Who Makes Your All-Time Top 3?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — LeBron James offered up his three greatest players in NBA history and before he finished talking he had to know that he was going to start debates all over the basketball world with his answers.

The Miami Heat star named Dr. J (Julius Erving), Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as his top three to Fox Sports, choosing those well-deserving Hall of Famers over the likes of say Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain, just to name three more worthy candidates.

It is perhaps the most difficult list to craft in sports, the three best NBA (or even basketball in general) players of all time. It’s a question that elicits nothing but subjective answers. So much depends on your perspective, what era you grew up in and your personal preferences and sensibilities about the game itself.

Football and baseball are games where you could argue for two weeks about the top three players at each position on offense and defense and never come to a consensus. But basketball is even tougher because you can throw out the positions and just judge players on their individual skills and the impact they had on the game during the primes or even the entire scope of their respective careers.

The choices that have to be made are extremely difficult. How do you put Magic or Bird on your list and not both, when their careers were so intertwined? And when judging the all-time best big man, how do you separate Kareem and Wilt from Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon?

My top three? Magic, Jordan and Kareem, with Wilt missing out on that third spot by a whisker. I don’t understand how anyone, even an astute hoops historian like LeBron, could keep Magic out of his top three. Magic and Jordan would seem to be locks on every list. But again, this is a totally subjective exercise and one’s perspective is everything when you are crafting an all-time list of any sort.

There will be a time when LeBron, Kobe Bryant and some other current player has a legitimate case for a top-three spot. But if we put you on the spot and demand your top three of all-time as of this moment, what say you?

Let the debate rage on.

Your top three of all time …


  1. Chris Smoove says:

    Michael Jordan (99 Overall)
    LeBron James (99 Overall)
    Bill Russell (98 Overall)

  2. Darien says:

    Kobe is the GOAT he has done everything and he’s not done yet.. # Black Mamba


    1. Kobe Bryant
    2. M.J.
    5. Jahbar

    Lebron is terrible.. he doesnt carry the team and he chokes when they need him..

  3. 1) Russel
    2) Russel
    3) Russel

  4. #1KobeH8R says:

    Cynthia Cooper
    Dennis Rodman
    Lewis Alcindor, Jr.

  5. Jintan says:

    Okay, I won’t post a top 3 list since mine is all over the place but out of the 25 and younger of nba players at the moment, KD is the best along with Rose. To me those two are the most probably to be hall of famers.

    KD still seems “raw” if we look at it. Which is incredible since he has been in the finals already. His team is great too though, like for example his “partner” Westbrook is pretty capable to carry a team to playoffs probably.

  6. Jorge says:

    I think if u didn’t see them play you should consider them the best. I can’t say Oscar Robinson was the best I wasn’t even born when he was playing.

  7. Dom Lai says:

    1. Jordan
    2. Tim Duncan
    3. Doctor J
    Tie 4. Magic Johson & Larry Bird

    Think your dream team could beat my team, plaese let me know


  8. Jordan says:

    1. Oscar Robertson
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. LeBron James

    Three guys who did it all. How many players besides Oscar averaged a triple-double over an entire NBA season? 0!

  9. kman002 says:

    Magic was/is a winner

    Michigan state ncaa champ
    5x nba championships 1st title rookie/Mvp
    numerious all star appearances
    9 nba finals appearances
    Successful business owner
    Winner on every level!

    = greatest of all times

  10. kman002 says:

    Russel, Magic, Jordan

  11. Elliot says:

    It is a tough one, but if you think about it there are really only 3 players who come to mind…
    1. Javale Mgee
    2. Brian scalabrine
    3. Nate Robinson

  12. Leonard says:

    Top 5 of all time
    1) Jordan
    2) Kobe
    3) magic
    4) Duncan
    5) kareem

    Top 5 now
    1) Paul
    2) Kobe
    3) Durant
    4) Lebron
    5) Dwight

  13. Leonard says:

    Ok lets remember At Wilts time he was literally the biggest person in the NBA at 7’2 everyone else was like 6’0-6’8. Dr.j lots of respect for the guy love him but with just 1 ring naa u can do better. So that leads to an Authentic list that everyone can agree on! Jordan, Magic, and Kobe! !!!!

  14. Bigmatta23 says:

    All-Time – Michael – Magic – Hakeem
    Favourites to watch right now – Rubio – Curry – Durant

  15. eddie says:

    1. Kobe, 2. Jordan, 3. Magic

  16. Matthew Caba says:

    TOP 3 all time-
    1) Magic Johnson – exciting to watch also playing center in the finals replacing kareem.
    2) Shaquille O’neal- Most dominant center in the early 2000’s and a ring magnet.
    3) Allen Iverson- I know shocking. AI was a mini dominant point guard he took 76ers team to the finals by HIMSELF and beat Lakers at home Game 1. some could say Mutumbo was also part of it but no he wasn’t the same as he was in denver.
    Jordan not on my list he couldn’t beat Isaiah Thomas in eastern finals. Also whining about 1992 dream team he won’t join if Thomas is on the team. Sometimes you got to let your competitiveness get away from you and play for the USA. and if you can’t Isaiah Thomas on the team theres a problem its about the USA not NBA!!

  17. san diego fan says:

    Oscar Robertson
    Everyone knows why to select Magic and Mj… but Oscar was easily one of the most dominant players of all time, of any era.
    Not simply dominating games, but controlling the pace of them.
    Ha AVERAGED a triple double for AN ENTIRE SEASON…. and almost over his career… seriously, I’d say thats impossible…. except he did it.

    There are many many many NBA Greats, my hat goes off to all of them that have contributed to legacy.

    • I Know everything about Hoops says:

      how can u put magic in Oscar over Kareem when Kareem was the best player when he played with both guys

  18. I Know everything about Hoops says:

    these are the 5 things you need to know what in how to pick great players



  19. Ray says:

    The Holy Trinity… Bird Magic And Michael There Is NO Question!

  20. Jamal Stinson says:


  21. SYDALE says:

    Michael Jordan

    Magic Johnson

    Bill Russell

  22. kekekek says:

    Bird (I just have to say bird, that guy had just mad basketball skills, He wasnt very athlethic, but he dominated)

  23. coolitdude says:

    No way Bird in top 3……


    in a decade…

    Kyrie Irving

  24. Jacob says:

    Top 5 I’m general- Jordan Kobe kareem russel magic-shaq wilt russel missing out slightly- how would I imagine my starting 5 team? Everyone will laugh- magic Kobe Reggie miller t Duncanshaq- Reggie spreads the quart well for magic and Kobe is a better shooter than Jordan so would help magics Johnson’s spacing even more- Duncan Kareem can play pick and roll well with magic or post up well

  25. Rob says:

    Top 3:

    1. Earvin “Magic” Johnson – how can anyone forget he started center as a rookie during the ’80 Finals in place of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (injured) and scored 42 against the entire Sixer roster?!?! During his comeback plated power forward, REVOLUTIONALIZED the point guard position!! Saved the League along with this dude from French Lick named Bird.

    2. Michael “Air” Jordan – The G.O.A.T.!!! Won every award in the League as well as two Gold Medals in the Olympics!! Could go on and on about M.J., even though I hated him (die hard Knicks fan, LOL)

    3. Kareem “The Captain” Abdul-Jabbar – UNSTOPPABLE!!!!! Bill Russell and Chamberlain both feared him!! Words from their own mouths!! 20 years of domination, consistency and excellence in the League, averaged 20 pts. & 10 rebs. over that span. 6 Rings, 5 with L.A. and 1 with Bucks!

    Top 5 by position:

    1. C- Kareem
    2. PF- Russell (6’9″, maybe 6’10”, I consider him a power forward)
    3. SF – Bird (or Dr. J. here, in his prime otherworldly!!)
    4. SG – Jordan
    5. PG – Magic

  26. Akeem Asante says:

    My top three – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and third?……… can’t do it , Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ?

  27. funBaller says:

    for all you that don’t know about Sabonos…..WOW! do your own research…..Dismantled ALL USA players & More for Decades in Olyp’
    History….NBA Tried for Yrs to get him..he was old when they did…..and he still….oops….search ……
    Do your research….You’ll be surprised when U do…think of a 7 ft plus Akeem the Dream…. Stats don’t lie

  28. tanibanana says:

    1. M. Jordan
    2. B. Russel
    3. KA Jabbar
    4. W. Chamberlain
    5. E. Johnson
    6. L. Bird
    7. O. Robertson
    8. T. Duncan
    9. M. Malone
    10. LB James

    • joe says:

      this is a great list almost as good as mines but M. Malone is not a top 10 player maybe top 25 but the list is good compared to these other guys

  29. Kimmy says:

    Michael Jordan
    Larry Bird
    Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    Magic Johnson
    Doctor J
    Bob Cousy
    Isaiah Thomas
    Akeem Alajawon
    Dominic Wilkins
    Charles Barkley
    Lebron James
    Kevin Durant
    Kobe Bryant
    Shaquille O’neal
    Kevin McHale
    Danny Ainge
    Bill Walton
    Gerald Henderson
    The Mailman
    The Chief
    Scottie Pippen

    • astar23 says:

      This list is a joke. You have LeBron(who is my favorite player), KD, mailman, barkley Mchale and all other PFs and no TIM DUNCAN??? what a joke.

  30. dodong iskarpeys says:

    Robert Horry (G.O.A.T.)
    Chris Mihm
    Slava Medvedengco

  31. Tom says:

    What about wilt and bill

  32. Alexis says:

    Jordan LeBron Iverson

  33. Varun Rao says:

    All time top three – mj, magic and russel

  34. Markus71 says:

    All-Star 5!
    K.A–Jabbar (PF),

  35. Pete Medina says:

    I agree it is extremely difficult to choose the top three players. It will never happen. It is even difficult to say each position. Well here’s my top five (each at each positions). Then and now
    Top five (then)
    1. Magic Johnson
    2. Micheal Jordan
    3. Larry Bird
    4. Unkown
    5. Shaquille O’neal
    Top five (know)
    1. Derrick Rose
    2. Kobe Bryant
    3. Lebron James
    4. Unkown
    5. Dwight Howard

  36. Yep says:

    1.Andy Lee
    2.Andy Lee
    3.Andy Lee

  37. joe says:


  38. PaulBarbeau says:

    1. MJ (6 finals MVP… 6!)
    2. Magic (5) and change the game as 6’9 PG (not for Jordan and AIDS would have won 7)
    3. Oscar Robertson (average triple double for several years- sick)
    4. Bird (changed the game too and if not for Magic would have won more)
    5. Kareem

    Kobe. My favorite player is probably no. 8 or 9 because five is Five.

    Lebron is around no. 10 somewhere

  39. tenby says:

    1. MJ
    2. Magic
    3. Bird

    best twelve: (any order)
    4. Dr. J 9. Shaq
    5. Wilt 10. Nash
    6. Russel 11. J. West
    7. Lebron 12. Hakeem
    8. Kobe

  40. Bleno says:

    First of all i respect wilt as a player and a record breaking machine but i would never put his name in the top 3 or top 5 or even top 10. The game was so different back in his day ( not a lot of big players, no 3point line, etc ) that i don’t consider him to be one of the greatest of all time (skillswise, not statswise ofcourse) I would also find it hard to pick him because i have never seen him play, there isn’t a lot of footage of him. (except for some highlights).

    My top 3 would be:

    Allen Iverson

    Kobe and Allen Iverson probably don’t belong there, but i love their style of play so much that I want to put them there, Especially A.I. So short, fast and fearless + nice crossovers = how i try to shape my game. Love him

    • joe says:


  41. MrCool says:

    MJ – GOAT (Not Arguable)
    Bill Russel – RINGS (Not Arguable)
    Kobe – IMPACT (A lot of Player can have the top 3, but the impact of Kobe Bryant in the NBA could not be arguable, he has impluence the world “like MJ” to love Basketball.

  42. Bill Russel, Michael Jordon, Julius Erving/Larry Bird/Magic!

  43. Arky says:

    Impossible to say that Magic is an absolute lock for top 3 of all time. Top 10 sure, but it depends what you’re judging.

    On the stats and wins. how can you go past dominant guys of the 50s and 60s like Russell, Wilt and Oscar Robertson? But the game was different then. Lots more rebounds, lots more shots, less professionalism and money and “balance” arrangements.

    I’d probably do a pre-1970 and post 1970 top 3. Pre? Russell, Wilt, Robertson. Post? MJ, Kareem, and maaaaaybe I put Magic in ahead of Larry Bird. But it’s close. And by the end of his career I expect to put LeBron in there anyway.

  44. Bill Russel, Michael Jordon, Julius Erving/Larry Bird!

  45. Tim Cruise says:


  46. Chief keef says:

    Comparing stats and accomplishments will get you nowhere because depending on what era you played in can affect them differently so I’m purely going off of basketball skills and IQ so my top three is MJ, Magic, and last can be either Oscar Robertson/Hakeem/LeBron

    • joe says:

      those are very 2 important things to measure how good a player is but u also have to put in heart, leadership,in what they did in games against other hall of famers in other all stars is the most important thing to me

  47. joe says:



  48. joe says:

    You guys that really think KOBE is a top 3 player are on crack in must know nothing about basketball



  49. joe says:


  50. The Smiffness says:

    1. MJ
    2. Russel
    3. Kareem

  51. MD says:

    Darko Milicic
    Michael Olowokandi
    Kwame Brown

  52. NBA2k14 says:

    1. Greg Oden
    2. Kwame Brown
    3. Brian Scalabrine

  53. Bobby Klein says:

    I’ve already posted my top 5 and 12… Here’s my top 3, in any particular order:

    Scottie Pippen (greatest perimeter defender ever and greatest all around player ever)
    Bill Russell (greatest inside defender ever and greatest winner ever)
    Michael Jordan (greatest competitor ever, greatest scorer ever)

    • joe says:


      • lol says:

        Pippen would easily be top 10 if he was a better scorer, the guy could do everything, uber athletic with great all around skills the guy was a lighter more agile version of LBJ basically but his only weakness was his perimeter scoring it was inconsistent,of course he was spending too much energy on everything else so the guy was the greatest 2nd option ever… And we got J.Erving of course who is in Top 10, the guy was a great all around player, uber athletic and a great defender, he didnt have perimeter shooting but he was a great scorer cause his inside scoring was fantastic, also there is Dominic WIlkins who was outstanding in his prime, the SF position has alot of great all around players, even Magic Johnson was basically a point forward cause of his height and all around skills….

  54. Kp says:

    Born in 94. Top 3 basketball players I actually had the opportunity to grow up and watch, undoubtedly

    Kobe Bryant
    Tracy McGrady
    Allen iverson

  55. migsrocks says:

    Labron is not one of the Top 3 players. When he has more than 4 rings on a team without ALL stars on it he is just another player on HGH…. My Top 3 are Michael Jordan,Wilt Chamberlain, Hakeem Olajawon
    They all dominated all the time, win or lose. but my all time favorit player is Black mamba Mister Kobe Bryant. Hustle game is out of control…. all current players should work as hard as he does and they might have a chance of becoming a great.

  56. Dante says:


  57. Juggernaut584 says:

    1.) Mr. Michael “Air” Jeffrey Jordan
    2.) Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    3.) Earvin “Magic” Johnson

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Kareem win titles and Finals MVP’s with two different teams? (Bucks/Lakers). That in itself qualifies him to be top 3. Earvin is the best teammate and PG of all time, and His Airness is His Airness. Russell is in the conversation just based on rings alone. Wilt and Oscar Robertson deserve and honorable mention based on stats. Finally, Bird also gets an honorable mention based on how he dominated the game mentally with very little physical prowess. (Couldn’t run fast, or jump high).

  58. Tom Pittman says:

    Top 3 All-Time:
    o Michael Jordan
    o LeBron James
    o Kobe Bryant

    Honorable mentions:
    o Larry Bird
    o Magic Johnson
    o Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    o Wilt Chamberlain
    o Hakeem Olajawon

  59. Marvin Blackwood says:

    WE all need to remember he is human and the 3 he pick is just his opinion and nothing more so stop acting like he is god and just accept his opinion. Geeeeezzzzz!!!

  60. Randall says:

    1. M J
    2. Kobe
    3. Magic

  61. Mmmmhm says:

    1 Russell
    2 Bird
    3 Kareem
    4 Wilt
    5 Jordan

    The NBA would be awful right now without these guys

  62. IceDirk says:


  63. ret5rs6y5yur5 says:


  64. King says:

    1.Micheal Jordan
    2.Kobe Bryant
    3.Magic Johnson

  65. TTKIN says:

    I understand his selections…they are 3 of the greatest ever (especially MJ), but isnt Wilt the one who holds like half the records in the NBA? How can anyone leave him off the top 3? Wilt and MJ are easily in the top 3.

    • nbafan says:

      Jordan, Bird and Magic.

      All three players influenced the game in so many ways.

      This is given I’ve never been following the NBA before Kareem’s time.

      But those are on my top 3.

      LBJ is getting there fast though.

  66. alp says:

    jordan, bird, Big O

  67. kc says:


  68. simon says:

    MJ, Bird, Magic

  69. Tony24 says:

    PG MJ
    SG KB
    SF MJ
    PF MJ
    C MJ

  70. celentano says:

    yeah Balla! Right on the money with this one! Without Dr.J no Jordan at hall of fame today.

  71. celentano says:

    1.Micheal Jackson
    2.Micheal Jordan
    3.Phil Jackson
    4.prince ( just ask the brother of Eddy Murphy; he can ball)

  72. white mamba says:


  73. lal says:

    magic MJ BIRD garnett shaq. shaq is freakin beast back then =) not the best but the most dominant center.

  74. Samuel says:

    PG – Magic
    SG – Jordan
    SF – LeBron
    PF – Bill Russell
    C – Kareem

    That’s my all star team by position

  75. Samuel says:

    I had MJ, Magic, and Kareem

  76. Balla says:

    You cannot say top 3 without:

    MJ, At the present point, The Greatest of All Time

    DJ, who’s game Jordan resembled, mimic, and tried to portray. He changed the style of basketball played from fundamentals to the razzle and dazzle you see today. Without Dr. J there would be no MJ

    Bill Russell, The most winningnest (if that is a word) athelete of all sports. 10 rings will never be caught. So why don’t labe him as the “GOAT.” Hmmmmm

  77. Nemo says:

    1. Legendary Brian Scalabrine
    2. “Never Regret Picking Me” Kwame Brown
    3. WareWolf Michael Olowakandi

  78. The Bird Man says:

    For me, the Top 3 are the guys who make the most money, because if you are the best player, then the team will give you maximum salary and you will make the most money. it is simple like that.
    I don’t want to hear how some player jumps over a kia or how he dribbles so quickly or how many rings he won. You can win so many rings, that’s your problem. I’m not a bitttch looking for a ring from a man, so that ring doesn’t impress me.
    The players that get the most money are the best. In that order;

    1) Michael jordan – he made the most and still makes the most money, period. He’s worth over $650m and his on his way to a billion dollars already within the next 3 years according to Forbes. He owns his own shoe company that sells more basketball shoes in the U.S than Nike does.

    2) Kobe Bryant – He has already been paid over $280m by the Lakers alone and he isn’t finished collecting more money from them on his next contract. When you add in the monies Adidas, Nike, and other companies have paid him over the years, you are looking at a guy who has seized over half a billion dollars for himself. And he isn’t done yet. This year alone, he is collecting $30.5m from Lakers, then add in the money from endorsers and he will banked almost $70m in his name within just 12 months. he has already warned the Lakers he will not take a pay cut and that is real. i respect that. i will never take a pay cut too, so i see his vision. He got his eye on that money and he’s going to collect. Straight.

    3) Magic Johnson – the guy owns the L.A. dodgers. If you’re a season ticket holder to dodgers games, he can still stop you at the gate and kick you out. He owns the club and your tickets and he is richer than you by far.

    Those are the best 3 players ever in the NBA.

  79. Young Wolf says:

    My all-time NBA team

    PG – Magic Johnson
    SG – Michael Jordan
    SF – Lebron James
    PF – Charles Barkley
    C – Hakeem Olajuwan


    Gary Payton
    Kobe Bryant
    Larry Bird
    Kevin Garnett
    Shaquille O’Neal
    Isiah Thomas
    Tim Duncan

  80. Oliver says:

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Magic Johnson

  81. John says:

    There is no doubt the top three of ALL TIME is…Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Dj “Congo” Mbenga and Popeye Jones probably Mark Madsen a strong running for #3..future hall of famers!!!

  82. Jin says:

    Top three of all time (no order, all different positions as well so hard to make one case over the other): Michael Jordan, bill russel, Oscar Robinson

  83. Blaze says:

    My top would be

    1. Jordan
    2 . Hakeem
    3 . Oscar Robinson

  84. Kate says:

    No matter what LBJ said he would have been criticised for it.

  85. TORO says:

    I agree with Sekou that Jordan and Magic should be locks on every list. I personaly prefer Magic, but can’t argue about MJ being the GOAT. That being said, Magic is the one who revolutionised his “position” and the entire NBA, along with Bird. Of course Russel and Wilt should be in every conversation as the best pre-80’s players (without getting into which era was the toughest). Shaq and Hakeem are in the conversation as the most dominant big men who also revolutionised NBA, Shaq with his power (just like Wilt), Hakeem with his finesse. You can’t not mention the sky hook and the greatest scorer of all time, Kareem. Barkley was revolutionary, just like LeBron is, but let’s wait until his career is finished. If we want to talk revolution, you can mention Mikan and some other guys as well. If we want to talk greatnes, you should include the likes of Dr.J, Jerry West, Oscar, Elgin, Malone, David Robinson, Isiah and some others. I avoid mentioning still active players like Duncan, Wade and Kobe on purpose.

    But bottom line, my personal belief is that Jordan and Magic should be lock downs, objectively. That third spot for me is up for discussion between Wilt, Russel, Kareem and Bird.

  86. Scottie Fox says:

    TOP 3 (In equal order):

    Michael Jordan.
    Larry Bird.
    Magic Johnson.

    TOP 5:

    Michael Jordan.
    Larry Bird.
    Magic Johnson.
    Wilt Chamberlain.
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

  87. Samuel Penalba says:

    1) Michael Jordan
    2) The Black Mamba
    3) Shaq

  88. Jordan says:

    My Top 3:

    1) Michael Jordan

    2) Magic Johnson

    3) LeBron James

    My Starting 5:

    PG) Magic Johnson – True Point guard, good leader

    SG) Michael Jordan – G.O.A.T

    SF) LeBron James – Unstoppable, might have a bit more to prove

    PF) Tim Duncan – Turns back the clock

    C) Hakeem Olajuwon – Master of pivoting

  89. JM says:

    Mr. Sekou Smith,

    Read again your own third paragraph.

    So, you DO understand “how anyone, even an astute hoops historian like LeBron, could keep Magic [or any other one] out of his top three”.

  90. Nyanya says:

    Those who include lebron, prolly started watching basketball in the late 90s

  91. rye says:

    this writer is ridiculous!!! why ask someone’s opinion then critisize it if it didn’t make your own list…your list doesn’t matter at all because that is you own..we have different perspective..

  92. Sal grosso says:

    1. White Mamba – Scalabrine
    2. Birdman tied with Scalabrine
    3. Javale Mcgee – i hate to leave the real white mamba out of this one…

  93. Giacomo says:

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Oscar Robertson
    3. Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

  94. DR BBAL says:

    My top 5:

  95. Fan says:

    Honestly, I think that Lebron is a great person and a great player, but seriously? Just because he’s given the question of who the three top players of all time it becomes truth? The title of this post is ridiculous. ‘The Final Word’? Are you kidding me, it’s shouldn’t even be acknowledged, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s just a great player stating his opinion. How in the world does that lead to that being the final say….

  96. Someone else says:

    The subject of who’s the best at something probably generates more debate in sports than any other subject with opinions being very varied.

    If I was to choose a top three regardless of position I would go with – Michael Jordan, Larry Bird & Magic Johnson.

    Choosing a whole team based purely on all round skills and abilities of the individuals and not on championships which is a team accolade Starters – G – Magic Johnson G – Michael Jordan F – Larry Bird F – Julius Irving/Tim Duncan C – Hakeem Olajuwon

    Bench – Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Julius Irving/Tim Duncan, Charles Barkley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lebron James, John Stockton.

    Note – Julius Irving/Tim Duncan refers to either using a forward lineup to spread the floor more or using a duel big man lineup.

  97. Lucas Muijrers says:

    1) Michael Jordan… No discussion possible.

    2) Oscar Robertson. When you average a triple double in a season you belong on this list.
    Career averages: 25.7ppg / 7.5 rpg / 9.5 apg

    And whats even more bizarre..
    The average over his first 5 straight seasons in the league were 30.3 ppg / 10.4 rpg / 10.6 apg.

    3) Magic Johnson..

    Too hard to call… Olajuwon, Magic, Bird, Kareem, Wilt, Russell and a lot of others are really close.
    Now I’d like to say it’s nearly impossible to rank NBA all time players in a top 3.

    And then when Bryant and James retire… A top 10 is hard enough to compile..

  98. Wow says:

    How people gonna put lebron on the list with 2 rings and he is not close to putting up the magic numbers mj numbers or larry bird PEOPLE THESE NBA DAYS DRIDES 1 PLAYER AND THATS LEBRON. lebron wouldnt be in my top 5.

  99. Jjevy says:

    Michael jordan, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen

    Scottie had to guard mike in practice and for the bulls to win championships he had to guard the opponents best player wether point guard shooting guard, forward, center and he ran the point all around game

  100. Palmsy says:

    From my era (started watching in the late 80’s) its pretty clear for me.

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Larry Bird

    To me, Kobe hasn’t had the allround game to crack that top 3, and LeBron has the potential to crack it, but has a way to go.

    I’m not old enough to be able to make accurate comparisons to player past, like Wilt, Russell, Oscar etc.
    Their legacy and statistic achievements clearly place them top 10, but without seeing seasons of them playing in comparison to the standard around them and their development as players, how they made their teamates better etc, its hard for me to really know how to rank them.

    I thin thats probably why I see kids rank Kobe and LeBron top 3, if they had been able to experience a few decades of the game and be able to compare in perspective its unlikely they would include those 2.

    I really think Duncan should be in the conversation, too.

  101. defdun says:

    how can guys today properly asess the impact of players like Russell, Wilt or Oscar…? Theres no proper footage and if you weren’t a fan during their heyday, you can’t really judge the impact they had on the game.

    I can’t tell if these guys took the game to another level like MJ did in 90s… I don’t know if they had the charisma of Dr.J or Magic who mesmerized the crowds on and off the floor. I mean these 3 guys were outstanding players AND personalities, and if you want to be reckognized as one of the all time greats, you can’t just be a dominating player on the hardwood who takes the game to new heights and win rings – you also have to be a role model and have a whole generation following you: black or white, rich or poor, “good” or “bad”.

    The 3 guys who best did that in my eyes were:

    1. MJ – “be like Mike”
    2. Magic
    3. Dr.J

  102. iLOVEthisGAME_NBA says:

    my TOP 3:

    Michael Jordan
    LeBron James
    Shaquille O’Neal

  103. J says:

    you have to be more specific with these sort of questions, saying for e.g.. “who’s the best PG ever?” is easier.

    That’s tough!

    Michael Jordan
    Magic Johnson
    Hakeem Olajuwon

    now I’ll do 5 by position note: I do think LeBron will be best SF of all time but this is now so he’s not

    PG Magic Johnson
    SG Michael Jordan
    SF Larry Bird
    PF Tim Duncan
    C Hakeem Olajuwon

    now I’ll do 5 current players

    PG Tony Parker
    SG Kobe Bryant
    SF LeBron James
    PF Tim Duncan
    C Dwight Howard

  104. rabauke69 says:

    About MJ and Lebron:
    I read a few comparisons of that kind above. Shouldnt a top 3 candidate also be defined by leadership skills, and achievements out of difficult situations? Just look at MJ, he is a force of nature, he is the team, no discussions come up about “whose team that is?” Unlike Lebron, being a unic talent, he still hasnt that character MJ had, he needs the cozy Miami situation to grow. If you take that into consideration, it becomes very hard to compare both of these.

  105. Zeki Davut says:

    1. MJ
    2. Kareem
    3. Magic
    4. Russel
    5. Kobe
    6. Dr. J
    7. Wilt
    8. John Stockton
    9. Shaq
    10. Lebron

  106. Controversial Discusser says:

    My list for top 3 players of all time

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Kareem Abdul-jabber

    Anyone who has watched basketball over a long period of time will know were I am coming from but as for those who don’t, do your researches please.

    Thank You

  107. Santos Alvarado says:

    My generation players!!
    Kobe, Shaq, and Duncan

  108. Marco (NL) says:

    Original question, top 3 of all time:

    Michael Jordan – Changed the game to what it is today and made the NBA a global brand.

    Magic Johnson – Able to play 5 positions and co founder of showtime basketball.

    Shaquille O’Neal – Most dominant big man ever to play the game.

    If you’d ask my top 5 of my time:

    PG Magic
    SG Jordan
    SF Bird
    PF Duncan
    C O’Neal
    Players who just fel short; Jason Kidd (led Nets to 2 straight finals), Kobe Bryant (up there with MJ), Scottie Pippen (greatest all round player), Karl Malone (standerd for today’s pf), Hakeem Olajuwon (Dream Shake, quick feet, good defense).

    It’s a hard question because there are so many great players. I picked players if have seen play the game and know something about. I realise that back in the day Bill, Wilt, Jerry, Oscar were the big names but I haven’t seen them as i have my picks. Think of it what you will!

  109. Mickey says:

    1. Michael Jordan

    2. MJ

    3. His Airness

  110. Pesteng Ahem says:

    MJ – absolutely the GOAT. No other player has dominated and revolutionized the game like he did. May have won more championship if he didn’t leave. But 6 alone is sufficient to seal his name as one of the greats

    Magic – personified “Showtime!” with his style of play and being able to play all 5 positions for me gives him the right at the top 3

    Big O – i really believe averaging triple double will give you a seat on the top 3 greatest of all time. This is just not stats, this reflects the all around greatness of the player.

    *** Is tempted to include Lebron and bump one name off the list, but i believe that is something that can be concluded once his career is over…

  111. Alex says:

    My All-time 12-man team

    G- Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson
    G- Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant
    F- LeBron James, Larry Bird, Julius Erving
    F- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Duncan
    C- Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Shaquille O’Neal

  112. Hiram Melendez says:

    My top three of all time:

    Michael Jordan
    Shaquille Oneal
    Kobe Bryant

  113. Kamote says:

    Of course names of Russel, Wilt, Robertson and such people would come to mind… but I would be a hypocrite calling these names out because I really wasn’t able to watch their careers. I started watching in the 80’s and these aren’t based on NBA stats.

    1. MJ: Of course. We can’t question his skill, dominance and competitiveness. With his leadership, he was able to develop the young Pippen, Grant, Armstrong etc. into great competitors that the Bulls still makes the playoffs even after he left. Then coming back, he was able to utilize the talents of Kukoc, Rodman, Harper etc. to bring out one of the best teams (72 wins, then 69 wins after) if not the BEST TEAM in NBA history. If he had just played during those 4 years of retirement (in his prime), Kobe, LBJ etc. won’t even have the chance in chasing his rings and stat points, then the GOAT conversations would just be plain stup!d.

    2. Kareem: Although I got to watch him past his prime, but that’s the point, he’s still winning championships (and not just because of Magic), going to All-star games and getting awards wayyy past his prime.

    3. Duncan: He already is the Spurs leader in his first game, and won his first ring in his rookie year. Has become the franchise player of the most disciplined, cost-efficient (no overspending on players, draft surprises, TP and Ginobli aren’t even known before playing with the Spurs), and decorated team (without the glitz and drama) to date. Call him boring, but until now, no one still know how to stop the Big Fundamental… last year’s resurgence and trip to the finals is a testament on how TD will end his career… still competing.

  114. Shawn K says:

    I’m going to give my top 3 for each position;

    PG- Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas and John Stockton
    SG- Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson and Clyde Drexler
    SF- Larry Bird, Elgin Baylor and Dominique Wilkins
    PF- Tim Duncan, Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman
    C- Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon.

    These are just my opinions. There were a lot of amazing players that I didn’t mention but I think I made good choices. Anyone agree?

  115. jimmy says:

    Mine would be Dominique Wilkins, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Jerry West.

  116. Top 12 says:

    1) PG – Magic Johnson SG – Michael Jordan SF – Larry Bird PF – Charles Barkley C – Hakeem Olajuwon
    2) PG – Isaiah Thomas SG – Clyde Drexler SF – Chris Mullin PF – Karl Malone C – Patrick Ewing
    Reserves – David Robinson (C) Scottie Pippen (PG, SF, PF)

    This should have been the 1992 Dream Team

  117. Jay says:

    Hard to pick a top 3; I will settle for top starting 5 and a back up for each.

    PG – Magic (backup – Stockton)

    SG – Jordan (backup – Kobe)

    SF – Big O (backup – Dr. Jay)

    PF – Barkley (backup – Duncan)

    C – Kareem (backup – The Dream)

    PF and C positions are hardest to pick… So many legends will.be left out no matter what. I left out Bird at PF and I left out legends like Shaq, Russel, and Wilt at C. I put Kobe in the list and not LEbron because Kobe is at the end of his career; hes already left a big print in the NBA. Lebron is not done yet.

  118. Me says:

    You have jordan who can score anyway against anybody
    Russull who did everything at once
    And Magic who was a walking triple-double
    There is no other choice

  119. I think that... says:

    Michael Jordan is definitely on the list. The other two are debatable. It can be Magic, Bird, LeBron, Kareem, Wilt, Russell, Duncan, Hakeem, Shaq and Kobe.

  120. Kamil says:

    MJ … Oscar Robertson … Bill Russell .. Wilt Chamberlain .. Magic Johnson … Larry Bird … Hakeem Olajuwon … Dr. J

    All great names but I believe its stupid to establish a top three because each was special in his own way.

    I like the best starting 5 question because that is more plausible.

    Lebron could end up being in that category, although I think his future in Miami depends on Dwayne Wade’s future there and when he decides to retire. If Wade retires early maybe Lebron opts out and goes somewhere else.

    Kobe on the other hand is the best player in the NBA, and yes I know, he tore his Achilles. Lebron is obviously in his prime but Kobe is the only other true dominator left. Kevin Durant was doing pretty good till Russell Westbrook went down. Carmelo Anthony is a great scorer but it seems that’s about all. Derrick Rose has yet to show us how much better he really is now that he has a repaired ACL. Tim Duncan missed probably the most important lay up of his career in Game 6. The Nets are practically a super team. Dwight Howard actually got to pick the teams he plays for but we all know its just a matter of time before he starts whining about how the system isn’t working to his strengths.

    Next season in a nutshell.

  121. aaaaaa says:

    Wilt, MJ, Big O (barely over Magic, Bird, and Kareem who are all about tied for the next spot)

  122. Mike says:

    No offense to Magic Johnson, but neither he nor Lebron has a strong grasp on who the “3 best players” are.

    Magic thinks only rings should enter the equation; if thats so, than above average athletes by today’s standards, like Bill Russel, would be leading that discussion.

    But come on! Put that man into today’s league and I’d like to see how he would fare; confidence can only take you so far; confidence itself, I might add, is built upon successful past performance. Bill Russel would be far more humble, and thus, less confident, if he played in today’s NBA.

    So, I do not consider that criteria by itself as sufficient to grade who the best players of all time are. Championships matter, but only partially. Other factors which should be considered are: era in which they played; and performance.

    I know people who revere pioneering stars like Dr. J and Larry Bird might be offended, but put them into todays talent pool, and how good would they look? Yes – things are relative, and we should consider this reality before we devise our who’s best lists. If Gordon Hayward played in the 1970s, perhaps he would be in the conversation of the best players ever. Additionally, it wouldn’t be fair to rank Larry Bird or Bill Russel as the “best players”. THEY PLAYED together. Thus their having so many rings misrepresents their individual talents. Wilt Chamberlain would probably be better considered if he had a better supporting cast.

    1) Michael Jordan: Top of the list has to be Michael Jordan. Tremendous Athlete with remarkable mental focus
    2) Wilt Chamberlain: Next would be Wilt Chamberlain. Chamberlain’s accomplishments are well known; 2 NBA championships, 4 MVP awards, a 100 point game. If he played today, he would be a perennial allstar
    3) ???? – This position is debatable. In my mind, there are only two players who are locks for the top 2 of all time. Given how Lebron has played over the last two seasons, combined with his 4 MVP awards (to date) and freakish gifts – both physical and mental – which makes a triple double threat every game, I imagine he will fill this slot.

    Other people to consider are: Kobe Bryant, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul Jabar.

    • Chocolatemilk says:

      Can’t really make that argument because all of today players learned their games and moves from past players

    • Stat Rat says:

      Im sorry did you really just say Russell and Bird played together? Smh

      • ben says:

        my thoughts exactly bird and russell nevered played at the same time. RUSSELL played from 1956 till 1969 and BIRD played from 1979 till 1992. Thats a ten year gap between the two playing.

  123. Dr. J was a Top 20 player, no doubt. But Top 3? Come on LeBron.

    My Top 3 Today:
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    My Top 3 Tomorrow:
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Bill Russell
    3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

    My Top 3 Next Week
    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Larry Bird

  124. Rom says:


  125. Marsellus Wallace says:

    Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Jordan is simply the G.O.A.T and probably always will be. Bill Russell is the perfect teammate, more championship rings than anyone and thrived in the playoffs and winning a ring as a player-coach. Kareem is the only player in NBA history to win Finals MVP fourteen years apart.

  126. Lakers-Warriors-Suns. says:

    Larry Bird and Magic changed basketball for me I don’t know about you guys though.

  127. rodcav says:

    Top 5
    PG Magic, Isiah, Cousy,Oscar, Stockton
    SG Micheal, Gerving, Jerry West, Kobe,, Wade
    SF Larry Bird, Lebron Dr.J, Elgin Baylor, Dominique,
    PF Duncan, Barkley, Malone, McHale,KG
    C Russel, Kareem, Wilt, Hakeem, Shaq

    Runner ups
    PG Kidd, Nash,,Frazier, Rondo, Kevin Johnson,
    SG Iverson, Sam Jones, Maravich, Dave Bing, Monroe, Sidney Moncreif
    SF Pippen,
    PF Rodman,
    C, Moses, Patrick, Robinson, Unseld, Walton

  128. GF says:

    This is easy:
    1 – Wilt Chamberlain
    2 – Bill Russell
    3 – Michael Jordan

    Championship Rings are NOT part of my criteria in determining greatness, as that is a team accomplishment, as both Russell (11 rings) and Jordan (6 rings) have stated many times. When Wilt retired, he owned nearly every record in the game. Put flatly, he absolutely dominated the sport like no one in any sport ever has. Russell was the best defensive player ever; they didn’t count count blocked shots back then, otherwise he’d own the all-time record there. He was a tenacious rebounder as well, finishing second in career rebounds only to Wilt. Jordan was the most well-rounded player the league has ever seen. His accomplishments are well noted in these blogs.
    No one else comes close to these three men, IMO.

  129. Jim Muncy says:

    My Top Three

    I am 57 years old, and have been a huge fan of this game for over forty years. Even at my age, I still play three hours per week of full court basketball with some really good young players. Basketball has been a huge part of my life for a long, long, long time and so I think I have a broader perspective than most. That said, here are my top three and why.

    #3 Michael Jordan: Michael Jordan changed the way basketball is played. The NBA can be divided into two eras. Pre-Jordan and Jordan-and-Beyond. Nobody has impacted the game the way Jordan did.

    #2 Wilt Chamberlain: Record books have to count for something. How can look at the top 100 most points scored in a game and the top 100 rebounds in a game and not give Chamberlain serious consideration? If you have never looked at those numbers, Google them. I think you will see my point.

    #1 Lebron James (No I am not a Heat fan, I have rooted against them in the last three NBA Championship series): James has the best BALANCE of skills in the history of the NBA. He doesn’t have the finesse of a Jordan or the Power of a Chamberlain. However, he has a lot more power than Jordan did and a lot more finesse than Chamberlain did. We are talking best overall player and he has the best OVERALL skill set of anyone who has plaid the game.

    The biggest problem I have with my list is that it leaves off Bill Russell. Being the cornerstone of a team that won 11 Championships in 13 years is pretty amazing. Jordan didn’t do that. Chamberlain only got two in his whole career. And who knows where Lebron will end up but I doubt if he will need to start putting rings on his toes.

    • Chocolatemilk says:

      So you’re saying Lebron is better than Jordan? Nonsense!! AthleticIsm maybe, skill set maybe a tie, but Jordan had a will to win that is unmatched Lebron doesn’t have it. That’s why he had to go the easy route and team up.

      • The Beard says:

        Thank you God for somebody seeing the real world!!! And I think was just as athletic as Lebron, Lebron has about 4 inches on him.

  130. OD says:

    Obviously, it’s a subjective list but the players that would normally appear on a GOAT list are MJ, Russell, Wilt, Magic, Bird, Big O, and Kareem. There are objective points and stats to argue that any of these can be called the greatest, with MJ in my mind, being the winner because of his impact to the game and how the HOFers recognize this and his success.

    To the naive posters who keep putting Kobe and Lebron on the list, go back to high school. When their careers are over and done, maybe Lebron would be included since he is still in his prime. But Kobe is almost done and he shouldn’t be in the same sentence as #23. Top 10 maybe Kobe will make it, maybe, but not close to the top.

    If you want the most objective survey possible, a very wide audience, where everyone in the entire world can vote? Why don’t we ask the people who put their money where their mouth is – what is the top selling shoe of all time among these great players??? … Take a guess! Because it’s not even close. Yeah that retired guy’s jumpman symbol looks pretty good huh?

  131. Jms88 says:

    Top 5: Hakeem the dream (center) bill Russell (power forward) lebron James (small forward) Michael Jordan(shooting guard) kobe Bryant (point guard/ facilitator) I like these players as a starting 5 and thier strong on O an D

  132. blaz says:

    This forum debate made me realize one thing: How far ahead other players’ is Michael Jordan’s legacy in the game of basketball.
    In his dominance, excitement, motivation, athleticism and pure basketball skills there is no other all time leader.
    He was a basketball’s Midas.
    He took American Basketball and made it World’s Basketball.
    He made Chicago a city of basketball.
    He made his last name world wide logo.
    He made his number a synonyme of success.
    He made his persona recognizable everywhere on the planet.
    And all that he made with a cheerful smile… 🙂

    Ask anyone, from Vietnam, China, Laos to Grece, RPA, Finland or any other place on earth: who is MJ 23 (even now after so many years). It is not very likely they will not know….

    • YoYo says:

      It’s all about how much can a player impact and dominates the game when they are on the court…..Cant think of no one better MJ, Kareem, Shaq, LBJ…No one…But Noteable mentions are Hakeem, Magic, Bird, Kobe

  133. Jordan, Barkley, Iverson says:

    Micheal…well because Micheal. Barkley because he was ingimidating and a beast. A.I. because of hid height and talent and the heart to leave it all on the floor where he was always was at after a drive to the basket and thd ability to play hurt.

  134. Nore is stupid says:


    Nore you are quite foolish to think your line is unbeatable because this line would destroy, shaq would man handle not only russle but wilt because in that time frame centers werent at 7 feet tall, they played there talents against much smaller men? go back to Basketball 101 kid*

  135. m.w.a. bulls 1 says:

    Wake up people!!! Remember, I am the authority, all things basketball if you will. Easily its Rory Sparrow, Kwame Brown and Granville Waiters. What?, ch’all didn’t know? Ok, ok, ok. If I must choose, I’d have to say Jordan, Magic and Wilt. (with Jabbar a close 4) I love The Doc but he’s not even top 10.
    5. Duncan
    6. Bryant
    7. James
    8. Russell
    9. Bird
    10. O. Robertson
    Dont get me wrong. Doc was all that, stylish, charismatic and plenty of game. However, is perimeter game and ball handling is not where Jordan’s and Magic’s was. Nor was his post game better than the bigs on my list. Doc is maybe a top 12. Yes, including his ABA days.
    11. Shaq
    12. Doc
    13. Pippen
    14. West
    15. Barkley/Malone (take a pick)

    • joe says:


    • ben says:

      so you really think lebron is better than russell who won 8 consectutive and 11 total championships. more on one hand than lbj has all time.

  136. Matt says:

    You could tell LeBron had a really hard time only picking three. I would rather see who made his top ten players of all-time list in no particular order.

    Here are my top 3 of all-time at each position are as follows:

    PG – Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West (though he was more of a combo/scoring guard than traditional PG)
    SG – Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant
    SF – Larry Bird, LeBron James, Elgin Baylor
    PF – Tim Duncan, Bob Pettit, Karl Malone
    C – Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  137. Weedmoker says:

    1.Lebron James
    2.Michael Jordan
    3.Grant Hill

  138. DWade says:

    1) Lebron
    2) MJ
    3) Wilt
    4) Magic
    5) Kareem
    6) Big O
    7) Bird
    8) Hakeem
    9) Shaq
    10) Timmy

  139. Domx says:

    In his genius tome the Basketball Book, Bill Simmons spends 200 pages on getting to a top 3 of (3rd-1st) Kareem, Russell and Jordan

    I can find no flaw in his thinking

  140. jr says:


  141. DanCer says:

    JaVale McGee… Three times!

  142. JQ says:

    MJ, Russell, Bird & Magic tied.
    Kidd should never even be in this conversation, he can’t shoot.
    Personally I like him, but he’s definitely behind Stockton who also won’t be top 3 in most lists

  143. Feekin says:

    Let’s be real. Top 5. In order

    Wilt Chamberlain
    Oscar Robertson
    Wes Unseld
    Bernard King
    Michael Jordan

  144. EHSAN says:

    1) LeBron
    2) Russell
    3) Wilt

  145. Feekin says:

    Let’s be real. Top 5. In order.

    Wilt Chamberlain
    Oscar Robertson
    Wes Unseld
    Bernard King
    Michael Jordan

  146. 1. Center Shaq Russel was great but played against no one the dream was great but only won rings because Jordan out
    2.shooting guard Jordan
    3.point guard magic
    4. power forward Duncan
    5. small forward Lebron

  147. Nore says:

    I can’t believe only one mentioned Scottie.

    Anyways here is my top 3:

    1. MJ
    2. Magic Johnson
    3. Wilt Chamberlaine

    Runner Ups: Bill Russel, Scotti Pippen, Karreem, Dr. J, Larry Bird, Drazen Petrovic, Hakeem the Dream, Oscar Robertson, West, Karl Malone, Shaq, The Human Highlight Film, Isiha THomas, Clyde Drexler, Earl the Pearl, Dennis Rodman, The Admiral, Barkley, Ewing, Walt Frazier, George Gervin, Moses Malone and Worthy.

    YES Kobe, KD and Lebum aint even in the Runner Ups …

    In terms of a full team it goes like this:

    PG – Magic
    SG – MJ
    SF – Scottie Pippen (Yes over Bird and over Dr. J)
    PF – Bill Russel (Eleven RIngs and one of the most dominate at PF)
    C – Wilt

    It doesnt matter who you mention – this lineup is unbeatable.

    • m.w.a. bulls 1 says:

      Although I’d take Bird because of individual mvps and finals mvps (overall resume) you’re absolutely correct. This would be my all time TEAM. Pip was a better defender than Doc and Bird. I’d lose some outside shootingleaving off Bird, but Pip would fit better for chemistry as he would not demand the ball and would lock other team’s stars. Ask Magic.

    • astar23 says:

      How can you mention the Admiral, barkley and malone but not mention Duncan?LOL pathetic

  148. armando says:

    Hey you so called ballers. For anyone to list the Top 3 players ever.. this is how i think it sohuld be:
    Kobe Bryant (Could be the GOAT at the end of his Glorious career)
    Kevin Durant (I pick Kevin over Lebron, due to the fact that these 3 guys are all driven to win)..

    But reality,NBA have changed so much, that it’s becoming an episode, both yrs that heat won it all, was what most real fans saw clearly, its design for Lebron to be the face of the LEAGUE) GIVE ME NO DOUBTS, that lebron has been very good, but it’s the way he do his stuffs, make me not wanting to jion his side)

    RESPECT TO THE BLACK Mamba (Kobe Bean Bryant) he was never a number one draft pick and he was’nt even known highly like MJ, LEBRON, DERRICK ROSE, DURANT AND MELO) but that kid KOBE have proven to all haters that he belongs there!! at the end i see the stats like this, the Media way!!
    1. Mj
    2. Kobe
    3. Lebron
    4. Derrick Rose/ Kevin Durant
    5. Carmelo

    • kenny says:

      totally agree the NBA is rigged for James to be the best I’ve said that for the last 2 years Durant is better the NBA just make James better by the rules and reffs

  149. 1. Center Shaq Russel was great but played against no one the dream was great but only won rings because Jordan out for two years
    2.shooting guard Jordan
    3.point guard magic
    4. power forward Duncan
    5. small forward Lebron

  150. JOEL says:



  151. Rizzy says:

    Russel-Cant argue with 11 rings

  152. Kobes_crossover says:

    This is in a way a false debate. There is no win to it. The players of today, will crush any player back in the black/white television days.

    The only way to find a top or supreme #1 is if we go by skills. Stats dont matter because Jordan at 30ppg career average played against a bunch of unathletic white guys. 77% white when Jordan was averaging 37ppg in league. Wilt at 30ppg also played against 6’8 centers. What they impact the game has NOTHING to do with their skills. Maybe they caused more fans to watch basketball, but WHAT does that have to do with how good they are with the ball in their hands? Or how good of a leader has anything to do with their pivot footworks?

    If we go by skills, the player that can play in ANY era, prime vs prime..that is HANDS DOWN..Kobe Bryant.. the most skilled player in history.

    If we go by stats.. its wilt
    if we go by achievements… its russel
    if we go by dominance..its shaq

    Skills = Kobe

    LOL @ lbj/mj fans

    • kenny says:

      you are crazy

    • Jim Muncy says:

      So Jordan will be dog meat in the years to come when people then can do things our players today can’t even dream of doing. Did Roger Bannister mean nothing to running because there are people everywhere now who can break the four minute mile? Basketball players get better and better and will continue to do so. If we could time-transport MJ in his prime to the NBA of the year 2100, my guess is that he wouldn’t even make the D-League.

    • m.w.a. bulls 1 says:

      I can’t begin to tell you HOW WRONG YOU ARE. In fact, so wrong I’m gonna have to ask you to never post on a sports related site again. The league has been predominantly black since the mid 70’s, maybe longer. Certainly since Jordan played. You are also contrary to your point yo elevate Russell and Chamberlain who really played in the white era. Russell snd Chamberlain should be listed by how they dominated. Period.

    • Chocolatemilk says:

      You can always tell who just started watching basketball recently. Jordan went up against un athletic white guys? Really? Go back and watch film youngster! He went up against more top fifty players, hof players than Kobe has. That’s a fact.

    • joe says:


  153. Chris says:

    My number one, high above the others is Michael Jordan.
    Number 2, way in front of number 3 is Magic.
    Number 3 goes to Kareem Abdul Jabaar. He is ahead of Wilt because he has more titles and a longer career.

    Cheers from France.

  154. Dollar Man says:


  155. Gman says:

    MJ, Magic, Hakeem

  156. RickJ says:



  157. dennis iturria says:

    PG-Magic Johnson
    SG- Michael Jordan
    SF-LeBron James
    PF-Karl Malone
    C- Shaq (in his prime obviously)

  158. Newark Representer says:

    My top 3

    Michael Jordan
    Scottie Pippen
    Lebron James

  159. joris says:

    Dr J

  160. Francisco says:

    Claro que James será o próximo top 3

  161. Jeff says:

    1.Yao Ming 2.Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo 3. Kobe bryant
    What people do off the court for the world and the game are just as important as what they do in the game. From my perspective and I only put Kobe on here because after his career he has the ability to affect the world because he is loved by so many and he has potential to do great things I personally dont think he deserves to be up here yet he has not yet earned it but he could be a great person to change the world and grow the game I love Basketball.

    • Gman says:

      Being loved.. is not doing anything…LOL
      by your definition MJ should be there. He made the world love basketball. He inspired every kid to be an all around guard. He taught sports icons how to market themselves. He influenced fashion. He made bald sexy lol.

  162. Jay says:

    PG: Magic
    SG: Jordan
    SF: Lebron
    PF: Malone
    C: Shaq

  163. HoopDreams says:

    Who do you think are the top three players of this generation?

    Lebron James
    Kobe Bryant
    Kevin DURANT
    What’s your opinions?

  164. stan weier says:

    3 greatest players of all time? Magic. Magic and Magic Johnson.

  165. george says:

    1) mj
    2) kareem
    3) magic

  166. Jojo says:


  167. EliteList says:

    Best team ever i would choose for Defense and chemistry.
    1. Jason kidd Best PG on ball defender.
    2. MJ SG defense leads to offense.
    3. Lebron SF Beast run down blocks Lock down defense.
    4. Rodman Pf most rebounds lock down centers and even guards. Makes your team better. Overall would put Duncan here.
    5. Center Hakeem for defense, speed, blocks.

    Offense overall balance.
    1. Magic johnson PG. Can arguably play all five positions.
    2. MJ SG GOAT No one else is a better SG ever. If you don’t have him on your team then you will lose its as simple as that.
    3. Bird SF need someone to shoot the 3pt so teams don’t just pack the paint.
    4. Hakeem /Duncan PF Defense and Offense. Both complete players.
    5. Shaq/Wilt C Power centers also to cancel and guard Big type players.

  168. leonard15 says:

    i have to say;

    bill russel(he cant be missed,.coz he has 11 rings and some 5mvp trophy’s??)
    michael jordan
    magic johnson..

    lebron,.kobe when they retire…

  169. The top 3 today with outstanding basis:
    1. Jordan- 5 MVPs, 6 FMVPs, 6 TITLES
    2. Russell- 5 MVPs, 11 TITLES
    3. Abdul-Jabaar- 6 MVPs, 2 FMVPs, 6 TITLES

  170. Luis says:

    No disrespect to the great players from back in the day (1950 – 1975) but basketball wasn’t as internationalized as it was in the 80’s thanks to dr j jordan magic n larry as well as commissioner david stern. Yes wilt and russell established the plays of big men bu basketball itself was finding it hard to sell seats (even at a finals game!), if you don’t believe me watch Russell’s documentary, he says it himself. So with that being said, the top 3 of all time, imo, would have to be MJ, Magic and Bird. Lebron’s on his way though, no doubt about that

  171. andy says:

    MJ, Magic, Scalabrine

  172. Bradley says:

    1:MJ 2:Magic 3: Wilt

  173. D says:

    Larry Legend

  174. EliteList says:

    Best 3 ever
    1. M. Jordan nuff said GOAT.
    2. Hakeem Best center imo most blocks, can shoot Free throws, dream shake, most complete center ever offense and defense. Don’t have to take him out end game/gametime scenarios.
    3. Magic/Bird is a tie. Winners, Clutch, almost 90% FT shooting, If you need 3 pt shooting go with Bird. They are players that make your team better.


    All time three DR.J-JORDAN-YOUNG KING”L.J.”.

  176. Ira Newble says:

    Ira Newble
    Robert’ Traylor
    Eddy Curry

  177. Paul says:

    MJ, Magic and Bill Russell. I’m a Kobe fan and he has the motivation and skill set to be top 3, but he lacks the athleticism, he’s perhaps top 5-10. Lebron has a shot to be in the top 3, but for him to do that I believe that he must play very well at the early stage of his career when his athleticism is partly done, and the skill set is shown more. If he does that no doubt he’s top 3, or atleast 5-

  178. bokz says:


  179. and1probask says:

    LeBron is a good player not get a player to be compeer whit the greatest of all time like Magic Bird Kareem Wilt Bill Olajuwon MJ Malone west Thomas and of curse Kobe Bryant <————BTW who's still playing does name are just to big right now

  180. Kal says:

    Jordan, Kobe, Bird.

    those are objectively the three best.

    LeBron moving into their territory…

    i’m not sure Dr. J is in that league. or Olajuwon, for all his greatness…

    the others worth mentioning are Magic, Shaq, Barkley and Tim Duncan. and maybe Kareem. maybe Wilt.

    and i personally think, but this one is more arguable, Allen Iverson is in the top 10 and it’s just sad how used he was by the NBA and Philly management who never got him help in time…

  181. The Man says:

    Kobe is already greater than Larry Bird, and he is somewhere just behind Magic.
    The greatest of all time is and will always be Michael Jordan. Lebron is good but I’m sorry, Lebron isn’t ever going to catch the greatness Michael had on the game. I have just seen how good Lebron is at age 28, then I went and watched the games Michael Jordan had at age 28. Full games. It’s not even close. Jordan was a beast, too quick, too agile, too powerful, too everything. Lebron has power and some speed but Jordan was just so much quicker and far more deadly.
    I haven’t seen another player like Michael Jordan. Even Kobe isn’t close. Kobe is more like a copy of the old Jordan after he lost some of his athleticism in his 30s.
    Top 3 players? Kobe and Lebron have good chances to end up in that conversation. Everyone names Magic’s but fail to realise that he was never good at defense and could hardly shoot the ball on a jump shot properly. The big men play so close to the rim that I expect them to have better field goal percentage and get more rebounds and blocks.
    I predict in the next 10-15 years, it’ll be Michael Jordan, followed by Kobe, Lebron in any other to make up the Top 3.

  182. BBallfan says:

    Such a tough question!
    Michael Jordan is a clear number one pick. 6 rings, 5 MVPS, 6 NBA Finals MVPS and a DPoY
    I love LeBron, but Magic Johnson has to be on here. 5 Rings, 3 MVPs, 4 Finals MVPs
    And as much as Larry Bird deserves this spot, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 Rings, 6 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs.

  183. lol says:

    rofl people even dare to put kobe in top 3 when he is not even top 10…magic johnson is the best Laker player of all time and most talented PG ever, MJ best shooting guard best scorer ever by far, Bird was lacking athleticism even though he was a great all around playeri would use him as PF the guy was a great rebounder, i prefer uber athletic players at SF position, players like Dominique Wilkins, Lebron james, Dr.J or Pippen, the SF position has so many great players, PF Karl malone, TIm Dunkan, center position – most talented center ever Olajuwon then Kareem, most dominat Wilt Chmberlain but i would choose Shaq over him cause he has disappearing in playoff time dunno why the guy wasnt hungry for rings i guess, cant say whos top 3 thats impossible but at PG and SG psition Johnson and Jordan are the best, Lebron has potential to calim best SF ever.

  184. Bored says:

    I can hardly wait for the season to begin, so that we can have basketball related articles again on Hangtime.

  185. ImJusSayin says:

    1. Wilt
    2. Bill
    3. Dr. J

    None of of the above were made by the league promoting a STAR. They actually earned their stripes.

  186. Michael McBride says:


  187. Best players ever by far and no one is close:#1 Kobe Bryant, #2 Wilt Chamberlain, #3 Michael Jordan, #4 Magic Johnson, #5 Kareen Abdul Jaabar, #6 Isaiah Thomas. Lebron James has no place in this group, Lebron James a media favorite and is grossly over rated. Kobe is dislike by the media so his talent is over looked by so many haters.

  188. Urkenzzi says:

    Mj is number one, that’s an obvious choise… The problem is picking the next two. There are many greate players to play the game of basketball, it’s a hard choice. My opinion is that you cant put Lebron on this list simply because he is stil to play 4-5 yers in his prime… After that we will see where he ranks.

    1. Michael Jordan (best overall)
    2. Magic Johnson (most entertaining)
    3. Bill Russell (most rings)

  189. ice-h says:

    Michael jordan, Lebron james & shaquile o’neil

  190. Luisao says:

    Too much heat bandwagoners over here.

  191. Brandon says:

    1. MJ
    2. Wilt Chamberlain
    3. Hakeem Olajuwon

  192. LBJ spoke his mind says:

    it’s his opinion everyone has their own. get over it
    On the other hand my to 5 by position would be

  193. David says:

    Kareem should be a lock in anyone’s top 3…top scorer, most MVPs, 6 championships, unstoppable offensive move (sky hook), long effective career.

    Jordan, Kareem, Magic/Bird

  194. newyorksteelo says:

    Just give me Michael Jordan and any 2 of the above mentioned here. The other 2 dont really matter so long as you have the greatest of all time “MJ”.

  195. matthew mathis says:

    kobe,iverson,mcgrady,duncan,nash, and dirk players of the previos decade.

  196. tom says:

    in my opinion its mj, magic and kareem. however at the end of their careers lbj and kobe will jump to 2nd and 3rd behind mj. magic was a trendsetter because he was a 6’9” point guard, but if lebron wanted to he could have said he was a 6’7”/6’8” point guard as well. he has all the skills of magic but no current player could make this list in my opinion

  197. Kales says:

    PG: Gary Payton (best defensive pg in history)
    SG: MJ (too many to name)
    SF: LeBron (will be on of the greats when he retires)
    PF: Mailman (double-double every night and #2 scorer in NBA history)
    C: Hakeem The-Dream (only guy to make shaq look like a novice “1995 nba finals”)

  198. Nathan says:

    There has never been a greater power forward than Tim Duncan. And I believe there will never be anyone greater than him at his position. Therefore:

    PG – Magic Johnson
    SG – Michael Jordan
    SF – Julius Erving
    PF – Tim Duncan
    C – Bill Russell

  199. xuhuizhong says:

    my top three:
    MJ, Wilt, Dr.J

  200. Bosh #1 Fan says:

    This is very hard. Two people definitely on my list are Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. As for the final spot, I can’t decide between the likes of Hakeem, Dr J, Larry Bird, Shaq, Kareem, Bill Russell, and don’t forget Mr, Triple double himself, the Big O Oscar Robinson. But since I have to pick my 3rd choice…. I’m going to go with CHRIS BOSH!!

  201. Nico says:

    1. Bill Russell
    2. Magic/Bird (can’t possibly seperate them)
    3. Michael Jordan

  202. jcd says:

    First of all, no disrespect to any other all time great but my top 5 of all time for each position will be :

    1. PG Jason Kidd – Many will question why I put him instead of Magic but I got my reasons. Kidd in his prime has got to be the best all around PG in my opinion, with above average skills on both offense and defense. He has the size to guard any PG and some undersize SG and also has enough quickness to guard quick PG. I think Magic size also has a downside if he will guard smaller and quicker guards which would also tire him out chasing them around on defense. Plus you get the best rebounding PG in Kidd IMO.

    2. SG Michael Jordan – Arguably the greatest player of all time. Need I say more?

    3. SF Lebron James – I know I could have chosen Larry as my 3 but for me LBJ skills and superb athleticism puts him at the top of any versatile 3 and thus gets the nod over Bird.

    4. Tim Duncan – Arguably the best PF of all time. Can dominate on both ends of the floor just with his presence. No other PF comes close, although to be fair he is my favorite player so there is some bias here but I can easily justify why my idol is my pick as the best PF.

    5. Shaquille O’neal – The most dominant center to ever play the game. The combination of his size, strength and agility as a center is unmatched. The 2001 Shaq will eat any big man you throw at him, well actually you can throw any player you want and there ain’t no way they can stop or handle him 1 on 1.

    These are my top 5 for each position, and so if you have a different one then that is fine because that is your own opinion. Let us respect each other’s opinion. I am not saying that my top 5 is the best and will beat out any other top 5 of anyone because this is only my opinion. My reason for choosing these top 5 is because for me they are the best at both offense and defense in their respective position and I can’t think of any other player that is better than them with regards to that.

    • rhea says:

      I beg to differ Hakeem schooled shaq many a night and both in there prime I take Hakeem all day and twice on Sunday Hakeem was the best big man to ever play the game and the proof is in the pudding as they say and Hakeem usually got the best of shaq when they met

    • R-Dawg says:

      Jason Kidd???? Are you for real? Do you ever watch basketball? Clueless.

    • bballjunkie1 says:

      I love Shaq but he could not have lasted in Kareem’s era they ran. Stayed conditioned thats why Cap is all time scorer of NBA points. You saw what Akeem did to SHaq him, and Akeem came in as Cap was Leaving after 20 something seasons. The game became slower and has beecome slower.

      • The Beard says:

        Wilt and Hakeem were way more dominant than Shaq. You want truly daunting combination of speed, size, athletic ability and skill?? WIlt had a 45″ vert at 7 feet tall, was known to lead the fast break (as in handling the ball) and averaged 50 ppg in a season. Based on pure skill, Hakeem is unmatched, he has more patented moves then Thomas Eddison has inventions!!

    • Jep says:

      With a team like that I guess you would be lucky to even hit one trey over an 82-game season. No denying that they are great players though.

  203. HHH says:

    MJ, Magic, Wilt

  204. sirdanglesiii says:

    This is a silly debate to begin with. The game was played differently, across different eras, under different circumstances, and with different degrees of knowledge.

    I like to list great players as a category rather than a list, because ranking basketballers across 50 years is just downright ignorant and uninformed.

    • Bobby Klein says:

      Guards : Magic and MJ
      Forwards : Pippen and Bird
      Center : Russell

      Bench : Isiah, Duncan, Kareem, Wilt, Olajuwon, Oscar, West

  205. ad says:

    My top 3 = impossible to pick 3, end of story.

    • tom says:

      very, very true. all comes down to your personal preference and opinion. its a question that cannot be answered

  206. Skyfall says:

    Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell

  207. arvin says:

    PG – Magic
    SG – Jordan
    SF – Lebron
    PF – Duncan
    Center – Shaq

  208. Pedro says:

    top 3 all time? no sweat:
    1) Karren (yes, he’s over MJ)
    2) MJ
    3) Magic/Bird

    top 5 by position (reserves in brackets)
    PG Magic (Oscar Robertson/Kobe)
    SG MJ (Jerry West)
    SF Bird (LeBron)
    PF Duncan (Malone)
    C Kareen (Wilt/Russell)

  209. Dr Payne says:

    im saying u just cant leave out MJ .,. wat he has done 4 the game of basketball .,. no other could do or will do.,. it is done!

  210. and1probask says:

    there’s no way you guys wont include kobe as one of the all time best he has prove him self season after season

    • Kei says:

      There’s a reason people didn’t pick him. Simply put not among elites. I rank a prime mitch richmond higher than a prime Kobe. A young Rock would destroy KB. Just ask MJ.

  211. KMalone says:

    Michael Jordan. Bill Russel. Tim Duncan.

    Before you react coz I included Tim, consider that he was in the playoffs every year, and at 37 he’s still a force. Many people says he’s boring, but let his success speak for itself. it’s not noticeable now, but it will when he retires, coz every one will tell then to have a work ethic like Tim.

    Work ethic = Tim
    Greatest will = MJ
    Most rings = Bill

  212. Laurence says:

    Based on stats alone:

    – Wilt
    – Kareem
    – MJ

  213. Zach says:

    Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan,, Wilt.

  214. James says:

    I haven’t seen much play out of any of these guys but over all by stats, notable feat and reputation at alone:
    Michael Jordan (only of these I have seen play extensively)
    Wilt Chamberlain
    Oscar Robertson

    Since we seem to be doing all time starting 5s I guess mine would be:

    Point Guard: Oscar Robertson (honorable mentions, Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, John Stockton)
    Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan (honorable mentions. Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Jerry West)
    Small Forward: LeBron James (honorable mentions, Dr. J, Larry Bird, Elgin Baylor)
    Power Forward: Tim Duncan (honorable mentions, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley Dirk Nowitzki)
    Center: Wilt Chamberlain (honorable mentions, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neil, Bill Russell)

  215. Gunnar says:

    It’s sooo hard to measure objectively who deserves to be in that group. No one will argue against MJ but after that it’s tough. Isn’t Bill Russell a sure pick with 11 rings, or Wilt for the surreal stats he put up, or Kobe, Magic, Bird, Shaq, LeBron, Oscar Robinson, Hakeem, Duncan… I’d go with:


  216. mrcpg says:

    This is a hard thing to do. Best not to quantify the “best” using stats and championships. Best to choose the most inspiring. My list:
    1. MJ
    2. Magic
    3. Wilt

    Bonus Round. Best 3 dunkers!
    1. Vince Carter
    2. Human Highlight
    3. Clyde the Glyde

    • allen iverson says:

      your kinda ryt dude ,
      here’s my list if you dont mind

      my alltime greatest
      (magic and bird i think were inseperable

      Greatest will to win
      1. MJ
      2. Kobe
      3. Magic/bird

      sorry for the 3rd spot .

      Most entertaining
      1. MJ
      2. AI
      3. VC

      Most dominant
      1. kareem
      2. russell
      3 wilt

      (i dont know if this is ryt)

      and lastly

      players who dominate the game without scoring(okay so maybe some scoring)
      1. stockton
      2. kidd
      3. nash

  217. Jereac54 says:

    I am going to go one better than the current conversation and pick the NBA all-time great: Ervin Magic Johnson. What player can think of that had the the skills to play any position on the and do it with a high level of efficiency? Only the Agic Man!

  218. asda says:

    Kobe Bryant
    Michael Jordan

  219. Jantsen says:

    Wow! I’d have to say Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, and MJ. I base on the premise that they were trendsetters, before-and-after players that transcended their eras and became the model for what was gonna happen afterwards. But I agree with Sekou. This is very subjective.

  220. jeremiah says:

    mi top 3 best player of all time in still playing today

    1.micheal jordan
    2.kobe bryant
    3.lebron james

    these 3 people will be da top 3 of all time greaterst eva

  221. Doni says:


  222. Hmm says:

    Why no one mentioned Stockton ??? Or few other players who deserve mention ? Well anybody has theier’s top 3 but really …

  223. Tom says:

    1. Jordan 2. Magic 3. Chamberlain 4. O. Robertson 5. Lebron 6. Bird 7. Olajuwon 8. Kareem 9. Russell 10. Kobe 11. Duncan 12. Tie J. West & Dr. J While both these guys were great players they rarely lead teams to rings (Dr. J has never been NBA Finals MVP) and they got upset in the playoffs a bit too much and without enough stats to be in my top 10. No I take that back I’d make West my 12th man. I just realize he is the only player ever to win the MVP award and be on the losing team. Got to give it to the logo. Dr. J is my replacement in case anybody gets hurt, high honorable mention.

    • Tom says:

      Until I see somebody else average a triple double for an entire season O. Robertson will always be in my top 5. He didn’t win the most rings but to average a triple double for an entire season is the dictionary definition of greatness. Not even Jordan did it.

    • ben says:

      you put lbj above russell who has more chanpionships on one hand than what lbj will get in his career. shame shame

  224. Bigwes95 says:

    Gary Payton just left MJ off his top 3 list. Anyways mine would be Kareem, Russell, and Magic. It’s a very hard question to answer! Hahaha

  225. Matthias Meyer says:

    Kobe, MJ and Magic. And it’s been like that for a long time now!

  226. underdog says:

    MJ, Bill Russel, Bird.

    LeBron’s appreciations of Erving I think stems out from the fact that Dr J is veeery very good but came up short to the NBA championship most of the time just like him who have failed in the finals twice… and needed to change teams (Just LeBron not Dr J, it wasn’t Dr J’s decision) and needed a looooooooooot of help just to win a ring,

  227. rhea says:

    Top 3 though is mj bird and magic I think wilt might be most overrated all time great there is yes he is and all time great but he was in most part a man playing with boys mostly lol like Adrian Peterson playing in the Canadian football league how long before he holds every record there is?

  228. realize this says:

    Manute Bol (best center)
    Brad Sellers (best layup off the backboard – no one banked it harder to miss the shot)
    Robert Sacre (best cheerleader)

  229. rhea says:

    Just go top 5 for an all century team lol magic at the 1, Jordan at the 2, bird at the 3, not sure about power forward any suggestions? And Hakeem at the 5 in my all time team

    • rhea says:

      I was leaning towards Barkley as my 4 spot fyi

    • elderaland says:

      Power Forward? I go Karl, the Mailman, Malone. Duncan is great, but Mailman had the intense inside game that literally scared a lot of players. Ask Isiah, Admiral, etc.

    • elderaland says:

      Power Forward? I’d take the Mailman. Duncan is great, but Karl had the intense inside game that scared a lot of players. Ask Isiah and Robinson. When He saw the rim, watch out!

      • busa-boss says:

        i’ll pick the Big Fundamental…he can play either 4 or 5…mailman is a better scorer but duncan can play both offense and defense…duncan is a better defender…shot blocking and help defense will definitely the big difference

  230. ko0kiE says:

    MJ, Dr. J, Wilt

    • Jose says:

      I swear the write an article comparing MJ and KB yet his not In the mentions here when clearly KB is and has been a better shooter and better than MJ I think it should be my top three KB Larry bird and magic Johnson

      • Gman says:

        Better long range maybe… but not better shooter. Take away his Wiz comeback and go check MJ fg%…. comeback and report.

  231. asdf says:

    There’s no right answer…so many great players that could have had more/less success if in a different situation.

    MJ – Greatest will to win
    LBJ – Dominant, and just entering his prime
    Magic – One of the most entertaining ever

    • The Beard says:

      If this is Lebrons prime then it’s safe to say he barely makes top 20. Wilt Chamberlain-most dominant player ever Magic and Bird- literally saved the NBA.

      • YYY says:

        JUST ENTERING his prime. Did you even read it? You can’t judge a player by their first “prime” year. That would mean Kobe and MJ barely make the top 50. Come on, man.

  232. spicytysie says:

    Bill Russel, Kareem and LeBron.

  233. UFO says:

    MJ,Magic,Russel, my fav 5 in terms of position, PG: magic, SG: MJ, SF: Bird, PF: Duncan, C: Russel

    • rhea says:

      Russel over the dream? This makes me sad lol

      • Jon in Iowa says:

        Two NCAA championships, an Olympic gold medal, and eleven NBA rings (two as player-coach).

        Olajuwon is one of the greats, but he arguably wasn’t even the best center in Texas for much of his career.

  234. bballjunkie1 says:

    You are right, its hard but my 5, Kareem(center), MJ (shooting guard), Magic (point), Bird (forward), Erving (forward). Its still hard cause Mailman, Worthy, Barkley easily be the other forward along with Bird.

    • David says:

      kareem center LeBron and Dr. j forwards m j and magic gaurds

      • ben says:

        you cant put lbj in there yet he is still playing and there are too many things that could happen that could change his status. he may end up being one of the greats but for now you cant put him in with guys like bird, magic, kareem, hakeem, russell, wilt, mj, west, havlichek.

  235. gabedarger says:

    1. Michael Jordan

    2. Bill Russel (how was one of the most winningest players in all of sports not mentioned? he dominated the game and was a trail blazer in the league)

    3. Hakeem Olajuwon (there is a reason every player who wants to be anyone seeks him out)

    • bballjunkie1 says:

      Russell most decorated of his era (all time rings leader), Will had his era (men against boys) 100 pts in a game, Hakeem pound 4 pound the best center inside, outside, up and under total game. But then there was this “sky hook” that you knew was coming, double triple team it and you couldn’t stop it. The thing with Cap (Kareem) the more he felt it the greater the distance. We won’t talk about game winners with it or his ability as center to clinch games with FREE THROWS. He is the all time scorer 4 a reason, a center, not a ball hogging guard but a center with 6 rings with that.

    • me says:

      Russell was a Celtic, not a Trail Blazer.

      • Bigmatta23 says:

        the literal meaning of the term trailblazer… as in trendsetter, the first one…etc etc

      • Tyrone says:

        Hahahahahaha “Russel was a Celtic, not a Trail Blazer” made my day… I made a screenshot and sent it to my fam too, we might make a christmas card out of it. seriously though.. thank you for that

    • coolitdude says:

      i like this list…

  236. sports fan says:

    MJ, Magic, Bird

  237. bballjunkie1 says:

    You are right, its hard but my 5, Kareem(center), MJ (shooting guard), Magic (point), Bird (forward), Erving (forward). Its still hard cause Mailman, Worthy, Barkely could easily be the other forward along with Bird.

  238. NBA fan says:

    Magic, MJ, LeBron

    • jsb_1 says:

      I’m a Lebron Fan. but come he his resume is wayyyyy to incomplete to be any ones top 3. #ijs

    • BULLSFAN says:

      First off I just looked through all these comments. You can really tell who the true basketball fans are and those who pretend. Guys naming O. Robinson or Pistol Pete are true fans. They have watched the game for a long time, they know players who maybe weren’t the biggest name out there and they know what it means too be an all time great. Any one who named LBJ is simply a pretender. I agree he is the best player right now and one day he will be one of the all time greats and probably will be among conversations like this in the next 10-15 years. But when a guy is just getting too what some would call his prime and has 8+ years left on his carrer he can’t even be in the discussion. Too many variables and thing that could happen before his career ends. End of story.

      • Emmanuel Stalling says:

        Nonsense. Pistol pete was a great player, but he isn’t even in the top 20. Off the top of my head I can name 10 players better than him: Jordan, Magic, Bird, Wilt, Dr. J, Olajuwan, Kobe, LeBron, Karl Malone, Stockton….and you could argue that Drexler, Barkley, David Robinson, and Shaq were all more dominant. Picking Big O does not make you a true fan, especially since there is little footage of him playing, just huge numbers against much lesser competition. Picking Big O and Pistol Pete just means you’re old.

      • sick says:

        BULLSFAN it just mean you’re OLD not a true basketball fan.. Lol

  239. mark says:

    A better question is: Who is your top (5) player of all time for each position?

    • HOBO says:


      three guys who (on their own) made the game what it is today. In Russell’s day he was the cheese no one was as dominant as he was and he basically made the Celtics franchise what it is today (rings for all fingers and a big toe is pretty impressive no matter how small the league was back then and no one has or will ever do the same Russell did for a franchise in any sport). In Wilt’s day he defined the centre position and frigeen scored 100 points in a game (how he did it may have been skewed with all the foul shots but that will never happen again in pro sports history). MJ is iconic, when you think of MJ you htink of basketball adn vice versa (i dont think you can say that about many bball players (both past and present) and the only way you exlude MJ is if you were 50 years old when watching Bill Russell’s Celtics sweep year after year.

      Having said all of that, West, Magic, Bird, Kareem, Erving, Mailman, Hakeem, Shaq, Kobe, Lebron, all of these guys are great players no doubt but i cant say that they made the same impact that MJ Russell and Wilt did for bball

      • HOBO says:

        at this point, to compare stats and accomplishments is useless because too many of htem get cancelled out with each other. In order to really make a top three list for bball, you have to see how they impacted the game in order to become bigger than the game itself. These three guys did exactly that.

      • asdf says:

        I would say that Olajuwon defined the center as much as Wilt did and the same goes for Russell and Kareem, each of them added something you would expect from a great center and the same goes for Mailman at PF. Kareem is also the best model of consistency there is, making great impact even in the final years of his long career.

      • Bill Russell says:

        Your number of rings suppose to back you up and prove that you’re the best! Lebron can’t decide because he’s trying to say that even though he only has one twin rings he’s still the best.

      • alp says:

        lol this clown has arvydas sabonis in his top 3. thats laughable.

      • coolitdude says:

        Arvydas Sabonis is a clown, y not include Luke Walton? well the top 2 clowns are already in this sentence.. not forgetting Javale McGee!

    • kenny says:

      if you want to go by that thin pg magic oskar stocktin kidd and nash sg Jordan kobe reggie havilcheck,west sf bird james pippen and cousy pf karl Malone Garnett Duncan and moses Malone C wilt Russel O’neal and the dream Ologiwan