1. Michael Jordan (1984-2003): You know you were the best ever when people mention the best players in the game as “The Next Jordan” and setting the standard to be the best of all-time. Most appreciated by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the player with high and matchless competitive spirit as well as high scoring titles, Defensive Player of the Year in 1988, nine-time all-defensive team inductee, responsible for reforming the tennis shoe industry, Rookie of the Year in 1985, five-time league MVP winner, six-time NBA title holder, and 10-time all-NBA first team champion. If these numbers don’t impress you, you might as well not continue on to the other 9 players on this list.
2. Wilt Chamberlain (1959-1974): Is a two-time NBA champion, seven-time all-NBA team champ, four-time MVP winner, two-time all-defensive first team champ, Rookie of 1960 with 27 rebounds per game and 37.6 points per game (figures that nobody else has ever come close to), and the governing center that dominated every player that was unlucky enough to guard him. He is also famous for his 100-point game, which is an NBA record by far, and looks untouchable as time goes on.
3. Shaquille O’Neal (1992-2011): Is the most dominant center to ever play the game, Hall of Fame contender, Rookie of the 1993 season, four-time NBA champion, 2000 Most Valuable Player winner, and three-time Finals MVP champ. Shaq is the first National Basketball League player to come to mind when someone mentions a legitimate center, and that is very understandable as he is 7’1″ and 325 pounds.
4. Magic Johnson (1979-1996): Is the greatest point guard despite being oversized at 6’9″ that was permitted to play all five positions, great player in the run-and-gun transition, maker of numerous astonishing passes, promoter and master of the no-look and behind-the-back passes, three-time NBA Finals MVP champion, three-time league MVP champion, and five-time NBA champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988).
5. Bill Russell (1956-1969): Is the 11-time NBA champion, 5-time MVP champion, ideal shot blocker, as well as a perfect low post defender who made the Boston Celtics the champions in 11 seasons. He will absolutely never be forgotten by any celtics fan or person knowledgeable of the game because of what he brought to the league with his talent and classiness.
6. Oscar Robertson (1960-1974): It all started when he was a rookie and averaged 30.5 points per game, a remarkable feat in his Rookie of the Year Award-winning season. The achievements didn’t stop there, as “The Big O” went on to earn 12 NBA all-star inductions, was 9-time All-NBA First Team player, 3 All-Star game MVP awards, an NBA MVP award, and winner of a single NBA championship in 1971.
7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-1989): Is one of the greatest Lakers with sky-hook perfection, all-time points leader of the NBA, six-time NBA champion, and six-time MVP champion. The guy was a bonafide winner, the kind of players that make this list of the most talented NBA players in history.
8. Larry Bird (1979-1992): Is perhaps the best closer, intimidator, Rookie of the 1980 season, three-time MVP winner, winner of three NBA titles, three-time all-defensive team champion, and nine-time all-NBA first team inductee. He was known for his sharp-shooting from long distance, and sank numerous game-winning shots throughout his career.
9. Kobe Bryant (1996-Present): Is arguably the most clutch closing player to ever play. Ask any head coach or player who they want to have control of the ball in the waning seconds of tight games, and the vast majority of them would say Kobe. He is a seven-time all-defensive team inductions, and five-time NBA champion, 2-time finals MVP winner, 9 all-NBA first team, and has won the scoring title in 2 seasons.
10. Isiah Thomas (1981-1994): Is among the toughest point guards as well as scorers despite being 6’1. He went on and was a two-time NBA champion with the infamous “Bad Boys” on the Dertroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990. He is also known for his 25-point quarter in the 1989 Finals, which is a National Basketball League record. He went to multiple coaching and font office stints after his NBA career.