Legends of Basketball: The Top 10 All-Time Greatest NBA Players  

We knew Air Jordan would top any list. His fierceness, amazing dunks, tongue-wagging, and winning attitude made him a basketball legend. 1988 NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and scoring champion.  

1. Michael Jordan (1985-2003)

LeBron James has repeatedly claimed the title of “Greatest of all Time”. He consistently ranks among the top three NBA players. The fact that he averaged 27.4 points, 8.3 assists, and 8.5 rebounds in his 15th season—his 16th in the league—is troubling given his injury history.   

2. LeBron James (2004-Present)

Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles. The deadly skyhook shot was his invention. He has the most NBA points. He has the most regular-season MVPs with six.  

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1969-1989)

Magic Johnson, the other half of the 1980s rivalry, was arguably the most visually dazzling player ever. The Showtime Lakers' all-time greatest point guard dazzled with his flamboyant play. Magic Johnson, the Dream Team captain, has led the NBA in MVP awards and titles while rejuvenating the game.   

4. Magic Johnson (1979-1996)

His 11 NBA titles over 13 seasons making him one of the top 10 NBA players of all time. He created defensive sequences to make defense equal in an offense-focused league. He is considered the greatest defensive player ever and has 11 NBA titles, which may be the safest record.   

5. Bill Russell (1956-1969)

Wilt Chamberlain is next on our list of NBA legends. He won 2 NBA titles and 4 League MVPs and was the most dominant NBA player ever. Seven scoring titles and eleven rebounding titles seem ridiculous today.  His mind-boggling stats include over 50 points each season and over 22 rebounds in his career.  

6. Wilt Chamberlain (1959-1973)

Tim Duncan has 2 regular season MVPs, 3 NBA Finals MVPs, and 5 Championships. He was one of the greatest NBA players because he was cool and a team player. He was a reliable, no-nonsense guy.  Tim Duncan guided his squad to several NBA titles with calmness.  

7. Tim Duncan (1997-2016)

Larry Bird is 8th among the 10 best NBA players. Larry won 3 NBA titles and 3 league MVPs. The NBA has always been about tall, hunky guys, but Larry was the reverse. He compensated for his lack of size with basketball IQ and shooting.  An injury ended his career, lowering him off this ranking.   

8. Larry Bird (1979-1992)

Everyone knows Shaquille O'Neal. One of the greatest Lakers players, he was brutal. Shaquille is known for challenging himself and moving the game forward. He won 4 NBA titles and 3 All-Star MVPs.  Although retired from professional basketball, Shaq is active in the media and fans love him.  

9. Shaquille O’Neal (1992-2011)

Kobe Bryant concludes our top 10 NBA players list. Popular youth and sports hero Kobe Bryant represented basketball and other sports with his spirited sportsmanship. He was considered Michael Jordan's replacement and led the Lakers to 5 titles. His later years in basketball were poor, and he died young, thus we ranked him at number 10.

10. Kobe Bryant (1996-2016)


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