First off, I would like to say that this article is completely based off of my opinion. If you disagree, leave a comment and maybe I'll revise my list.
10- Tim Duncan
Duncan was big enough to play the center position in the NBA as he did in college, but David Robinson was already dominating there at the time, so he made the switch to power forward. Duncan and Robinson cemented the Spurs legacy in the NBA after their nearly unstoppable "Twin-Towers." Due to his position switch, in my eyes is the greatest power forward to ever play the game of basketball. He spent 19 seasons with the Spurs, won five NBA championships and is a multi-time MVP. Tim during his career never missed a beat, he averaged 20+ PPG, 11+ RPG and 2+ BPG for his first 8 years of his career. On top of that, he is a 15 time all-star, 15 time All-NBA and was a 3x Finals MVP.
Career Averages: 19.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists.
9- Bill Russell
This may come as a shock to some people for why Bill Russell is so low on my list. The reason would be that Bill played in the NBA where there were 8 teams. The only other competition his size would be Wilt Chamberlain, and Bob Pettit. 11 rings is very impressive, but the competition was set at such a low standard, that any modern day team under .500 could win a title. Besides that, Russell is a 5x MVP, 12x all-star and would have won multiple DPOY if it existed back then.
Career averages: 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists.
8- Kobe Bryant
Kobe is one of the most crafty, and elite scorers ever to play the game. He ranks 3rd in the league for all-time scoring with 33,643 points and ranks first in scoring for the Lakers. Kobe was an 18x all-star, 15x All-NBA, and a 4x MVP. He won 3 titles along with Shaq, and then waited a few more years to win another one. As a shooting guard there were no major flaws in his game. He passed and rebounded well, and shot somewhat efficiently throughout his career.
Career averages: 25.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists
7- Shaquille O'Neal
When Shaq got drafted by the Magic in 1992, he instantly turned the franchise around. Shaq made an instant impact on their team during his rookie year and didn't slow down at all. He ended up playing in 15 all-star games, 15 All-NBA teams, and even won an MVP. Shaq is also one of three players to ever win the MVP, the ASG MVP and the Finals MVP in the same season.
Career averages: 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists.
6- Larry Bird
Larry Bird undoubtedly has the greatest basketball IQ of all time. He always knew when the ball was coming to him, and where it was going next, whether he was supposed to put up a shot, or pass the ball to a teammate. He brought Boston back to the glory days in the 80s, winning three championships, and won three straight MVP trophies. He had a long career, and never had one bad season. Bird is a 13x all-star and a 10x All-NBA.
Career averages: 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists.
5- Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson is one of the most versatile players in multiple ways. Magic could play any play-style, at any position since he was 6'9. In his rookie season he led the Lakers to a 60-22 record and then won the NBA Finals in 6 games against Dr. J and his Sixers. He played in 12 all-star games, and is a 10x All-NBA. Also, as a 5x NBA champion he won the finals MVP 3x. He had a long career of greatness and never really missed a beat until his last season. To be fair though, previous to Magic's last season he missed 4 straight seasons after contracting HIV. Impressively, as a 36-year old he put up 14 points, 5 rebounds and nearly 7 assists.
Career averages: 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists
4- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem revolutionized what it is like to be a big man in the NBA. He was never shooter like a lot of big men nowadays, but he had such a big role on every team he played with. He turned big men from being paint beast rebounders, to scoring buckets from most places on the court, and helping teammates find better looks.
Kareem has the most all-star appearances with 19, and leads the entire NBA in scoring of all-time. He's a 6x NBA champ, a 6x MVP, 15x All-NBA teams, and lead the league in blocks 4 times. Kareem could, and did do it all both as a Laker and a Buck.
Career averages: 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists
3- Wilt Chamberlain
I know earlier in this article I said that I couldn't credit Bill for all of his accolades since he played in a league were there were 8 teams. In this scenario, I believe that Wilt is the exception. Wilt in any league at any time would be the most dominant player. He averaged 35+ PPG 5 times, and during the 1961-1962 season he averaged 50 points, and 25 rebounds. On average, he made 20 shots a game and still shot over .500. Wilt is a 13x all-star, a 10x All-NBA, 4x MVP, and won the chip twice. He also lead the league in rebounds 11 times, and at one point averaged 27+ RPG.
Career averages: 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists
2- LeBron James
In my opinion, Lebron James is the only player besides my #1 who people think can be the best. James is a 3x NBA Champion, and carried the only team to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals to win it all. He accomplished that feat against the team with the greatest record of all time. He's a 16x all-star and a 15x All-NBA. LeBron, like most of these players have countless accolades. He is always dropping 25+ points, and this year as a 35 year old averaged 25.7 points, 10.6 assists and 7.9 rebounds. Since Lebron said he would like to play with/against Lebron "Bronny" James who enters the league in 2024, I assume we could possible get another 7 or 8 years of King James.
Career averages: 27.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.4 assists
1- Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan in my opinion is the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. Jordan was an all-star every year of his career when he was eligible to be an all-star. He's 6-0 in the NBA Finals and won 2 separate three-peats. MJ only scored less than ten points four times. He always was a dominant scorer and averaged 30+ PPG 8 times. He's a 14x all-star and was on 11 All-NBA teams. He's 5x MVP and has won the DPOTY. He will always be the greatest of all time.
Career averages: 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists
Comment down below if you think I missed anyone, or if you disagree but keep in mind that this is strictly based on my opinion and that there is no official list.