We all have our own opinions on who the greatest NBA players of all time are, but there are some that everyone can agree on. Here are the 75 best players in NBA history.
To compile our list of the 75 Greatest NBA Players of All-Time, we reached out to our NBA Insider Shaun Powell, as well as former players, current players and media members who have covered the league throughout its history. We asked them to rank their top 10 all-time players, and we compiled the results to arrive at our top 75.
The 75 Greatest NBA Players
In honor of the NBA’s 75th anniversary, we compiled a list of the 75 greatest players in league history. To be eligible, a player must have played in at least one NBA season. This list was compiled using a number of different criteria, including: longevity, individual and team success, statistical dominance, and cultural impact.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, nicknamed “Cap”, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, having scored 38,387 points.
Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. He contributed to five championship teams in his career as a center, earning him NBA Center of the Year honors four times. He is considered one of the greatest players in both college basketball and NBA history.
At center, Abdul-Jabbar was selected to be on ten All-Defensive Teams—five first team selections and five second team selections. In 2000 he was voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by a panel of former players and coaches. In 2008, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
LeBron James is widely considered to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He is a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player and has won three NBA championships. He has also been named an All-Star 12 times and has won two Olympic gold medals.
Widely regarded as the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan dominated the game during his 15 seasons in the NBA. A 6-time Finals MVP, Jordan was an integral member of six Chicago Bulls championship teams. He was also a 10-time scoring champion and a 14-time All-Star.
Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five NBA championships. He was a 15-time All-Star, and was named the league MVP in 2008. He is considered one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, and was known for his competitive drive and will to win.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional basketball player and current president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had tested positive for HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for good.
Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2, and set the NBA record for single-season assists per game in 1982–83 at 14.6. He was a member of one of professional basketball’s most famous tandems as he teamed with Abdul-Jabbar on what was known as the “Showtime” Lakers that won five NBA championships together from 1980 to 1988 making seven trips to the NBA Finals altogether.
In 1996, as a member of the Olympic team, he won an Olympic gold medal. He was honoured as one of only four players named to both discreet lists – one consisting solely of former players and one consisting solely of current players – recognizing him accordingly as both one of the 50 greatest players ever and one of only six players who played entirely after 1980 who were considered worthy enough to join such a distinguished group. Johnson was inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, inducted into Basketball Hall of Famedisambiguation needed ] Class of 2020,[16Make sentence clearer defined 16make it simpler]
In the final analysis, these are the 75 greatest NBA players of all time. These players have left their mark on the game and have become legends. They have inspired future generations and will continue to do so.
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