Who is it going to be? Is it Michael Jordan or LeBron James? Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant? Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain? Does the old school still have it or are we going to the new school on this one? This debate is rather very famous in the NBA world; we had help from some of our experts and basketball friends to answer this question the best way and ranking only the best players in NBA history.
This ranking was put together by taking into consideration some key pointers; their most energetic performances as well as the total value of their career.
- MICHAEL JORDAN: Chicago Bulls 1984-93, 1995-98. Washington Wizards 2001-03 |1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPG.
The real MVP and the greatest basketball player of all time who led the Chicago Bulls to victory in six NBA championship, and he bagged five regular-season MVP honors and six Finals MVP awards and then moving on to become a household name and a global icon both on and off the floor. Michael Jordan’s excellence on both sides of the basketball court has gone on to set quite the standard and redefined a generation of basketball for the new school players and those following in his footsteps. His games are much more profound than sports.
- LEBRON JAMES: Cleveland Cavaliers 2003-10, Miami Heat; 2010-14, Los Angeles Lakers 2018-20 | 27.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.6 SPG
LeBron’s game is built mainly on power and lots of action, and following LeBron, I would say his most potent skill is passing ability. He is a three-time champion and a four-time MVP, with his game has redefined how an athlete’s prime should look; he surely placed the spotlight on the Lakers as a 35 years old basketball player in his 17th season. One epic moment that immortalized his will to win was game 7 of the 2016 Finals with his chase-chase block that helped to complete a 3-1 comeback against the Warriors team where they won 73 games.
- KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR: Milwaukee Bucks 1969-75; Los Angeles Lakers 1975-89.
NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a great list of achievements that just unmatched in NBA history. Kareem was a 19-time All-star, winning a record six MVP awards and six championships, he was also named to 15 All-NBA teams that got him ten first-team selections. He scored more points than anyone in NBA history with his unstoppable skyhook.
- BILL RUSSELL: Boston Celtics 1956-69| 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG.
What makes Bill Russell the most excellent winner in the league’s history, you say? In 13 years, he was able to bag 11 titles by transforming the Boston Celtics into a defensive force that can’t be messed with. His determination and impeccable defensive judgment made him the perfect obstacle for Wilt Chamberlain. These defining qualities of Bill Russell helped him win five MPV awards as well as 11 All-NBA selection.
- MAGIC JOHNSON: Los Angeles Lakers; 19.5 PPG, 7.2RPG, 11.2 APG, 1.9SPG.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr is a revolutionary in the basketball fraternity weighing 220 pounds, and he joined the NBA as the tallest point guard in the league history standing 6-foot-9. Speak of a legendary winner, his ability to highlight triple-double instantly, and his transcendent passing make him stand out significantly. His rivalry with Larry Bird and Boston Celtics has a hand in making the NBA what it is today. He led the Lakers to nine NBA finals, where they won five titles. His no-look passes and fast breaks are some of the critical ingredients that shot the league up to the global game it has become now.
- WILT CHAMBERLAIN: Philadelphia Warriors 1959-62, San Francisco Warriors 1962-65, Philadelphia 76ers 1965-68, Los Angeles Lakers 1968-73 | 30.1 PPG, 22.9 RPG, 4 APG.
Wilt Chamberlain was one of a few players who were ahead of their time. His numbers are the stuff of myths, and he averaged 50 points in one game. He also won only two NBA championships.
There are some other great names in the leagues that we can’t forget to acknowledge they include;
- Larry Bird: Boston Celtics 1979-92 | 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 AGP, 1.7 SPG
- Tim Duncan: San Antonio Spurs| 19.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.2 BPG.
- Kobe Bryant: Los Angeles Lakers 1996-2016| 25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 3s PG
- Shaquille O’Neal: Orlando Magic 1992-96, Los Angeles Lakers 1996-2004, Miami Heat 2004-08, Phoenix Suns 2008-09, Cleveland Cavaliers 2009-10, Boston Celtics 2010-11.