Kendrick Perkins Omits Michael Jordan from Top-5 All-Around NBA Players Ever

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kendrick Perkins poses for a portrait during the NBA basketball team media day in Independence, Ohio. Veteran forward Kendrick Perkins is back with the Cavaliers. Cleveland signed Perkins on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, the final day of the regular season, and will have him on its playoff roster as the Cavs try to make the NBA Finals for the fourth straight year.(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)
Ron Schwane/Associated Press

It's hard for basketball fans to turn anywhere right now and not find Michael Jordan with the current season suspended and The Last Dance documentary serving as a reminder of His Airness' greatness.

They won't find him on Kendrick Perkins' top-five all-around players list, though.

Perkins, who played 14 seasons for the Boston Celtics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans and is currently an ESPN commentator, listed his top five all-around players in NBA history and included some usual selections even with the glaring absence of No. 23:

Kendrick Perkins @KendrickPerkins

My All-Time Most All Around.... 1. LeBron James 2. Larry Bird 3. Scottie Pippen 4. Russell Westbrook 5. Kevin Garnett Don’t @ me!

Nobody is going to argue with LeBron James on any all-time list, and Larry Bird is on basketball's list of iconic players for many.

Scottie Pippen was an elite defensive player who helped lead the Chicago Bulls to six championships. Kevin Garnett was an on-court leader and champion. And Russell Westbrook has underscored his all-around ability by averaging a triple-double, even if he is rarely on the short list of names that come up when discussing the best players in basketball history.

It should also be noted that Perkins was teammates with James, Garnett and Westbrook at one point.

Still, Air Jordan is a head-turning omission.

While Jordan is widely remembered for his unmatched scoring ability and clutch shots, he was also a nine-time All-Defensive selection, three-time steals champion and the 1987-88 Defensive Player of the Year. 

He and Pippen would often combine to take over games on defense by pressing the opposition's top ball-handlers and using their athleticism and length to force turnovers and stifle offensive sets.

Scoring is also part of being an all-around player, and nobody in NBA history averaged more than Jordan's 30.1 points per game for an entire career.

That, along with the memories The Last Dance has rekindled, still wasn't enough to convince Perkins.