It’s the debate that all “NBA heads” love to have with their friends: “who’s your list of the greatest NBA players of all time?” It’s also a great way to pit the LeBron James superfans, “Kobe-stans,” and Michael Jordan loyalists against each other in a seemingly endless debate, while the old timers all sit around and tell us how we forgot about so-and-so.
Regardless, with a history of players as rich as that of the NBA, especially when you take into account the boom of talent we’ve seen in the league over the last 40 years, it’s time we revisited the list of the greatest players to ever lace it up in the National Basketball Association.
Honorable Mention: Scottie Pippen
Because he’ll always be remembered as the “Robin” to Michael Jordan’s “Superman,” we sometimes take the real greatness of Scottie Pippen for granted. The man moved with the grace of gazelle, used his long arms to swarm ball handlers like an octopus, and attacked opponents with the ruthlessness of an angry shark.
Named to an All-NBA team seven times over the course of his career and to the All-NBA defensive team 10 times over the course of his career, the argument can be made that Pippen is not only perhaps the greatest on-ball defender of all time, but one of the greatest two-way players of all time overall.
Even the staunchest supporters of the Bulls will tell you that Jordan might not have achieved the heights he did if not for having Pippen playing alongside of him.