Who do you think are the top 25 basketball players of all time?

Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 10:33 am
Was working on a chicken-scratch list the other day. If I played with it a bit more I'm sure I'd change it up but here is where I stood after a few minutes. What would your list look like?

Moses Malone
David Robinson
Kevin Durant
Russell Westbrook
Jerry West
Karl Malone
Charles Barkley
Elgin Baylor
Kevin Garnett
Isiah Thomas
Scottie Pippen
John Stockton
John Havlicek
Bob Pettit
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 02:20 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I like your list. I'll think on it. I've no good idea of what the precise order should be, and no immediate sense that someone I thought was good wasn't in the list, since I haven't followed bball for a bunch of years now - but I may go look them all up in a kind of wikipedia review, for the fun of it. Kareem fan here.
0 Replies
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 10:33 pm
@Robert Gentel,
That's a pretty good list.
0 Replies
Region Philbis
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 10:52 pm
@Robert Gentel,

thinking about my list...

i'd move Bill Russell (11 rings in 13 years) up a few notches.

Kobe should prolly move up also.

Paul Pierce would be on my list.

yes to Durant, but if you're gonna include Westbrook, then i'd also have to have Stephen Curry...
although i'm not sure if either one deserves to be in the top 25 -- yet...
Robert Gentel
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 10:53 pm
@Region Philbis,
Totally forgot about Curry, he's definitely in the list (though all three of those guys are a bit premature).
0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2015 11:22 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I agree with much of your list, but may differ on a few players. My top 25 (in no particular order) would include

01. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (CENTER)
02. Wilt Chamberlain (CENTER)
03. Moses Malone (CENTER)
04. Shaquille O'Neil (CENTER)
05. Hakeem Olajuwon (CENTER)
06. Bill Russell (CENTER)
07. Karl Malone (POWER FORWARD)
08. Tim Duncan (POWER FORWARD)
09. Kevin Garnett (POWER FORWARD)
10. Charles Barkley (POWER FORWARD)
11. Kevin McHale (POWER FORWARD)
12. Dennis Rodman (POWER FORWARD)
13. Dirk Nowitzki (POWER FORWARD)
14. Michael Jordan (SHOOTING GUARD)
15. Kobe Bryant (SHOOTING GUARD)
16. Julius Erving (SMALL FORWARD)
17. Lebron James (SMALL FORWARD)
18. Dominique Wilkins (SMALL FORWARD)
19. Scottie Pippens (SMALL FORWARD)
20. Larry Bird (SMALL FORWARD)
21. Magic Johnson (POINT GUARD)
22. John Stockton (POINT GUARD)
23. Isiah Thomas (POINT GUARD)
24. Stephen Curry (POINT GUARD)
25. Tony Parker (POINT GUARD)

Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 04:04 am
I couldn't name any basketball player other than Michael Jordan, and that's only because of this.

0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 04:23 am
@Real Music,
The order is the most interesting part!
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 08:09 am
I'll always vote for Chris Mullen, who played for St. John's University in NYCity, then professional and now he's back to coach the Red Men of St. John's.

But then, I voted for Ernie Banks ( CUBS) when we ran the poll on baseball players and no one else did... Smile
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Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 10:18 am
I would include somewhere on the list of players who had the most influence on basketball the name "Pistol" Pete Maravich.
He played his college ball for LSU. In those days, freshmen could not play on the varsity team, but in his three remaining years he set scoring records that still stand today, which is all the more remarkable because there was no shot clock or the three point shot.
He played ten years in the pros for the Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Jazz. Neither team was very good and he never won any championship rings.
His love for the game, his "It's Showtime" attitude and his long hair and sagging socks made him quite endearing to fans if not to teammates. They resented his high salary and his reputation as not being a team player.
I lived in Atlanta when he was a rookie and was a neighbor of his briefly.
0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 10:40 am
@Robert Gentel,
Putting the list in order may prove to very difficult. I will start contemplating my top 25 NBA players in numerical order. Once I've completed my list, I will post it.

I noticed that I forgot to place someone on my top 25. I must have had a brain fart. I forgot to put Kevin Durant on my list. Now I have to figure out what player I have to eliminate from my list so that Kevin Durant can be placed on my top 25..
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Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 10:53 am
@Robert Gentel,
Thanks for posting this topic. This is a very tough but fun task. FWIW, I've watched (and read) a lot of b-ball since the early '60s. Being in Boston, I feel quite privileged to have heard Red Auerbach speak. Hearing him and the other hall-of-fame broadcasters has been an education in and of itself.

Ranking and ordering this list is debatable. I took a quick shot at approximating what I considered a reasonable elevated ranking -
somewhat reliant on longevity, winning playoffs and championships.

1. Michael Jordan
2. Bill Russell
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4. Wilt Chamberlain
5. LeBron James
6. Larry Bird
7. Magic Johnson
8. Oscar Robertson
9. Kobe Bryant
10. Gerry West
11. Bob Cousy
12. Elgin Baylor
13. Shaquille O'Neall
14. Julius Erving
15. Kevin McHale
16. John Havlicek
17. Walt Frazier
18. Karl Malone
19. Moses Malone
20. Hakeem Olajuwon
21. Robert Parrish
22. David Robinson
23. John Stockton
24. Elvin Hayes
25. Dirk Nowitzki

*I must add, though it's premature, but my amended list has to include
Stephen Curry. What he done in the short time he has been in NBA, is objectively unprecedented. He's the real deal. Undoubtedly, if wins a few more and plays another few years, he'll blow away any of the competition for his inclusion on this lsit.
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 11:25 am
Hindsight is always 20-20...but the list minus the presence of Isiah Thomas, Scottie Pippen, and Lenny Wilkens and Charles Barkley feels notably deficient. However, I just didn't feel right knocking anyone out to add them in to keep the count at my Top 25 of all time.

(Perhaps I'm wrong about leaving Isiah and Wilkens out. In fact, I caught a mistake. I should have deleted Elvin Hayes..and added Wilkens in his spot at position 24. Although easily it could/should be Thomas.)

In a few cases due to the difference in the eras being considered, I had to include or upgrade a position or inclusion due to how much that veteran made to advancing the sport.
0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 11:57 am
Nice list, my biggest qualm is Hakeem being about 10 places too low.
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 12:06 pm
@Robert Gentel,
thanks, Robert!

Yeah...in retrospect, I agree. Call it an oversight. The Hakeem, the Dream was amazing. I could see placing him on par or 1 place higher than Shaq. The relative placement from position #9 to #15 is pretty elastic.

I forget when it was (late in his development ..perhaps 15 yrs) that he actually started playing b-ball. I think he had been a star soccer player (goalie) in Nigeria. Mercy, imagine him on a soccer field?
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Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 01:05 pm
arrgh..I missed putting in that list Duncan. what vaults him ahead is 5x NBA championship plus his longevity as a winner playing one of the toughest position..and effectiveness ---even at age 39.

He needs to go in top 25 somewhere..for sure. I hate to drop anyone off that list, though. If I must drop someone out in order to put Duncan in....as much as I regret it..take out Clyde..Walt Frazier..and put Duncan in his spot. (greater longevity than Clyde, multi-faceted for a big man, winning total championships even in later age, and clutch/steady...and adapting to a changing game).

Oh, the agony!

{edit: notable is the absence of Kevin Durant. I love watching him and feel he's undoubtedly a great...but due to his only being named an MVP once..and not YET winning a single championship he can't be on my list}
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 01:58 pm
But you'd never in a million years take Parrish or McHale off the list? Wink

At least you and Region aren't insisting Dino Raja or Tom Heinsohn should be on the list. (Or the other Isaiah Thomas.)
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 02:09 pm
Admittedly I have a Boston bias....but I feel only a little bit of guilt about including McHale over say..Barkley. I claim to have some sort of objectivity.

As for Parrish's inclusion, for that I have no guilt. My criteria for inclusion..he has the longevity, championships, scoring/defensive/stats/ versatility and clutchness...not to mention while playing one of the most difficult positions.

Where's your list? Did I miss it?
Real Music
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 03:12 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Alright. After putting a whole lot of thought into it, I have my revised top 25 in the exact order of how good I believe each player to be.

01. Michael Jordan
02. Hakeem Olajuwon
03. Shaquille O'Neil
04. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
05. Wilt Chamberlain
06. Kobe Bryant
07. Lebron James
08. Magic Johnson
09. Moses Malone
10. Julius Erving
11. Tim Duncan
12. Karl Malone
13. Stephen Curry
14. Kevin Durant
15. Dominique Wilkins
16. Larry Bird
17. Bill Russell
18. Kevin Garnett
19. Dirk Nowitzki
20. Dennis Rodman
21. Charles Barkley
22. Isiah Thomas
23. John Stockton
24. Scottie Pippen
25. Kevin Mchale
Shawn Kemp
Reply Sun 6 Dec, 2015 03:54 pm
It's almost impossible to name a top 100 list to say nothing of a top 25, but I'll give it a try.

01. MJ
02. Magic
03. Chamberlain
04. Kareem
05. Bird
06. LeBron
07. Bill Russell
08. Kobe
09. Shaq
10. Duncan
11. Julius Erving
12. Olajuwon
13. K.Malone
14. Robertson
15. West
16. Stockton
17. Garnett
18. Barkley
19. M. Malone
20. Pettit
21. Nowitzki
22. Baylor
23. Hayes
24. Iverson
25. Curry

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