• 03/23/2012, 08:37PM ET

10 Greatest NBA Players of All Time

YanksJets (6-23-4) vs DonCorleone (34-10-4)

Basic format: just pick who you think are the greatest basketball players ever. A little generic, but still fun.

and the toughest of all, Shaq.

10. Oscar Robertson

9. Jerry West

8. Tim Duncan

7. Kobe Bryant

6. Wilt Chamberlain

5. Larry Bird

4. Magic Johnson

3. Bill Russell

2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1. Michael Jordan

Now for the arguement...

1. If you don't think MJ is the greatest to ever play the game, than you're lying to yourself or Tommy Heinsohn talking about Bill Russell.

2. He wasn't a great low post defender or rebounder at the end. He was surly and didn't make his teammates better. But Kareem scored more than anyone else, and has the single greatest shot in basketball history.

3. Russell was the greatest winner in basketball history. He was also the greatest defensive player in basketball history.

4. Magic and Bird revived, not saved, the NBA. Magic ranks above Bird because he was better over a longer period of time, and won more.

5. Bird, however, was the greatest forward ever and a great shooter and passer.

6. Wilt was the most dominant player in basketball history.


1. Michael Jordan

2. Magic Johnson

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

4. Bill Russell

5. Wilt Chamberlain

6. Kobe Bryant

7. Larry Bird

8. Jerry West

9. Tim Duncan

10. Oscar Robertson

HM: Elgin Baylor, Shaq, and Hakeem.

1. I agree.

2. Magic might be more controversial at #2, but there is no player like him in the history of the NBA. From leading the Lakers to the title in his rookie year after KAJ went down, and playing as a center in Game 6, to his electrifying style of play that gave the Lakers the name "Showtime," Magic possessed more skills and tools then just about anyone.

3. KAJ! All-time scoring leader, etc.

4. Russell was one of the best defenders, albeit in an era that didn't have many big men. Magic gets the nod because he was a a better all-around player, who dominated in one of the greatest eras of the NBA.

5. I tend to change my mind a lot between Russell & Wilt. Probably the most dominating player of all time.

6. I believe Kobe has surpassed Bird. His stats, hardware, longevity, and playing through injuries will only raise him higher on Top 10 lists.

7. Larry is a legend, but Kobe's all-around game tops Bird.

Your arguments are valid, but I suppose I gotta argue it.

2. You are right in saying there will never be another Magic. But he doesn't pass Kareem. Yes, Magic orchestrated Showtime, but HIV shortened his career significantly and he was a poor defender at the end.

3. Russell was the best winner ever, the best defensive player ever, and a truly important player, as was Magic. But Russell's winning is just overwhelming.

Kobe over Bird

Yes, Kobe was a better all-around player, has more titles, and stats. But Kobe's a prick. Bird's the best passing forward ever, one of the best shooters ever, and the best player on one of the three best teams ever (86 Celtics). He was better than Kobe.

Now the continued arguments for my list...

7. Just took Kobe down. However, he has to be the toughest superstar ever.

8. Duncan is the most underrated superstar of all time. Here's someone who won four titles, with a worse supporting cast than you'd think, in different eras (98-04, 05-06, 07-.) He was also freakishly consistent.

9. West beats Oscar because he was a better teammate, and the best player on a champ.

10. Before Magic, Oscar was the best all-around player ever.

Revising my list, since I haven't made an argument for #8-#10, yet.

8. Oscar Robertson
9. Jerry West
10. Tim Duncan

You can argue this in your last argument, Yanks.

Magic was the heart and soul of the dominating Laker teams that went to the Finals 8 out of 10 years in the 80's, winning five titles. Kareem is the greatest scorer in history, but Magic was simply "Magic." The 6'9" point guard flowed through fastbreaks relentlessly, and was unstoppable in an entire decade. It's a testament to his accomplishments even with contracting HIV.

Love Russell, great winner, but he was on great Celtic teams that dominated the 60's. I still give Magic the edge.

So, you say the Kobe is a better all-around player then Bird, then say that Bird is better then Kobe becauses hot was a better shooter and passer? Your frist statement was correct. Even the GOAT of basketball himself, Jordan, said that ONLY Kobe can be compared to him. Kobe has all the credentials, clutch plays, accolades, awards, etc. etc.

Have to give the Big O some love. He didn't play on any good teams until his final four seasons. Nonetheless, his triple-double averages can't be compared to anyone.

Now, for the final argument for my guy against your guy.

Player 1: 24.3 PPG, 10 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG, .498 FG%, .376 3P%, .886 FT%, 25.3 PER, screwed by his era, injuries, etc. best player on three champs, and two runner-ups, great teammate

Player 2: 25.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG, .453 FG%, .336 3P%. .838 FT%, 23.5 PER, helped by his era, 2nd best player on three champs and one runner-up, best player on two champs and one runner-up, notorious ball hog

You'd pick Player 1, right? You just affirmed my point, that Bird was better than Kobe. Thanks.

For Magic, he wasn't the best player on those teams he was the "heart and soul" of until '86. Kareem was the best player on four champs, and a close second on two others. Kareem was the surest two pints in NBA history, someone you could always count on in the clutch (Magic can't say that).

And the "Russell had eight HoFs on his team every year" theory was a load of crap. He had four great players: Cousy, Sharman, Sam Jones, and Hondo. And he didn't have any of them at their peak besides Sam Jones. He wasn't better off than Magic.

West was a better teammate than Oscar. That's why.

Spaced out.

Well, you did admit Kobe is a better all around player. It seems to me like you have an issue with Kobe more personally then anything else by calling him "a prick" and "a notorious ball hog."

His skill set and basketball tangibles, next to Jordan, probably the best we've ever seen in the NBA. Kobe Bryant is unguardable, and that's saying a lot considering he's a shooting guard.

In an era that has had so many stars, to be on 10 All-NBA first teams (after this season), and 14 All-Star teams exemplifies his greatness in the league. Without him, the Lakers don't go to 7 Finals the past 12 seasons.

Magic was simply amazing. I put him at #2 because he was the best at his position for an entire decade, was a winner since his rookie year, and became the real leader of the Lakers after Game 6 in the 1980 NBA Finals.

I have to keep O ahead of West and Tim, because Oscar is arguabley up there with Jordan and Magic as the greatest all around players of all time. O didn't get to play with anyone good until the end of his career. Switch teams with Oscar and Russell. Would you still have Bill at #3? No.

March 24, 2012  09:45 AM ET

Nice new profile name.

March 24, 2012  09:48 AM ET

No love for George Mikan?

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March 24, 2012  01:24 PM ET


March 24, 2012  04:27 PM ET

Wilt was the best ever. And Pete Maravich could've taken Kobe Bryant to school.

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March 24, 2012  07:30 PM ET

Wilt was the best ever. And Pete Maravich could've taken Kobe Bryant to school.

only at college

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March 25, 2012  12:52 AM ET

HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!T he fella on the right is way off about Bird. Although I expect that from a Lakers fan. Again HA-HA-HA!!!!!!! DC probably thinks Worthy was also a better all around player than Bird!!!!!!!!!!!

Ha. Well, I had Larry over Kobe in a TD similar to this with Rude two years ago if you want to check that out. Not denying Bird's greatness, but Kobe has surrpassed him, in my opinion.

Comment #19 has been removed
March 25, 2012  12:54 AM ET

Is there any way I can vote against both of these TDers here for the insult of Oscar at # 10?

What can I say? Kobe and Duncan caught up to the Big-O from the last time I tried to sort a top 10 list. By the way, congrats with Ohio St. I thought they were better then Michigan St. anyway.


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