When it comes to opening doors to debate, nothing is more effective than a top 10 list. Especially when it involves ranking athletes. Because these are all purely subjective, there will always be both negative and positive feedback. This list ranks the top 10 basketball players of all time, according to me. Agree or disagree, thats up to you. Either way let me know what you think.
1. Michael Jordan: The greatest combination of statistics and championships and the most beloved player to ever lace them up. Also one of the greatest salesmen/advertiser out there. The man could endorse broccoli and kids would buy it.
2. Bill Russell: The greatest winner in sports history. Not only did he win 11 championships and 5 MVP awards, he, along with Wilt Chamberlain, was a huge civil rights activists who played his ball during the racially insensitive 60’s.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Retired as the all time leader in points scored over a career. Featured the most unstoppable scoring move in history, the sky hook. Also won a record 6 MVP’s and 6 championships.
4. Kobe Bryant: One of three players on the list whose career is still active. Already features 5 championships, an MVP, and 2 finals MVP’s. On pace to break the all time scoring record. Regarded as the most polarizing player in the game today.
5. Magic Johnson: The greatest point guard of all time. Executed some of the greatest highlights ever. Ended his career as the leader in assists (recently passed by John Stockton, Marc Jackson, Jason Kidd). Led the Lakers to 5 championships.
6. Larry Bird: The Legend. Could be much higher on the list and nobody would argue. One of the most unorthodox players ever, he featured one of the deadliest and most accurate jump shots in history. Won three straight MVP’s and led his Celtics to 3 championships before his career was cut short to injuries.
7. Tim Duncan: The greatest power forward of all time. With 4 championships and 2 MVP’s at his disposal, Duncan was the most consistent player to grace the court. 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks were all but guaranteed the moment the clock started. Also one of the greatest defensive players ever.
8. Wilt Chamberlain: The most controversial player on the list. As high as number 1 on other lists. Although he put together the gaudiest stats anyone ever saw, he played with a “me first” attitude. As a result, despite his transcendent skill, he only won two championships, a telling stat because he played against Bill Russell his whole career. Russell’s team oriented style always prevailed over Wilt’s prolific statistics. Based on sheer talent and force, however, Wilt is at or near the top.
9. Jerry West: He is the NBA logo. West only won one championship, due in large part to having to play Bill Russell’s Celtics every year. The combination of Wilt and West finally prevailed. Also known as Mr. Clutch because of the tough shots he always seemed to hit with the game on the line.
10. Shaquille O’Neal: In his prime, the most dominant force to ever lace them up. Relied on sheer strength and size to amass 4 championships and an MVP award. Reluctance to take care of his body and refine his game keeps him from being any higher on the list.