Sports

The Top NBA Players Of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated June 3, 2020 2.1M votes 173.7k voters 1.6M views 872 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 #1,177 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time

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 16 Colorways, Ranked The Best LeBron 15 Colorways, Ranked #262 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World

3
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is listed (or ranked) 3 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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#1,422 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #12 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

4
Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 4 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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#22 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #131 of 262 Celebrities Who Should Run for President #1 of 242 The Best White Players in NBA History

5
Magic Johnson is listed (or ranked) 5 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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#10 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #26 of 113 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans #1 of 160 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

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 Heartbroken Athletes React To Kobe Bryant's Death #486 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time

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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#1,333 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #1,182 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #713 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time

8
Tim Duncan is listed (or ranked) 8 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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#1,631 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #77 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #9 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

9
Wilt Chamberlain is listed (or ranked) 9 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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18 Unbelievable But True Stories from the Buckwild Life of Wilt Chamberlain #9 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #265 of 529 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are

10
Hakeem Olajuwon is listed (or ranked) 10 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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#1,178 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #3 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

11
Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 11 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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#19 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time #5 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

12
Allen Iverson is listed (or ranked) 12 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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#1,527 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings #3 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

13
Dirk Nowitzki is listed (or ranked) 13 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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#95 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #1 of 149 The Best European NBA Players of All Time #2 of 242 The Best White Players in NBA History

14
Karl Malone is listed (or ranked) 14 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 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings #31 of 107 The Greatest Lakers of All Timelisted on Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

15
Jerry West is listed (or ranked) 15 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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#1,500 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #6 of 242 The Best White Players in NBA History #4 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

16
Stephen Curry is listed (or ranked) 16 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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#1,628 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #26 of 320 The Top 100+ NBA Players Today #149 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked

17
Charles Barkley is listed (or ranked) 17 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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22 Times Charles Barkley Made Everyone LOL #2,054 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings

18
John Stockton is listed (or ranked) 18 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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#1,604 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #2 of 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings #3 of 242 The Best White Players in NBA History

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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#1,033 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #7 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time #9 of 55 The Best No. 1 Overall NBA Draft Picks of All Time, Ranked

20
Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 20 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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#1,065 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #3 of 133 The Best Boston Celtics of All Time #17 of 168 The Greatest NBA Centers of All Time

21
Kevin Durant is listed (or ranked) 21 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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The Best KD 10 Colorways, Ranked The Coolest Kevin Durant Signature Shoes, Ranked #1,928 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time

22
Scottie Pippen is listed (or ranked) 22 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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#1,856 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #4 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time #89 of 92 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

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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#1,933 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #75 of 98 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today #9 of 178 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History

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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#385 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #5 of 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings #5 of 242 The Best White Players in NBA History

25
Pete Maravich is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top NBA Players Of All Time
Shooting guard from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

Teams: Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Jazz

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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#130 of 2,166 The Best Athletes Of All Time #12 of 151 The Best NBA Players with No Championship Rings #4 of 242 The Best White Players in NBA History