Sports

The Top NBA Players Of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated August 7, 2020 2.1M votes 176.4k voters 1.6M views 730 items

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
Shooting guard and Small forward from New York City, New York, United States of America

Teams: 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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Wild Stories And Rumors About Michael Jordan 22 Reactions That Perfectly Capture The Internet's Obsession With The New Michael Jordan Documentary #201 of 438 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

2
LeBron James is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Small forward and Power forward from Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Teams: 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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The Best LeBron 15 Colorways, Ranked The Coolest LeBron James Signature Shoes, Ranked #260 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

3
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Small forward and Power forward from West Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana, United States of America

Teams: 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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#135 of 243 Celebrities Who Should Run for President #18 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

4
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from New York City, New York, United States of America

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born April 16, 1947) is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the ...more

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#1,310 of 1,344 The Greatest Minds of All Time #11 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

5
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Power forward and Center from Christiansted, United States Virgin Islands

Teams: 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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#9 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #94 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History #70 of 99 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today

6
Kobe Bryant is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Charine Day added Point guard and Shooting guard from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Teams: 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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24 Touching Tributes To Kobe Bryant From Across The World The 100 Best Songs That Reference Kobe Bryant #389 of 438 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

7
Shaquille O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from Newark, New Jersey, United States of America

Teams: Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat

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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#150 of 243 Celebrities Who Should Run for President #236 of 438 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With #1,012 of 2,437 The Most Influential People of All Time

8
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Point guard and Power forward from Lansing, Michigan, United States of America

Teams: 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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#14 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History #2 of 106 The Greatest Lakers of All Time

9
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from Lagos, Nigeria

Teams: 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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#1,155 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #197 of 292 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

10
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from West Monroe, Louisiana, United States of America

Teams: 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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#344 of 433 The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History #22 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

11
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Teams: Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Warriors, San Francisco 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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12
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Power forward from Würzburg, Germany

Teams: Dallas Mavericks

Dirk Werner Nowitzki (German pronunciation: [ˈdɪʁk ˈvɛʁnɐ noˈvɪtski]) (born June 19, 1978) is a German retired professional basketball player. An alumnus of Röntgen Gymnasium and the DJK ...more

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#128 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #30 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #2 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History

13
John Stockton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Point guard from Spokane, Washington

Teams: Utah Jazz

John Houston Stockton (born March 26, 1962) is an American retired professional basketball player. He spent his entire NBA career (1984–2003) as a point guard for the Utah Jazz, and the team ...more

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#1,511 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 148 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings #6 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

14
Stephen Curry is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Point guard from Akron, Ohio, United States of America

Teams: 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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#1,515 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #149 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked #158 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

15
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Point guard and Shooting guard from Hampton, Virginia, United States of America

Teams: 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 of 78 The Best Philadelphia 76ers of All Time #3 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History #2 of 148 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

16
Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Power forward from Greenville, South Carolina, United States of America

Teams: Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, ...more

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#1,036 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #94 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History #17 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

17
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Small forward from Washington, D.C., United States of America

Teams: Seattle Supersonics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors

Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college ...more

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18
Karl Malone is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Power forward from Summerfield, Louisiana, United States of America

Teams: Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

Karl Anthony Malone (born July 24, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball player. Nicknamed "The Mailman", Malone played the power forward position and spent his first 18 ...more

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#3 of 148 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings #30 of 106 The Greatest Lakers of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

19
David Robinson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from Key West, Florida, United States of America

Teams: San Antonio Spurs

David Maurice Robinson (born August 6, 1965) is an American former professional basketball player, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for ...more

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#1,007 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #9 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

20
Scottie Pippen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Small forward from Hamburg, Arkansas, United States of America

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls

Scotty Maurice Pippen (born September 25, 1965), commonly spelled Scottie Pippen, is an American former professional basketball player. He played 17 seasons in the National Basketball ...more

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#4 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time #92 of 95 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today #2 of 73 The Greatest Chicago Bulls of All Time

21
Jerry West is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time

Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

Jerome Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is an American basketball executive and former player. During his active career West played professionally for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National ...more

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#1,454 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History #5 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

22
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Small forward and Power forward from USA, Leeds, Alabama

Teams: Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets

Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on Inside the NBA. Nicknamed Chuck, Sir Charles, Street Beef, and ...more

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23
Dwyane Wade is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
zach2003ludwig added Point guard and Shooting guard from Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Teams: Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls

Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. ( dwayn; born January 17, 1982) is an American former professional basketball player. Wade spent the majority of his 16-year career playing for the Miami Heat in the ...more

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#6 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History #62 of 99 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #102 of 292 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

24
Steve Nash is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Point guard from Johannesburg, South Africa

Teams: Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers

Stephen John Nash (born 7 February 1974) is a Canadian former professional basketball player who played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was an eight-time NBA All-Star ...more

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#375 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 148 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings #15 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

25
Patrick Ewing is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Center from Kingston, Jamaica

Teams: Orlando Magic, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player and current head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team. He played ...more

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#1,808 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time #6 of 148 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings #8 of 165 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time