Regional Director, USA Sport Group.
With the NBA finally getting underway this month, basketball is now at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The NBA has given us some of the greatest household names that have become known around the world. But who would you say was the greatest basketball player of all time? Here’s my list, let’s see if you agree!
#10: Patrick Ewing
Jamaican born Patrick Ewing was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. He played most of his career with the New York Knicks, and his number 33 was retired by the Knicks in 2003.
#9: Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson, or ‘The Big O’, played with the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks in the ‘60s and ‘70s. He was a twelve-time All-Star player, and eleven-time member of the All-NBA Team.
#8: Larry Bird
Larry Bird was a creative passer, great shooter, and robust defender. Spending thirteen seasons with the Boston Celtics, he had to retire early due to back trouble, but not before racking up twelve All-Star Team nominations.
#7: Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson appeared in nine NBA finals, and won five of them with the Lakers. He is the NBA's all-time leader in assists per game, and was a member of the "Dream Team"; the US basketball team that won Olympic gold in 1992.
#6: Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain is considered one of the greatest and most dominant players in the history of the NBA and is the only player ever to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season, or score 100 points in a single NBA game.
#5: Shaquille O'Neal
A journeyman, playing for Orlando Magic, LA Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, he is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year.
#4: Julius Erving
Philadelphia 76er Julius Erving, or ‘Dr J’, launched basketball plays that we now know as common place; which emphasizes leaping and play above the rim, and was one of the best dunkers of all time.
#3: Kobe Bryant
Lakers star Kobe Bryant has started in every NBA All-Star Game since his second season, and has had thirteen All-Star appearances, winning the All-Star MVP Award four times. Bryant is tied for the most All Star MVP Awards in NBA History.
#2: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, and personal fouls. Not bad.
#1: Michael Jordan
The NBA website states that Michael Jordan is the “greatest basketball player of all time”, so who am I to argue? Plus, he starred in Space Jam with the Looney Tunes... which is pretty cool.