Basketball is a very popular sport, especially in Europe and the United States. All the best players sooner or later end up in the NBA, playing with the best teams and earning the most money. Over the years, there have been many amazing players to grace the court, but only some of them can be considered legends, or the greatest. As these lists often go, the criteria is different and not everyone’s legend will be able to make it. Without further ado, here are the best basketball players of all time.
Undoubtedly, the most recognizable player of them all, most notable for his tenure with the Bulls, and his 6 NBA victories. He was a dominant player who made the difference all the time. It is worth noting that he is one of the rare players who actually got to play basketball with Bugs Bunny. His career was amazing and one of the most inspiring ones to date. He also played as a baseball player, albeit shortly.
Known for his amazing talent, height and the ability to score from anywhere, LeBron James is an icon of modern basketball. He is to the modern age what Michael Jordan was in the 1990s. He played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and currently Los Angeles Lakers. He is one of the most proficient players when it comes to sheer willpower. Giving up is not an option.
A legend of basketball in the truest sense. He elevated the NBA in the 1960s and is considered by many to be truly underrated. He scored more than a 100 points in a single game and has an average of 50 points per game across an entire season. Winning two championships often makes him inferior in the eyes of some critics. To those critics, we say, you didn’t star in a movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He played for the Boston Celtics and is famous for his game feel, as well as his passing shots and shooting in general. Alongside LeBron James, he is often thought of as one of the best small forwards. He was selected for the MVP title three times in a row, a stat he shares with Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
Speaking of Bill Russell, he is one of history’s greatest defenders ever. In 13 years, he brought to the Celtics 11 titles, which is a very impressive feat. His defensive abilities are regarded as one of the best to this day and he played in the 1950s, until the 1970s. Sharing his triple consecutive MVP with Chamberlain and Bird, he is definitely one of the best players to have ever walked the court.
Among the players on the list, his career statistics are very chart-topping, especially when it comes to championships and rewards. He won six championships. That wouldn’t be as amazing if it weren’t for the fact that there is a seventeen year gap between the first and the last. He was voted for MVP six times, as well as landing on the All-NBA team 10 times as a first choice and 15 times in total. Add to that 19 All-Stars and you get the picture. His scores weren’t athletic or particularly eye-popping, but he did score more than anybody else.
These are the best basketball players in the world, then and now.