The Best NBA Players from Illinois

Over 1.9K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best NBA Players from Illinois
Voting Rules
Only NBA players born or raised in Illinois.
Latest additions: Trevion Williams, E.J. Liddell, Max Christie
Most divisive: Meyers Leonard

Who are the best NBA players from Illinois? Featuring Hall of Fame greats, superstars, and active players, this list of basketball players who were born in Illinois includes some of the most famous athletes in sports, including Chicago native NBA players Anthony Davis, Dwyane Wade, Isiah Thomas, and Derrick Rose. Who is the best NBA player from Illinois?

Vote up the top Illinois NBA players, and help decide who is the best basketball player from Illinois. 

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  • Dwyane Wade
    Chicago, Illinois
    908 votes
    • Position: Shooting guard
    • Teams: Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Hailing from the south suburbs of Chicago, Dwyane Wade burst onto the scene with a tenacious style of play that allowed him to dominate on both ends of the court. Known for his relentless scoring ability, crafty ball-handling skills, and clutch performances, Wade quickly cemented himself as one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history. His uncanny ability to lead his teams to success, exemplified by his three NBA championships, was a testament to his unyielding commitment to winning and his profound impact on the game.

  • Derrick Rose
    Chicago, Illinois
    906 votes
    • Position: Point guard
    • Teams: New York Knicks

    A hometown hero through and through, Derrick Rose captivated the city of Chicago with his explosive athleticism, jaw-dropping dunks, and humble persona from the moment he joined the Bulls. The youngest MVP in league history, Rose's early career was marked by a unique blend of speed, strength, and agility that left opponents struggling to keep up. Despite numerous setbacks and injuries, the Chicago-born point guard continues to showcase his resilience and love for the game, etching his name into the history books as one of Illinois' most beloved basketball stars.

  • Isiah Thomas
    Chicago, Illinois
    778 votes
    • Position: Point guard
    • Teams: Detroit Pistons

    Regarded as one of the premier point guards in the annals of the NBA, Isiah Thomas left an indelible mark on the sport with his gritty determination, exceptional court vision, and undeniable leadership. Born and raised in the heart of Chicago, Thomas embodied the city's fighting spirit throughout his career, commanding the infamous "Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons to back-to-back championships. Though often underrated due to his diminutive stature, the Windy City native's fierce competitiveness and unwavering dedication to his craft earned him a well-deserved spot among basketball's elite.

  • Anthony Davis
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    792 votes
    • Position: Power forward, Center
    • Teams: Los Angeles Lakers

    A towering figure at 6 feet 10 inches, Anthony Davis emerged from the South Side of Chicago as a multifaceted athlete, proving that he could dominate both offensively and defensively on the basketball court. With his incredible wingspan and shot-blocking prowess, Davis has consistently been a force to be reckoned with, while concurrently showcasing his offensive repertoire through smooth jump shots and powerful post moves. Davis's growing list of accolades is a testament to his immense talent and potential, as the versatile big man continues to establish himself as one of the best players in the league.

  • Kevin Garnett
    Greenville, South Carolina
    141 votes
    • Position: Power forward
    • Teams: Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Born in Greenville, South Carolina but having spent his high school years in Chicago, Illinois, Kevin Garnett brought an unparalleled level of intensity and passion to the NBA during his storied career. Endlessly versatile and capable of playing both forward and center positions, Garnett utilized his impressive combination of size, agility, and skill to excel on both ends of the floor. Remembered fondly for his fiery leadership and tenacity, Garnett's unwavering dedication to the game will forever be admired by fans and fellow players alike.

  • Tim Hardaway
    Chicago, Illinois
    436 votes
    • Position: Point guard
    • Teams: Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets

    Renowned for his signature "killer crossover" dribble and lightning-quick first step, Chicago native Tim Hardaway cemented his place in basketball history as one of the most electrifying point guards to ever play the game. Not only did his offensive prowess command respect from opponents, but his scrappy defensive play also made him a nightmare to face on the court. Hardaway's profound impact on the game leaves little doubt as to why he's widely regarded as one of the finest players to hail from Illinois.