The NBA is widely regarded as the strongest basketball league in the world, attracting talent from around the globe. Not surprisingly, the best athletes play here and this has been the case for decades. This brings us to the difficult challenge of identifying the greatest NBA player of all time. There’s a long list of players worth considering, all of them remarkable in their own way and the holders of amazing records.
We start the list with Kobe Bryant as a tribute for a player that recently passed away, four years after retiring from the NBA. He has won five championships with the Lakers and he was selected to the All NBA team 15 times. He has scored 50 points or above in 25 games, which places him behind Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan, but it’s also worth mentioning the career average 25 points per game.
LeBron James is well-positioned to set new records and maybe emerge as the uncontested greatest NBA player of all time. For the time being, he can brag about an average of 27.1 points per game 7.4 rebounds and assists per game, with 20 first-team All-NBA selections. He managed to carry the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat to the NBA finals on eight occasions and win three of them.
An exceptional shooter and a versatile player, Larry Bird has 59 triple doubles to his name and an illustrious career spanning between 1980 and 1992. He came painfully close of scoring an average of 25 points per game, but he still has 10 rebounds and 6.3 assists per match. Larry was also a remarkable team player, always pulling his ways to lead his teammates to victory in key matches.
There are not too many unstoppable players throughout NBA history, but Wilt Chamberlain is one of them. Taller and stronger than most of his opponents, he is the holder of a record that will probably remain unmatched for eternity. Chamberlain managed an average of 22.9 rebounds per game while also scoring 30.1 points on average per match. He also scored 50 points or more in 118 NBA games.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 points scored throughout his career seem impossible to match even by modern superstars. He led the LA Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks to six championships and also enjoyed a stellar career as a college basketball player. In this regard, he is certainly the best ever.
Throughout his career, Magic Johnson was one of the best all-around players in the league, second only to Oscar Robertson with the most career triple doubles. Johnson is also the only player in history to brag about having more than 11 assists per match, while also scoring 19.5 points. For the Lakers, Magic was invaluable and he was the main reason why they want five championships.
We have left Michael Jordan for last simply because we believe that the wait was worth it. Widely regarded as the greatest NBA player of all time, he is certainly the best scorer, with 30.1 points per game, but also had a high 2.35 steals per game. He made the Chicago Bulls team looked invincible in the 90s, while overshadowing the entire roaster, in spite of its exceptional quality.