10. Jerry West
As one of the progenitors of basketball’s greatest rivalry, Boston Celtics’ basketball czar Red Auerbach hated everything about the Los Angeles Lakers and everything to do with that team. But even Auerbach himself once said of the man emblazoned on the NBA’s logo: “What people don’t realize is that Jerry West is one of the greatest defensive guards ever. My only regret is that I never had a chance to coach him.”
Of course, West was much more than simply a defensive dynamo; after all, he holds the record for the most highest points per game average in a playoff series (minimum five games) with 46.3. And after playing in nine NBA Finals, he’s the only player in NBA history to be named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team (1969).