List of Famous Basketball Players

List of famous basketball players, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top basketball players in the world? This includes the most prominent basketball players, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable basketball players is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic basketball players were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned basketball players.

The list you're viewing contains people like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

From reputable, prominent, and well known basketball players to the lesser known basketball players of today, these are some of the best professionals in the basketball player field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous basketball players ever?" and "What are the names of famous basketball players?" then you're in the right place. {#nodes}
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  • Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961) is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was nicknamed "The Worm" and is famous for his fierce defensive and rebounding abilities. Rodman played at the small forward position in his early years before becoming a power forward. He earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award twice. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships. His biography at NBA.com states that he is "arguably the best rebounding forward in NBA history". On April 1, 2011, the Pistons retired Rodman's No. 10 jersey, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later that year.Rodman experienced an unhappy childhood and was shy and introverted in his early years. After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as a "bad boy" and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He repeatedly dyed his hair in artificial colors, had many piercings and tattoos, and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He famously wore a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be. Rodman pursued a high-profile affair with singer Madonna and was briefly married to actress Carmen Electra. Rodman also attracted international attention for his visits to North Korea and his subsequent befriending of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2013. In addition to being a retired professional basketball player, Rodman is a retired part-time professional wrestler and actor. He was a member of the nWo and fought alongside Hulk Hogan at two Bash at the Beach events. In professional wrestling, Rodman was the first ever winner of the Celebrity Championship Wrestling tournament. He had his own TV show, The Rodman World Tour, and had lead roles in the action films Double Team (1997) and Simon Sez (1999). Both films were critically panned, with the former earning Rodman a triple Razzie Award. He appeared in several reality TV series and was the winner of the $222,000 main prize of the 2004 edition of Celebrity Mole.
  • 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 National Basketball Association (NBA). He played point guard for the Lakers for 13 seasons. After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA's all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. Johnson was a member of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team ("The Dream Team"), which won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. After leaving the NBA in 1992, Johnson formed the Magic Johnson All-Stars, a barnstorming team that traveled around the world playing exhibition games. Johnson was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Johnson became a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame—being enshrined in 2002 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team". He was rated the greatest NBA point guard of all time by ESPN in 2007. His friendship and rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, whom he faced in the 1979 NCAA finals and three NBA championship series, are well documented. Since his retirement, Johnson has been an advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and safe sex, as well as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, broadcaster and motivational speaker. His public announcement of his HIV-positive status in 1991 helped dispel the stereotype, still widely held at the time, that HIV was a "gay disease" that heterosexuals need not worry about; his bravery in making this announcement was widely commended. Named by Ebony magazine as one of America's most influential black businessmen in 2009, Johnson has numerous business interests, and was a part-owner of the Lakers for several years. Johnson also is part of a group of investors that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 and the Los Angeles Sparks in 2014.
  • 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 The Round Mound of Rebound, Barkley established himself as one of the National Basketball Association's most dominant power forwards. An All-American power forward at Auburn University, he was drafted as a junior by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 5th pick of the 1984 NBA draft. He was selected to the All-NBA First Team five times, the All-NBA Second Team five times, and once to the All-NBA Third Team. He earned eleven NBA All-Star Game appearances and was named the All-Star MVP in 1991. In 1993 with the Phoenix Suns, he was voted the league's Most Valuable Player, and during the NBA's 50th anniversary, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. He competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and won two gold medals as a member of the United States' "Dream Team". Barkley is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2006 for his individual career, and in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team".Barkley was popular with the fans and media and made the NBA's All-Interview Team for his last 13 seasons in the league. He was frequently involved in on- and off-court fights and sometimes stirred national controversy, as in March 1991 when he spat on a young girl while attempting to spit at a heckler, and as in 1993 when he declared that sports figures should not be considered role models. Though shorter than the typical power forward, Barkley used his strength and aggressiveness to become one of the NBA's most dominant rebounders. He was a versatile player who had the ability to score, create plays, and defend. In 2000, he retired as the fourth player in NBA history to achieve 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists.Since retiring as a player, Barkley has had a successful career as an NBA analyst. He works with Turner Network Television (TNT) alongside of Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson as a studio pundit for its coverage of NBA games and is a spokesman for CDW. In addition, Barkley has written several books and has shown an interest in politics. In October 2008, he announced that he would run for Governor of Alabama in 2014, but he changed his mind in 2010.
  • Kevin Joseph Aloysius "Chuck" Connors (April 10, 1921 – November 10, 1992) was an American actor, writer, and professional basketball and baseball player. He is one of only 13 athletes in the history of American professional sports to have played both Major League Baseball (Chicago Cubs, 1951) and in the National Basketball Association (Boston Celtics 1947–48). With a 40-year film and television career, he is best known for his five-year role as Lucas McCain in the highly rated ABC series The Rifleman (1958–63).
  • Dwight David Howard (born December 8, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is an eight-time All-Star, eight-time All-NBA Team honoree, five-time All-Defensive Team member, and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Howard, who plays center, spent his high school career at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. He chose to forgo college, entered the 2004 NBA draft, and was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic. Howard set numerous franchise and league records during his time with the Magic. In 2009, he led the team to the NBA Finals. In 2012, after eight seasons with Orlando, Howard was traded to the Lakers. Following a one-year stint with the Lakers, he played for the Houston Rockets, the Atlanta Hawks, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Washington Wizards.
  • 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 National Basketball Association. After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Heat. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring and helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to Miami in February 2018. A 13-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami's all-time leader in points, games, assists and steals, shots made and shots taken.