Every kid that is a basketball fan has some player that they look up to the most; unless you’re like me and have multiple. These players often become idolized and put in lists that everyone comes up with based upon where they grew up and what teams they rooted for. This list is based upon numbers and factual data of the top ten players that I think were some of the best to ever play the game…
10. Stephen Curry
Career Span: 2010-Present
Average Stats Per Game: 23.5 Points, 4.5 Rebounds, 6.6 Assists.
Stephen Curry changed the game forever. He revolutionized the range of the three-point shot. Steph has now forced all of his opponents to spread out their defensive formations to cover more ground and respect his game by working harder up-to a yard outside the three-point line…
9. Kevin Durant
Career Span: 2008-Present
Average Stats Per Game: 27 Points, 7.1 Rebounds, 4.1 Assists.
Kevin Durant is a one-of-a-kind-player. I have never seen anyone else around seven feet tall that can drive to the basket and put someone on a poster, while being able to drain clutch daggers from way beyond the arc. In my opinion, he was the main reason why the Warriors won two of the last three NBA Finals.,,
8. Larry Bird
Career Span: 1980-1992
Average Stats Per Game: 24.3 Points, 10 Rebounds, 6.3 Assists.
Larry Bird wasn’t the greatest ever, but he sure did help his team stay competitive against the Showtime Lakers. In his 12-year career, Bird won three Finals championships (two of which he received Finals MVP) and received the league MVP award three times consecutively. What a list!…
7. Kobe Bryant
Career Span: 1997-2016
Average Stats Per Game: 25 Points, 5.2 Rebounds, 4.7 Assists.
There were really two different Kobes. The first one was number eight, and the second one was number 24. In the 2007 season, Bryant had a 5-game, 50 point streak, including his game where he scored his record high in points with a grand total of 81 points in that game! Many accredit his great skills to his incredible work ethic and “Mamba Mentality”…
6. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Career Span: 1970-1989
Average Stats Per Game: 24.6 Points, 11.2 Rebounds, 3.6 Assists.
Kareem is 7’2″. Back when he was in the league, he wanted to find out how he could truly use that to his advantage. What Jabbar ended up doing was he would shoot the ball by turning his body 90 degrees away from the rim and would fling the ball up over his side. This was called the “Sky Hook” and I would argue that this would be the first unguardable move used in the NBA (Like Harden’s step-back, or Curry’s range)…
5. Wilt Chamberlain
Career Span: 1960-1973
Average Stats Per Game: 30.1 Points, 22.9 Rebounds, 4.4 Assists.
Wilt Chamberlain’s stats look absolutely rigged. His prime years were pretty scary. Sadly, he played a lot his prime in the ABA (American Basketball Association) so not as many NBA experts take his stats quite as seriously. But this guy was an absolute beast!…
4. Bill Russell
Career Span: 1957-1969
Average Stats Per Game: 15.1 Points, 22.5 Rebounds, 4.3 Assists.
Bill Russell played for 12 years in the league, and guess how many times he won the NBA Finals? 12. Thats right, he won an NBA championship every year that he played professional basketball. The reason why I didn’t put him at the top of my list is because the league was different back then and the level of competition was completely different than the NBA that we saw 20 years ago, let alone today…
3. Magic Johnson
Career Span: 1979-1992, 1996
Average Stats Per Game: 19.5 Points, 7.2 Rebounds, 11.2 Assists.
Magic Johnson is a great example of how players don’t need to be the best scorers to be the best in the league. No one had ever seen a player like him before. He was 6’9″ and while he had great dunking skills as most could imagine, he also passed the ball extremely well and was known for racking up the assists…
2. LeBron James
Career Span: 2003-Present
Average Stats Per Game: 27.2 Points, 7.4 Rebounds, 7.2 Assists.
I have never seen anyone play to the level that LeBron James has played at, and especially for so long. “The King” has taken his teams to the NBA Finals a total of eight times and they have won three. The moment that LeBron joined the Cavaliers as a rookie — until now he has been making everyone around him better and has found success from it…
1. Michael Jordan
Career Span: 1984-1992, 1994-1997, 2001-2002
Average Stats Per Game: 30.1 Points, 6.2 Rebounds, 5.3 Assists.
6-0. 6 Finals MVPs. Two Three-peats. He retired for a year to play baseball and came back to play at a championship-winning level. That had never been done before and hasn’t been done since. Jordan was the pinnacle example of hard work contributing to success. He didn’t start out that way (Stay tuned for another article going into this story in detail), but he had the competitive drive to eventually become the best. Jordan set the standard for the best so high that no one has been able to match it yet. As Magic Johnson once said “There’s Michael, then there’s the rest of us.”…
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