List Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

sports 50 Greatest Basketball Players

89k views 50 items Embed
Time for some sporting lists.

"Greatest" is meant to be a little ambiguous so you can make up your own mind. But it is supposed to factor in peak level play and overall career success.
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo: Jason H. Smith/Flickr

Jordan had it all. He basically had everything you can expect to have in someone his size, plus off the charts competitiveness. see more on Michael Jordan
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo:  uploaded by mathayus

When you look at Kareem's body of work, it becomes hard to rate anyone above him. Quite possibly the best high school and college player in history, more NBA MVPs than anyone else, 5 rings, ridiculous. But I can't completely get past that he got most of those rings following Magic's lead. see more on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo:  uploaded by mathayus

Many don't realize how amazing Russell was. It's common for people to say he only beat Wilt because of his teammates, but if you look at his later years, Wilt probably had superior teammates and still Russell's club came out on top more than half the time. see more on Bill Russell
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Wilt is really the guy you have to compare everyone else to. His big weakness is his lack of focus. I don't think there's been a more talented player, and when he had it all working, such as in '67, I don't think a better player has ever existed. But the guys above him were better at maintaining that focus year in and year out. see more on Wilt Chamberlain
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo: Penn State/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

The greatest offensive player in history. People have often spoken of "the next Jordan", but "the next Magic" players are much more rare, and for good reason: The few players in history who have such top notch court vision tend to be able to excel in the league even if they're short and unathletic. That kind of brain, in a body like Magic's, amazing. see more on Magic Johnson
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

I think many would be surprised to see Duncan so high, but very few have had the kind of career Duncan's had. With Duncan, the Spurs have been elite over a decade, winning titles with entirely different supporting casts. see more on Tim Duncan
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 50 Greatest Basketball Players
Photo:  uploaded by mathayus

Dr. J is another that gets underrated, but for different reasons. People forget or dismiss what he did in the ABA. If you analyze what he did in the last season of the ABA while looking at how the teams involved did following the merger, it's quite clear that there was no player in the world playing better. see more on Julius Erving