Top 10 NBA Players of All-Time

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
Some discussion about Kobe lately being in the top 10 makes me wonder who your top 10 basketball players of all time would be? Seems that there can be a ton of different variables to why someone would or would not make their top 10. Just give your best in your opinion...
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
This is ESPN's list:

1. Michael Jordan (1984-2002)
2. LeBron James (2003-present)
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969–1989)
4. Bill Russell (1956–1969)
5. Magic Johnson (1979-1991)*
6. Wilt Chamberlain (1959-1973)
7. Larry Bird (1979–1992)
8. Tim Duncan (1997–2016)
9. Kobe Bryant (1996–2016)
10. Shaquille O'Neal (1992–2011)

* played 1/2 season in 1996
 
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OldSoulon

Well-known member
In no particular order, George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Jerry West, John Havlicek, Bill Bradley, Larry Bird, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, John Stockton, Mark Price.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
I'm not sure that I'd have them in the order that ESPN ranked them, but those are probably the 10 players that I'd have in my personal top-10. I'm kind of surprised they ranked Chamberlain 6th. On these types of lists it usually seems that little respect is paid to basketball that was played before Magic and Bird entered the NBA, and Chamberlain usually seems to be pretty disregarded in greatest ever debates despite his freakish stats and having size and measurables that were well ahead of his time.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
On Wilt, over his first 7 seasons he averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 39 PPG and 25 RPG and had NBA individual season records for PPG, RPG and MPG. It's hard to compare eras, but I'd strongly consider ranking him second behind Jordan for how dominant those seven years were.

Bill Russell was the best guy on the Celtics championship teams in those years, but IMO it is also strongly disregarded by most that especially given his era there are very few if any star players that ever played with a more talented collection of teammates than what he enjoyed. I recall reading before that by the metric of "win shares", over their respective careers the guys that Russell played with were worth about 11 more regular season wins per year than the guys that Chamberlain played with. That's a huge difference. I tend to think there are many all-time greats, especially LeBron in the current era, that would have a lot more championships if they had supporting casts that would be equivalent to what Russell had.
 

EagleGuy

Well-known member
On Wilt, over his first 7 seasons he averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 39 PPG and 25 RPG and had NBA individual season records for PPG, RPG and MPG. It's hard to compare eras, but I'd strongly consider ranking him second behind Jordan for how dominant those seven years were.

Bill Russell was the best guy on the Celtics championship teams in those years, but IMO it is also strongly disregarded by most that especially given his era there are very few if any star players that ever played with a more talented collection of teammates than what he enjoyed. I recall reading before that by the metric of "win shares", over their respective careers the guys that Russell played with were worth about 11 more regular season wins per year than the guys that Chamberlain played with. That's a huge difference. I tend to think there are many all-time greats, especially LeBron in the current era, that would have a lot more championships if they had supporting casts that would be equivalent to what Russell had.
It was easy to root for the Celts back then. Great cast. Lakers-Celtics - wow!
 

14Red

Well-known member
the ESPN list is pretty complete, it's really difficult to rank players over different eras. All the guys listed are multiple time champions, with only two being teammates for some of their titles.
How do we rank guys moving forward who buddy up with stars from other teams to win?
How do we rank Russell and Chamberlain because the NBA had so few teams back then and it was mathematically easier to win titles? The Celtics nearly ran the table in the 60's due to lack of teams and no free agency. Guys played for teams most of their careers. Now guys barely play 2-3 seasons together. If Shaq and Kobe could have co-existed for more than a few seasons, it's hard to tell how many titles they win.
 

LELL

Well-known member
This is ESPN's list:

1. Michael Jordan (1984-2002)
2. LeBron James (2003-present)
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969–1989)
4. Bill Russell (1956–1969)
5. Magic Johnson (1979-1991)*
6. Wilt Chamberlain (1959-1973)
7. Larry Bird (1979–1992)
8. Tim Duncan (1997–2016)
9. Kobe Bryant (1996–2016)
10. Shaquille O'Neal (1992–2011)

* played 1/2 season in 1996
No Dr. J or Iceman? Wow!
 

14Red

Well-known member
No Dr. J or Iceman? Wow!
Big Dr. J fan growing up, but really hard to put his career up against any of those listed here. Doc won three titles overall but two were in the 8-10 team ABA in the 70's, and the only NBA championship came in '83 in Philly, when Mo Malone joined the talent rich Sixers to win a title. Guys even chased rings back then.
George Gervin? Great scorer, one of the best of his era, but all time? Nah. No titles, I'm not even sure he played in a finals or a conference championship. Kind of an older version of Domaniq Wilkins.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
It would be interesting if a draft were occur today based on their coming into the NBA what order these 4 would go in:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Bill Russell
Wilt Chamberlain
Shaquille O'Neal

I'm guessing Wilt and Shaq would be 1/2, Kareem 3, and Russell 4. Their careers overall changed their ranking but expectations would have likely been in that order.
 

CantonKid

Well-known member
1.Wilt Chamberlain.....In his prime
2.Michael Jordan
3.Lebron James
4.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
5.Larry Bird
6.Bill Russell
7.Kobe Bryant
8.Magic Johnson
9.Tim Duncan
10.Shaquille O'neal
 
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