In the decades that NBA championships have taken place, thousands of basketball players have come and tried. However, only a few of them have left their mark and become legends. The debate over who deserves to be on the list of the best NBA players of all time is attracting more attention than ever.
Our team of Langley Rams experts has reviewed NBA history and selected the most deserving faces. Let’s find out who they are!
Top 10 NBA Players Of All Time In The League History
The top 10 basketball players of all time include players who excel in both talent and achievement. They have significantly contributed to the team’s success and left a profound influence later.
#10. Shaquille O’Neal
- Stats: 23.7 points per game, 10.9 RPG, 2.3 BPG.
- Top achievements: Four NBA titles, three Finals MVPs, one MVP, eight All-NBA 1st Team selections, 15 All-Stars, three All-Defensive 2nd Team selections.
The center of the Hall Of Famer has brought a new breeze to the tournament with unprecedented flexibility, strength, agility, and explosiveness.
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the rare players to average a double-double per game. That impressive achievement spans nearly two decades. He is also the owner of four NBA championships and three MVP titles at the NBA Finals. Particularly for the 1999-00 season, O’Neal was also honored as league MVP.
This center, along with the Orlando Magic, is the only team in basketball history to send Michael Jordan and the Bulls home a couple of times. Although Shaq’s playstyle is quite personal, we can’t deny his talent and strong influence on the tournament.
#9. Kobe Bryant
- Stats: 25.0 points per game, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 3s PG.
- Top accolades: Five NBA titles, one league MVP, two Finals MVP awards, 11 All-NBA 1st Team selections, 18 All-Stars, nine All-Defensive 1st Team selections.
The “Black Mamba” is one of the most unforgettable icons of the 2000s. Kobe Bryant was the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. However, this guy played at the Los Angeles Lakers with a $3.5 million contract.
Kobe Bryant’s killer instincts have made him one of the top scorers in NBA history. During his 20-year career, Bryant won a total of five NBA championships.
From 2000-2002, Kobe Bryant won three consecutive NBA championships with the Lakers.
To this day, Bryant remains one of the calmest and most powerful shooters of all time. He scored 17 decisive shots in his career and added seven decisive throws to the victory in extra time. You’ll love my list of best shooters of all time
#8. Tim Duncan
- Stats: 19.0 points per game, 10.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.2 BPG.
- Achievements: Five NBA titles, three Finals MVPs, two MVPs, 10 All-NBA Selections, eight All-Defensive 1st Team selections.
“The Big Fundamental” has been the most extraordinary power forward since he first got his NBA title. Tim Duncan is still a player with full attack and defense despite not having a glamorous career. He is also one of the few players with five NBA championships during his career.
Defensive skills are what make basketball fans always remember Tim Duncan. He still holds the position in the top three best defensive players in NBA history.
Tim Duncan’s basketball style is solid and straightforward. He made precise and neat passes to win the opponent. Duncan also won Finals MVP three times.
#7. Larry Bird
- Stats: 24.3 points per game, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG.
- Top accolades: Three NBA titles, two Finals MVPs, three MVPs, nine All-NBA 1st Team selections, 12 All-Stars.
Starting as a small forward, Larry Bird quickly shined and proved himself to be one of the mainstays of the Boston Celtics.
During his 13-year career, Larry Bird has shown talent in both defense and attack. He was the first player in league history to score 50% of field goals, 90% free throws, and 40% of three-pointers in a single tournament. What is more wonderful? Bird did it twice.
His talent and cunning contributed to a mighty Boston Celtics dynasty. Larry Bird is also one of only three people to win the Finals MVP title three times in a row.
#6. Wilt Chamberlain
- Stats: 30.1 points per game, 22.9 RPG, 4.4 APG.
- Achievements: Two NBA titles, one Finals MVP, four MVPs, seven All-NBA 1st Team selections, 13 All-Stars, two All-Defensive 1st Team selections.
The only player who can score 100 points in a game, Wilt Chamberlain, is the sixth-placed player on this list of best basketball players of all time.
It is quite unfortunate that the basketball world when Chamberlain was already the playground of shorter and more flexible players. His athletic build and intense energy may seem outdated, but his talent is not.
He is the player with the highest average points per game in the regular season, right in the rookie season. And Wilt Chamberlain even maintained that record for the next three seasons. Not only is he a great scorer, but he’s also the only man to score more rebounds per game than Bill Russell.
#5. Magic Johnson
- Stats: 19.5 points per game, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG, 1.9 SPG.
- Achievements: Five NBA titles, three Finals MVPs, three MVPs, nine All-NBA 1st Team selections, 12 All-Stars, nine NBA Finals.
Although Magic Johnson’s best moments were when he played in the center position, no one can deny his status as one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.
No one can forget Game 6 with Philadelphia in 1980. This game is considered by many to be one of the best NBA Finals of all time. And Magic Johnson is a critical element of it.
The rivalry between this point guard and Larry Bird also excited many people, especially regarding the 1987 clash. Magic Johnson was the best player in the Los Angeles Lakers’ winning streak. He averaged 26 points, eight rebounds, and 13 assists for the NBA Finals.
#4. Bill Russell
- Stats: 15.1 points per game, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG.
- Top achievements: 11 NBA titles, five MVPs, 11 All-NBA selections, 12 All-Stars.
Bill Russell made his name in NBA history as the only basketball player with 11 titles. This talented defensive player was one of the most critical players in building the mighty Boston Celtics empire.
Bill Russell has excellent leadership. He also regularly contributes the necessary ideas to help his teammates improve. It explains why this center quickly achieved success as a coach.
His most iconic game was the 1961 NBA Finals against the Hawks with 30 points and 38 rebounds. The Finals MVP title reminds how capable this defensive player can be in dominating the league.
#3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- Stats: 24.6 points per game, 11.2 RPG, 3.6 APG.
- Achievements: Six NBA titles, two Finals MVPs, six MVPs, 10 All-NBA 1st Team selections, 19 All-Stars, five All-Defensive 1st Team selections.
With 38,387 points throughout his entire career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar deserves to be the top scorer of all time. He will remain in his position for at least another four to five seasons if LeBron James can play to his full potential.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has all the honors and personal honors a star can earn, especially the six MVP awards. This point guard is also the only player in NBA history to win the league MVP even though the team did not make it to the knockout stages.
While not as physically dominant as Wilt Chamberlain or Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem’s versatility allows him to take deadly shots. And we certainly can’t forget his skyhook signature.
#2. LeBron James
- Stats: 27.1 points per game, 7.4 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.6 SPG.
- Top achievements: Four NBA titles, four Finals MVPs, four MVPs, 13 All-NBA 1st Team selections, 17 All-Stars, five All-Defensive 1st Team selections.
At 6’9″ tall and weighing 250 pounds, physical strength is one of LeBron James’ most significant advantages, but what makes him a legend is his outstanding passing ability.
The Kings have restructured the way a player’s heyday is viewed. At the age of 35, he is still with the Los Angeles Laker searching for the title. LeBron James’ chase for the score in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals to help make a 3-1 comeback will forever encapsulate his will to win.
#1. Michael Jordan
- Stats: 30.1 points per game, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPG.
- Top achievements: Six NBA titles and NBA Finals appearances, six Finals MVPs, five MVPs, 10 All-NBA 1st Team selections, 14 All-Stars, one Defensive Player of the Year award, nine All-Defensive 1st Team selections.
Related: Michael Jordan Position
The owner of six NBA championship rings and a host of other individual titles, Michael Jordan, is at the top of this list. His “Airness” symbolizes basketball, and the Jordan brand has become a cult with many fans.
Although not born with the strength of LeBron James or the size of Shaq, no one can stop Michael Jordan on the court. He’s won more than anyone, including a perfect 6-0 NBA Finals record.
Michael Jordan has been an unstoppable force throughout his time in the league, even with two separate retirements in his career.
In addition, we also want to honor other faces outside the top 10 of the greatest basketball players of all time. The list below is not sorted.
- Chris Paul.
- Tony Parker.
- Kevin Durant.
- David Robinson.
- Steve Nash.
- Allen Iverson.
- Paul George.
- Charles Barkley.
- Jerry West.
Who is the best basketball player of all time? We think you’ve got your own choice. Watching our favorite NBA player win awards is a fantastic experience that we all get excited about.
Who is your favorite basketball player? Please share with us.