The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (2024)

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Written By Uday Vashisth

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (3)

Everyone has their own list, in this one, some names are in familiar spots, while some arenโ€™t.

10) Stephen Curry

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (4)

With four NBA Championships and two NBA MVPs (including the NBAโ€™s first and only unanimous selection) to his name, as well as being the NBAโ€™s all-time leader in three-point shots made, Curryโ€™s impact on the game puts him in the conversation with the NBAโ€™s all-time great players, along with his stacked resume. Basketball has evolved into a game centered around shooting, Curryโ€™s strongest skill. Earning NBA Finals MVP honors for the first time in his career in 2022 makes him a lock as a top-10 player of all time.

9) Larry Bird

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (5)

Bird is one of three players (Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin) to win three straight NBA MVPs, which he did from 1984-86. A three-time NBA Champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, Bird is also regarded as one of the best shooters in the history of basketball, even when three-point shooting was not nearly as common as it is in todayโ€™s game. Playing for a team like the Boston Celtics comes with a certain standard, and it certainly did during Birdโ€™s time. Five trips to the NBA Finals and three championships show that Bird certainly delivered, and he is undoubtedly one of basketballโ€™s greatest ever.

8 ) Tim Duncan

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (6)

Duncan was one Ray Allen miracle away from being 6-0 in the NBA Finals like the great Michael Jordan. Duncan spent all 19 seasons of his career with the San Antonio Spurs and mastered the fundamentals of the game, both on offense and defense. Duncanโ€™s success in San Antonio resulted in five NBA Championships, three Finals MVPs, and two NBA MVPs. Duncan is arguably the greatest power forward in the history of the NBA, and his being in the top ten should not surprise anyone.

7) Shaquille Oโ€™Neal

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (7)

Perhaps the most physically dominant player of all time, Shaq made his presence known every time he was on the court during his time in the NBA from his early days as a member of the Orlando Magic. The four-time NBA Champion had the most success during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would win three straight titles and three straight finals MVPs. Shaq was also the MVP of the NBA in 2000, the same year he won the NBA Finals MVP and was the leagueโ€™s leader in scoring - speaking to how dominant the 15-time All-Star really was.

6) Kobe Bryant

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (8)

The late, great Kobe Bean Bryant spent all 20 seasons of his illustrious career with the Los Angeles Lakers, resulting in five NBA championships. After winning three straight titles alongside Shaq, Kobe would go seven years without winning a championship. But after winning back-to-back championships and Finals MVPs in 2009 and 2010, the Black Mamba silenced doubters who questioned if he would win another ring after Shaqโ€™s departure. Bryant also has 18 NBA All-Star appearances to his name, tying LeBron James for second-most selections behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbarโ€™s 19. With qualities, skills, and drive similar to those of Michael Jordan, Bryant is one of the biggest names in the history of all sports.

5) Bill Russell

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (9)

11 Championships to his name is what stands out most about Russell. The five-time NBA MVP helped the Boston Celtics establish themselves as one of the greatest franchises in all professional sports, even today. Russell won five NBA MVPs, even during a time when fellow all-time great Wilt Chamberlin, one of the most prolific talents in history, was playing. Despite playing long before the other names on this list, Russell remains one of the greatest in NBA history.

4) Magic Johnson

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (10)

Earvin Magic Johnson is almost always regarded as the greatest point guard in NBA history. The Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry was one of the greatest that the world of sports had ever seen, and Johnson edges out Bird in the ring category, with five NBA championships to Birdโ€™s three. One of Magicโ€™s most impressive accomplishments was winning NBA Finals MVP as a rookie in 1980 when he had to take over at center for the injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Despite moving from point guard all the way to center for the final game of the 1980 finals, Magic still scored 42 points along with 15 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Lakers win the 1980 NBA Championship. Magicโ€™s play and accomplishments make it hard for him to be left out of the top five.

3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (11)

Six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of three players in NBA history (LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard) to win NBA Finals MVP with multiple teams, doing so with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. In addition, Abdul-Jabbar has the most NBA MVPs (six) and All-Star game selections (19). He also holds the record for most points throughout a career. As his legacy is viewed, his achievements include some that very few others hold. He leads in several categories when evaluating all-time greats, making him the third-greatest basketball player of all time.

2) LeBron James

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (12)

The longevity and consistency of Jamesโ€™ career are amongst the most impressive in recent memory. James took over the league going back all the way to his rookie season in 2003. Eight of Jamesโ€™ 10 finals appearances were in eight straight seasons from 2011-18. The King has won four NBA championships, four Finals MVPs, and four NBA MVPs, and one can easily argue he should have more regular-season MVPs. James is the only player in NBA history to win Finals MVP with three different teams (two with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, one with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, and another with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020), and he also has 18 All-Star Game selections. Even in his late 30s, LeBron remains one of the NBAโ€™s top superstars. Whether he finishes his career as the NBAโ€™s all-time leading scorer (something that is more of a when and not an if) or wins more championships, it is very possible that James could finish his career as the GOAT, which some people already consider him to be.

1) Michael Jordan

The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (13)

The only player in NBA history that can really have their name above James on a list like this is six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan. MJ was 6-0 in the NBA Finals and is a six-time NBA Finals MVP, all with the Chicago Bulls. From his elite scoring ability to his stellar defense, Jordanโ€™s aggressive play style would pose a huge fear factor for opposing teams, as he made it incredibly difficult for teams to figure him out. The five-time NBA MVP is often praised for the โ€œkiller mentalityโ€ he possesses, earning the respect of many NBA greats throughout his career. No NBA team has three-peated as NBA champions since Shaq and Kobeโ€™s Lakers in 2000-02, but Jordan led the Bulls to two of them in the same decade. One can easily point out how if Jordan hadnโ€™t taken a brief retirement after Chicagoโ€™s first three-peat, he couldโ€™ve won even more championships during the 90s. In addition, Jordanโ€™s impact made the game of basketball popular beyond the United States. MJโ€™s talent and skills made him one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports, and they were shown through his many accomplishments in the NBA, landing him at the top of this list.

Uday Vashisth

Long-time NFL and NBA fan, forever a huge fan of the Boston Celtics and Tom Brady

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The Top 10 NBA Players of All Time โ€” Pro Sports Fans (2024)


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