Re: Top 10 NBA players of all time
1 - Michael Jordan
2 - Magic Johnson
3 - Larry Bird
4 - Wilt Chamberlin
5 - Bill Russell
6 - Kareem Abdul Jabbar
7 - Hakeem Olajuwon
8 - Tim Duncan
9 - Shaquille O'Neil
10 - Karl Malone
Possible "just missed" candidates
My list is open to some possible changes. First off - MJ at #1 is not a real surprise. I think the earlier post about Magic not being in Michael's league is a complete joke since he took the Lakers to the finals to play MJ without Kareem, carried them at times when Kareem was either out of the game, or older. Magic was the true catalyst of the Showtime Lakers, especially their back to back titles - not Kareem. Larry Legend, like Magic, truly was great at most aspects of the game and made his teammates better. Had his back not gone out and the Celtics stayed healthy as long as they did, they had a real chance to win one more in 1990-91 when Jordan was his first. They were rolling that year, like it was 86 all over again. Bird and Magic had good players on their teams, but they also made those good players into a good team, and damn near every person on those squads said as much. Their place in history, is completely warranted, and remains the best rivalry in NBA History
The Lakers and Celtics prevented each other from completely dominating the 80's, and the Celtics had the Sixers and Pistons at the front and back end of those decades to also contend with as well. That same Piston team that kept Jordan from advancing to the finals - yeah the Celtics had to deal with that team too. They were legit robbed against the Lakers in 88 and should have threepeat, and came close to the finals in 87 too. These two small factors kept Thomas from possibly winning 3 or even 4 in a row, thus why I say he's a viable top 10 player ever.
Chamberlin and Russell are fairly "no explanation" needed players. Their competition was far less talented than what current players face, but that isn't their fault. Russell just straight up won, and was a rebounding machine. Chamberlin was the most dominant force in the NBA ever, as far as stats go. Didn't win as many titles, but he did have some bad teams.
I place Kareem below both of them. Chamberlin, in his later years, actually outplayed Kareem in his prime. Kareem's records are well known, and a long career will earn those honors. I place him below the above people, but I can't fathom going any lower, it would be absurd.
The last four players are all big men. Hakeem really shined when Jordan took 2 years off, and he showed himself finally of being better than the eras two other dominant big men - David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. Hakeem at his peak was really making people look silly. I've said this before and will again - Had Jordan continued to play basketball, I still think the Rockets would of won the title in 94. It was just their time.
Tim Duncan - All he's done is score, rebound, and win championships. If there is a 7 game series I would love to see, it would be the Spurs best championship team, again the 86 Celtics (best Celtics team [maybe best period] of all time).
Shaq I have 9th, and while he won more title than some of the above players, he was prone to being hacked, send to the line, and that was a huge weakness. Still, he won 4 titles, and he (not Kobe) was the finals MVP all three times they won the championship. His dominance is why I am strongly hesitant to list Kobe at all; Kobe kinda did, get carried to 3 finals. And to be entirely fair - The Kings were straight up robbed in 02 and should of gone to the finals. Lakers should not of 3 peat.
Last slot is open to argument, but I am going to give Karl Malone a nod. Was very consistent, scored and rebounded well, made two finals appearances. Of all the teams Jordan played, the Jazz were the closest to beating the Bulls in the finals. Had they peaked a year later, they would of won it all after Jordan retired.
I opted for Malone over Barkley. Oscar Robinson is without question a guy you could argue on this list, and I'd be open to that. Dr J was good, but I just think he barely misses top 10.
The last two - Kobe and Lebron, I say this: Kobe has one of the weakest clutch shot percentages of anyone on the list (maybe the lowest) and as stated, he rode Shaq to three finals. Yes he won two titles, I give him credit for that. I could see him at 10th, but I really wouldn't go any higher. He certainly isn't above Shaq, not a fucking chance.
Last, we have Lebron. I didn't rank him, as his career is far from over. I will say this: at his current pace... (and I'm going to get flak for this no doubt) I think he really might have a chance at 6 titles. I think if he continues at this pace, he will end up ahead of Magic and Bird on the list. I'm not sure he'll pass MJ, but the fact Michael insists on putting Kobe ahead of Lebron, tells me that Jordan feels even a little bit threatened. That just helps solidify my thoughts on Lebron.
Plus the guy scored a lot of respect from me when he told fans to stop booing the Big 3 v2 last year and gestured them to clap as Paul, Kg and Ray came off the court. He is FAR more likeable than Kobe.