This time the All Kinds Of Stuff G.O.A.T (Greatest Of All Time) week continues with basketball players. If you had the pleasure of reading about the G.O.A.T’s of wrestling you’d have learnt that some of us are from different generations and therefore we miss out on certain stars that we can’t comment on as we were never lucky enough to witness them. But with careful consideration and from what I know and have seen here are the G.O.A.T’s of The NBA.
10. Stephen Curry – Pretty controversial start to put Curry on this list especially as there are perhaps more deserving point guards like Stockton. But like I said during the introduction, I’m from a different generation and it has been such a pleasure to watch Curry during his prime. In my opinion he has already cemented himself as the best shooter ever, he has unlimited range and offence. He is also one of the best I’ve ever seen at creating his own shot. In this current three year stretch of his he is playing like the best point guard ever, if he keeps up his current trajectory he may well be considered the best point guard ever.
9. Tim Duncan – The 1997 number one pick spent his entire 19 year career with San Antonio Spurs. He won 5 NBA titles during this time with 3 final MVP awards and 2 regular season MVP awards to add to his trophy cabinet. He retired with 15 NBA all star appearances to his name. If you looked consistency up in the dictionary his name would be next to it. Duncan ended his career averaging 19 ppg and 10.8 rpg.
8. Shaq – Barkley recently told O’Neal that he won his 4 NBA titles riding the coat tails of Bryant and Wade, whilst it was funny, it’s simply not true. Shaq was a huge part of the Lakers three consecutive championship wins and he won three finals MVP awards in the process. He is arguably the most dominant player in the paint the game of basketball has ever seen and he used to bully his defenders with his superhuman strength. The 7’1″ averaged 23.7 ppg during his career. Lets not talk about his free throw shooting though.
7. Larry Bird – Bird was never the most athletic player but he was always great. Whatever he lacked in athleticism, he made up for with his basketball IQ and his perfect jump shot. Larry Legend won 3 NBA titles during his 13 year career. If there was a list of G.O.A.T trash talkers then Bird would top the list, he had the talk to match his skills. Following a decade of greatness, injuries took a toll on Larry Bird and began the decline of the Celtics. He had the biggest heart of any player there has been and it was often his desire to compete and play through pain which led to his sad demise. But he will still remain as one of the greats.
6. Wilt Chamberlain – In the 1961-62 regular season, he averaged 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds. Chamberlain set the single-game scoring record in the NBA by scoring 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169–147 win over the New York Knicks on March 2, 1962. Let that sink in. He was a man that had some of the craziest stats the sport had ever seen. He was truly dominant. Sadly the big man’s legacy will always be overshadowed by the fact he lost 7 out of 8 play off series’ against the Celtics and against his on court rival Bill Russell, despite winning 2 NBA titles.
5. Bill Russell – Russell is the greatest winner in NBA history. He won 11 championships during his career with the Celtics, a record that will unlikely ever be broken. His career statistics may not be that impressive as an offensive player, but it’s his defensive statistics that really stand out. Russell averaged 15.1 ppg during his career but it’s his 22.5 rpg that show you how influential he was during his career. The center was one of very few players that could change a game just by his defensive skills.
4. Magic Johnson – Johnson instantly started out strong in the NBA and never looked back. He won the NBA championship in his first year and was named the finals MVP as a rookie. Magic averaged 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game for the season. After his first he went on to win 4 more championships, whilst winning two more finals MVP awards. He was one of the tallest point guards ever at 6’9″ but that didn’t lessen his agility on the court as he oozed class dancing around defenders. His height led to him grabbing several rebounds and starting attacks by himself from one end of the court to the other. He spent his entire career with the Lakers, who retired his jersey number as a tribute to one of their greatest ever. They didn’t call him Magic for no reason.
3. LeBron James – LeBron is in my opinion the best athlete from any sport ever. He’s 6’8″ tall, fast, agile, strong and he can leap in the air like a gymnast. He’s one of the most well rounded and versatile players the NBA has ever seen, capable of playing in any position on the court. LeBron’s presence on the court is invaluable, but he is also one of the greatest leaders there has ever been in sports history. He’s a three time NBA champion, leading his team in each and every finals and claiming the finals MVP award each time. Expect a few more rings for LeBron before he retires.
2. Kobe Bryant – The Black Mamba was often criticised for not passing enough, but the famous ball hog finished his career with an average of 4.7 assists. But as we all know Bryant was primarily a scorer. Bryant scored 81 points on Jan. 22, 2006 game against the Raptors, that’s 10 more points in a game than anyone else in his era managed. And if you think he was taking shots because he was a selfish ball hogger, his .609 shooting percentage that night was his third-highest of the season. Kobe was a player that could do it all though he was selected to the All NBA First Team 11 times and was selected to the All Defensive Team 9 times during his career. He was also selected to play in the NBA all star game 18 times. He’s a polarising figure but his 5 NBA titles speak for themselves.
1. Michael Jordan – You weren’t expecting someone else were you? In every sport there are constant arguments about who the G.O.A.T is, but in basketball it’s pretty clear it’s Michael Jordan. In fact he’s so widely recognised as the G.O.A.T that the Miami Heat retired his iconic 23 jersey number despite the fact he never played for them. The Chicago Bulls legend dominated both sides of the ball. He boasts 9 All Defensive First Team selections whilst also holding claim to 10 scoring titles. He’s a 6 time NBA champion who won the finals MVP award every single time. During his 13 seasons in Chicago before his brief retirement from basketball MJ shot 50.5% from the field. His Airness ended his career with an average of 30.1 ppg. Jordan is a player that is yet to be matched and his status as the G.O.A.T can not be questioned.
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