NBA All Time top 10 – Retired Players Only
I get it. By making this a list of retired players only, I’m shutting out names like Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and or course LeBron James. I’m doing this for two reasons. One, a player shouldn’t be in the conversation till his career is at an end. LeBron James is an all world talent, but he could go on to win 10 more M.V.P.s, 5 more finals and a scoring title. He won’t, but he could. Two, it’s exhausting to have people jump out of the woodworks and scream at me about shit they have no true organic thoughts on. I will always have an intelligent conversation about the NBA’s players, but no Tyler I’m not gonna sit back and listen to you go on and on about how the Cav’s in 2006 gave LeBron no help so I should just assume he would have won the finals. GTFO. Let’s just get this over with.
10. Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem the Dream is probably the most skilled big man in the history of the NBA. The Dream Shake is a thing of beauty, and players today are still trying to master the move. Olajuwon was also a tremendous defender, averaging 3.3 blocks per game on average. Hakeem took the Rockets to back to back champinships on his very broad shoulders.
9. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain was a phenom before the word was around. Everyone has seen the picture of Wilt holding up the “100” sign after scoring 100 points in a game. During the 61-62 season, Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds a game. If that stat alone doesn’t land him in your top ten, his 4 M.V.P.’s should be enough of a bust to put the big man up there.
8. Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan is the most under appreciated athlete my generation has ever seen. The Big Fundamental is the banner man for the word consistent and has been largely missed since his exit from the NBA. No farewell tour, no big scene, one day Duncan just decided he was done playing basketball. Nothing is more consistent than a Duncan double double.
7. Shaquille O’neal
Shaq is the most physically dominate player the NBA has ever seen. At 7’1” 294 lbs, the LSU Shaq made waves with the Orlando Magic in his first couple seasons. Even the even larger Shaq at 326 LBS was an athletic nightmare for anyone in the paint. Shaq will always be the greatest paint presence in NBA history, especially with the way the NBA is transitioning today.
6. Larry bird
In my humble opinion, Larry Bird is the greatest Small Forward the NBA might ever see. Larry Legend was bred for greatness and had the skills to back up his swagger on and off the court. The legendary matchups between the Celtics and the Lakers cemented both teams greatness in history, and that was largely on the battle of Bird vrs. Magic. Want to learn how to smack talk? Do some Larry Bird research.
5. Kobe Bryant
I’ll be the first to admit that I am openly biased in this pick. Kobe Bryant is as aggressive an athlete the world has ever seen and his workouts and mentality are mythological legends. Bryant was the Lakers organization for many years and will go down in History are the games greatest scorer. Don’t agree? 81. Just go to youtube and type 81. Then @ me. Again. Youtube, 81, @ me.
4. Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson is the most versatile player eligible for this list. The 6’9” point guard out of Michigan State won Finals MVP as a rookie and as the legend has it, played center in the 1980 NBA Final’s after Abdul-Jabbar went down with an injury. Magic had 5 NBA titles in an era when the NBA was littered with amazing names and teams, and had a career average of 12.3 assists in the playoffs. Stuff of a legend.
3. Bill Russell
Bill Russell is an interesting player. Russell was drafted in 1956 and played for the Boston Celtics during their dominance in the 60’s. Russell’s stats aren’t world changing, but he was a mastermind rebounder who walked away from the NBA with 11 championships. It’s always fair to point out that the NBA was much different back then, playing far less games and awarding the NBA champion with the first overall pick in the draft. All notes aside, Bill Russell is an NBA legend and is one of the most decorated athletes in North American sports history.
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Many people know who Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is, but they don’t know about Lewis Alcindor. At UCLA, Alcindor was the greatest player in NCAA history. Alcindor was so amazing, the NCAA actually banned the dunk because it was deemed unfair. Alcindor quickly adapted, developing the most unstoppable shot in the sports history known as the Sky Hook. Alcindor was offered one million dollars by the Harlem Globetrotters, but the UCLA alum declined and was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969. After a conversation to Islam, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. legally changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. KAJ was a cultural phenomenon and was virtually unstoppable with both the Bucks and the Lakers. Six NBA Titles, Six regular season MVP’s, fifteen All-NBA Selections, 11 All-Defense Selections, and 19 All-Star appearances later, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will always deserve a spot on the NBA Mount Rushmore.
1. Michael Jordan
This one was easy. Michael Jordan is undefeated in NBA finals with 6 NBA championships, and arguably could have another two if we lived in the world of speculation. MJ is the most iconic American Athlete of all time, and I’m not sure I will ever concede a successor. Jordan accomplished everything any basketball fan could ever want. Five regular seasons MVP’s, six Finals MVP’s and a career points per game of 33.4 all boost the Goat’s status. His ’88 season is regarded as one of the greatest of all time, as Jordan earned MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and the NBA’s Scoring Title. Jordan averaged 35 points per game on an incredible 53% shooting. Dominance is a suggestive term in most situations, but no player has been that dominate since. @ me.