Top 10 NBA Players of All Time, Part 1
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Over the past 7 centuries, there have been countless great NBA players from the likes of Bob Petet and Jerry West in the ’50s and ’60s, to Dave Cowens and Julius Erving in the ’70s, to James Worthy and Bill Walton in the ’80s, to Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkly in the ’90s, to Steve Nash and Dirk Newisky in the 2000s, to players like Step Curry and Kevin Durant in 2010s. Today we are going to narrow that list into the Top 10 NBA Players to grace this earth.
10. Tim Ducan
The Big Fundamental could kill you in so many different ways. He could lock up the opposing teams’ best big men, grab the board, then post up on the other end and outwork you. Tim Ducan never put up the craziest of stats, and he was never the flashiest player, but he did what he needed to push his team to succeed. In addition to the evidence above, he also had incredible longevity, winning his first NBA Championship in 1999 and his last one in 2014. You put the above with his 5 championships, 3 finals MVPs, 2 regular season MVPs, 15 all NBA selections, and 15 All-star appearances, and you get one of the greatest players ever.
9. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain was a demigod. Chamberlain was the fastest player on the court, and the tallest, and the strongest. He was able to average 50 points a game for an entire NBA season and scored 100 points in a single game. This man was a freak of nature, there is no doubt about it. If we were going off sheer statistics, Wilt would be the best to ever do it. However, due to the era he played in and the pace they played at, his stats are inflated. But that does not change the fact he was still one of the best to ever do it. Wilt Chamberlain's 13 All-Star appearances, 10 All NBA selections, 7 scoring titles, 2 championships, 1 finals MVP, and 4 regular season MVPs still pushes him into the top 10 NBA players of all time.
8. Kobe Bryant
The Black Mamba is known for many things: his lethal scoring, his lockdown defense, his clutchness, but the thing he is known most for is his mentality. Kobe is one of the most mentally tough basketball players of all time; He would outwork anyone if given the chance. You will hear some say that Kobe was just a worse version of Jordan, but Kobe was so much more than that. Kobe Bryant was his own player with his own talent and a knack for scoring that allowed him to put up the second most amount of points in NBA history, 81. You combine that with 18 all-star appearances, 15 all NBA teams, 5 championships, 2 finals MVPs, a regular-season MVP, and the near consensus title of best player in the world during the mid-2000s, and you get an all-time great player.
7. Bill Russell
Bill Russell is the winningest player in basketball history and arguably sports history. He may not have put up flashy numbers like Wilt, but he dominated his era all the same. If you ask almost anyone who was alive during this time, whether Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell was better, they would say Bill Russel. It is a shame they didn’t keep as many stats as they do today because, from every account, Bill Russel was dominant on the defensive end. However, they didn’t start recording blocks and steals until the 73-74 season, so we will never know the true dominance that Bill Russel had on that end. Even with this hindrance, you put his 11 championships with 12 all star appearances, 11 all NBA teams, and 5 MVPs and you get a person worthy of number 7 on this list. One thing to note about Bill Russel is that they did not award Finals MVP until 1969, the final championship Bill Russel Claimed. And in that year they gave it to Jerry West, the best player on the losing team.
6. Shaquille O'Neal
Dubbed the most dominant force in NBA history, The Big Diesel tore through opponents for the better part of a decade. If you ask anyone who was watching basketball during the late 90’s and early 2000s who the best player was, they would say Shaq. There was simply no answer for such a dormant force in the NBA. You add that to his underrated technique as well as his 14 all NBA teams, 15 All-Star appearances, 4 championships, 3 finals MVPs, and a regular-season MVP, and you get the second-best big man to ever lace up.
If you disagree with the first half of my list feel free to contact me on my contact page and we can talk about it. Stay tuned for next week’s article where things are going wild with my top 5 players of all time. Thank you all for reading until the end. I hope you have a great rest of your day.
Until next time, PD Smash signing off.