-solid skill set.
Career stats: 22.1 ppg, 11.7 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.5 stl, 0.8 blk, 73.5 FT %, 54.1 FG %
Barkley gets a lot of attention for his shenanigans on the court that weren’t related to his game, but it’s time to show some love for one of the best undersized players of all time.
At just 6’6”, Barkley was able to do things around the rim that he simply shouldn’t have been able to do while battling much bigger players, and Barkley absolutely dominated the league.
Career stats: 20.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.2 stl, 0.3 blk, 81.5 FT %, 43.9 FG %
A legend in Celtics history, Havlicek certainly earned the spot by doing just about anything that his team ever asked from him.
One of the better rebounding guards of his generation, Havlicek showed off passing abilities all while maintaining a rock-solid scoring average.
Career stats: 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rpg, 4.3 apg, 56.1 FT %, 44.0 FG %
Russell’s defensive prowess doesn’t show up in the stat sheet because steals and blocks weren’t tracked in his day, but anyone who watched him play could attest to his skills on that end.
There weren’t a lot of players who could dominate the game that he could in the middle, and Russell really excelled as a passer for someone of his impressive size.
Career stats: 24.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 3.6 apg, 0.9 stl, 2.6 blk, 72.1 FT %, 55.9 FG %
Abdul-Jabbar re-defined the way to dominate the lane with his unorthodox style of play that really hadn’t been seen before him.
With an unstoppable sky-hook that the opposition could only dream about defending, his offensive efficiency, coupled with his defensive abilities, make him a natural candidate to appear on this list.
Career stats: 27.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 6.7 apg, 81.4 FT %, 47.4 FG %
When you’re the silhouette of the NBA, you’ve got to do some fairly impressive things in order to garner that role.
West certainly proved that he fit the bill by being able to do a multitude of things on the court, and he remains at the forefront of the conversation when it comes to ideal play from the guard position.
Career stats: 19.5 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.3 stl, 1.5 blk, 78.8 FT %, 49.8 FG %
Garnett hasn’t had the same statistical success with the Celtics that he enjoyed with the T-Wolves, but his impact on the team has been rather obvious.
A defensive monster down low for the majority of his career, Garnett changed the power forward position forever when he invaded the league straight out of high school and started running circles around defenders with far less athleticism.
Career stats: 21.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.4 stl, 3.0 blk, 73.6 FT %, 51.8 FG %
The Admiral won’t ever get the proper due that he deserves, but there’s no denying his obvious prominence as one of the most skilled centers ever to play professional basketball.
He could do anything that was asked of him on the basketball court, and he embodied what it was to be a consummate professional with his off-court image and on-court dominance.
Career stats: 21.0 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.0 stl, 2.0 blk, 67.0 FT %, 45.2 FG %
It’s amazing how underrated Hayes’ career really is, considering that he’s undoubtedly a top 50 talent of all time.
In addition to averaging a double-double, Hayes was a monster at the defensive end of the floor and regularly made his presence felt, wreaking havoc on defenders.
Career stats: 27.4 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 4.3 apg, 78.0 FT %, 43.1 FG %
Baylor was a one-man wrecking crew, registering unthinkable statistics that are marveled at by modern-day fans of the game.
It’s absolutely amazing that he isn’t more revered in basketball circles, as he was the focal point for a Lakers franchise that hit the nail right on the head with their first overall selection.
Career stats: 25.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.5 stl, 0.5 blk, 83.7 FT %, 45.4 FG %
Bryant may be getting older and seeing his game change slightly as a result, but he’s still got plenty of things that he’s able to do.
With a psychotic work ethic and a skill set that other players could only dream about, Bryant can really do just about anything on the basketball court at either end of the floor.
Career stats: 27.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 7.0 apg, 1.7 stl, 0.8 blk, 74.4 FT %, 47.9 FG %
While James is undoubtedly the most scrutinized athlete that the NBA has ever seen, his impressive versatility is not something that should be taken for granted.
While he definitely has to hone the free-throw shooting aspect of his attack, James’ ability to be the unquestioned top talent on the court at both ends ranks him among the most unique and skilled players ever to don a uniform.
Career stats: 13.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 9.1 apg, 2.0 stl, 0.3 blk, 78.4 FT %, 40.1 FG %
Kidd’s field goal percentage may not exactly be first in the efficiency ratings, but his ridiculous triple-double ability makes him a natural candidate here.
An elite passer, a skilled rebounder and a better scorer than most give him credit for, Kidd’s career is one of the best that we’ll see from a point guard for a long time.
Career stats: 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.7 stl, 3.1 blk, 71.2 FT %, 51.2 FG %
Olajuwon obviously gets the recognition that he deserves as one of the best centers ever to play, but he warrants even greater attention than he has received.
Not only was he a beast at both ends of the floor, but Olajuwon was the linchpin of his team since his rookie season and never disappointed at any moment.
Career stats: 30.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.3 apg, 2.3 stl, 0.8 blk, 83.5 FT %, 49.7 FG %
There’s a reason he’s considered the greatest player of all time, as Jordan was simply able to do things that nobody else could.
Jordan led the league in scoring 10 times, including eight seasons of 30-plus on an nightly basis, and his defensive abilities really don’t get talked about enough, considering how strong they were.
Career stats: 19.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 11.2 apg, 1.9 stl, 0.4 blk, 84.8 FT %, 52.0 FG %
Earvin earned his nickname of Magic because of his uncanny abilities to do things with a basketball that nobody else could.
One’s game has to be inordinately well-rounded to play all positions on the court, and that’s exactly what Johnson showed he could do on more than one occasion.
Career stats: 24.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 6.3 apg, 1.7 stl, 0.8 blk, 88.6 FT %, 49.6 FG %
As revered as Larry Legend is within the basketball world, he really doesn’t get the love that he deserves from a lot of people when really examining how impressive his career was.
Not only was he a 20-10 guy at 6’9”, but he was also an electric passer, sound defender and one of the best shooters ever to spot up from the perimeter.
Career stats: 25.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 9.5 apg, 83.8 FT %, 48.5 FG %
Robertson is best known for being the only player in the history of the game to have averaged a triple-double for a single season, but many don’t realize how close he came to achieving the feat several times.
In addition to his historical 1961-62 season, Robertson missed the mark by just decimal points in 1960-61 and from 1962-65.