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5 Greatest NBA Players of All Time


You have seen many greatest NBA players of all time. Have you ever thought about who the real kings of the court are? We’re going to get into the heated discussion about who the best NBA players are. In addition, we will discuss their date of birth, weight, height, and the accomplishments they have accomplished throughout their career.

Here are the top 5 players of all time, with their most important plays, most famous stats, and most famous names. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. on April 16, 1947. He was born in New York City to Cora and Ferdinand Alcindor Sr. He grew up in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan. Abdul-Jabbar converted to Islam in 1971 and changed his name. Abdul-Jabbar is 7 feet 2 inches tall and played center. Abdul-Jabbar is now 76 years old and has written several books on history and culture.

He attended Power Memorial Academy and later the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). At UCLA, he played under coach John Wooden and won three NCAA championships. Abdul-Jabbar was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 but could not win the championship making it one of the top teams who never won the title. He played 20 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships and six MVP awards. He is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history with 38,387 points. He retired from basketball in 1989 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. He is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. He has been named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and one of the 75 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Career Highlights and Awards

●             6× NBA champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)

●             2× NBA Finals MVP (1971, 1985)

●             6× NBA Most Valuable Player (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980)

●             19× NBA All-Star (1970–1977, 1979–1989)

●             10× All-NBA First Team (1971–1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986)

●             5× All-NBA Second Team (1970, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1985)

●             5× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1974, 1975, 1979–1981)

●             6× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1970, 1971, 1976–1978, 1984)

●             NBA Rookie of the Year (1970)

●             NBA All-Rookie First Team (1970)

●             2× NBA scoring champion (1971, 1972)

●             NBA rebounding leader (1976)

●             4× NBA blocks leader (1975, 1976, 1979, 1980)

●             NBA anniversary teams (35th, 50th, 75th)

●             No. 33 retired by Milwaukee Bucks

●             No. 33 retired by Los Angeles Lakers

●             3× NCAA champion (1967–1969)

●             3× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1967–1969)

●             3× National college player of the year (1967–1969)

●             3× Consensus first-team All-American (1967–1969)

●             No. 33 retired by UCLA Bruins

●             2× Mr. Basketball USA (1964, 1965)

●             3× First-team Parade All-American (1963–1965)

●             Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016)

As head coach:

●             USBL champion (2002)

As assistant coach:

●             2× NBA champion (2009, 2010)

Bill Russell

Bill Russell was born on February 12, 1934, in West Monroe, Louisiana. He stands at 6 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds during his playing career. Russell attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, California. He played college basketball at the University of San Francisco from 1953-1956. Russell was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the second overall pick in 1956.

He played his entire 13-year career with the Celtics, winning an unprecedented 11 NBA championships. Russell was a five-time NBA MVP and was named to the All-NBA First Team five times. He was known for his defensive prowess, rebounding ability, and leadership. Russell retired from basketball in 1969 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975. He was named the NBA’s Greatest Player of All Time in 1980. He was a pioneer for civil rights and social justice and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011. Russell is considered one of the greatest players in Celtics history, alongside Larry Bird and Paul Pierce.

Career Highlights and Awards

As player:

●             11× NBA champion (1957, 1959–1966, 1968, 1969)[a]

●             5× NBA Most Valuable Player (1958, 1961–1963, 1965)

●             12× NBA All-Star (1958–1969)

●             NBA All-Star Game MVP (1963)

●             3× All-NBA First Team (1959, 1963, 1965)

●             8× All-NBA Second Team (1958, 1960–1962, 1964, 1966–1968)

●             NBA All-Defensive First Team (1969)

●             4× NBA rebounding champion (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965)

●             NBA Lifetime Achievement Award (2017)

●             NBA anniversary team (25th, 35th, 50th, 75th)

●             No. 6 retired by Boston Celtics

●             No. 6 retired by all NBA teams

●             2× NCAA champion (1955, 1956)

●             NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1955)

●             UPI College Player of the Year (1956)

●             2× Helms Player of the Year (1955, 1956)

●             2× Consensus first-team All-American (1955, 1956)

●             WCC Player of the Year (1956)

●             3× First-team All-WCC (1954–1956)

●             No. 6 retired by San Francisco Dons

●             Presidential Medal of Freedom (2011)

As coach:

●             2× NBA champion (1968, 1969)[b]

Larry Bird

Larry Bird was born on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana. He stands at 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds during his playing career. Bird attended Springs Valley High School in French Lick, Indiana. He played college basketball at Indiana University from 1974-1978. Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in 1978. He is now a successful businessman and sports executive.

He played his entire 13-year career with the Celtics, winning three NBA championships. Bird was a 12-time NBA All-Star and won two NBA MVP awards. He was known for his clutch shooting, rebounding, and all-around skills. Bird retired from basketball in 1992 due to a back injury. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. Bird served as the President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers from 2012-2017. He is a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and the 75th Anniversary Team. Bird’s jersey number 33 is retired by the Boston Celtics. He is considered one of the greatest players in Celtics history, alongside Bill Russell and Paul Pierce.

Career Highlights and Awards

As player:

●             3× NBA champion (1981, 1984, 1986)

●             2× NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)

●             3× NBA Most Valuable Player (1984–1986)

●             12× NBA All-Star (1980–1988, 1990–1992)

●             NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)

●             9× All-NBA First Team (1980–1988)

●             All-NBA Second Team (1990)

●             3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1982–1984)

●             NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)

●             NBA All-Rookie Team (1980)

●             3× NBA Three-Point Contest champion (1986–1988)

●             2× 50–40–90 club (1987, 1988)

●             AP Athlete of the Year (1986)

●             NBA Lifetime Achievement Award (2019)

●             NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)

●             No. 33 retired by Boston Celtics

●             National college player of the year (1979)

●             2× Consensus first-team All-American (1978, 1979)

●             Third-team All-American – NABC, UPI (1977)

●             2× MVC Player of the Year (1978, 1979)

●             No. 33 retired by Indiana State Sycamores

As coach:

●             NBA Coach of the Year (1998)

●             NBA All-Star Game head coach (1998)

As executive:

●             NBA Executive of the Year (2012)

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey. O’Neal stands at 7 feet 1 inch tall and weighed 325 pounds during his playing career. He attended Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas. O’Neal played college basketball at Louisiana State University from 1989-1992. He has four children, Taahirah, Myles, Shareef, and Shaqir, and is married to Shaunie O’Neal.

He was a dominant center and was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in 1992. O’Neal played for the Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and Boston Celtics. He won four NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVP awards, and was a 15-time NBA All-Star. He retired from basketball in 2011 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. Shaquille O’Neal is now a successful businessman, sports analyst, and entrepreneur. O’Neal is widely regarded as one of the greatest centers in NBA history. He is a larger-than-life figure, both literally and figuratively, and continues to be a beloved figure in the sports world.

Career Highlights and Awards

●             4× NBA champion (2000–2002, 2006)

●             3× NBA Finals MVP (2000–2002)

●             NBA Most Valuable Player (2000)

●             15× NBA All-Star (1993–1998, 2000–2007, 2009)

●             3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (2000, 2004, 2009)

●             8× All-NBA First Team (1998, 2000–2006)

●             2× All-NBA Second Team (1995, 1999)

●             4× All-NBA Third Team (1994, 1996, 1997, 2009)

●             3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2000, 2001, 2003)

●             NBA Rookie of the Year (1993)

●             NBA All-Rookie First Team (1993)

●             2× NBA scoring champion (1995, 2000)

●             2× IBM Award (2000, 2001)

●             NBA anniversary team (50th, 75th)

●             No. 34 retired by Los Angeles Lakers

●             No. 32 retired by the Miami Heat

●             No. 32 retired by Orlando Magic

●             Associated Press Player of the Year (1991)

●             UPI Player of the Year (1991)

●             Adolph Rupp Trophy (1991)

●             2× Consensus first-team All-American (1991, 1992)

●             2× SEC Player of the Year (1991, 1992)

●             NCAA blocks leader (1992)

●             NCAA rebounding leader (1991)

●             No. 33 retired by LSU Tigers

●             FIBA World Championship MVP (1994)

●             USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1994)

●             McDonald’s All-American Game Co-MVP (1989)

●             First-team Parade All-American (1989)

●             Texas Mr. Basketball (1989)

Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan was born on April 25, 1976, in Christiansted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He was born to William and Ione Duncan and has two sisters. Duncan stands at 6 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. He attended St. Dunstan’s Episcopal High School in St. Croix. Duncan played college basketball at Wake Forest University from 1993-1997. He was a psychology major and graduated with a degree in 1997.  He is married to Amy Sherrill and has two children, Sydney and Draven.

Duncan played his entire 19-year career with the Spurs, winning five NBA championships. He was a 15-time NBA All-Star and won two NBA MVP awards. Duncan was known for his consistent and dominant play, earning him the nickname “The Big Fundamental.” He retired from basketball in 2016 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020. Duncan is considered one of the greatest power forwards in NBA history. Duncan is known for his quiet and humble personality and is widely respected by his peers and coaches. He is now a Spurs assistant coach and continues to be involved in the NBA community.

Career Highlights and Awards

●             5× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)

●             3× NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)

●             2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002, 2003)

●             15× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)

●             NBA All-Star Game co-MVP (2000)

●             10× All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)

●             3× All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008, 2009)

●             2× All-NBA Third Team (2010, 2015)

●             8× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)

●             7× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015)

●             NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)

●             NBA All-Rookie First Team (1998)

●             NBA Teammate of the Year (2015)

●             No. 21 retired by San Antonio Spurs

●             USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2003)

●             Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2003)

●             IBM Award (2002)

●             NBA 75th Anniversary Team

●             National college player of the year (1997)

●             2× Consensus first-team All-American (1996, 1997)

●             Chip Hilton Player of the Year (1997)

●             NCAA rebounding leader (1997)

●             3× NABC Defensive Player of the Year (1995–1997)

●             ACC Athlete of the Year (1997)

●             2× ACC Player of the Year (1996, 1997)

●             3× First-team All-ACC (1995–1997)

●             No. 21 retired by Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Conclusion

There will undoubtedly be debates regarding who the best NBA player is. They all contributed something unique to the game and created history. There’s no denying that Michael Jordan and LeBron James are two of the greatest basketball players of all time. However, we would want to hear your thoughts as well. Who do you think should come in first? Please share your opinions in the space below!

FAQs

Who is better, MJ or LeBron?

James has four rings but leads Jordan in nearly every other statistic. Jordan leads in points, averaging 30.1 to 27.1, but James beats Jordan in rebounds, 7.5 to 6.2; assists, 7.4 to 5.3; field goal percentages, 50.5 to 49.7; and 3-point percentages, 34.7 to 32.7.

Who is the #1 scorer in the NBA all time?

LeBron James is the leading scorer in NBA history. LeBron James has scored the most career regular-season points in NBA history.

Who is the king in NBA history?

LeBron James becomes NBA’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Who has 20,000 points in the NBA?

Lillard, James, Curry, and Harden are the only players in NBA history to have 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, and 2,000 3-pointers.

Who’s the goat, LeBron or Jordan?

The Chicago Bulls great Jordan took the lead with 45.9% of the votes, while Los Angeles Lakers star James got 42.1%.

Which is the best NBA team?

Boston holds the top spot, and Minnesota is on the rise to No. 2 after NBA All-Star 2024 in Indianapolis.

Who has 0 three-pointers?

Fifty players are tied for the fewest career threes, with 0 three-pointers. The first three are Kaiser Gates, Filip Petrusev, and Jalen Crutcher.


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