Discussions between basketball fans have been raging over who are the greatest basketball players of all time to take part in the history of this great game. Basketball has been a popular sport throughout history since its invention in 1891 by a Canadian physical education teacher named James Naismith. It wasn’t until 1894 that he acquired a soccer ball and reduced the team size to nine players per side. Then thirty years later, in 1921, Dr. Naismath wrote the official basketball rules. In this article, we have listed the 5 greatest basketball players ever.
There’s one player that always comes to mind when you think about excellence. Michael Jordan was a player who had it all. He was born with great genes, and he worked hard to realize his incredible potential. He was the key ingredient in the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 90s, leading them to victory in six NBA titles. His mastery of basketball can be seen in his ability to make dramatic plays at crucial moments during games. This winning combination of talent and hard work is why Michael Jordan is still revered today as the greatest basketball player of all time.
5 greatest basketball players of all time
1. Michael Jordan
We all know Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time. He was a big part of the Bulls winning six championships in eight years, the NBA Finals MVP on all six occasions with two three-peats. He also won numerous awards and achieved many accolades. NBA MVP five times, 14 times NBA All-Star, ten times All-NBA First Team, nine times All-Defensive First Team, Defensive Player of the Year in 1988, etc.
But do you know how he got to be so great? It wasn’t just his God-given talent but his work ethic and determination to be the best that made him great. After a standout career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he led the Tar Heels to a National Championship in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA’s Chicago Bulls in 1984. Michael also earned the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness.
In 1991, Jordan won his first NBA championship with the Bulls and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat”. Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball in the 1993–94 NBA season and started a new career in Minor League Baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships (1996–1998).
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a Basketball Hall of Famer. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born on April 16, 1947, in New York City. Abdul-Jabbar played for UCLA from 1965 to 1969. While at UCLA, he led the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA championships from 1967 to 1969. He was also named the NCAA’s Most Outstanding Player those three years and was twice named College Player of the Year by The Sporting News. In 1969, Abdul-Jabbar signed with the Milwaukee Bucks and began his storied professional career.
In 1975, after six successful seasons with the Bucks, Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played 14 seasons and also become one of the team’s most revered players. In total, Abdul-Jabbar spent 20 seasons in the NBA with Milwaukee and Los Angeles. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a 19-time NBA All-Star, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar was also voted NBA Finals MVP twice. Furthermore, in 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
3. Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon played center for the Houston Rockets from 1984 until 2001. Initially, in 1994, with Olajuwon as the team’s best player, the Rockets won their first NBA title by defeating the New York Knicks. In 1995 they won again, beating the Orlando Magic. Olajuwon retired in 2002 and got inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. Listed at 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m), Olajuwon is also considered one of the greatest centers ever to play the game.
For most of his childhood, he dreamed of becoming a soccer player like his father. But he began to show interest in basketball and relocated to the United States to play college ball at the University of Houston. Olajuwon led his college squad to three straight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships and also earned a reputation as a dominating defensive player with an agile ability to hit shots from all over the court. The Houston Rockets selected him as the first overall pick of the 1984 NBA draft, and he made an immediate splash in his rookie season by winning that year’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
4. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant is an American former basketball player. As a shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant entered the NBA directly from high school. He won five NBA championships with the Lakers. Kobe is an 18-time All-Star, a 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and also a 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring for two seasons. He also ranks third on the league’s all-time regular-season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He is the first guard in NBA history to play 20 seasons.
At 34 years and 104 days of age, Kobe became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points. He became the all-time leading scorer for the Lakers franchise. During his third year in the league, Bryant started playing in the All-Star Game, and he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement. Unfortunately, Kobe died in a helicopter crash in January 2020. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna also passed away in the crash. They were going to a travel basketball game with 9 others when the accident occurred.
5. Lebron James
LeBron James is an American basketball player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 2003, LeBron James became a high school basketball phenomenon at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron, Ohio. After leading his team to back-to-back state championships, he also became Ohio’s Mr. Basketball as well as the USA Today High School Player of the Year twice (2002 and 2003). Finally, after graduating from high school early, he got selected by his hometown Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Lebron James is one of the most dominant players in the world right now. He has had an amazing career and has many achievements. In 2004 Lebron became NBA Rookie of the Year. In 2007 he also led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first-ever NBA finals appearance against the San Antonio Spurs. He repeated that feat against Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic.
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