Top 10 Greatest NBA Players Of All-Time 

LeBron James

Ranking The 10 Greatest Players In NBA History

The National Basketball Association was created on June 6th, 1946. Since then, we have seen numerous athletes dominate the sport and solidify themselves in history – But only one can be the greatest.

From 7’0 giants to speedy, athletic, 3-point shooters, the NBA has seen its wide variety of superstars. That said, here are the top 10 NBA players of all time. 

10. Oscar Robertson 

Number Of NBA Finals Wins:

Teams Played For: Cincinnati Royals (1961-1970), Milwaukee Bucks (1971-1974) 

Awards: 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team, 1960-61 ROY, 1963-64 MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Oscar Robertson is another candidate for the greatest point guard in NBA history. Playing for the Cincinnati Royals in 1962, Robertson became the first player to average a triple-double in a single season statline. This record stood for decades until Russell Westbrook accomplished the same feat just a few years ago.

In addition to this dominating stat line, Robertson led the Bucks to their first title in franchise history in 1971.

9. Wilt Chamberlain 

Number Of NBA Finals Wins: 2 

Teams Played For: Philadelphia Warriors (1960-1962), San Francisco Warriors (1963-1965), Philadelphia 76ers (1965-1968), Los Angeles Lakers (1969-1973) 

Awards: 13x All-Star, 7x Scoring Champ, 11x Rebound Champ, 10x All-NBA Team, 4x MVP, 1959-60 ROY, 2x All-Defensive Team, 1971-72 Finals MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Wilt Chamberlain has been argued as the greatest basketball player of all time; however, the area that holds him back, critics say, is the era he played in. 

Nonetheless, Chamberlain has put up ridiculous numbers in his career. His most notable stat is becoming the only player in NBA history to record 100 points in a single game. Chamberlain is also the lone player to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. 

He played in the same era as Bill Russell, competing with him for years on the court to determine who was the more dominant athlete. In the end, both athletes proved their dominance, backing it up with monstrous individual performances. 

8. Bill Russell 

Number of NBA Finals Wins: 11 

Teams Played For: Boston Celtics (1957-1969) 

Awards: 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team, 4x Rebound Champ, 5x All-NBA, 5x MVP, 1968-69 All-Defensive Team, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Bill Russell is the holder of one of the most unbreakable records in basketball: Winning 11 championships in just 13 seasons. It is not unrealistic to say that we will never see something like this in basketball or maybe even the entirety of the four major sports ever again. 

Russell was the go-to man in the Celtics 50s-60s dynasty, averaging 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in his career. Russell had 12 consecutive seasons of more than 1,000 rebounds, leading the league for a season in 4 of those 12 years. 

It’s safe to say that Russell is one of the most dominant players that the game of basketball has ever seen. 

Courtesy of Nonstop Sports YouTube channel

7. Larry Bird 

Number Of NBA Finals Wins: 3 

Teams Played For: Boston Celtics (1980-1992) 

Awards: 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA Team, 1979-80 All-Rookie Team, 1979-80 ROY, 3x All-Defensive Team, 2x Finals MVP, 3x MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Larry Bird spent his 12-year career with the Boston Celtics, having one of the most remarkable careers among small forwards in the history of the NBA. He made his debut in the 1979-1980 season, leading the Celtics to 32 more wins than the previous year. 

Bird won the MVP award three times in a row from 1984 to 1986; he is still the only forward in NBA history to accomplish this feat. Bird was also one of the first players to successfully shoot behind the three-point line, as it was created in 1979, just before his rookie season. He is now recognized as one of the greatest 3-point shooters. 

6. Magic Johnson 

Number of NBA Finals wins: 5 

Teams Played For: Los Angeles Lakers (1979-91, 1996, 1999-2000) 

Awards: 12x All-Star, 2x Steal Champ, 10x All-NBA Team, 1979 All-Rookie Team, 3x Finals MVP, 3x MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Johnson is often regarded as one of the best point guards in NBA history, and for a good reason; he put up impressive numbers despite having a shorter career than other all-time greats. Although his career was interrupted after contracting HIV, Johnson made the most of his time on the court. 

He racked up three MVP awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, and 12 All-Star game appearances. Johnson is one of the greatest passers of all time, the NBA’s all-time average assist per game leader in both the regular season and playoffs (11.19 APG and 12.35 APG, respectively). He also led the league in regular-season assists four times. 

 5. Shaquille O’Neal 

Number Of NBA Finals Wins: 4 

Teams Played For: Orlando Magic (1993-1996), Los Angeles Lakers (1997-2004), Miami Heat (2005-2008), Phoenix Suns (2008-09), Cleveland Cavaliers (2010), Boston Celtics (2011) 

Awards: 15x All-Star, 2x Scoring Champ, 14x All-NBA Team, 1992-93 All-Rookie Team, 1992-93 ROY, 3x All-Defensive Team, 3x Finals MVP, 1999-00 MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, A.K.A. Shaq, won 3 straight NBA titles with the Lakers, as their dominance together ranks as one of the top duos of all time.

In addition to winning four NBA championships, Shaq won three NBA Finals MVPs, won the MVP award in 2000, and had his number 34 jersey retired by the Lakers, solidifying himself as one of the greatest centers in NBA history. 

Despite their on-court success, Shaq and Kobe had tension off the court, leading to Shaq being traded to the Miami Heat. Although he was separated from Kobe, Shaq won another title with the Heat in 2006. 

4. Kobe Bryant 

Number Of NBA Finals Wins: 5 

Teams Played For: Los Angeles Lakers (1997-2016) 

Awards: 18x All-Star, 2x Scoring Champ, 5x NBA Champ, 15x All-NBA Team, 1996-97 All-Rookie Team, 12x All-Defensive Team, 2007-08 MVP, 2x Finals MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Kobe Bryant’s legacy will forever have an impact on the NBA. Bryant’s work ethic made him one of the most hyped high-school prospects of all time, and for a good reason. With his “mamba mentality,” Bryant became an inspiration for basketball players dreaming of playing in the NBA and anyone trying to improve their activity. 

He suited up for the Lakers as an 18-year-old, becoming the second youngest player ever at the time. Later in his career, he led the Lakers to five NBA titles, including three straight from 2000 to 2002.

Courtesy of Good Morning America YouTube channel

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

Number Of NBA Finals Wins: 6 

Teams Played For: Milwaukee Bucks (1970-1975), Los Angeles Lakers (1976-1989) 

Awards: 19x All-Star, 2x Scoring Champ, 4x Block Champ, 15x All NBA Team, 11x All-Defensive Team, 1969-70 All-Rookie Team, 1969-70 ROY, 2x Finals MVP, 6x MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most dominant athletes in their respective sport. He had an unprecedented way of putting the ball in the basket, scoring 38,387 points in his NBA career, good enough for an NBA record that still stands today.

It’s important to note he hasn’t played since 1989, further showing how dominant this record is. In addition to tearing up the NBA courts, Abdul-Jabbar was a menace in his college days.

 In 1966, he averaged 29 points per game, leading UCLA to a 30-0 record and a national championship. He was so dominant that season that it prompted the NCAA to ban the dunk, attempting to limit Abdul-Jabbar and give an advantage to other teams. 

2. LeBron James 

Number of NBA Finals Wins: 4 

Teams Played For: Cleveland Cavaliers (2004-2010, 2015-2018), Miami Heat (2011-2014), Los Angeles Lakers (2019-present) 

Awards: 18x All-Star, 2007-08 Scoring Champ, 18x All-NBA, 2003-04 All-Rookie Team, 2003-04 ROY, 6x All-Defensive Team, 4x MVP, 4x Finals MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Alongside MJ, LeBron James is considered one of the greatest basketball players. His greatness has shown even in the later stages of his career, as he continues to be one of the league’s greatest players at age 37. In addition to his longevity, LeBron is among the greatest of all time because of his athletic ability. 

Despite being one of only two active players from the 2003 draft class, LeBron continues to add to his legacy with the Los Angeles Lakers, as his last championship came in 2020 when he was almost 36. That same year, LeBron became the second-oldest player in history to win finals MVP. He recently became the first player in NBA history to combine more than 10,000 points, rebounds, and assists. 

1. Michael Jordan 

Number of NBA Finals Wins: 6 

Teams Played For: Chicago Bulls (1985-1995), Washington Wizards (2002-2003) 

Awards: 14x All-Star, 10x Scoring Champ, 3x Steal Champ, 11x All-NBA, 1984-85 All-Rookie Team, 1984-85 ROY, 9x All-Defensive Team, 1987-88 Defensive POY, 5x MVP, 6x Finals MVP, NBA 75th Anniversary Team 

Few argue the greatness of Michael Jordan. He is widely considered the best basketball player of all time, and some will even say that he is the greatest athlete ever to live, and deservedly so. He is credited with leading the Chicago Bulls dynasty from 1991-1998, winning six NBA Championships as part of two separate three-peats. 

Jordan is also recognized as the player who popularized the game of basketball in the 1990s, earning the nickname “Air Jordan” in the process. Jordan’s legacy is still widely discussed in the league today, as his 6 Finals MVPs and 10 scoring titles are records that have yet to be broken.


The NBA has seen many players come into the league since it was founded in 1946. It is hard to pick just the top 10, as many players have impacted the game during their careers.

Despite this, the ten players selected in this list have undoubtedly had outstanding careers, ranging from unprecedented statlines to leading monstrous title-winning dynasties. The ten players on this list are not here by mistake, as their influence on the NBA has changed the league forever.