criteria are simple: statistics, championships
and influence on the game.
We did not recruit any basketball great
or call any expert to give us their opinion.
We did our own research, primarily on NBA.com
and magicmetric,com, to ascertain our findings.
NBA.com is the league’s sanctioned website,
complete with relevant stats and information.
Magicmetric.com is a website that takes
statistic information and processes it to
create a list of the greatest basketball
players of all time. We surveyed the information,
threw in a little common sense and some
1) Bill Russell – Bill Russell
was the cornerstone of the Boston Celtics’
dynasty of the 1960’s, an uncanny shotblocker
who revolutionized NBA defensive concepts.
A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and
a 12-time All-Star, the angular center amassed
21,620 career rebounds, an average of 22.5
per game, and led the league in rebounding
2) Wilt Chamberlain – He
was basketball’s unstoppable force, the
most awesome offensive force the game has
ever see. Asked to name the greatest players
ever to play basketball, most fans and aficionados
would put Wilt Chamberlain at or near the
top of the list. He dominated the game as
few players in any sport ever have.
3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar –
When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the game in
1989 at age 42, no NBA player had ever scored
more points, blocked more shots, won more
MVP awards, played in more All-Star games,
or logged more seasons.
4) Moses Malone – One of
the game’s all-time great centers, Moses
Malone was a relentless rebounder and effective
scorer who made the jump from high school
to a pro career that lasted 21 years. The
third-leading rebounder and sixth-leading
scorer in combined NBA/ABA history, he was
honored in 1996-97 as a member on the NBA’s
50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
5) Hakeem Olajuwon – During
his 18-year career, Nigerian Hakeem Olajuwon
staked his claim as one of the greatest
players in NBA history. Long considered
a physical marvel since his days at the
University of Houston, his aesthetic and
productive play – highlighted by the Houston
Rockets’ back-to-back NBA titles – earned
him a place among the game’s best.
6) Shaquille O’Neal – Selected
in 1996 as one of the 50 Greatest Players
in NBA History –- Three-time NBA Finals
MVP after leading the Lakers to back-to-back
NBA Finals victories (2000, 2001, 2002)
– Voted the 1999-2000 Most Valu able Player
(regular season) by media.
7) Patrick Ewing – Warrior.
That is the one-word description often applied
to Patrick Ewing. He was indefatigable and
relentless in pursuit of an NBA championship
despite being denied on an annual basis.
Bold predictions did not always materialize
and some took them as empty promises, while
others as a will to succeed.
8) David Robinson – One
of the top centers of his era, if not all
time, David “ The Admiral” Robinson was
a marvel of a basketball player and a respected
figure off the court. A lean, muscular,
7’1” athlete, he was fast, strong and agile.
9) Willis Reed – Of all
the thrilling baskets scored in NBA history,
there have been few more fabled than the
two Willis Reed hit in the first few minutes
of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals. Although
they counted for only four points on the
scoreboard, they were worth a million bucks
of inspiration in the hearts of the New
Robert Parish – Robert parish played in
more games than any other player in NBA
history. A 7’1” center who combined strength,
agility and remarkable endurance, Parish
won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics
in the 1980’s and teamed with Larry Bird
and Kevin McHale to form one of the greatest
front lines in NBA history. He capped his
career by winning yet another championship
ring as a member of the 1996-97 Chicago
Bulls. Parish announced his retirement after
his 21st season in the NBA, and after playing
in 1,611 games.