Best All-Time NBA Basketball Player

Picking the best player in the history of the NBA is a tough thing to do. Throughout the history of the National Basketball Association, there have been quite a few legitimate superstars.

The first name to come to mind might be: Wilt Chamberlain.

Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain did some things on the NBA hardwood that no one will ever do again. And his point totals and his ability to score in many multitudes of ways are legendary.

Then again, how can you mention Wilt without mentioning Bill Russell, the Joe Montana to Wilt's Dan Marino, amassing an obscene number of world titles while Chamberlain was breaking scoring records?

And what about the two NBA Superstars whose 1980's showdowns ultimately rescued a fading NBA, putting it back on the American sports map, and eventually taking it to heights never before attained. Those two players of course are Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

All of the aforementioned players were superb NBA players, and each is worthy of discussion as the greatest player in the history of the NBA. But none of these is actually THE greatest player in league history. That player, and this should be no surprise was Michael Jordan.

The things that Michael Jordan did on the court completely revolutionized the way the game was played. No other player in NBA history was so able to utterly encapsulate the art of graceful elegance along with sheer speed and stunning power into such a flawless display, and all while leading his Chicago Bulls teams to arguably the greatest sports dynasty since the Boston Celtics of the 1960's.

Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russel battle for rebound in 1972

Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russel battle for rebound in 1972. Thanks Vedia at flickr.com for the picture.

Over the course of his career with the Bulls and Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan averaged 30.1 points per game. However, even more amazingly was his 5.3 assists per game mark, a amazing number not often seen, especially from a non-point guard so committed to scoring. It is indicative of his unselfish play and vision of the court that he was able to amass such an assist total, even averaging 8.0 assists a game at one point in his career.

Michael Jordan however, was not merely about scoring and statistics. No, in fact, Jordan was about championships and trophies. The Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls of the 1990's won 6 NBA titles, something that no team had done in a decade since the Boston Celtics of the 1960's. Even more impressive may be that those 6 NBA Championships game in the form of 2 "three-peats", and that those three-peats were separated by a 1-year retirement of Jordan during which he played baseball for a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

Jordan during his career also garnered a plethora of individual awards of note. In 1984, as a member of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, he swept the big college basketball awards, winning the ACC Player of the Year Awards, the USBWA Player of the Year Award, the Naismith Player of the Year Award, the Wooden Award, and the Rupp Trophy.

And there was no shortage of individual hardware once he arrived in the NBA. He was named the NBA Finals MVP during each of the 6 NBA Finals series that his team won. He also was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) 5 times; was named the NBA rookie of the year, was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1991, and was declared to be the ESPY Athlete of the Century by the sports television network ESPN.

Thanks to vedia at flickr.com for Magic Johnson's picture.

Michael Jordan about to do reverse jam. Thanks to vedia at flickr.com for the picture.

MJ's 1995 Chicago Bulls were the best all-time NBA basketball team. You can read about them at Best All-Time NBA Basketball Team. And for more NBA controversy, check out Best All-Time NBA Rivalry.



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