The NBA is filled with basketball players of the highest calibre. There have been world-famous names that have become synonymous with the sport – those players that even people that don’t follow the NBA will be familiar with.
Generally, when you bet on basketball, you don’t simply consider the quality of the team, but also the quality of the players within the team. There are those who can win the game for the team. These are players that can destroy the opposition single-handedly. Here, we look at the 5 greatest NBA players of all time.
5: Larry Bird
Larry Bird won 3 NBA titles, was named the Finals MVP twice and the regular season MVP three times.
But what made him so great? Despite never being the most athletic basketball player, he was always the dominant player. He may not have been athletic, but his basketball IQ was off the scale. He had skills, including a fatal jump shot – and he was extremely competitive.
In his 13-year career, he led the Boston Celtics to the NBA Championship wins and, as well as his MVP accolades, he was also selected for 10 All-NBA and 3 All-Defense teams.
4: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won 6 NBA titles, he was named Finals MVP twice and regular season MVP six times.
Abdul-Jabbar is known for his consistency and maintained incredible averages throughout his 20-year career. During his two decades in the NBA, he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, won the most regular-season MVPs and enjoyed 19 All-Star appearances, 15 All-NBA selections and 11 All-Defense selections.
3: Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson boasts 5 NBA Championship titles, he was named the Finals MVP three times and the regular season MVP three times.
This player started his career in glory and he stayed there. As a rookie, he won his first Finals MVP after starting as center when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went out injured in Game 6 of the NBA Finals back in 1980. He was soon right at home playing in the NBA Finals for the LA Lakers – as they made it there a total of 9 times with Johnson as a key player.
Standing at a breath-taking 6ft 9, his large build tore apart the opposition’s defence with ease. During his 14-year career, he enjoyed 10 All-NBA selections.
2: Bill Russell
Bill Russell won 11 NBA Championship titles and was named Regular Season MVP five times.
It is no wonder that he is considered the best-ever defender in the history of the game, having led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA Championship wins. Although his stats and numbers don’t tell the real story, his impact was greater than the figures could ever tell. He would dominate a game defensively and, as such, is the greatest winner of any sport. His 11 NBA Championship tally is unlikely ever to be matched.
1: Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan achieved 6 NBA Championship titles, was named the Finals MVP six times and the Regular Season MVP five times.
Is it any surprise that Michael Jordan comes in at the top spot? Unlikely! He is considered the best basketball player in history and for a very good reason. During his NBA career, he managed to accomplish everything that was possible – and the awards he received just kept on piling up. When playing in the NBA Finals, he led his team to six wins out of six – and won the MVP title in all six of those Finals.
The Chicago Bulls player earned 11 All-NBA selections and 9 All-Defensive first-team selections. However, his greatest achievement may well have happened even before he won his first NBA title.
During the 1988 season, he won:
- Defensive Player of the Year
- NBA’s highest scorer
And, let’s face it, he can now add the title of the best NBA player of all time to his collection. There have been many great players, but truly Michael Jordan really is the NBA GOAT!