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The Greatest Basketball Players Of All Time You Must Know About

The Greatest Basketball Players Of All Time
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Basketball is quickly growing as a famous sport, and to an outsider, it might get very difficult to rank the best basketball players. But worry not; you’ll soon know the names of the greatest basketball players of all time. In this carefully curated list, the names of famous basketball players have been ranked according to their popularity, and game proficiency. Rest assured, by the end of this article, you will be well-versed with the top 13 famous basketball players’ names. So let’s dive straight into the rank chart! 

The Greatest Basketball Players Of All Time

the greatest basketball players of all time

13. Kevin Garnett

In this list of the greatest basketball players of all time, Kevin Garnett stands at position number 13. Garnett is known for revolutionizing the power forward position, even more than former NBA player Tim Duncan. It is believed that Garnett is underappreciated for leading average-performing teams, which brought his individual performance down. 

kevin garnett

Basketball experts suggest that he was better at defense than at offense. 2008 seemed to be a lucky year for him, as he won Defensive Player of the Year, a championship in Boston, made it into the All-defensive team 12 times and won a spot on the league’s 75th-anniversary team, all in one year without breaking a sweat. Kevin Garnett is known as one of the most versatile men the NBA has ever seen. 

12. Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon, called by his fans ‘The Dream’, Olajuwon stands at No. 12 in the Top 13 famous basketball players’ names. During Michael Jordan’s retirement, Olajuwon won two NBA titles, and anyone who has ever experienced highly competitive matches like NBA would understand that even two NBA titles are a great addition to one’s portfolio. 

It is bewildering to see how smoothly Olajuwon was able to move like a cat on the court – stealthy and quick. He is truly a dominant force in both fields, offense and defense. The Dream Shake, Olajuwon’s trademark move will forever be remembered as one of the most iconic moves in the history of basketball.

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11. Oscar Robertson

People argued and argued about how valuable a triple-double average was in the basketball world, while Robertson became the first NBA player to score a triple-double average, and that was nothing short of monumental. Robertson’s shooting precision couldn’t even be matched by a machine, suggest experts. 

Robertson scored double-digit scores every night, and that was an enchanting sight to watch for the world. He is certainly worthy of being at No. 11 in this list of the greatest basketball players of all time.

10. Bill Russell

Standing at No. 10 on this list of names of famous basketball players, is this underrated player, Bill Russell. He is very disrespected when it comes to the greats. He is the greatest winner in all sports, and also a very good and smart defensive player. Bill is known for keeping the ball in play even after a lost block, and this knack is rarely seen, or not seen these days. He won a shocking 11 NBA titles in his career, as a 75th-anniversary team member should. 

Bill Russell

The NBA recognized his importance by naming the Finals MVP award after him. It’s pretty evident that this player deserves to be on this list of the greatest basketball players of all time, and he’s worth it. 

9. Kevin Durant

To the experts of basketball, Kevin Durant is probably the most skilled offensive player ever. There’s no formula in the world to stop him, and he is the full offensive package, loaded with zero weaknesses. He gets the ball to the rim on will, and can actually shoot from anywhere on the court.
By chance, if you happen to be blocking his shot, it won’t matter since he will bypass your block and you will never even know. He’s been constantly producing numbers, and numbers are the judging benchmark in sports. This list of famous basketball players’ names cannot be complete without Kevin Durant.

8. Steph Curry

Tune up Mike D’Antoni’s 3-point philosophy and you get Steph Curry. Defenses have to cover him from all sides to prevent him from shooting across the court, and yet, his elusiveness and handles make it impossible to block him. 43.5% of the time, he successfully shoots from half-court, making himself the 3-pointer king.

He received the Finals MVP award after dominating on the court against the Boston Celtics. Any list of names of famous basketball players will surely mention Steph Curry since he is one of the most influential players of all time.

7. Tim Duncan

An NBA 75 honoree, All-defensive team member, three-time Finals MVP, a five-time champion, two-time regular-season MVP, fifteen-time All-NBA, and 15-time All-Star. Only one person could be all this, and that is Tim Duncan! Holding on to 7 in this list of the greatest basketball players of all time rightfully, Tim Duncan has been scoring numbers like a robot! 

Tim Duncan

He played alongside the legendary David Robinson, which proved to be very beneficial for him. His coach Gregg Popovich described him as adamant, and often let him do whatever he wanted to since he greatly believed in Tim.

6. Shaquille O’Neal

Basketball expert, Zion Olojede describes Shaquille O’Neal as “The. Most. Dominant. Ever. Dominant seems like the only adjective to describe Shaq’s career.” It is needless to say that O’Neal is a member of the NBA 75 team. 

Shaquille O’Neal

The fear Shaquille had instilled in his opponents was such that no defender ever tried to block him, knowing that his block would definitely be bypassed and gone to waste. Easily the most entertaining player, Shaquille has rightfully claimed his place at No. 6 in this rank chart of names of famous basketball players.

5. Kobe Bryant

You didn’t think we weren’t going to include Kobe Bryant, did you? It is very disrespectful to leave Kobe Bryant out of the top 5 list of basketball players. ‘Black Mamba’, as he was called by his adoring fans all over the world, was crowned as the greatest Laker by Magic and Shaq. An NBA MVP, two-time Finals MVP, 5-time champion, 18-time All-star, fourth-leading scorer, and nine all-defensive first-team selections are few among the many honors Kobe Bryant has.

kobe bryant

Unfortunately, the world lost this star and his daughter in 2020, when they both died along with 6 others in a fatal helicopter crash. But alive or not, Black Mamba will always continue to stay in everyone’s top 5 list of famous basketball players’ names.

4. Magic Johnson

At No. 4 in the names of famous basketball players and No. 1 in the best point guards stands Magic Johnson. He changed the game of basketball simply when he entered the NBA in 1979 with a blast. He started Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the center, and scored 42 whopping points! Imagine how awesome that is!

He led the Lakers to their first title in nearly 10 years, breaking their losing streak. He changed the way point guards were looked at in basketball with his numbers and honors, which include five championships, nine-time All-NBA first-team selections, and three MVPs!

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

If you’ve ever been amazed at someone playing the skyhook shot, which is said to be the most lethal shot in basketball history, you can credit Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for inventing it. Apart from being the lead all-time NBA scorer, Abdul-Jabbar bagged almost every honor a basketball superstar could, out of which the most famous is six MVPs, which is one more than both Russell and Jordan.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

His team didn’t make it to the playoffs, yet, he won the MVP, and is the only player to do so. Admittedly, he wasn’t as physically dominating as Wilt or Shaq, but his flexibility and fluidity made up for everything he lacked.

2. LeBron James

The most popular basketballer among Gen Z, we present to you, LeBron James! Apart from being synonymous with greatness, James is an inspiration. Basketball expert Zach Frydenlund says, “When you think of LeBron James, you think of greatness.” His name has always been in the spotlight, and rightfully so. 

LeBron James

One could go through the list of LeBron James’ awards and compare him to every other player out there, but that is not really needed. He’s just 1326 points away from Kareem, after which he becomes the highest NBA scorer. For most of his career, James was ignored despite the results and numbers he produced, but the recent hype he has been the subject of makes up for everything he didn’t get.

1. Michael Jordan

There’s no, absolutely no explanation needed here. Michael Jordan, without argument, is the best and greatest of all times. Jordan won three times in a row, shifted to baseball, returned to basketball, and again won three times in a row. What? Yes! With an average of 20 PPG (points per game), Jordan kicks the ball out of the park, the city, the state, and the country as well! Five MVPs, making it to the NBA’s 75th-anniversary team and six Final MVPs – what more does one expect? 

Michael Jordan

You would be amazed to know that Jordan never in his entire career did take a day off. One might call him a maniac, but that is what made him into what he is. No one has ever dominated the basketball world as Jordan has, and that is why he stands at the topmost position in this list. 

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