Top 50 Basketball Players of All-Time: 5-1

5 Larry Bird (1979–1992) SF/PF: The greatest player from the NBA’s greatest franchise, Larry Bird is my favorite player of all-time. Bird was one of those rare players who doesn’t have a weakness. In fact, Bird is the only person in NBA history to be part of the 50%-40%-90% club, win Rookie of the Year, an MVP, a Finals MVP, an All-Star MVP, win Coach of the Year, and win Executive of the Year. Talk about one of the greatest basketball minds of all-time. Bird’s impact on the NBA was huge his rivalry with our next upcoming player changed the league forever.

4 Magic Johnson (1979–1991, 1996) PG: As much pains me to put a Laker legend above a Celtic great, Ervin “Magic” Johnson comes in at 4. Bird and Johnson basically played the same amount of time and Johnson just accomplished more. Johnson won 3 NBA MVPs, 5 rings, 3 Finals MVPs, and made the All-NBA 1st team 9-times. He also has the highest career assists average in history at 11.2 per game and it is the reason why he’s the greatest point guard in basketball history. It’s a shame that both Larry’s and Magic’s careers were both cut short because their career totals do not reflect how dominant these two rivals were. But their impact on the NBA has lasted long beyond their playing careers.

LeBron James is on pace to break countless of NBA records.

3 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969–1989) C: The greatest center to ever play the game, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has set countless records. He ranks 3rd all-time in rebounds and in blocked shots. He has the most wins of any player in NBA history and of course is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history with an astounding 38,387 total points. He also has an NBA record 6 MVPs, an NBA record 19-time All-Stars, and won 6 Championships with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. His legendary hook-shot sure helped him over his 20-year career.

2 LeBron James (2003–Present) SF/PF: The highest active player on the all-time list, there isn’t a person on the planet who doesn’t know who LeBron James is. The greatest basketball player that I have ever seen, “King James” has numerous awards and records. He’s a 4-time NBA MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA 1st Teamer, a 5-time All-NBA Defensive 1st Teamer, a 3-time Champion, and a 3-time Finals MVP. He also ranks 7th all-time in scoring with 31,038 points is all-time leader in playoff points scored. Did I mention that he’s still in his prime and is just 33 years old? So LeBron isn’t going anywhere for a while and already is the 2nd best player in basketball history. But there’s still one person ahead of him and I think you know who that is.

Michael Jordan celebrating his 6th NBA Championship.

1 Michael Jordan (1984–1993, 1995–1998, 2001-2003) SG: Was there ever any doubt? Known as “His Airness”, “Air Jordan”, “MJ”, and “The Goat”, Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all-time. Let’s just start off with the accolades. Jordan is a 6-time champion, a 6-time Finals MVP, a 5-time NBA MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA 1st Teamer, the Defensive Player of the Year, a 9-time All-NBA Defensive 1st Teamer, a 10-time scoring champ, and finally a 3-time steals leader. While Jordan ranks 4th on the all-time scoring list with 32,292 points, he has the highest scoring average of all-time at 30.12 per game. That includes Wilt Chamberlain and that dude averaged over 50 points in a season! Jordan also has the highest scoring average of all-time in the playoffs at 33.4 points per game and he also has the scoring record in the playoffs at 63 against the Boston Celtics. So yeah, that’s pretty much all of his accolades.

So there it is, I have Jordan over LeBron. This will bring up debate I’m sure but that is the great thing about sports. But if I had to summarize it in one sentence, it is this. LeBron and Michael have currently played the exact same amount of seasons at 15 each and Michael accomplished more. It’s also worth noting that Jordan missed multiple years of his prime due to injury and being suspended from the NBA for gambling playing baseball for 2 years. So I may be using a “what if” clause in my decision but I truly believe if Jordan didn’t retire twice and played straight from 1984–2003; it wouldn’t be a debate who the GOAT is. Thanks for following my list of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Just 2 more months till the greatest game in the world returns. It’s going to be rough.

Steve Santoro (SVS_1993)

Steven Santoro

I love sports and movies. Be on the lookout for articles about both. I also made a video that got 24,000 Retweets. (The views expressed on this website are mine alone and are not intended in any way to reflect the views of my employer)

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