1

Michael
Jordan

1 Michael Jordan

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    30.1

  • RPG

    6.2

  • APG

    5.3

  • SPG

    2.3

  • BPG

    0.8

Jordan's accomplishments speak for themselves: five MVP trophies, six championships, all-time leader in scoring average per game. A ruthless competitor who excelled at both ends of the floor, it will take plenty for anyone to unseat him as the Greatest Of All-Time.

2

LeBron
James

2 LeBron James

Small Forward

  • PPG

    27.1

  • RPG

    7.3

  • APG

    7

  • SPG

    1.6

  • BPG

    0.8

If anyone can catch Jordan, it's James, the most dominant player of this century by a significant margin. He's looked at home from the moment he entered the league in 2003, as his three championships and four MVP awards prove. Still only 32, it seems there are still several more productive years ahead for him to continue to make his case for unseating Jordan – and that doesn't even include what winning a championship this year against the Golden State Warriors would mean to that argument.

3

Tim
Duncan

3 Tim Duncan

Power Forward

  • PPG

    19

  • RPG

    10.8

  • APG

    3

  • SPG

    0.7

  • BPG

    2.2

The Big Fundamental was the fixture of San Antonio's consistent greatness throughout his 19 years in the NBA. He led the Spurs to five championships, was a two-time MVP and a 15-time selection to both all-NBA and all-defensive teams, signifying his massive impact at both ends.

4

Magic
Johnson

4 Magic Johnson

Point Guard

  • PPG

    19.5

  • RPG

    7.2

  • APG

    11.2

  • SPG

    1.9

  • BPG

    0.4

If his career hadn't been cut short by his HIV-positive diagnosis in 1991, Johnson could have been at the top of this list. As it is, his career was remarkable. Widely considered the greatest point guard of all-time, he also was one of the greatest winners, making it to the NBA Finals nine times in his first 12 seasons, and winning five championships.

5

Larry
Bird

5 Larry Bird

Small Forward

  • PPG

    24.3

  • RPG

    10

  • APG

    6.3

  • SPG

    1.7

  • BPG

    0.8

There was nothing Bird couldn't do on a basketball court with the ball in his hands. Among forwards, only James is in his class as a ball-handler and passer. Bird was a remarkable shooter, hitting almost 89 percent of his foul shots and becoming one of the early adopters of the three-point shot. Oh, and he won three championships and three straight MVP awards, as well.

6

Hakeem
Olajuwon

6 Hakeem Olajuwon

Center

  • PPG

    21.8

  • RPG

    11.1

  • APG

    2.5

  • SPG

    1.7

  • BPG

    3.1

When Jordan took his 18-month sabbatical to try his hand at baseball, Olajuwon stepped into the void and dominated the league, leading the Rockets to back-to-back championships in 1994 and '95. His incredible athleticism allowed for a wide variety of post moves offensively and made him into one of the greatest defensive centers in NBA history.

7

Shaquille
O'Neal

7 Shaquille O'Neal

Center

  • PPG

    23.7

  • RPG

    10.9

  • APG

    2.5

  • SPG

    0.6

  • BPG

    2.3

Few players have ever been as physically imposing as O'Neal, who terrorized opposing centers throughout the '90s and '00s. His unstoppable blend of size and athleticism made him the basis of four championship teams with the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. The only thing that matched his impact on the court was his personality off of it.

8

Kevin
Garnett

8 Kevin Garnett

Power Forward

  • PPG

    17.8

  • RPG

    10

  • APG

    3.7

  • SPG

    1.3

  • BPG

    1.4

Garnett changed the NBA in 1995 when he came into the league straight out of high school, again opening the path for players to skip college and go straight to the pros. He proved the Minnesota Timberwolves right for drafting him, as he became one of the game's most versatile players at either end of the court – not to mention one of its most intense.

9

Kobe
Bryant

9 Kobe Bryant

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    25

  • RPG

    5.2

  • APG

    4.7

  • SPG

    1.4

  • BPG

    0.5

Bryant grew up idolizing Jordan, and then became the closest thing we've seen to him. Armed with innate scoring ability and an indomitable will, Bryant led the Lakers to five championships during his 20-year career, and was the league's best shooting guard for more than a decade.

10

Dirk
Nowitzki

10 Dirk Nowitzki

Power Forward

  • PPG

    21.7

  • RPG

    7.8

  • APG

    2.5

  • SPG

    0.8

  • BPG

    0.9

Nowitzki's arrival in the NBA changed it in two ways. His success after being taken ninth overall by the Bucks and traded to the Mavericks in 1998 helped usher a new wave of European talent into the league.

11

Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar

11 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Center

  • PPG

    21.7

  • RPG

    8.8

  • APG

    3.2

  • SPG

    1

  • BPG

    2.3

Here's how incredible Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career was: He finishes 11th on this list despite the fact that the first eight years of his career, 1969-77, aren't under consideration because they came before the merger. His production after that – five championships, two MVPs, nine All-NBA selections – is that impressive.

12

Karl
Malone

12 Karl Malone

Power Forward

  • PPG

    25

  • RPG

    10.1

  • APG

    3.5

  • SPG

    1.4

  • BPG

    0.8

Malone was a fixture in Utah for nearly two decades, partnering with John Stockton to form one of the most devastating pick-and-roll tandems ever. He was a rugged, durable player who made 11 straight all-NBA first teams, and picked up a pair of MVP awards along the way on his way to finishing second only to Abdul-Jabbar all-time in scoring.

13

Charles
Barkley

13 Charles Barkley

Power Forward

  • PPG

    22.1

  • RPG

    11.7

  • APG

    3.9

  • SPG

    1.5

  • BPG

    0.8

To a generation of fans, Barkley has become a household name for his role as a commentator on TNT's award-winning studio show, Inside The NBA. But he was a heck of a player before that, winning an MVP award and leading the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993. He became one of the greatest rebounders of all-time despite being an undersize power forward.

14

Kevin
Durant

14 Kevin Durant

Small Forward

  • PPG

    27.2

  • RPG

    7.2

  • APG

    3.8

  • SPG

    1.2

  • BPG

    1

One of the smoothest scorers in NBA history, Durant has been alongside James as the league's top small forward for most of the past decade. Injuries have potentially cost him a chance to make a serious run at Abdul-Jabbar's record for the most points all-time, but his move to the Golden State Warriors should put him in position to win a championship this year, and the next several.

15

Moses
Malone

15 Moses Malone

Center

  • PPG

    20.6

  • RPG

    12.2

  • APG

    1.4

  • SPG

    0.8

  • BPG

    1.3

A three-time MVP and 12-time all-star, Malone was one of the most dominant big men of his era. The only player in NBA history to win MVP awards on different teams in consecutive seasons, Malone's addition for the 1983 season turned out to be the missing piece of what became a championship Philadelphia 76ers team.

16

David
Robinson

16 David Robinson

Center

  • PPG

    21.1

  • RPG

    10.6

  • APG

    2.5

  • SPG

    1.4

  • BPG

    3

Robinson, nicknamed The Admiral because of his four-year playing career at the Naval Academy, was a dominant figure in the NBA from the moment he arrived in San Antonio in 1989, winning an MVP award in 1995 while becoming one of the best two-way players in the league. Later in his career, partnered with Duncan to form the foundation of a pair of championship teams with the Spurs.

17

Scottie
Pippen

17 Scottie Pippen

Small Forward

  • PPG

    16.1

  • RPG

    6.4

  • APG

    5.2

  • SPG

    2

  • BPG

    0.8

While Jordan is the best player in league history, it would not have been impossible for him to win six championships without Pippen. Arguably the best wing defender of the past 40 years, Pippen made 10 all-defensive teams in his career, including eight first-team selections in a row. Versatile enough to play several positions, Pippen would often initiate the offense for those great Bulls teams, while forming a devastating defensive partnership with Jordan.

18

Dwyane
Wade

18 Dwyane Wade

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    23.3

  • RPG

    4.8

  • APG

    5.7

  • SPG

    1.6

  • BPG

    0.9

After Wade led the Heat to a championship in 2006, he changed the face of the league in 2010 when he paired with James and Chris Bosh in Miami, turning the Heat into a super team that won a pair of titles and made four straight NBA Finals. At the peak of his powers, Wade was a dynamic scorer and a terrific defender – especially as a shot blocker.

19

Jason
Kidd

19 Jason Kidd

Point Guard

  • PPG

    12.6

  • RPG

    6.3

  • APG

    8.7

  • SPG

    1.9

  • BPG

    0.3

No stranger to controversy throughout his career, Kidd also was an undisputable winner, helping the Dallas Mavericks to a championship alongside Nowitzki in 2011 and leading the previously woeful New Jersey Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals in 2002 and '03. Combining his remarkable passing vision with a nose for the ball as a rebounder, he racked up more than 100 career triple-doubles, and he was a nine-time all-defensive team selection – a credit to his defensive prowess.

20

Julius
Erving

20 Julius Erving

Small Forward

  • PPG

    22

  • RPG

    6.7

  • APG

    3.9

  • SPG

    1.8

  • BPG

    1.5

Erving was the face of the ABA, winning three MVP awards and two titles. But, like Abdul-Jabbar, his post-ABA career – winning a title in 1983, an MVP award in 1981, and making seven all-NBA teams – more than holds up on its own. He also deserves credit for ushering in a new way of playing with his remarkable leaping ability, paving the way for players like Jordan and Dominique Wilkins.

21

George
Gervin

21 George Gervin

Small Forward

  • PPG

    26.2

  • RPG

    4.6

  • APG

    2.8

  • SPG

    1.2

  • BPG

    0.8

Duncan and Robinson come to mind when people think of great San Antonio Spurs, but the franchise had its first run of excellence with Gervin as its top gun. A four-time NBA scoring leader, Gervin's silky smooth game – defined by his finger roll – made him an unstoppable offensive weapon and an all-NBA First Team selection five straight years. It also gave him one of the all-time great nicknames: The Iceman.

22

Chris
Paul

22 Chris Paul

Point Guard

  • PPG

    18.7

  • RPG

    4.4

  • APG

    9.9

  • SPG

    2.3

  • BPG

    0.1

Paul has been the NBA's standard bearer at point guard for much of the past decade, making eight all-NBA teams and eight all-defensive teams during that stretch (he would've made a ninth if he hadn't missed a chunk of games this season because of injury). As a sign of his ability to impact the game at both ends, he's led the NBA in assists four times and in steals six times.

23

Stephen
Curry

23 Stephen Curry

Point Guard

  • PPG

    22.8

  • RPG

    4.4

  • APG

    6.8

  • SPG

    1.8

  • BPG

    0.2

With his incredible three-point shooting ability, Curry has been the engine of the league-changing Golden State Warriors over the past three seasons, winning a pair of MVP awards and leading the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals. Curry is already considered the greatest shooter in NBA history, and should be rewriting the record books for years as part of what could be the next NBA dynasty.

24

Steve
Nash

24 Steve Nash

Point Guard

  • PPG

    14.3

  • RPG

    3

  • APG

    8.5

  • SPG

    0.7

  • BPG

    0.1

Nash was the engine of the Phoenix Suns teams under Mike D'Antoni of the mid-2000s, winning a pair of MVP awards and helping usher in a new style of play that virtually every team is employing today. Nash was one of the most efficient players of all time, as he proved by being a four-time member of the 50-40-90 club (making 50 percent of his field goals, 40 percent of his three-pointers and 90 percent of his free throws in a given season). Only one other player, Bird, has accomplished the feat more than once.

25

Gary
Payton

25 Gary Payton

Point Guard

  • PPG

    16.3

  • RPG

    3.9

  • APG

    6.7

  • SPG

    1.8

  • BPG

    0.2

Payton is, at a minimum, the best defensive point guard in recent memory, winning the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year award and making nine straight all-defensive first teams (along with nine All-NBA teams). He also was the face of the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1990s, along with Shawn Kemp, and later won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006.

26

Allen
Iverson

26 Allen Iverson

Point Guard

  • PPG

    26.7

  • RPG

    3.7

  • APG

    6.2

  • SPG

    2.2

  • BPG

    0.2

The Answer is one of the most iconic players in NBA history, and his stepover of Tyronn Lue in the 2001 NBA Finals is one of the most iconic moments of the past two decades. His combination of relentlessness and tremendous scoring ability made him a dominant force with the Philadelphia 76ers in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

27

Dwight
Howard

27 Dwight Howard

Center

  • PPG

    17.5

  • RPG

    12.7

  • APG

    1.5

  • SPG

    1

  • BPG

    2

People now think of Howard for his seemingly non-stop string of off-court run-ins with teammates and coaches that have led to his exits from Orlando, Los Angeles and Houston. But that obscures the fact that, for several seasons, Howard was both the NBA's most dominant big man and its best defensive player, leading the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals while winning three straight Defensive Player of the Year awards and making five straight all-NBA first teams.

28

John
Stockton

28 John Stockton

Point Guard

  • PPG

    13.1

  • RPG

    2.7

  • APG

    10.5

  • SPG

    2.2

  • BPG

    0.2

Stockton's combination of durability and toughness made him a fixture at the point for the Jazz for almost two decades. He played virtually every possible game during his career, missing only 22 in 19 NBA seasons. He is the NBA's all-time assists leader thanks largely to his pick-and-roll partnership with Malone.

29

Clyde
Drexler

29 Clyde Drexler

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    20.4

  • RPG

    6.1

  • APG

    5.6

  • SPG

    2

  • BPG

    0.7

Drexler had the unfortunate timing of spending his entire career playing at the same time as Jordan, the greatest player of all-time, who played the same position. But "The Glide" was a tremendous player in his own right, making 10 all-star teams and five all-NBA teams before pairing with Olajuwon, his college teammate, to lead the Houston Rockets to the 1995 title.

30

Russell
Westbrook

30 Russell Westbrook

Point Guard

  • PPG

    22.7

  • RPG

    6.2

  • APG

    7.9

  • SPG

    1.7

  • BPG

    0.3

When Durant left the Thunder last summer, Westbrook put the franchise on his back and became the story of the NBA this season. He became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double for a season, a feat that will likely lead to him winning the league's MVP award. Westbrook's combination of athleticism and relentlessness has turned him into a singular force and has earned him six all-NBA selections.

31

Patrick
Ewing

31 Patrick Ewing

Center

  • PPG

    21

  • RPG

    9.8

  • APG

    1.9

  • SPG

    1

  • BPG

    2.4

After having one of the greatest college careers of all time at Georgetown, Ewing was the face of the Knicks for 15 years and became one of the league's all-time great centers in the process. The Knicks have not been the same since trading him away in 2000.

32

Isiah
Thomas

32 Isiah Thomas

Point Guard

  • PPG

    19.2

  • RPG

    3.6

  • APG

    9.3

  • SPG

    1.9

  • BPG

    0.3

Thomas was the face of the great Detroit Pistons teams of the 1980s and early 90s, leading the franchise to a pair of championships and many battles with the Bird's Celtics, Johnson's Lakers and Jordan's Bulls.

33

Tracy
McGrady

33 Tracy McGrady

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    19.6

  • RPG

    5.6

  • APG

    4.4

  • SPG

    1.2

  • BPG

    0.9

McGrady became a dominant scorer in the 2000s with the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets, leading the league twice and making seven All-NBA teams. While he never advanced deep in the playoffs, things could've been far different if he'd had extended runs with healthy versions of Grant Hill and Yao Ming, and his own career would've ended differently if his own body hadn't broken down.

34

Dominique
Wilkins

34 Dominique Wilkins

Small Forward

  • PPG

    24.8

  • RPG

    6.7

  • APG

    2.2

  • SPG

    1.3

  • BPG

    0.6

One of the game's elite scorers and incredible athletes, Wilkins is the face of the Atlanta Hawks even today, more than two decades after his career ended. His nickname, The Human Highlight Film, encapsulates his remarkable dunking ability that helped turn him into a fan favorite and household name.

35

Ray
Allen

35 Ray Allen

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    18.9

  • RPG

    4.1

  • APG

    3.4

  • SPG

    1.1

  • BPG

    0.2

Between his sweet shooting stroke, his time with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat and his role as Jesus Shuttlesworth in "He Got Game," Allen has become part of the basketball consciousness for a variety of reasons. His relentless work ethic and beautiful shooting form made him into one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, but wasn't the only part of his game that stood out.

36

Paul
Pierce

36 Paul Pierce

Small Forward

  • PPG

    19.4

  • RPG

    5.6

  • APG

    3.5

  • SPG

    1.3

  • BPG

    0.6

Pierce's quiet end to his career with the Los Angeles Clippers shouldn't diminish what was a remarkable run, largely with the Boston Celtics, where he partnered with Garnett and Allen to usher in a new era in the sport. He also had the most duels with James, and came out on the winning end more times than just about anyone else, too.

37

Chris
Bosh

37 Chris Bosh

Power Forward

  • PPG

    19.2

  • RPG

    8.5

  • APG

    2

  • SPG

    0.8

  • BPG

    1

People immediately think of James and Wade when they think of the "BIg Three" in Miami, but that team wouldn't have been as successful as it was without Bosh's willingness to change his game. One of the most versatile bigs in the league, he'd have been able to have a long second act before blood clotting issues prematurely cut his career short.

38

James
Harden

38 James Harden

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    22.1

  • RPG

    5

  • APG

    5.7

  • SPG

    1.5

  • BPG

    0.4

Harden has gone from being arguably the league's best bench player at the beginning of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder to being a superstar and one of its best players, period, with the Houston Rockets. Harden is likely set to be the runner-up for the NBA's MVP award for a second time in three years, and should remain a favorite for the next several seasons.

39

Kevin
McHale

39 Kevin McHale

Power Forward

  • PPG

    17.9

  • RPG

    7.3

  • APG

    1.7

  • SPG

    0.4

  • BPG

    1.7

McHale formed one of the great frontcourts in NBA history with Bird and Robert Parish on the Celtics in the 1980s. His "torture chamber" of post moves made him incredibly difficult to guard, and he was a six-time all-defensive team selection as he helped lead Boston to three titles.

40

Reggie
Miller

40 Reggie Miller

Shooting Guard

  • PPG

    18.2

  • RPG

    3

  • APG

    3

  • SPG

    1.1

  • BPG

    0.2

One of the first players to truly capitalize on the introduction of the three-point line, Miller retired as the career leader in three-pointers made (before being passed by Allen). He's most remembered, however, for his ability to make shots in the clutch – most notably against Ewing and the arch-rival Knicks.

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