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50 Greatest Basketball Players

Updated June 8, 2017 102.0k views50 items

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.
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  • Michael Jordan
    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.
  • 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.
  • Bill Russell
    Photo: Fredrick Brown / Getty Images
    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.
  • 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.