LeBron James or Michael Jordan? bill Russell or it must be Chamberlain? Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant? Old college or new school?
These disputes rage on unending in every corner of NBA fandom, and also our experts have done their ideal to prize them, ranking the greatest players in the league"s 74-year history.
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priziv.org"s NBA experienced panel poll on thousands of head-to-head matchups, taking into consideration both complete career value and also peak performance.
Being in the conversation together the best player of all time method being component of an exclusive society -- no disrespect to those who just missed the end on the optimal 10. The perform of 10 v 1 crowns the exceptional performers who have actually their own cases to be the biggest ever.
All-time NBArank: Nos. 74-41 | Nos. 40-11 | 5-on-5 debate
10. Shaquille O"NealRocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images23.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.3 BPGThe hall of Fame facility transformed the game with a combination of agility and explosiveness and also size, the likes of which the league had never seen. A four-time NBA champion and three-time Finals MVP, O"Neal average a double-double throughout a career the spanned almost two decades. O"Neal became an All-Star 15 times and earned the 1999-2000 MVP award. The fun-loving big man supplied his outsize personality to come to be a global pitchman and analyst after retiring.-- Nick Friedell
Shaq"s legendary tenure with the LakersTake a look earlier at Shaquille O"Neal"s time in Los Angeles, which contained three championships and also an intense rivalry through teammate Kobe Bryant.
9. Kobe Bryant
Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images1996-2016 Los Angeles Lakers25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 3s PGFor all of his statistical achievements -- the 5 championships, the 81-point game, the 60-point finale, the organization MVP in 2008, the 20 periods all through the exact same franchise -- Bryant"s lasting tradition is his mental edge and burning desire to understand the sport. "Mamba mentality" became much more than a kitschy catchphrase ~ Bryant died; it is now a blueprint for exactly how to chase your dreams. He"ll forever it is in on the quick list of players you"d desire to take it the last shot through the video game on the line.-- Dave McMenamin
Kobe Bryant"s career, in his very own wordsRelive Kobe Bryant"s historical NBA career, as explained by the Lakers icon.
8. Tim Duncan
Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images19.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.2 BPGPerhaps the just perceived hit on Duncan"s game was that he was boring. He was known as "The big Fundamental," overcoming for nearly two years on both ends of the floor v textbook simplicity, such together his midrange financial institution shot and also perfect place defense. More than anything, Duncan was among the best winners, top the spur to five titles and also 1,001 regular-season victories, the most for any player through one team in NBA history.-- Tim MacMahon
Tim Duncan was all-time greatness sheathe in humilityTom Rinaldi defines why Tim Duncan"s career embodies greatness.
7. Larry Bird
Dick Raphael/NBAE/Getty Images1979-92 Boston Celtics24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPGBird and Magic Johnson revitalized the NBA -- and the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. Bird led Boston to five NBA Finals and also three championships through a mix of shot-making, passing and his feel for the game. He was the organization MVP in 3 consecutive periods (1984-86), something only Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell had actually accomplished. Until LeBron James came along, Bird was hailed together the best tiny forward ever.-- Tim Bontemps
Flashback: Larry Bird sets Boston record with 60-point performanceOn march 12, 1985, Larry Bird placed on a shoot clinic for the ages, scoring a Celtics-record 60 point out in a game versus the Atlanta Hawks.
6. Wilt Chamberlain
AP Photo30.1 PPG, 22.9 RPG, 4.4 APGChamberlain to be truly front of his time. His numbers -- consisting of scoring one NBA-record 100 point out in a solitary game and averaging 50 clues per game for an entire season -- space mythical. The only reason the doesn"t rank higher on perform of the all-time greats is he won "only" two NBA championships.-- Bontemps
Chamberlain"s legacy exceeds 100-point featScoop Jackson defines why wilt Chamberlain"s tradition extends far past his historic 100-point game on march 2, 1962.
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5. Magic Johnson
Focus on Sport/Getty Images1979-91, 1996 Los Angeles Lakers19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG, 1.9 SPGJohnson revolutionized the game, entering the league as the tallest suggest guard in league background at 6-foot-9. He was a legendary winner, a transcendent passer, an instant highlight and a triple-double waiting to happen. Without Johnson and his rivalry because that the ages with Bird and the Celtics, the NBA may not be whereby it is today. The charismatic Johnson took the "Showtime" Lakers to ripe NBA Finals, and also they won five titles. His fast breaks and no-look passes catapulted the NBA from an era once Finals gamings weren"t televised live to the worldwide game that is today.-- Ohm Youngmisuk
4. Bill Russell
Dick Raphael/NBAE/Getty Images1956-69 Boston Celtics15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APGThe biggest winner in basketball history, Russell asserted 11 titles in 13 year by transforming the Celtics into a protective juggernaut. Russell"s protective acumen and determination made the the perfect foil for Wilt Chamberlain, and one that the football player from his era who wouldn"t have looked out of location in later on generations. Those qualities also helped him earn five MVP awards and 11 All-NBA selections.-- Bontemps
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Rich Pilling/NBAE/Getty Images24.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG, 3.6 APGNo one in NBA history can enhance Abdul-Jabbar"s an extensive list that achievements. He won a record six MVP awards and also was a 19-time All-Star. The won six championships -- with the an initial and last coming 17 year apart -- and was named to 15 All-NBA teams, through 10 first-team selections. His unstoppable skyhook enabled him to score an ext points than anyone in organization history, and also while that wasn"t flashy, there has arguably never ever been everyone better.-- Bontemps
2. LeBron James
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images2003-10, 2014-18 Cleveland Cavaliers; 2010-14 Miami Heat; 2018-20 Los Angeles Lakers27.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.6 SPGStanding 6-9 and also weighing phibìc of 250 pounds with a 40-inch vertical, James" game is constructed on power, yet his passing capability might be his the strongest skill. The four-time MVP and three-time champion has reinvented exactly how an athlete"s prime have to be viewed; he had the Lakers in the special of a title hunt as a 35-year-old play in his 17th season. His chase-down block in game 7 that the 2016 Finals to assist complete a 3-1 comeback versus a warrior team that won 73 games will forever encapsulate his will certainly to win.-- McMenamin
LeBron"s MVP-worthy mixtapeLeBron James has actually played the role of scorer and also facilitator with the Lakers this season, inspiring plenty of of the young stars in the NBA.
1. Michael Jordan
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPGThe greatest player of all time. Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA championships, winning 6 Finals MVP awards and five regular-season MVP honors while becoming a global icon on and off the floor. Jordan"s brilliance ~ above both ends of the court characterized a generation the basketball and collection a brand-new standard for players complying with in his footsteps. His video game transcended the sport.-- Friedell