Sports

The Top NBA Players Of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Vote up and add the best pro basketball players to ever compete in the NBA.

When it comes to the top NBA players of all time, there's plenty of speculation and room for debate, though many may not think so. Though Michael Jordan is easily considered the greatest player ever, some may say players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or Kevin Durant give him a run for his money. Who are the best NBA players? This list includes the best basketball players in NBA history, along with the top basketball players today.

Anyone can vote on the best NBA players here, which means these players are truly fan favorites. NBA fans can even add their own rankings to this list. Whether they have a famous jumper that just won't quit or ball-handling skills that leave their opponents spinning, these top 100 NBA players rule the hoop and the hardwood, and this list is a celebration of those skills. This list should answer who is the top 100, top 10, and best NBA player ever. 

If you've ever asked, "Who's the greatest basketball player of all time?", look no further. Ranked by votes from thousands of fans, this list features the all time NBA GOATs, including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Wilt Chamberlain, and Larry Bird. Vote up the best basketball player ever, and those who follow close behind. Then head over and vote on the best NBA players of the 2010s.

list ordered by
1
Michael Jordan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials MJ, is an American former professional basketball player and the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the ...more

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#461 of 524 The Best Baseball Players NOT in the Hall of Fame #1 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Timefeaturing 16 Crazy Stories and Rumors About Michael Jordan

2
Julius Erving is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, New York Nets
Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is an American retired basketball player who helped popularize a modern style of play that emphasizes ...more

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#4 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #789 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

3
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.; April 16, 1947) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) ...more

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#23 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #63 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1,454 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

4
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His accomplishments ...more

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#248 of 276 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #16 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Timefeaturing The Best LeBron 16 Colorways, Ranked

5
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers
Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American retired professional basketball player and former president of basketball operations of the Los Angeles Lakers of the ...more

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#24 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #62 of 113 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans

6
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors
Wilton Norman Chamberlain (; August 21, 1936 – October 12, 1999) was an American basketball player who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in history. He played for ...more

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#19 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Timefeaturing 18 Unbelievable But True Stories from the Buckwild Life of Wilt Chamberlainlisted on Famous Black Conservatives List

7
Oscar Robertson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Cincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks
Oscar Palmer Robertson (born November 24, 1938), nicknamed "The Big O", is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. ...more

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#62 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #24 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #7 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

8
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Boston Celtics
William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from ...more

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#26 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People Left Handed Basketball Players

9
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers
Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal ( shə-KEEL; SHAK; born March 6, 1972) is a retired professional American basketball player who is a sports analyst on the television program Inside the ...more

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#736 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #18 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1,210 of 1,472 The Greatest Minds of All Time

10
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors
Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (; Yoruba: [olaɟuwɔ̃]; born January 21, 1963), formerly spelled (& still pronounced as) Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player. ...more

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#1,172 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #6 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #1 of 107 The Best Foreign NBA Players of All Time

11
Elgin Baylor is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Los Angeles Lakers
Elgin Gay Baylor (born September 16, 1934) is an American former basketball player, coach, and executive. He played 14 seasons as a small forward in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for ...more

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#103 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #12 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked #9 of 150 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings

12
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Charine Day added Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bean Bryant (August 23, 1978 – January 26, 2020) was an American professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the ...more

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#373 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknamesfeaturing The Best Kobe Bryant Dunks

13
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Boston Celtics
Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball player, former coach, and former executive who most recently served as President of Basketball Operations for ...more

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#56 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People Left Handed Basketball Players

14
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
San Antonio Spurs
Timothy Theodore Duncan (born April 25, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball ...more

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#1,325 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #31 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #5 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

15
Isiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Detroit Pistons
Isiah Lord Thomas III (born April 30, 1961) is an American former basketball player who played professionally for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A point guard, ...more

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#800 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #69 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #127 of 291 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

16
Moses Malone is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Washington Wizards, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers
Moses Eugene Malone (March 23, 1955 – September 13, 2015) was an American basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association ...more

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#64 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #43 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #2 of 23 The Best NBA Centers of the 1980s

17
George Gervin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs
George Gervin (born April 27, 1952), nicknamed "The Iceman", is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and ...more

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#75 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #9 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknameslisted on Republicans in Hollywood: Republican Celebrities List

18
Dominique Wilkins is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic
Jacques Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is an American retired professional basketball player who primarily played for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). ...more

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#244 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #21 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #7 of 150 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings

19
Clyde Drexler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets
Clyde Austin Drexler (born June 22, 1962) is an American former professional basketball player who is the commissioner of the Big3 3-on-3 basketball league. Nicknamed "Clyde the ...more

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#188 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknameslisted on The Best 'Dancing With The Stars' Contestants, Ranked

20
Walt Frazier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks
Walter "Clyde" Frazier (born March 29, 1945) is an American former basketball player in the National Basketball Association. As their floor general, he led the New York Knicks to the ...more

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#45 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #34 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #26 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

21
Pete Maravich is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics
Peter Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player. Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of ...more

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#34 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #10 of 150 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings

22
Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Kansas City Kings, New York Nets, Cincinnati Royals
Nathaniel "Tiny" Archibald (born September 2, 1948) is an American retired professional basketball player. He spent 14 years playing in the NBA, most notably with the Cincinnati ...more

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#68 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Timelisted on Famous Left Handed People Left Handed Basketball Players

23
Elvin Hayes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Washington Wizards, Baltimore Bullets, Houston Rockets
Elvin Ernest Hayes (born November 17, 1945) is an American retired professional basketball player and radio analyst for his alma-mater Houston Cougars. He is a member of the NBA's 50th ...more

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#1,557 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #93 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #23 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

24
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies
Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former professional basketball player. He played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association ...more

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#1,341 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #8 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #47 of 291 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

25
Stephen Curry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Golden State Warriors
Wardell Stephen "Steph" Curry II ( STEF-ən; born March 14, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association ...more

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#1,368 of 2,198 The Best Athletes Of All Time #26 of 153 The Best NBA Player Nicknames #145 of 291 The Most Obnoxious Athletes