the top 10 basketball players of all time

Alright, let’s get our sports talk going on. I’m hosting a debate about the Top 10 greatest basketball players in history and where Kobe Bryant and Lebron James fit on that list. Despite recent comments from Scottie Pippen that Lebron James might surpass MJ as the greatest player, there will never be another MJ.

Kobe and Lebron are both phenomenal players. I’m a fan of Kobe and think he’s an incredible player. He should be proud of his 5 NBA titles but there is no comparison between MJ and Kobe. Two years ago, he wasn’t in my list of Top 10 but Kobe’s 4th and 5th NBA title seal his place amongst the Top 10 greatest players of all time. As for Lebron, let’s wait till he wins couple championships. We all know he’ll easily be amongst the Top 10 players and likely in the Top 5. But let’s wait…

There is no comparison.

Below is my Top 10 list:

What do you think?
Who would you add?
Who would you remove?
Where would you place Kobe or Lebron (eventually) on that list?

1. Michael Jordan

Simply the best.

Over his career, he averaged an incredible 30.1 points, 5.3 assists, and 6.2 rebounds and had he not taken couple seasons off to pursue his baseball career, his numbers would even be that more incredible. His accomplishments are too many to list but here are some: 5 MVP awards, 10 All-NBA First Team designations, 9 All-Defensive First Team honors,14 NBA All-Star Game appearances, 10 scoring titles, and 6 NBA Finals MVP awards. He holds the NBA records for highest career regular-season scoring average (30.12 points/game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points/game). There is no equal.

Plus points for influencing my game. Minus points for gambling away.

2. Magic Johnson

He also revolutionized the game. Over his career, he averaged 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, and 7.2 rebounds and was still playing at an incredibly phenomenal level when he was forced to retired after 13 seasons. For some reason as a young teenager, I cried when he announced his retirement.

5 NBA titles and 3 MVP awards. 6 foot 9 inch point guard that could do everything including playing the center position with a baby hook.

Plus points for being Magic. Minus points for a shortened career and opening up movie theaters.

3. Kareem Abdul Jabbar

In my opinion, he’s one of the most under-rated players in history – even at #3. People don’t quite know how great he was over his expansive 20 year career. He averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.57 blocks, and 3.6 assists. Total career numbers: 38,387 points & 17,440 rebounds. 6 NBA titles and 6 MVP awards, 19 All-Star appearances, and 5 NBA ll-Defensive Team (+ 6 2nd team).

He made goggles cool. Or maybe not. Extra points for being in a Bruce Lee movie. Minus points for not being so good in that Bruce Lee movie.

4. Wilt Chamberlain


Just consider his career average: 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Just think about that. Yes, it’s true that he didn’t have many direct competitors at the center position but just consider those numbers.  Think about the one season when he averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds – per game. 2 NBA titles and 4 MVP awards.

Plus points for the 100 point game. Minus points for boasting of his supposed conquests of 10,000 women.

5. Larry Bird

Probably did the most with the least physical athletic ability amongst those on this list but certainly amongst the best pure shooters in the league. Over his career, he averaged, 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. 3 MVPs and 3 NBA titles. Also consider that he shot nearly 50% over his career (.496).

Plus points for being a great team player. Minus points for that mustache.

6. Oscar Robertson

25.7 points, 9.5 assists, and 7.5 rebounds.

12 time All Star, 11 All NBA team, 1 NBA title, and 1 MVP. As most know. he’s the ONLY player who has averaged a triple-double over an entire season.

Triple double for the entire season. Wow.

Plus points for his courage in the face of overt racism over his career. Minus points for not winning enough titles but then again, he didn’t have the supporting casts of others.

7. Kobe Bryant

Give Kobe his props. Another complete player. 5 NBA titles and surprisingly, will likely end his career with only 1 MVP award.  His current career averages: 25.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists/game.

How far will he ascend on this list after the completion of his career. He might barely crack the Top 5.

Plus points for speaking Italian. Minus points for the Colorado incident.

8. Bill Russell

Game changer. 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists.

And one more thing: 11 NBA titles. Rings. Rings. Rings. One for every finger and one for his big toe.

No one has ever won more championships than Bill Russell. Enough said.

9. Julius Erving

The author of one of the greatest basketball shot called by many as the Baseline Move.  Over his career (via the ABA and NBA), he averaged  24.2 points/game and 8.5 rebounds/game.  3 titles, 4 MVPs, and the originator of playing above the rim.

Points for the fro. Minus points for his ABA career.

10. Tim Duncan

Another active player on the list.  But over his career (thus far), he’s quietly building a very compelling career to warrant his place on the Top 10 list: 4 NBA titles, 2 MVPs, 3 NBA Final MVPs, 13 All-NBA teams, and 13 All-Defensive Teams. Career averages currently at 21.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.3 blocks/game.

Duncan began playing basketball in 9th grade but will likely go down in history as the greatest Power Forward of all time.

Plus points for the greatest bank shot in the game. Minus points for looking shocked every time he’s called for a foul.

Well, what do you think?

So many worthwhile contenders that I will simply include as Honorable Mention members and some that could easily be in slots 9 and 10 on my list:

Shaquille O’Neal, John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Pete Maravich, Elgin Baylor, Bob Cousy, David Robinson, Jerry West..

As for Lebron, let’s wait till he wins couple championships. We all know he’ll easily be amongst the Top 10 players and likely in the Top 5. But let’s wait…

And oh how  I wish I was 6′ 7″ with game to play in the NBA:

165 Replies to “the top 10 basketball players of all time”

  1. The old school guys seem to know how to play better. I don’t know, maybe just me. I favor the ‘smaller’ players. I agree w/ the list, just maybe: 1) MJordan 2) MJohnson 3) Larry Bird 4) Dr. J. 5) Kareem.

    1. I think Oscar and Kobe have to be higher.Kobe definitely belongs higher than Bird.Kobe would have more MVP’s if it werent for him just being an asshole.Im 43 so i grew up watching Bird.Without the bad back he could have done more.
      Wilt could be #1,nobody changed the game as did he.Im ok with Jordan but Wilts numbers cannot be argued.He averaged 57 fantasy points a game!!!!!

    2. Good. But Here is the actually top 10 (I will throw in more so you guys can see where Kobe ACTUALLY places among the greatest)

      1) Wilt Chamberlain
      2) Magic Johnson
      3) Michael Jordan
      4) Bill Russell
      5) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
      6) Oscar Robertson
      7) Larry Bird
      8) Shaquille O’neal
      9) Tim Duncan
      10) Julius Erving
      11) Elgin Baylor
      12) LeBron James
      13) Karl Malone
      14) Kevin Garnett
      15) Bob Cousy
      16) Jerry West
      17) Kobe Bryant

      1. why r u such a kobe hater… ur an idiot for putting lebron on that list its completely contradictory. Its one thing to put top 10 basketball ability on the list then it would be (michael, kobe, lebron) which is always going to get better with time.. theres gonna be a player in the future that will be able to shoot half court shots in a game haha. but in terms of achievements and dominance… how that hell can u put lebron on that list… everybody knows kobe has been the most dominant of his time not to mention his 5 championships.. thats why hes in the top 10..
        if lebron retired now… what kind of career is that shit?

        1. When exactly was Kobe’s time? Was it when Shaq was the man at the Lakers, no. The season after Shaq left? No. Is it now? He may be argueably one of the ‘men’, but aint the man. When precisely was Kobe’s time, when he was the most dominant? A year or two? That doesn’t qualify as a top 10 player.

          1. I agree that kobe wasnt THE man when shaq was there, but his numbers were off the charts from 2001-2004 with shaq, as good as lebrons now, and it is much harder to put up stats on a great team than on a crap team when you have more opportunity. From 2003 to arguably now he has been the greatest player in the nba. tim duncan and shaq were all that were possibly better early in those years, and lebron is the only one you can argue about later in kobe’s career.

          2. kobes time of the best in the league was 03 -10…he may have not won it every year but he was still in the top 2 all those years…why was it his time? becuase he was on the first team all nba for both offense and deffense all those years, won his mvp award, added 2 more titles, and should have won at least 1 more mvp award… hes the best player of the 2000’s no doubt

      2. Fairly good list, but Russell shouldn’t be any higher than 6th, because his points per game ave. was too low (15.1) considering he was one of the most athletic players in any sport. He had a lot of scoring help, so why was his field goal percentage so low? (44%). Also, his free throw shooting was atrocious. (Less than 50%)As a center, he played closer to the goal. He could collect rebounds and execute outlet passes all day, but his assists per game was only respectable.(4.4)

      3. Wait wait wait!

        First of all, Lebron shouldn’t even be mentioned in this list. Why would he be above Kobe being that he already has 5 rings to his accomplishments?

        And why in the world isn’t MJ number 1?! Yes, will did score 100 points in one game but how many rings did he win compared to MJ? If anything, the only person I’ll put over Michael is the lord of the ring himself, Bill Russel.

        I could go on forever in regards to your list. Please save things like this to people who actually know basketball. That way you wont seem so ignorant on the topic.

      4. U dont know what ur talking about Kobe way beats out lbj he will be a legend 4ever after hes done and no1 will ever 4git him! Hes a beast and inspirational…Dwade and Kobe r my idols. Heres mine!
        1)MICHAEL J duuuh
        2)Magic of course
        5)Bill Russell
        7)Kobe….but whens hes done prob in the 3-5 area
        8)Pat Ewing
        10)Jerry West
        11)Tim D
        12)Oscar robertson
        13)Charles Barkley maybe
        14)Dwyane wade ? LBj afta they done def in top 10
        15)dirk ….i dont like him but its only bcauz hes 2 beast
        ….Every1 else in ur list falls afta this some where

    3. All right here is a real top ten list you all don’t understand how good Kobe is. The only reason his career average in points is so low is because his first four season he averaged 24 minutes! then his years after he averaged 31 points 5.2 assts and 5.4 rbs. List:
      1.Michael jordan
      2.Magic Johnson
      3.Kobe Bryant
      4.Wilt chamberland
      6.Larry Bird
      7.Oscar Robertson
      9.Hakeem olajuwon
      10.Julius erving
      Note: Im 12 years old!

    4. Kobe needs way more credit. Im 12 years of age and here is my list:

      7.Oscar rob.
      9.Hakeem olajuwon
      10. Dr. J.

    5. 1. mj
      2. magic
      3. kareem
      4. wilt
      5. russell
      6. kobe (end of career prob. higher?)
      7. Bird
      8. Oscar
      9. Hakeem
      10. Dwight HOWARD!!! ok just kidding (not yet at least :D) tim Duncan

  2. All these people ranking Kobe as #2 of all time are a bunch of youngsters who don’t know their basketball history. Kobe may be the best right now, but right now changes. “Of All Time” is forever. I’m not sure where Kobe fits into the all time list, but jchenwa’s list is almost identical to mine. I had Kareem as #4 and Dr. J as #5. After reading your entries on each player’s career, I’ll keep my list as I had it.

    1. I agree with Racelle8. Too many youngsters are on here, showing their lack of experience, because their top players are all current or recent players. They are deficient in a sense of history. Kobe has the benefit of playing in a less physical, offense-friendly league, yet averages considerably less points than recently retired superstars. Michael had the Jordan Rules to contend with. He battled the physical teams like the Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks. They would maul him. Kobe and today’s players never went up against anything like what MJ faced, yet he has five times the scoring titles Kobe has!

      1. My top ten:
        1. Michael Jordan
        2. Magic Johnson
        3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
        4. Larry Bird
        5. Bill Russell
        6. Wilt Chamberlain
        7. Tim Duncan
        8. Oscar Robertson
        9. Kobe Bryant
        10. Shaquille O’Neal

        1. I messed up on my tenth player. It should have been Hakeem. I feel bad putting players who can’t hit their free throws on this list, but they were so dominant, that they somewhat made up for it.
          1. MJ
          2. Magic
          3. Kareem
          4. Larry
          5. Russell
          6. Wilt
          7. T. Duncan
          8. Kobe
          9. Oscar
          10. Hakeem

      1. Yes, I would fail as well. However, I’m not famous. Making my living from people watching me perform.

        I understand that I should be able to separate the personal from the professional side. But those lines are very often blurred.

        Anyway, I agree with the list for the most part. I’ll even forgive the mustache comment about Bird. :-0

  3. Nice list, Pastor E… but Bill Russell gets minus points for his dumb game commentary.

    I’ll forget this quote as a kid, watching TV and hearing him comment:

    “If Seattle wants to beat Chicago, the Sonics have to score more points than the Bulls.”


    1. Wow. Really?

      But I would say that #10 was the hardest for me. Lots of worthy folks including the folks you mentioned.

      O’Neal is an interesting consideration and I’ll be curious how he’ll be seen when it’s all said and done. Just imagine if he shot 70% on his free throws.

      1. Yeah, the only one on your list I’m struggling with is Tim Duncan. I think he gets ahead of Karl Malone by rings alone – which matter. But if I was building a team and could choose between them during their prime, I think I’d go Malone.
        BTW, that would be an interesting question – who’d be your all-time starting 5 for history?

  4. If character and integrity are a consideration, David Robinson rises to the top o that list… But I’d second Darwin’s comment… I’ve never seen a more unstoppable pump-fake/pivot/drop step combo, the man had his ankles surgically replaced with ball-sockets in order to spin that fast…

  5. You have Russell way too low. Best defensive player of all time, best player on best dynasty, dominated all of his rivals, even COACHED the Celts to a title – should be #2. And if his commentary counts against him, then you have to deduct points for Jordan’s awful executive career, Magic’s talk show, Larry Bird’s hair…

  6. Pretty decent list PE. I think I would put Wilt above Kareem and honestly… I think you’ve got to have Shaq on there instead over Timmy D. In his prime, Shaq was easily the most dominant player in the NBA period. Impossible to stop 1-on-1. When you have center-stopping strategies named after you, that’s a pretty good indication that you’ve made an impact (hack-a-shaq). And of course, the rings don’t lie. Career: 24.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 2.6 assists.

  7. I think Tim Duncan will be largely overlooked on such lists. Perhaps even more so when he’s no longer an active player. But tallying up rings WITH other accomplishments (MVPs, Def Team accolades, etc) he clearly belongs on this.

    Shaq would definitely be a contender for 10th but he gets serious minus points for his movie career and being part of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s posse.

    1. I think my biggest aversion to Shaq on an all time list, was his being relegated to the bench often, in the closing moments of key games because of his inability to hit free throws. That was a serious liability that hurt his team and caused them to lose games.

  8. pretty darn good list. I’d have to move Bill Russell way up, because, in the end it’s all about winning. For the same reason, the Big-O has to move down, big numbers, and he did have some good teammates including Jerry Lucas and Kareem, but maybe liked the numbers a little too much and couldn’t always win. Props, though, for enduring the racism. Timmy is a tough decision but the right one over Shaq and Hakeem.

  9. Great list PE. I like the courage it took to put Tim Duncan on your list. I don’t know if he belongs on the list, but he definitely belongs in the conversation. So kudos for putting it out there.

    By the way, how can you mention Kareem in a Bruce Lee movie and not mention Kareem in Airplane? J/K That was some seriously funny stuff in Airplane!

  10. I think 7 is too high for Kobe but you are right. He’ll never crack the top 5 no matter what he does. He is so far from being the best Laker, how can he be close to being one of the best in the game?

    Personally, I can’t get over the rape charges. I’m biased against people with rape charges…

    1. It bothers me when i read or hear that people are still bothered by the rape charges. Of which he was proved innocent – or does that not matter anymore?
      He was accused, and that’s as far as it went. False accusations are made on a daily basis, and it’s not uncommon for some women to cry rape when nothing of the sort is happening. No one should hold a disproved accusation against someone. What should be questioned is his lack of character at the time for getting involved with another woman while in a committed relationship.

      I like the list, Kobe’s exactly where he should be right now. 5 rings but only 1 mvp and 2 finals mvp’s (shaq). Only time can tell now if Kobe will move up that list. Only more rings will do that for him now.

    2. firstly look at his resume and you will see that with one more finals mvp, or multiple finals he will crack the top five.

      addressing the rape charges, it was not rape, people should leave that alone. it is awful that some stupid bitch comes out and says he raped her so she can get money and fame, and although they found 6 other men’s semen in her and she eventually confessed, people like you are still labeling him a rapist. that is like one of the worst things you can call a person.

  11. 11. Eugene Cho

    True greatness shafted by bum Achilles. Better trash talker than Jordan and Larry Legend. Lack of game is not the result of lack of confidence. Rumored to have invented the shot called the Q.

    Points for the Asian fro. Minus points for shamelessly blocking shots of little children on 8 foot rim and claiming “daddy’s rights.”

  12. If this were about winning, you’d have Robert Horry on here. That dude always found a way to be on a championship team’s roster, all the while maintaining a ridiculous resemblance to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

    And what about Shawn Kemp? For a lot of people, he’s the answer to the oft-asked-in-trash-talk question, “Who’s your daddy?”

    Seriously, though, I think Shaq is above Duncan and Dr. J, and I’d put Bill Russell up at No. 4.

  13. i think that it’s impossible to do an all-time in any sport. it’s generational. people who put kobe ahead of bird & magic are insane, watch those guys highlight vids, AND consider how much better the competition was then. you can say the best of this era or that era, but all time is far too difficult, and typically the older guys get forgotten about b/c we think about the here & now.

    also, if all that matters is championships, then bill russell is NUMBER ONE!!!

  14. kobe abd nike 1 and 2, whoever said that about and rape u sound stupid for saying u cant not rank kobe high because of rape charges, it has nothing to do with his game and 5 ships, and shaq should be somewhere in there.

  15. I like the list but I would just have to have Hakeem instead of Dr. J… Hakeem in my opinion was the best all around center ever… I know thats not a popular opinion but hey…

  16. Yo how come John Stocktonsnot on there. He may be the best pointgaurd of all-time he has the all-time record for assists and steals!!!! How can you be that great and not be in the top ten!!

  17. Who said kobe won’t break top 5?In my opinion he will break it because he is the clutchest player ever, and no one can make the shots he makes except Mj!

    1. You must not watch basketball cause a lot of players are clutch. And if we are basing how good a player is on how clutch they are then Derek Fisher and Robert Horry should be in the top ten because of how clutch they are. Please, Kobe won’t break the top 5. He shoudn’t even be on this top ten list.

  18. Loved the Doc, but no way a top 10. I am amazed when anyone says Michael isn’t the greatest ever, but Larry Bird was not just a great shooter, he was all round as good as Magic and I hate the Celts.

    One note. If Michael Jordan did not exist, Karl Malone would have won 5 scoring titles and be listed in this company. Michael Jordan exists and he doesn’t rate a mention. I’m not saying he would be a top 10, but if Jordan wasn’t around, surely he’d be rated at least as good as Doc. Dominique Wilkins in the same boat. 3 or 4 scoring titles if MJ didn’t exist.

    1. I like Bird too but he wan’t all around as good as Magic. Please. Karl Malone SHOULD be in the list. He was way better then Kobe ever was or will be.

      1. Larry’s pass wasn’t as good as Magic’s but was pretty damned good. Better brain for defence and was a better scorer. If you are talking all round, Bird had no weakness he was a 9 at everything. Magic was a 10 for passing and court generalship, but his scoring and defence were 8 – 8.5

    1. No the hell he shouldn’t. Kobe is not better than Magic, Kareem, Shaq, West, Wilt or Elgin Baylor. Get off his dick. Kobe is a great player but he is not one of the all time greatest. He only averages 25, 5 and 5. Do you know how many NBA players have exceded that? What the fuck? Do you know what stats are? Do you even watch basketball? Do you know how to play? Jordan is a awesome player and should be 2nd behind Wilt who was so physically gifted that he should be the best all time. Kobe should be around 18 or 20 all time.

  19. What the? Kobe is not the 7th best player of all time? is not even in the top ten. 25, 5 and 5 are just average stats. That doesn’t qualify him as one of the best. He is not better than leBron. How is Kobe who averages 25, 5 and 5 (while shooting horribly by the way) better than a guy who has 11 championchips and averaged 22 rebounds? In Kobe’s best day he couldn’t have 22 assists and rebounds combined?

    1. perhaps your to young to remember pete maravich, look at the numbers in college where your allowed to play defence micael jordan averaged a little over 17 per game, pete averaged over 44 per game and drilled alot of shots from way outside which would have increased his records cause while he was playing college ball there was no 3 pt. line, look up his college records theres a long list, i coached b-ball for over 20 years, its so said that pistol pete the greatest of all time has all but been forgottin, a darn shame jordan was exciting and athletic but not even close!!

  20. 1. MJ
    2. Russell
    3. Wilt
    4. Magic
    5. Bird
    6. Kareem
    7. The Big O
    8. Jerry West
    9. Hakeem
    10. Duncan/Shaq

    Russell beat Wilt and Jerry West almost perennially, which is why I give Russell #2 and why Wilt and Jerry West are ranked so highly. I also put Hakeem on the list bc the 2 years that MJ tries his hand at baseball, he wins 2 championships. Kobe in my book has never truly been the star on his championship teams, other than 08-09 against orlando. If you look at his numbers in the finals they are borderline atrocious and even last year pau gasol deserved the mvp over kobe. u can’t argue with 5 rings but right now I rank shaq and duncan over kobe, theyre each the best at their position (arguably) when kobe was not even the best player on his team for the majority of his championships

  21. Kobe is a very good basketballer, but he is not even on Michael Jordan’s planet. I’d pick Magic or Bird before Kobe, they made everyone else on their teams better infinitely better. No one would remember James Worthy if he wasn’t on the end of Magic passes.

    Jordan 6 Championships and was the man in all six. Kobe helped Shaq win 3 early. No comparison.

    Compare career scoring, best year scoring, career assists, best year assists, career rebounds, best year rebounds, career steals, best year steals, career blocks, best year blocks and career awards and MJ wins EVERY ONE.

    Oldest man to score 40, oldest man to score 50. When Michael was 39 he was scoring 6 points per game less than Kobe, when he was 40 he was scoring 5 points less per game than Kobe 16 years his junior, in a weaker team.

    Not even close.

    1. By your account wilt chamberlain is the best of all time, he only loses to Jordan in career scoring (by .02ppg) career steals, best year steals, career assists and best year assists.

      Don’t worry though, I hold the same sentiment cause wilt is the greatest to grace the court, and literally revolutionized the game of basketball along with pistol Pete (ball handler of the century)

  22. Any list has to have Kareem Jabbar in the top 10, I think Jabbar could be #2 even but the main article list with 1. Jordan 2. Johnson 3. Jabbar etc. is close to being a perfect list. I’d not argue with anyone putting Jerry West in the top 10.

  23. 1. Michael Jordan
    2. The Dream
    3. Bird
    4. Magic
    5. Kobe
    6. Oscar Robertson
    7. Kareem
    8. Russel
    9. Stockton
    10.Pete Maravich

    I rated these players on pure basketball skills alone.

  24. Kareem was on six title winners, what people may not remember is he won one with the Milwaukee Bucks, who weren’t much before he got there. Bird, even Magic always had a great backup crew, of course, Jordan did too. I’d put Bill Walton in there before Stockton though he was great too. How many titles did Maravich win? Hey, I love some of these players but I think some people are just trying to get white guys in there, oh and I’m white too. Maravich is an inspiration, I heard the book on him, “Pistol” for Pistol Pete Maravich is real good. God Bless Him. And I would put Kareem over Magic, Kareem isn’t glamourous, Garnett isn’t glamourous but a great player.

  25. 1. Jordan
    2. Kareem
    3. Magic
    4. Bird
    5. Russell
    6. Kobe
    7. Duncan
    8. Jerry West
    9. Shaq
    10. Wilt

    I will argue this list all day long. As of right now kobe could climb the list further with another championship and stellar playoffs like last year. Duncan could climb still as well with a great postseason and a championship, but harder for him with his age bearing down on him. Shaq is done, will be passed by lebron and maybe a few more over the next 10 years.

      1. My list looks similar to yours.

        1. Jordan
        2. Kareem
        3. Wilt
        4. Magic
        5. Bird
        6. Russel
        7. Pistol Pete
        8. Shaq
        9. West
        10. Kobe.

        Duncan isn’t top ten. He’s damn close. But not top 10

  26. I will argue my list all day long as well. IMO the players on my list all were capable of making plays that no other players were capable of making. Pistol was the most creative passer ever even better than majic…if you dont believe me go to youtube and check him out. Stocton is the only player ever to own two of the five major statistical categories (points, assist, steals, blocks and rebounds) stockton has steals and assist. When rating the top 10 players i think the most important factor is a players skills not championships. If it were all about championships russell would be 1 but hes not becuase other players had more talent then he did. I will never say my list is better than anyones becuse its all about opinons and what the individual uses to evaluate his players. This is a great thread and I welcome
    anyones opinion who disputes my list

    1. I agree with your point about individual playmakers and stockton is my second favorite player of all time, but i simply can’t put him above anyone on this list. russell is lucky to even be on this list considering the fact that rules like goaltending were not around yet, and he played with 5 hall of famers against a league featuring only 11 other teams. wilt is the same, his stats are just ballooned because of the era. leaving off iverson, barkley, moses, pistol, stockton, gervin, oscar robertson, all these are difficult

  27. good points chris….I would put olijawon above duncan and shaq. I think olijawons game is on par with duncans and way above shaq’s…i like olijawons wow factor as a player (again just opinions). I put shaq in the same category as wilt. Its hard to argue kareem at #2 he had a high basketball iq and unstopable moves not to mention the most points ever. I would consider switching duncan with russell..his bb iq is equal to stocton and bird but how can you argue 11 rings. Jerry west is another player no one can argue same with stocton. Also any list that doesn’t have MJ #1 is garbage.

  28. I think with Pistol, undoubtedly he would be in the top 10 College Basketball players of all time. I know I should, but do we generally even watch the NBA? I guess it has die-hard fans the way baseball games of all major league teams are televised and yes, NBA playoffs have some drama. I like the collegiate better but I usually wait for March madness to watch the games closely. But here is Pistol Pete’s wikipedia page, I’d forgotten a bit how he went into his Christian phase, I’ve got total respect for what he did. Maybe science nowadays would have detected his heart condition and then again, maybe not. He collapsed in a pickup game that James Dobson from Focus on the family. ESPNU named Maravich the greatest college player of all time so I got that one correct and if this list is 10 greatest basketball players pro and college combined all time, perhaps he should be on such a list.




    I am just telling everyone at this humble blog: I just made my bracket picks at CBS Sportsline for the NCAA college tournament. Some games already start tonight. So, maybe you will have a day to think about it. But the college is real exciting, pro ball is neither here or there with me, if people like it, good.

  32. 1. Mj ( Enough Said)
    2. Kobe ( Everyone including coaches know he’s the best since Jordan)
    3. Magic ( 6’9 point guard, mismatch problems)
    4. Bird ( Willingness to win, team player, game changer)
    5. Kareem ( Highest Career Scorer)
    6. Oscar Robertson ( No weaknesses, Complete Player)
    7. Russel ( Best Rebounder, so many rings)
    8. Wilt ( Come on, scored 100 points)
    9. Shaq ( Most Dominant Big Man Ever)
    10. Malone ( Stat Filler)

  33. Here is my list based on the success of the player throughout their respective careers. Yes personal stats count but at the end of the day, it’s all about the RINGS!

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Bill Russel
    4. Kareem Abdul Jabar
    5. Larry Bird
    6. Wilt Chamberlain
    7. Kobe Bryant
    8. Tim Duncan
    9. Shaquille O’Neil
    10. Oscar Robertson

  34. MJ and Russell are far and away the top two. Only guys to get to the top and never leave without taking it back.

    Wilt has to be below Russell, Russell dominated Chamberlain throughout their careers on the scoreboard regardless of who had the better teammates. Oscar isn’t even in the same class as those two.

  35. for all of you idiots that dont think kobe bryant is in the tops 5, you have obviously never watched him play. and to think TIM DUNCAN! is better than him you are an idiot. and nobody never wouldve heard of bill russell if he doesnt play with a couple top 25 players ever!!!!

  36. First of all, Jordan is all alone at the top of this list. We all know what he can do offensively but he is also the greatest defensive player ever!

    As far as kobe goes…he is a great player no doubt. what bothers me is that the defensive rules in the NBA were changed to help perimeter players score more. (ex. no hand checking or physical play) If jordan were playing with these rules he would average over 40/game.

    I have seen teams stop kobe many times. he scored 17 points twice this year in the playoffs against dallas…17 points in the playoffs? that is unacceptable from the so called best player in the world today.

    anyway here is the top ten.

    1. MJ
    2. Magic
    3. Larry
    4. Hakeem (he would embarrass wilt, kareem or bill russell one on one just like he did to shaq)
    5. Oscar Robertson
    6. Wilt
    7. Kareem
    8. Shaq
    9. Bill Russell
    10. Kobe

    When his career is done Lebron will be ahead of Kobe. he can do so much more then Kobe. He just has to win some titles…

    1. you put kobe down so far because of the era he is in. yes, jordan would score 40 a game now. on that train of thought wilt and russell would only be 15 point 10 rebound players now. they could GOALTEND! do you realize how easy it would be to score when you are the only 7 footer and you can grab the ball right over the cylinder? lebron cant do anything kobe could do in his prime, or even before it.

  37. Two people missing from either the actual list itself or at the very least considered or on Honorable Mention. Both who if it weren’t for Jordan would have won at least 1 if not multiple titles.

    Sir Charles Barkley (best power forward to play)
    Karl Malone (#2 all time leading scorer)

  38. I’m not up on my B-Ball facts. But as for you and that video. Plus points for all of those shots and for never failing to be one of the coolest pastors I’ve ever met.Da

  39. Fun conversation. I always considered the omission of Hakeem in a top ten list as a major red flag. Statistics don’t begin to describe his effect on the game. If you saw him play, you’d know what I mean.

  40. Here is the list you’ve been waiting for:
    1. His majesty Micheal Air Jordan
    2. Kobe Bryant the Black Mamba ( Magic admires the man )
    3. Magic Johnson king of assists
    For now the list is closed, I’m gonna leave 10 years to Lebram James(so much is expected from him) hopefully he gets 4th on my list. Then only I’ll definitively closed my ten best player of all time.
    NB: Kobe should be in all the top 5 of any list, let’s just be realistic, he’s good and deserves that. Peace out!

  41. Hey you guys got to listen it’s.
    And all this talk about Tim Duncan being number nine.

  42. Bernard King and Jerry lucas 2 of my favorites. Also you gotta love lucas and his fellow Rhodes scholar bill Bradley- imagine making up a language without vowels to entertain themselves during games. also dream team one. Oscar, Jerry west, Lucas and Bellamy. The Europeans though Lucas was the “big o”. Who were the other 2 players besides Lucas who won Hs state, NCAA, NBA , Olympic championships. before dream 2 came along. Who never lost 1 basketball game from 7th thru Hs. Yea, Lucas again, ( did lose final Hs game). Which forward holds nba rebound by forward in single game. Yeah , Lucas with 44.Who went to college on academic scholarship. Yep Lucas again. The year Ohio state won the NCAA which team said they were the best team. Indiana. What the score of the next Ohio state-Indiana game. 100 to 60. Guess who won – like duh Hoosiers . Ohio state won.

  43. Magic is # 1 — no one will ever win a rookie MVP finals playing off position as center. The most humiliating thing for an opposing player – according to none other than James Worthy was the sight of the 6-9 magic thundering down the court doing whatever the heck he wanted with the ball – and was simply unstoppable. He went to 9 finals…9…would have won against MJ if Worthy had not been injured – that started the chain reaction – worthy would be played by scottie usually who he would dominate didn’t happen, worthy would guard jordan didnt happen byron scott guarded jordan who humilaated him so lakers lost effectively 2 players! People forget whenever Jordan played against the lakers he never averaged more than 18 points. Just a year before lakers played bulls in a regular season – magic and worthy made scottie and mj look like rank amateurs – i have the game tape….mj looks like a deer in headlights and worthy made scottie look positively silly
    1-1 Wheaties commercial was mj vs worthy – there was a reason for it – worthy was that good so losing him made it appear that mj beat magic….BALONEY!

  44. im tired of everyone on mj great but not the best yes 6 rings but look who they played plus he shot 30 times a game if i were a coach till i die the best player is magic simply the best all around ever 20 pts 11 assists 7 rbs 6. 9. pt guard playes all positions triple double animal led leauge in assists steals twice ft pct triple doubles a top 10 scorer rebounds and fg pct and 3 pt fg at one point 5 rings and faced dr j larry and the bad boys he could easily won 7 or 8 rings in all aspects of the game magic stands alone

    1. magic was a great passer. he was the best ever for leading the break. thats as far as i go. do you know how many 6’9 guys could run an offense as pg? a lot. hell, lebum is showing that he can do it now. fucking lamar odom can dribble down the court and pass. as for the rest of magics game. if you watched him play, and i have, you would know he was a straight up liability shooting the ball any further than 12 feet away from the basket. you would know he was a straight up liability playing defense. and when you guard the worst player on the opposing team, and their worst player guards you, you will get a bunch of layups and rebounds. and dont get things twisted, magic wasnt even the second best offense player on those showtime teams. kareem, then worthy. magic played every position? yeah he did, his rookie year in the finals. that was an amazing game. great stats. however, when else did he do that? he couldnt shoot well enough to be a 2guard or a decent 3, and he was not big enough or physical enough to score and rebound consistently on 4s and 5s after 85 when the league got much more physical. he was a great player on an even GREATER team.

  45. Good Top 10. There’s always going to be different opinions, but that’s all they are – opinions, not facts. I think a lot of people are with you on who’s in your top 10. Mine would go like this: (1) Your Airness (Michael Jeffrey Jordan). (2) Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain. (3) Julius “Dr. J” Erving. (4) Kareem Abdul Jabbar. (5) Larry Bird (6) Oscar Robertson (7) Moses Malone (8) Kobe Bryant. (9) Shaq. (10) George “The Iceman” Gervin.

    Like you, I have several who could swap in that list. My Top 2 are the only one’s who I hold a strong argument as to who were the two greatest ever, Jordan & Chamberlain. Others who come to mind, would be Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Jerry West, Pistol Pete Maravich, Elgin Baylor, Dominique Wilkins, Lebron James, Rajon Rondo, Isiah Thomas.

    By the end of their careers, Kobe & Lebron may very well be in the Top 5. Maybe even 1 & 2. BUT NOT YET. Kobe will have to hit some more clutch BIG GAME buzzer beaters (like Jordan did, several times). Lebron will have to win at least 4 – 6 championships.

    Lastly, Bill Russell was before my time. I heard he was incredible.

  46. 1. Magic (greatest producer ever per 48 minutes per possession, awesome at all 5 positions, great on both ends of the court, all-time assist average leader (2nd in steals at one point while averaging 20ppg and 7rpg, shot better than Bird or Jordan, most versatile player ever)
    2. Bird (may have been the greatest had he not had back problems, look at his 1st 7 years. 3LMVP, 2FMVP, 3 d-teams, 7 All-NBA 1st teams, just redonkulous stats, ROY, and 3 championships, won H2H matchup w/Jordan)
    3. Jordan (great but hyped and received more favorable treatment than any athlete ever.)
    4. Russell (5 MVP’s and 11 titles, But in an era with 8-12 teams and 8-10 playoff wins for title, he also had HOFers coming off the bench on the deepest team ever and shot only 43% as a center)
    5. Wilt (stats phenomenal, but skewed based on possessions per game and minutes per game in the 60’s)
    6. Kareem (had an astounding 1st decade, then leveled off and was preserved by Magic)
    7. Oscar Robertson (Mr. Triple Double, but played 42.2 mpg in a higher possession per game era to Magic’s 36.7 mpg).
    8. Bob Pettit (26-16 career and beat the Russell Celtics once where the Lakers failed 7 consecutive times.)
    9. Hakeem Olajuwon (top 4 defender with Russell, Rodman, and Pippen, and the best post-game and mobility of any center in history. Swept Shaq in ’95, beat Ewing and Robinson and made it to 3 Finals in a very tough era.)
    10. Moses Malone (sick rebounder, his numbers would look nicer if he hadn’t played those last 3 years. He won 3 MVP’s, more than anyone playing today.

    Shaq, Duncan, West, and Kobe round out the next 4 in that order.

  47. I pick Pete Maravich as the best basketball player that ever lived. Look at his stats my all NBA team is Maravich at guard the other guard is jordan the two forwards are bird and johnson the center is chamberlain.

  48. i think all of yall dont know much hoops i grew up on michael and kobe definitely is #2 all time even the great michael said himself,heres my list .1.michael jordan,#2 kobe bryant,#3 magic johnson,#4 larry bird,#5 wilt chamberlain,#6dr.julius ervin,#7bill russell,#8 tim duncan,#9 shaq,#10 kareem abdul jabbar.lebron or wade not on top twenty,do yall remember allen iverson he average more than lebron and was more explosive were is he now not even mentioned .i think if you dont have titles u should not even be mentioned in top ten period,remember charles barkley,david robinson,hakeem olajuwon,john stockton,karl malone,i think they rank better than most and they are not top ten.

  49. 1. Jordan -defensive records alone put him at #1
    2.Willt – second all time in total offensive records
    3. Russell – In 11 series deciding games he won them all
    4.Big O – avg a triple double 4 the first 5 seasons of his career
    5.Kareem- won 6 nba mvps all time scoring leader
    6.Baylor – took the lakers to 8 nba finals,scored 61 in the final
    7. Dr.j – 3 mvps 4 scoring titles avg 2 steals & 2 blocks career
    8. Magic- 3 mvps 3 finals mvp retired all time assist leader
    9. Bird – 3 mvps 2 finas mvp avg a double double 4 career
    10. Duncan- the greatest PF all time 4 finals mvp

  50. ok….. some peeps compare Lebron and Kobe. so lets see who is a better player. First Lebron gonna win his first title and hes won 3 MVPs. while kobe has won none. BUT Kobe won 5 NBA titles. Kobes best teamate has to b SHAQ and Lehbrons best teamate is Wade. Dwayne Wade has played with SHAQ 2 and won a title and also kobe has won 1 or 2 titles. Both r dont like 2 share the ball that much. but so far in the finals lebrons been good at that. WELL…… Kobe still passes it more. In MY opinion i think Kobe is a better player than Lebron. so what are your opinions???

  51. bob costas AKA Mr. Stats top 3 is 1. shaq 2. wilt 3. mj and i dont think anyone would agree with that. well wilt coulb be better than mj but where r those rings at???? and shaq… he WINS aLOT of titles hes a winner like mj bill russell and kareem. but hes not the best at all. eugene cho didnt even put him in the top 10 hes #7 in my list but why put him at 1??? he is the most DOMINANT player though

    problem solved!

  52. my All-Time Team.
    PG:Magic Johnson
    SG:Michael Jordan
    SF:Larry Bird
    PF:Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (yes at PF in this case)
    C:Wilt Chamberlain


    PG:Oscar Robertson
    SG:Jerry West
    SF:Scottie Pippen
    PF:Bill Russell (again hes gonna b at PF)
    C:Shaq O’Neal

    Some people might say instead of scottie pippen Dr.J shoold replace him.

  53. some people say that guys that never won a MVP or a Title dont deserve to be in the top 10. But in my list Charles Barkley and Karl Malone have never won a title in their careers. but they both have a MVP award.

  54. my new list…..
    10.Hakeem Olajuwan
    9.Tim Duncan
    8.Oscar Robertson
    7.Shaq O’Neal
    6.Magic Johnson
    5.Larry Bird
    4.Bill Russell
    3.Wilt Chamberlain
    2.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    1.Michael Jordan

  55. my new list….

    10.Hakeem Olajuwon
    9.Oscar Robertson
    8.Tim Duncan
    7.Kobe Bryant
    6.Larry Bird
    5.Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    4.Wilt Chamberlain
    3.Magic Johnson
    2.Bill Russell
    1.Michael Jordan

      1. yo bruthah, where does “The Iceman” George Gervin fall in your top player list? How about “The Doctor, Dr. J” julius Erving? Larry bird? Moses Malone? Just some stars from the glory years to think about 🙂

        Here’s my top 10: (1) Your Airness, Michael Jordan. (2) Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain. (3) Magic. (4) Jabbar. (5) Bill Russell. (6) George “The Iceman” Gervin. (7) Julius Erving. (8) Shaq. (9) Kobe. (10) Hakeem “The Dream”. (11) Moses Malone. (12) Pistol Pete. (13) Bird. (14) Lebron (will move higher once it’s all said and done). (15) Oscar.

  56. Why in living hell would Tim Duncan be on there?
    Pistol instead.
    I give you credit though, it is so hard to make a top 10 list considering there are so many great players. I would reccomend writing a bunch of names down on paper(unranked of course) and then comparing, or computor-simulating

Leave a Reply to blazerdude Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s