In case anyone wants something to argue over. 74 through 41. Payton made nine All-NBA appearances and peaked at third in MVP voting in 1997-98, capping his career with a championship as a reserve for the 2005-06 Heat. His chase-down block in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals to help complete a 3-1 comeback against a Warriors team that won 73 games will forever encapsulate his will to win. ESPN, continuing with its Top 74 series, released No. 1 pick in the 1970 NBA draft. The goal? The 12-time All-Star eventually joined forces with Wes Unseld to form a Hall of Fame frontcourt for the Bullets, who reached three NBA Finals and won the championship in 1978. -- Tim MacMahon, Bird and Magic Johnson revitalized the NBA -- and the Celtics-Lakers rivalry. He was a key figure on three title teams for the Celtics and he added another title in his final season while playing for the Bulls. Jordan led the Bulls to six NBA championships, winning six Finals MVP awards and five regular-season MVP honors while becoming a global icon on and off the floor. The fun-loving big man used his outsize personality to become a global pitchman and analyst after retiring. He was known as "The Big Fundamental," dominating for nearly two decades on both ends of the floor with textbook simplicity, such as his midrange bank shot and perfect position defense. ESPN’s NBA expert panel voted on thousands of head-to-head matchups, taking into consideration both total career value and peak performance. -- Bontemps. 61) and Rick Barry (No. He won a long-awaited championship after rejoining college teammate Hakeem Olajuwon with the Rockets in 1995. -- Bontemps, 2003-10, 2014-18 Cleveland Cavaliers; 2010-14 Miami Heat; 2018-20 Los Angeles Lakers, Standing 6-9 and weighing north of 250 pounds with a 40-inch vertical, James' game is built on power, but his passing ability might be his strongest skill. All-time NBArank: Nos. Sports Quiz / Top 74 NBA Players of All-Time Random Sports or NBA Quiz Can you name the Top 74 NBA Players of All-Time? He remains the oldest player to dunk in a game and the oldest player to score in double digits in a game in NBA history. When it became apparent his days as a starter were done, Carter seamlessly shifted into second gear with his career and became a coveted veteran bench presence. Rodman won five NBA championships playing an integral role for two of the greatest teams in NBA history (the Pistons and Bulls). These debates rage on endlessly in every corner of NBA fandom, and our experts have done their best to answer them, ranking the greatest players in the league’s 74-year history. In a gradual countdown starting with Nos. LeBron James or Michael Jordan? A five-time All-NBA selection, Webber … Defying doubts about his ability to share the ball with Walt Frazier as part of the so-called “Rolls-Royce backcourt,” Monroe sacrificed scoring for team success and helped the Knicks to back-to-back Finals his first two seasons, culminating in the 1973 title. Gasol’s ability to score underneath the rim and protect the key provided exactly the kind of counterpunch Kobe Bryant needed to help deliver Los Angeles another set of titles. The list of 10 through 1 crowns the exceptional performers who have their own cases to be the greatest ever. Carter is the only player in NBA history with at least 2,000 3-pointers and 800 blocks in his career. English was named to the All-NBA second team three times during that stretch, including during the 1982-83 season when he lead the league in scoring. Dave McMenamin: I remember how big of a deal the NBA at 50 celebration was for the league's golden anniversary in 1996. In each of his first four seasons, Hayes averaged no less than 25.2 points and 14.6 rebounds. -- Nick Friedell, 25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 3s PG, For all of his statistical achievements -- the five championships, the 81-point game, the 60-point finale, the league MVP in 2008, the 20 seasons all with the same franchise -- Bryant's lasting legacy is his mental edge and burning desire to master the sport. He led the lead in scoring in 1985-86, when he finished second in MVP voting. Still, Drexler’s career stands out in its own right. More than anything, Duncan was one of the best winners, leading the Spurs to five titles and 1,001 regular-season victories, the most for any player with one team in NBA history. He remained a force during his NBA career: He’s one of just four players to lead the league in field goal percentage for at least four straight seasons (Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal and DeAndre Jordan). Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant? These debates rage on endlessly in every corner of NBA fandom, and our experts have done their best to answer them, ranking the greatest players in the league’s 74-year history. But his résumé is stacked with jaw-dropping achievements, the greatest of which is intangible: He made the triple-double not only seem normal, but to some dissenters, no longer a worthwhile achievement. Lillard is making a strong case to become the greatest player in Blazers history, with many years seemingly ahead of him. Which player most deserved to make the top 74 but didn't? The 50 Greatest Players in National Basketball Association History (also referred to as NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team or NBA's Top 50) were chosen in 1996 to honor the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Basketball Association (NBA). With three consecutive seasons averaging a triple-double — and an MVP award in 2016-17 — all Westbrook is missing to elevate into the top 25 discussion is that one, shiny thing. Dikembe Mutombo makes the list at 73, Alonzo Mourning is 63rd, Patrick Ewing 37th, and Allen Iverson … Without Johnson and his rivalry for the ages with Bird and the Celtics, the NBA may not be where it is today. — Pelton, 1974-79 Portland Trail Blazers; 1979-84 San Diego Clippers, 1984-85 LA Clippers; 1985-87 Boston Celtics, Despite being named to this list, Walton’s career is one of the ultimate NBA “what-ifs.” He was the hub of one of the iconic teams in NBA history, the 1977 champion Trail Blazers, and he won an MVP award the following season, but a series of foot injuries robbed him of a chance to be one of the truly all-time great players. "Mamba mentality" became more than a kitschy catchphrase after Bryant died; it is now a blueprint for how to chase your dreams. A three-time NBA champion and the first player to be voted unanimous MVP, Steph Curry was ranked by ESPN as the 13th-best player in league history. — Pelton, 13.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.3 Steals PG, 1.4 3s PG, Ginobili is one of the most creative players to ever step onto a basketball court. NBA Comparison Animation by Rebound Rewind. — Pelton, 1992-95 Charlotte Hornets; 1995-2003, 2005-08 Miami Heat; 2003-04 New Jersey Nets, Playing with a perennial scowl and ferocious intensity, Mourning followed Mutombo and Patrick Ewing in the lineage of intimidating Georgetown big men. Of course Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are … He also proved to be arguably the greatest foil of LeBron James‘ career, besting him in both the 2008 and 2010 NBA playoffs — eventually winning a title in ’08 and falling one game short of doing so in ’10 — alongside Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. — McMenamin, 1968-71 San Diego Rockets, 1971-72, 1981-84 Houston Rockets; 1972-73 Baltimore Bullets, 1973-74 Capital Bullets, 1974-81 Washington Bullets, After Hayes helped halt Lew Alcindor and UCLA’s 47-game winning streak while at the University of Houston, “The Big E” entered the league in 1968 and promptly led it in scoring with 28.4 points per game. An All-Star in all 13 of his full seasons, Cousy later paired with Bill Russell to help the Celtics win the first six of their 11 championships in the Russell era. Allen was a part of the Big Three that led the Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008 and he added a second title with the Heat five years later. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year made rebounding an art, leading the NBA for seven consecutive seasons from 1991-92 to 1997-98. — Pelton, 1996-2003 Milwaukee Bucks, 2003-07 Seattle SuperSonics; 2007-12 Boston Celtics; 2012-14 Miami Heat, 18.9 PGG, 4.1 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.1 Steals PG, 2.3 3s PG, Allen sits atop the NBA’s career 3-point field goals list with 2,973. Our list begins with Nos. ESPN Top 74 NBA players of all time- Updated - [quote]Also, there's no way Reggie Miller is a top 50 player. Unseld made his impact felt immediately, winning MVP and Rookie of the Year after averaging 13.8 points and 18.2 rebounds in 1968-69. To identify the top 74 individual seasons in NBA history.. 74. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the only players since English to score 20,000 points in a single decade were Karl Malone in the 1990s and Kobe Bryant in the 2000s. The charismatic Johnson took the "Showtime" Lakers to nine NBA Finals, and they won five titles. — Andrew Lopez, Mutombo knew how to celebrate, from his unforgettable moment of pure joy when he lay on his back, holding the basketball out after helping Denver stun top-seeded Seattle in 1994, to his trademark finger wag following many of his 3,289 rejections — second only to Hakeem Olajuwon. [/quote] Maybe so but in Reggie’s defense how many p These debates rage on endlessly in every corner of NBA fandom, and our experts have done their best to answer them, ranking the greatest players in the league’s 74-year history. His unstoppable skyhook allowed him to score more points than anyone in league history, and while he wasn't flashy, there has arguably never been anyone better. 41-74 on Monday and 11-40 on Tuesday. Scottie Pippen played a key role in "The Last Dance," but how high did he land on our ranking of the greatest players in NBA history? Those qualities also helped him earn five MVP awards and 11 All-NBA selections. — Pelton, 1997-2000 Toronto Raptors; 2000-04 Orlando Magic; 2004-10 Houston Rockets; 2010 New York Knicks; 2010-11 Detroit Pistons; 2011-12 Atlanta Hawks; 2013 San Antonio Spurs, 19.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 Steals PG, 1.2 3s PG, The Hall of Fame swingman became one of the most accomplished scorers of his generation, averaging almost 20 points a night over a 15-year career that started with a jump to the league straight from high school. — Dave McMenamin, 1968-73 Baltimore Bullets, 1973-74 Capital Bullets, 1974-81 Washington Bullets, Despite his 6-7 stature, Unseld was as immovable as one of the many D.C. monuments. On March 12, 1985, Larry Bird put on a shooting clinic for the ages, scoring a Celtics-record 60 points in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. ESPN’s NBA expert panel voted on thousands of head-to-head matchups, taking into consideration both total career value and peak performance. LeBron James or Michael Jordan? With the NBA's 74th season on hold, we ranked the top 74 players of all time, with one "Last Dance" Bull making an appearance in today's selections. Undersized for a center at 6-foot-9, Cowens became a fan favorite in Boston by compensating with skill, quickness and hustle. Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant? His game transcended the sport. by bennyokc Plays Quiz not verified by Sporcle . The NBA 's 50 greatest players list has been cause for some controversy among fans. The Oakland, California, native already has a Rookie of the Year trophy, a first-team All-NBA selection and five All-Star appearances among his career accomplishments. Barry earned the 1965-66 Rookie of the Year award and became the league scoring champ a year later, averaging 35.6 points. Russell's defensive acumen and determination made him the perfect foil for Wilt Chamberlain, as well as one of the players from his era who wouldn't have looked out of place in later generations. — Kevin Pelton, The Spanish big man became one of the most productive offensive threats of his era, earning two NBA titles as a member of the Lakers while becoming a force down in the paint. The only reason he doesn't rank higher on lists of the all-time greats is he won "only" two NBA championships. ESPN’s NBA expert panel voted on thousands of head-to-head matchups, taking into … The focus on Miller’s longevity — he was still a key starter for a competitive Pacers team before retiring at age 39 — may have overshadowed his peak performance. Maravich averaged 24.2 points per game during his 10-year career and only had the 3-point line for his final season, when he shot 10-for-15 from deep in limited action for Utah and Boston. On March 12, 1985, Larry Bird put on a shooting clinic for the ages, scoring a Celtics-record 60 points in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. Top 50 NBA Players of All Time in NBA History (Updated List) He'll forever be on the short list of players you'd want to take the last shot with the game on the line. — Lopez, 1970-74 Atlanta Hawks; 1974-79 New Orleans Jazz; 1979-80 Utah Jazz; 1980 Boston Celtics, With his fancy passing and ballhandling, as well as his willingness to shoot from anywhere on the court, Maravich’s style of play would have seemingly fit perfectly in today’s NBA. That means we have 38 from the original list chosen by the league and 36 new faces, which speaks to the advancements in the league in the past two decades but could also suggest … — Friedell, 2008-19 Oklahoma City Thunder; 2019-20 Houston Rockets, 23.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 8.3 APG, 1.8 Steals PG, 1.1 3s PG, In a purely statistical vacuum, Westbrook is as impactful a player as the league has ever seen. … He won six championships -- with the first and last coming 17 years apart -- and was named to 15 All-NBA teams, with 10 first-team selections. A winner of four championships with the Spurs, the Argentine also won a gold medal for his country at the 2004 Summer Olympics — the only time the United States hasn’t won gold since NBA players began participating in 1992. But he still managed to make eight All-Star appearances — seven of which came with a Pistons team that mostly toiled in obscurity in the ’70s — before winning five straight division titles with the Bucks in the early 1980s. To celebrate the NBA’s 74-year history, ESPN has decided to set the world on fire by ranking the best 74 players in league history, combining both current and past players. Old school or new school? Required fields are marked *. -- McMenamin, 1984-93, 1995-98 Chicago Bulls; 2001-03 Washington Wizards, The greatest player of all time. Also a prolific scorer all-around, Allen is one of five Celtics with a 50-point playoff game and was the last Sonic to score 50 before the team moved to Oklahoma City. Two of those players rank among ESPN’s top 74 players of all-time. #espn #nba #alltime Want me to react to a certain video? The 74 Best NBA Players Ever. McGrady earned seven trips to the All-Star Game and won two scoring championships while striking fear into the hearts of opponents each night with his explosive ability. Being in the conversation as the best player of all time means being part of an exclusive club -- no disrespect to those who just missed out on the top 10. — Lopez, Reed was the central figure in one of the most memorable moments in NBA history: He limped out of the locker room for the start of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals and played on a torn thigh muscle, helping the Knicks win their first championship. ESPN Top 74 NBA players of all time- Updated Posted by QJenk on 5/11/20 at 10:26 am. — Bontemps, Over the three-year stretch from 1973-74 through 1975-76, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was more valuable than McAdoo, who averaged 32.1 PPG and 13.8 RPG, was the 1974-75 MVP and finished second to Abdul-Jabbar the other two seasons. — Bontemps, One thing “The Iceman” could do was finger roll, but that iconic shot was just one trick in his deep repertoire. Mourning was twice named Defensive Player of the Year in his first eight seasons, and he averaged 21.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.8 blocks at the peak of his game from 1998-2000, his only two All-NBA seasons. — Lopez, Twenty-two seasons, spanning four decades. — Lopez, “The Truth” may not have looked flashy doing it, but he was one of the most durable and smooth scorers of this century. But “The Worm” was a Hall of Fame rebounder, defender and agitator. — Royce Young, 1950-63 Boston Celtics; 1969-70 Cincinnati Royals, “The Cooz” helped usher in a new era of ball handlers with his slick dribbling and fancy passing, unheard of in the NBA at the time. ESPN's NBA expert panel voted on thousands of head-to-head matchups, taking into consideration both total career value and peak performance. This NBA video ranks the top NBA Player from every country across the world! Carter will likely be remembered for two things in his NBA career: his dunks early on and his longevity late. During that four-year stretch from 1980-81 to 1983-84, Gilmore shot 64.6% overall. 1963-64 Boston Celtics; Regular season: 15.0 PPG, 23.7 RPG | Playoffs: … Your email address will not be published. These debates rage on endlessly in every corner of NBA fandom, and our experts have done their best to answer them, ranking the greatest players in the league's 74-year history.

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