James, Jordan, Curry… Top 20 Best NBA Players of all time

Best NBA Players of all time: The NBA is a popular sports league worldwide. Every season, we get to see a lot of amazing players doing great things on the basketball court.

People often argue about who the best players in NBA history are. The NBA itself has made lists of the top 50 or 75 players during special anniversaries. Many people don’t like talking about this debate much, but urdusport.com has its own list of the top 20 players of all time.

Many players have left a lasting impact on the NBA, whether it’s because of their records, playing style, or dominance. Some of them, like Stephen Curry, are considered symbols of the league today.

Basketball fans are always eager to find out who the best players are—those who can make a big difference in a game and lead their team to victory. The NBA is home to some of the most talented and skilled players globally, capable of making incredible plays and taking control of the game.

The list of the 20 best NBA players includes both experienced players who have proven themselves over the years and young talents who are just starting their NBA journey. This list reflects the diversity and talent that defines the league. Fans can learn more about these players, their skills, achievements, and how they contribute to their teams.

Best NBA Players of all time

This article helps readers discover the 20 players who are currently excelling in their NBA careers and also talks about some of the greatest players from the past.

1. LeBron James

  • Points: 39201
  • Rebounds: 10832
  • Assists: 10566

Many people consider LeBron James to be the best player in the NBA right now. He was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1984, and he’s been playing in the league since 2003. The Cleveland Cavaliers chose him as the first overall pick in the NBA Draft that year. He is also the NBA All-time Point Scorer.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

LeBron has an impressive career, winning four NBA championships and receiving the NBA Most Valuable Player award four times. He’s also been selected to the NBA All-Star Game a remarkable 17 times and has earned two Olympic gold medals playing for the United States men’s basketball team. What makes LeBron stand out is his versatile playing style. He’s great at everything on the court—scoring, passing, rebounding—and is known for his athleticism. Defensively, he’s no slouch either, making it to the NBA All-Defensive Team five times.

Beyond basketball, LeBron is recognized for his dedication to community and charity work. He established the LeBron James Foundation, focusing on supporting children and youth in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Additionally, he actively speaks out for social justice and equality.

Throughout his career, LeBron has played for various teams, including the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers, consistently showcasing excellence in the NBA.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion4x (2012, 2013, 2016, 2020)
NBA Finals MVP4x (2012, 2013, 2016, 2020)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)4x (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
NBA In-Season Tournament Champion1x (2023)
NBA In-Season Tournament MVP1x (2023)
NBA All-Star19x (2005–2023)
NBA All-Star Game MVP3x (2006, 2008, 2018)
All-NBA First Team13x (2006, 2008–2018, 2020)
All-NBA Second Team3x (2005, 2007, 2021)
All-NBA Third Team3x (2019, 2022, 2023)
NBA All-Defensive First Team5x (2009–2013)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team1x (2014)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (2004)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2004)
NBA Scoring Champion1x (2008)
NBA Assists Leader1x (2020)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
AP Athlete of the Decade (2010s)
AP Athlete of the Year4x (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020)
Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year3x (2012, 2016, 2020)
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year1x (2012)
National High School Player of the Year2x (2002, 2003)
McDonald’s All-American Game MVP1x (2003)
First-team Parade All-American2x (2002, 2003)
Ohio Mr. Basketball3x (2001–2003)

2. Michael Jordan

  • Points: 32,292
  • Rebounds: 6,672
  • Assists: 5,633

The second-best NBA player of all time is often considered to be Michael Jordan. It’s quite challenging to capture the full extent of Michael Jordan’s achievements. He secured 6 NBA championship titles, being named the best player in the finals each time. He also won the regular season MVP award 5 times, earned a Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) title, and was the league’s top scorer in over 10 different seasons, including an impressive stretch of 7 consecutive seasons. He’s the 4th best scorer in NBA history.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

This summary only scratches the surface of what Michael Jordan, often referred to as “His Airness,” accomplished. His list of achievements could go on for a long time.

Currently holding the title of the second-best, it’s worth noting that he might eventually lose this position in the future, especially with Stephen Curry still actively playing and making his mark in the league.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion6x (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Finals MVP6x (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)5x (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998)
NBA All-Star14x (1985–1993, 1996–1998, 2002, 2003)
NBA All-Star Game MVP3x (1988, 1996, 1998)
All-NBA First Team10x (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
All-NBA Second Team1x (1985)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year1x (1988)
NBA All-Defensive First Team9x (1988–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1985)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (1985)
NBA Scoring Champion10x (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Steals Leader3x (1988, 1990, 1993)
NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion2x (1987, 1988)
AP Athlete of the Year3x (1991–1993)
Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year1x (1991)
IBM Award2x (1985, 1989)
NBA Anniversary Team2x (50th, 75th)
NCAA Champion1x (1982)
National College Player of the Year1x (1984)
Sporting News National Player of the Year2x (1983, 1984)
Consensus First-Team All-American2x (1983, 1984)
ACC Player of the Year1x (1984)
ACC Athlete of the Year1x (1984)
First-Team All-ACC2x (1983, 1984)
ACC Rookie of the Year1x (1982)
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year2x (1983, 1984)
McDonald’s All-American1x (1981)
First-Team Parade All-American1x (1981)

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  • Points: 38,387
  • Rebounds: 17,440
  • Assists: 5,660

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds an impressive third position in the ranking of the best NBA players of all time. Notably, he is now the second-leading scorer in NBA history with a remarkable 38,387 points. While LeBron James is closing in on this record, Kareem’s legacy is not solely built on his scoring prowess.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

Hailing from New York, Abdul-Jabbar is renowned for popularizing one of the most formidable shots in NBA history—the hook shot, also known as the arm roll. Beyond his scoring records, he boasts an impressive resume with 6 NBA championship titles and multiple regular-season MVP awards.

These accomplishments certainly stand tall alongside the achievements of the two legendary players mentioned earlier, solidifying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s place in the annals of basketball greatness.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion6x (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
NBA Finals MVP2x (1971, 1985)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)6x (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980)
NBA All-Star19x (1970–1977, 1979–1989)
All-NBA First Team10x (1971–1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986)
All-NBA Second Team5x (1970, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1985)
NBA All-Defensive First Team5x (1974, 1975, 1979–1981)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team6x (1970, 1971, 1976–1978, 1984)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1970)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (1970)
NBA Scoring Champion2x (1971, 1972)
NBA Rebounding Leader1x (1976)
NBA Blocks Leader4x (1975, 1976, 1979, 1980)
NBA Anniversary Teams3x (35th, 50th, 75th)
NCAA Champion3x (1967–1969)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player3x (1967–1969)
National College Player of the Year3x (1967–1969)
Consensus First-Team All-American3x (1967–1969)
Mr. Basketball USA2x (1964, 1965)
First-Team Parade All-American3x (1963–1965)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016)

4. Kevin Durant

  • Points: 27481
  • Rebounds: 7082
  • Assists: 4375

Kevin Durant is widely regarded as one of the best NBA players of all time. Standing at an impressive height of 6’10”, Durant is a versatile player who can handle multiple positions on the court. He has an impressive track record, being selected to the All-Star Game 11 times and earning the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award twice.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

Durant is particularly known for his exceptional scoring abilities, being a threat from anywhere on the court. His shooting skills are outstanding, and he also excels in penetrating defenses and scoring in the paint. Beyond scoring, Durant is a proficient passer, creating opportunities for his teammates. Having played for various NBA teams, including the Seattle SuperSonics, Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and currently the Brooklyn Nets, Durant has showcased his talent across different franchises. Currently wearing the number 7 jersey for the Brooklyn Nets, Durant continues to be a dominant force in the league.

Kevin Durant’s prowess as a scorer from any part of the court solidifies his status as one of the greatest NBA players of all time, making him a formidable opponent for any team.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion2x (2017, 2018)
NBA Finals MVP2x (2017, 2018)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)1x (2014)
NBA All-Star13x (2010–2019, 2021–2023)
NBA All-Star Game MVP2x (2012, 2019)
All-NBA First Team6x (2010–2014, 2018)
All-NBA Second Team4x (2016, 2017, 2019, 2022)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (2008)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2008)
NBA Scoring Champion4x (2010–2012, 2014)
50–40–90 Club2x (2013, 2023)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
Consensus National College Player of the Year1x (2007)
Consensus First-Team All-American1x (2007)
Big 12 Player of the Year1x (2007)
FIBA World Championship MVP1x (2010)
All-FIBA World Cup Team1x (2010)
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year3x (2010, 2016, 2021)
McDonald’s All-American Game MVP1x (2006)
First-Team Parade All-American1x (2006)
Second-Team Parade All-American1x (2005)

5. Wilt Chamberlain

  • Points: 31,419
  • Rebounds: 23,924
  • Assists: 4,643

Wilt Chamberlain is ranked as the 5th best NBA player of all time in our list. Often considered one of the NBA monsters, Chamberlain, despite winning “only” 2 championship rings, earned the regular season MVP title an impressive 4 times. However, what truly sets the old pivot apart is his incredible 1961-1962 season.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

During that remarkable campaign, Chamberlain put up astonishing numbers, averaging 50.4 points and 25.7 rebounds in 45.8 minutes per game (even though games only lasted 45 minutes, excluding overtime). These are truly mind-boggling statistics, especially considering he practically never left the court throughout the season. One of his most legendary feats occurred on March 2, 1962, when Chamberlain scored an unbelievable 100 points in a game against the New York Knicks.

If these incredible achievements are not enough to highlight his greatness, his intense rivalry with the legendary Bill Russell adds another layer to understanding the immense impact and legacy of Wilt Chamberlain.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion2x (1967, 1972)
NBA Finals MVP1x (1972)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)4x (1960, 1966–1968)
NBA All-Star13x (1960–1969, 1971–1973)
NBA All-Star Game MVP1x (1960)
All-NBA First Team7x (1960–1962, 1964, 1966–1968)
All-NBA Second Team3x (1963, 1965, 1972)
NBA All-Defensive First Team2x (1972, 1973)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1960)
NBA Scoring Champion7x (1960–1966)
NBA Rebounding Champion11x (1960–1963, 1966–1969, 1971–1973)
NBA Assist Leader1x (1968)
Most Points in One Game100
Most Rebounds in One Game55
NBA Anniversary Team35th, 50th, 75th
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player1x (1957)
Consensus First-Team All-American2x (1957, 1958)
First-Team All-Big 71x (1957)
Mr. Basketball USA1x (1955)

6. Shaquille O’Neal

  • Points: 28,596
  • Rebounds: 13,099
  • Blocks: 2,732

Shaquille O’Neal secures the 6th spot in our ranking of the best NBA players of all time. Known as a real monster on the NBA floor, Shaquille O’Neal’s physical dominance is remarkable, standing at a towering height of 2.16 meters and weighing over 140 kilograms.

Image Source: NBA.COM

Unstoppable on the court, Shaq formed one of the greatest duos with Kobe Bryant, and together they secured 4 championship titles. Shaq played a key role in three of these championships, earning the title of the best player in the finals.

Despite only winning the regular season MVP title once, Shaquille O’Neal left a lasting impression with his scoring prowess and rebounding abilities, showcasing his dominance in the league.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA champion4x (2000–2002, 2006)
NBA Finals MVP3x (2000–2002)
NBA Most Valuable Player1x (2000)
NBA All-Star15x (1993–1998, 2000–2007, 2009)
NBA All-Star Game MVP3x (2000, 2004, 2009)
All-NBA First Team8x (1998, 2000–2006)
All-NBA Second Team2x (1995, 1999)
All-NBA Third Team4x (1994, 1996, 1997, 2009)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team3x (2000, 2001, 2003)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1993)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (1993)
NBA scoring champion2x (1995, 2000)
IBM Award2x (2000, 2001)
NBA anniversary team2x (50th, 75th)
Associated Press Player of the Year1x (1991)
UPI Player of the Year1x (1991)
Adolph Rupp Trophy1x (1991)
Consensus first-team All-American2x (1991, 1992)
SEC Player of the Year2x (1991, 1992)
NCAA blocks leader1x (1992)
NCAA rebounding leader1x (1991)
FIBA World Championship MVP1x (1994)
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year1x (1994)
McDonald’s All-American Game Co-MVP1x (1989)
First-team Parade All-American1x (1989)
Texas Mr. Basketball1x (1989)

7. Larry Bird

  • Points: 21,791
  • Rebounds: 8,974
  • Assists: 5,695

Larry Bird claims the 7th spot in our ranking of the best NBA players of all time. In terms of achievements, Bird’s resume is quite impressive. He secured the NBA championship three times, earned the regular season MVP award thrice, and clinched two titles as the best player in the finals.

Image Source: NBA

Known for his consistency on the court, the legendary number 33 of the Boston Celtics rarely fell below a 20-point average in a season.

Despite not possessing exceptional physical attributes, Bird showcased excellent rebounding skills, proving himself to be a well-rounded player capable of scoring from anywhere on the court. His versatility and scoring ability contribute to his esteemed status in NBA history.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion3x (1981, 1984, 1986)
NBA Finals MVP2x (1984, 1986)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)3x (1984–1986)
NBA All-Star12x (1980–1988, 1990–1992)
NBA All-Star Game MVP1x (1982)
All-NBA First Team9x (1980–1988)
All-NBA Second Team1x (1990)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team3x (1982–1984)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1980)
NBA All-Rookie Team1x (1980)
NBA Three-Point Contest champion3x (1986–1988)
50–40–90 Club2x (1987, 1988)
AP Athlete of the Year1x (1986)
NBA Lifetime Achievement Award1x (2019)
NBA Anniversary Team50th, 75th
National College Player of the Year1x (1979)
Consensus First-Team All-American2x (1978, 1979)
Third-Team All-American (NABC, UPI)1x (1977)
MVC Player of the Year2x (1978, 1979)

8. Bill Russell

  • Points: 14,522
  • Rebounds: 21,620
  • Assists: 4,100

Bill Russell claims the 8th position in our ranking of the best NBA players of all time, and he is arguably the most successful player in NBA history. His incredible achievement includes winning 11 championship trophies in just 13 seasons, primarily with the Boston Celtics, which is a feat that truly sets him apart. While he may not be remembered as one of the greatest scorers, his defensive prowess is universally acknowledged.

Image Source: NBA

Russell’s impact goes beyond statistics. According to his former teammate John Havlicek, he “revolutionized the pivot position” with his exceptional defensive skills. Even opponents, like former Syracuse coach Paul Seymour, recognized Russell as unparalleled, describing him as “no bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, or more competitive” than anyone else.

Russell’s legacy extends to the naming of the Finals MVP award, which bears his name, highlighting his crucial role in shaping the history of the sport. His indelible mark on basketball history persists even after his passing on July 31.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion11x (1957, 1959–1966, 1968, 1969)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)5x (1958, 1961–1963, 1965)
NBA All-Star12x (1958–1969)
NBA All-Star Game MVP1x (1963)
All-NBA First Team3x (1959, 1963, 1965)
All-NBA Second Team8x (1958, 1960–1962, 1964, 1966–1968)
NBA All-Defensive First Team1x (1969)
NBA Rebounding Champion4x (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965)
NBA Lifetime Achievement Award1x (2017)
NBA Anniversary Team25th, 35th, 50th, 75th
NCAA Champion2x (1955, 1956)
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player1x (1955)
UPI College Player of the Year1x (1956)
Helms Player of the Year2x (1955, 1956)
Consensus First-Team All-American2x (1955, 1956)
WCC Player of the Year1x (1956)
First-Team All-WCC3x (1954–1956)
Presidential Medal of Freedom1 (2011)

9. Tim Duncan

  • Points: 26,496
  • Rebounds: 15,091
  • Blocks: 3,020

Tim Duncan secured the 9th position in our ranking of the best NBA players of all time. During his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs, Duncan transformed the team into a dynasty. Accompanied by his legendary coach Gregg Popovich, Duncan achieved remarkable consistency, never missing the Playoffs throughout his impressive 19-year career.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

Over this extensive period, Duncan amassed 5 NBA championship titles, earned 3 titles as the best player in the finals, and clinched 2 regular season MVPs. Known for his ultra-consistency and often referred to as “The Big Fundamental,” Duncan played a pivotal role in leading the Spurs to the pinnacle of success.

The team has faced considerable challenges since his retirement in 2016, underscoring Duncan’s significant impact on the franchise.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion5x (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)
NBA Finals MVP3x (1999, 2003, 2005)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)2x (2002, 2003)
NBA All-Star15x (1998, 2000–2011, 2013, 2015)
NBA All-Star Game co-MVP1x (2000)
All-NBA First Team10x (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
All-NBA Second Team3x (2006, 2008, 2009)
All-NBA Third Team2x (2010, 2015)
NBA All-Defensive First Team8x (1999–2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team7x (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1998)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (1998)
NBA Teammate of the Year1x (2015)
No. 21 Retired by San Antonio Spurs
USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year1x (2003)
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year1x (2003)
IBM Award1x (2002)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
Consensus National College Player of the Year1x (1997)
Consensus First-Team All-American2x (1996, 1997)
Chip Hilton Player of the Year1x (1997)
NCAA Rebounding Leader1x (1997)
NABC Defensive Player of the Year3x (1995–1997)
ACC Athlete of the Year1x (1997)
ACC Player of the Year2x (1996, 1997)
First-Team All-ACC3x (1995–1997)

10. Magic Johnson

  • Points: 17,707
  • Rebounds: 6,559
  • Assists: 10,141

Magic Johnson claims the 10th position in our ranking of the best NBA players of all time, and he brings something truly exceptional to the table. Being the only player to achieve a remarkable feat, Magic Johnson won the Finals MVP trophy during his rookie season, which stands as a remarkable accomplishment.

Best Point Guards of all time
Image Source: NBA

Teaming up with his teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic played a pivotal role in the NBA, securing 5 championship titles. With an impressive average of 11.19 assists per game, the Lansing native not only excelled individually but also played a crucial role in the success of his team.

Magic Johnson’s dominance, both individually and as a leader, solidifies his well-deserved place in this prestigious ranking.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion5x (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
NBA Finals MVP3x (1980, 1982, 1987)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)3x (1987, 1989, 1990)
NBA All-Star12x (1980, 1982–1992)
NBA All-Star Game MVP2x (1990, 1992)
All-NBA First Team9x (1983–1991)
All-NBA Second Team1x (1982)
NBA All-Rookie Team1x (1980)
NBA Assists Leader4x (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987)
NBA Steals Leader2x (1981, 1982)
IBM Award1x (1984)
NBA Lifetime Achievement Award1x (2019)
NBA Anniversary Team50th, 75th
NCAA Champion1x (1979)
NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player1x (1979)
Consensus First-Team All-American1x (1979)
Second-Team All-American – NABC1x (1978)
Third-Team All-American – AP, UPI1x (1978)
First-Team All-Big Ten2x (1978, 1979)
First-Team Parade All-American1x (1977)
McDonald’s All-American1x (1977)
Mr. Basketball of Michigan1x (1977)

11. Stephen Curry

  • Points: 22300
  • Rebounds: 4280
  • Assists: 5828

Stephen Curry is ranked as the 11th-best NBA player of all time in our ranking. With his distinctive Stephen Curry jersey, he has made a significant impact on the game and achieved numerous titles.

Best Point Guards of all time
Image Source: NBA.COM

Curry is widely recognized for his exceptional long-range shooting ability, consistently setting records for three-pointers in multiple seasons. He has earned the title of the NBA’s Best Player twice and played a key role in leading the Golden State Warriors to several NBA championships. Known for his versatility, Curry can play various positions on the court. His excellent passing skills and the ability to break down opposing defenses add to his overall prowess. Curry’s capacity to create his shot and score from virtually anywhere on the court makes him a challenging player for defenses to handle.

Stephen Curry is undoubtedly an outstanding player with a remarkable track record in the NBA. Wearing his Stephen Curry jersey, he stands out as one of the most popular and respected players in the league.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion4x (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022)
NBA Finals MVP1x (2022)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)2x (2015, 2016)
NBA All-Star9x (2014–2019, 2021–2023)
NBA All-Star Game MVP1x (2022)
NBA Western Conference Finals MVP1x (2022)
All-NBA First Team4x (2015, 2016, 2019, 2021)
All-NBA Second Team4x (2014, 2017, 2022, 2023)
All-NBA Third Team1x (2018)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2010)
NBA Scoring Champion2x (2016, 2021)
NBA Three-Point Contest Champion2x (2015, 2021)
NBA Steals Leader1x (2016)
50–40–90 Club1x (2016)
NBA Sportsmanship Award1x (2011)
NBA Social Justice Champion Award1x (2023)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
AP Athlete of the Year1x (2015)
Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year1x (2022)
Consensus First-Team All-American1x (2009)
Consensus Second-Team All-American1x (2008)
NCAA Season Scoring Leader1x (2009)
SoCon Player of the Year2x (2008, 2009)
First-Team All-SoCon3x (2007–2009)

12. Giannis Antetokounmpo

  • Points: 16921
  • Rebounds:
  • Assists: 3485

Giannis Antetokounmpo, also known as “The Greek Freak,” is ranked as the 12th best NBA player of all time in our ranking. Born in Greece in 1994, he was selected 15th overall in the 2013 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Greatest Power Forwards Ever
Image Source: NBA

Giannis has proven to be an exceptional player on both ends of the court, standing tall at 6’11” with a wingspan of 7’3″. His incredible athleticism allows him to play multiple positions, and his skills in passing, ball handling, and scoring make him a constant threat to opposing defenses. In the 2022-2023 season, Giannis led the Bucks to their second NBA championship in three years. During the playoffs, he showcased his brilliance by averaging 30.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game, earning him recognition as one of the standout players of the postseason.

Giannis has also been honored as the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice, in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons. His exceptional contributions have led to six selections to the NBA All-Star Game and four appearances on the All-NBA First Team. Undoubtedly, Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the best players in the NBA today, and his jersey is highly popular among fans. With his remarkable skills and tireless work ethic, Giannis is poised to remain a dominant force in the NBA for many years to come.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion1x (2021)
NBA Finals MVP1x (2021)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)2x (2019, 2020)
NBA All-Star7x (2017–2023)
NBA All-Star Game MVP1x (2021)
All-NBA First Team5x (2019–2023)
All-NBA Second Team2x (2017, 2018)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year1x (2020)
NBA All-Defensive First Team4x (2019–2022)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team1x (2017)
NBA Most Improved Player1x (2017)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team1x (2014)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
FIBA EuroBasket Top Scorer1x (2022)
Euroscar Player of the Year1x (2018)
Greek League All-Star1x (2013)

13. James Harden

  • Points: 24945
  • Rebounds: 5718
  • Assists: 7124

James Harden is recognized as the 13th-best NBA player of all time in our ranking. Over the recent years, he has been a standout player in the league, earning recognition for his scoring ability and knack for creating opportunities for his teammates.

Image Source: NBA.COM

Harden began his NBA journey with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2009, spending three seasons with them before being traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012. It was in Houston that Harden truly blossomed into one of the league’s premier scorers, ultimately winning the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2018.

Throughout his career, Harden has maintained impressive averages of 25.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game. He boasts eight selections to the NBA All-Star Game and six appearances on the All-NBA team. Despite occasional criticism for his offense-focused style, Harden’s impact on the court is undeniable. His ability to score from various spots on the court makes him a challenging player to defend, and his knack for creating opportunities for teammates adds significant value to any team.

James Harden is unquestionably one of the best players in the NBA today, and his impact on the court is widely acknowledged. His jersey is among the most sought-after by basketball fans, highlighting the popularity and admiration he enjoys in the basketball community.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Most Valuable Player1x (2018)
NBA All-Star10x (2013–2022)
All-NBA First Team6x (2014, 2015, 2017–2020)
All-NBA Third Team1x (2013)
NBA Sixth Man of the Year1x (2012)
NBA scoring champion3x (2018–2020)
NBA assists leader2x (2017, 2023)
NBA All-Rookie Second Team1x (2010)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
Consensus first-team All-American1x (2009)
Pac-10 Player of the Year1x (2009)
First-team All-Pac-102x (2008, 2009)
Second-team Parade All-American1x (2007)
McDonald’s All-American1x (2007)

14. Kawhi Leonard

  • Points: 12678
  • Rebounds: 6559
  • Assists: 4170

Kawhi Leonard secured the 14th position in our ranking of the best NBA players of all time. He is widely acknowledged for his prowess as one of the best defensive players in the league and his capability to score and lead his team in crucial moments.

Image Source: NBA.COM

Affectionately referred to as “The Claw” due to his exceptional ability to steal the ball, Leonard has earned the NBA Defensive Player of the Year title twice. Moreover, he has been a consistent presence on the NBA All-Defensive Team with six selections and led the league in steals during two seasons. On the offensive end, Leonard has proven to be a highly effective player, averaging more than 20 points per game in six seasons and earning five selections to the NBA All-Star Game. In 2019, he played a pivotal role in leading the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA championship and was honored as the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.

Beyond his on-court abilities, Leonard is known for his exceptional work ethic and a winning mentality. He commands respect from teammates and coaches alike, establishing himself as a leader in the locker room. At Last, Kawhi Leonard is considered one of the best players in the NBA today and a crucial asset for any team aspiring to win a championship.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA champion2x (2014, 2019)
NBA Finals MVP2x (2014, 2019)
NBA All-Star5x (2016, 2017, 2019–2021)
NBA All-Star Game MVP1x (2020)
All-NBA First Team3x (2016, 2017, 2021)
All-NBA Second Team2x (2019, 2020)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year2x (2015, 2016)
NBA All-Defensive First Team3x (2015–2017)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team4x (2014, 2019–2021)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2012)
NBA steals leader1x (2015)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
AP Athlete of the Year1x (2019)
Consensus second-team All-American1x (2011)
First-team All-MWC2x (2010, 2011)
California Mr. Basketball1x (2009)

15. Nikola Jokic

  • Points: 12678
  • Rebounds: 6559
  • Assists: 4170

Nikola Jokic is recognized as the 15th-best NBA player of all time in our ranking. As a center, he stands out for his remarkable passing skills and his ability to score from various spots on the court. In the 2022-2023 season, Jokic showcased his excellence by averaging 25.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game, firmly establishing himself as one of the premier players in the league. Furthermore, he was honored with the NBA MVP award for the 2021-2022 season.

Image Source: NBA.COM

Jokic is distinguished by his capacity to create opportunities for teammates and make intelligent plays on the court. Additionally, he is an outstanding three-point shooter, showcasing his versatility on both ends of the floor.

Nikola Jokic is undoubtedly an exceptional basketball player, demonstrating his prowess as one of the best in the NBA. His ability to pass, score, and contribute on both offense and defense makes him a valuable asset for any team.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA champion1x (2023)
NBA Finals MVP1x (2023)
NBA Most Valuable Player2x (2021, 2022)
NBA All-Star5x (2019–2023)
All-NBA First Team3x (2019, 2021, 2022)
All-NBA Second Team2x (2020, 2023)
NBA Western Conference Finals MVP1x (2023)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2016)
Serbian Player of the Year3x (2018, 2021, 2022)
ABA League MVP1x (2015)
ABA League Top Prospect1x (2015)

16. Damian Lillard

  • Points: 19887
  • Rebounds: 3345
  • Assists: 5290

Damian Lillard is recognized as the 16th-best NBA player of all time in our ranking. Renowned for his scoring versatility, ability to create his own shot, and leadership on the court, Lillard has left a significant impact in the league.

Best Point Guards of all time
Image Source: NBA.COM

Having earned six All-Star Game selections and four All-NBA nods, Lillard’s skill set is widely acknowledged. In the 2020-2021 season, he averaged an impressive 28.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 7.5 assists per game. Additionally, Lillard has received recognition as the Western Conference Player of the Week multiple times throughout his career. Beyond his success in the NBA, Lillard has represented the United States in international competitions. He secured a gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games and a bronze medal at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Damian Lillard stands out as one of the premier basketball players in the NBA today. His scoring ability, leadership, and international success make him a formidable force in the world of basketball.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA All-Star7x (2014, 2015, 2018–2021, 2023)
All-NBA First Team1x (2018)
All-NBA Second Team4x (2016, 2019–2021)
All-NBA Third Team2x (2014, 2023)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (2013)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2013)
NBA 75th Anniversary Team
NBA Teammate of the Year1x (2021)
NBA Three-Point Contest champion1x (2023)
Third-team All-American – AP, NABC1x (2012)
Big Sky Player of the Year2x (2010, 2012)
Big Sky Freshman of the Year1x (2009)
First-team All-Big Sky3x (2009, 2010, 2012)

17. Luka Doncic

  • Points: 9737
  • Rebounds: 2992
  • Assists: 2804

Luka Doncic is recognized as the 17th-best NBA player of all time in our ranking. He was selected third overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks but was immediately traded to the Mavericks in exchange for Trae Young and a future draft pick. Since then, Doncic has played a crucial role in the Mavericks’ success.

Image Source: NBA.COM

In his rookie season, Doncic posted impressive averages of 21.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6 assists per game, earning him the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Demonstrating continuous improvement, he elevated his performance in his second season, with averages of 28.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game.

Doncic is known for his scoring prowess from all parts of the court and his ability to execute impressive plays. Additionally, he excels as a passer and is a good rebounder for his position. While acknowledging areas for improvement in his defense, there’s no denying that Doncic is among the best young talents in the NBA, and his future in the league looks promising.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA All-Star4x (2020–2023)
All-NBA First Team4x (2020–2023)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (2019)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2019)
FIBA World Cup Top Scorer1x (2023)
EuroLeague champion1x (2018)
EuroLeague MVP1x (2018)
EuroLeague Final Four MVP1x (2018)
All-EuroLeague First Team1x (2018)
EuroLeague Rising Star2x (2017, 2018)
EuroLeague 2010–20 All-Decade Team1x (2020)
Euroscar Player of the Year1x (2019)
Liga ACB champion3x (2015, 2016, 2018)
Liga ACB MVP1x (2018)
All-Liga ACB First Team1x (2018)
ACB Best Young Player2x (2017, 2018)
ACB All-Young Players Team3x (2016–2018)
Spanish King’s Cup winner2x (2016, 2017)
Trofeo Costa de Sol champion2x (2016, 2017)
FIBA Intercontinental Cup champion1x (2015)
EB Next Generation Tournament champion1x (2015)
EB Next Generation Tournament MVP1x (2015)
Slovenian Sportsman of the Year1x (2018)

18. Joel Embiid

  • Points: 11318
  • Rebounds: 4609
  • Assists: 1470

Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers player, holds the tenth spot on our list of the Top 18 best NBA players. Standing tall at 2.13 meters, Embiid is a dominant force on the court.

Image Source: NBA.COM

Throughout his career, Embiid has showcased versatility, excelling in scoring, defending, and leading his team. In the 2022-2023 season, he maintained impressive averages of 25.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Notably, Embiid is recognized for his resilience, often playing through injuries and illnesses. One of the significant challenges Embiid has faced is staying healthy, with several injuries, including a fractured orbital bone and a knee injury. However, when in top form, he undeniably stands as one of the best players in the NBA.

Joel Embiid’s talent and versatility have solidified his status as a standout player on the court. If he can maintain good health, there’s no doubt that he will continue to be a crucial player in the NBA for years to come.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)1x (2023)
NBA All-Star6x (2018–2023)
All-NBA First Team1x (2023)
All-NBA Second Team4x (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team3x (2018, 2019, 2021)
NBA Scoring Champion2x (2022, 2023)
NBA All-Rookie First Team1x (2017)
Second-team All-Big 121x (2014)
Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year1x (2014)
Big 12 All-Defensive Team1x (2014)
Big 12 All-Newcomer Team1xx (2014)

19. Moses Malone

  • Points: 29,580
  • Rebounds: 17,834
  • Blocks: 1,889

Moses Malone, ranking 19th in our list of the best NBA players of all time, was a dominant center. He secured the NBA MVP three times, participated in 12 All-Star Games, and earned eight All-NBA Team selections.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

Notably, Malone led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA championship in 1983, clinching both the league and Finals MVP. His tireless and physical style of play, especially in rebounding, earned him the nickname “Chairman of the Boards.” Moses Malone, inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, ranks ninth in career points (29,580) and 5th in total rebounds (16,212) when combining ABA and NBA statistics.

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in basketball history.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion1x (1983)
NBA Finals MVP1x (1983)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)3x (1979, 1982, 1983)
NBA All-Star12x (1978–1989)
ABA All-Star1x (1975)
All-NBA First Team4x (1979, 1982, 1983, 1985)
All-NBA Second Team4x (1980, 1981, 1984, 1987)
NBA All-Defensive First Team1x (1983)
NBA All-Defensive Second Team1x (1979)
ABA All-Rookie Team1x (1975)
NBA Rebounding Leader6x (1979, 1981–1985)
NBA Anniversary Team50th, 75th
ABA All-Time Team
National High School Player of the Year1x (1974)
First-team Parade All-American1x (1974)
Fourth-team Parade All-American1x (1973)

20. Oscar Robertson

  • Points: 26,710
  • Rebounds: 7,804
  • Assists: 9,887

Oscar Robertson ranks 20th among the best NBA players of all time. As a point guard, he enjoyed a stellar 14-season career, earning 12 All-Star selections, 11 All-NBA Team nods, and an MVP award. He made history in 1962 as the first player to average a triple-double for a season. Notably, he played a pivotal role in the Milwaukee Bucks winning their first NBA title in 1971. Facing racial challenges throughout his career, Robertson’s impact extends beyond the court.

NBA All-time Point Scorers
Image Source: Instagram

Inducted into the Hall of Fame twice (1980 for his career and 2010 for his contributions), Robertson’s legacy includes key reforms in NBA rules. He’s part of the NBA 35th Anniversary Team (1980), the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996), and the NBA 75th Anniversary Team (2021).

Recognized in the FIBA Hall of Fame (2009), Robertson also played a crucial role in reshaping NBA player rights through the landmark Robertson v. National Basketball Ass’n case of 1970.

Career Highlights And Awards:

AchievementsNumber
NBA Champion1x (1971)
NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP)1x (1964)
NBA All-Star12x (1961–1972)
NBA All-Star Game MVP3x (1961, 1964, 1969)
All-NBA First Team9x (1961–1969)
All-NBA Second Team2x (1970, 1971)
NBA Rookie of the Year1x (1961)
NBA Assists Leader6x (1961, 1962, 1964–1966, 1969)
NBA Lifetime Achievement Award1x (2018)
NBA Anniversary Team35th, 50th, 75th
Helms College Player of the Year2x (1959, 1960)
UPI College Player of the Year3x (1958–1960)
USBWA College Player of the Year2x (1959, 1960)
Sporting News College Player of the Year3x (1958–1960)
Consensus First-team All-American3x (1958–1960)
NCAA Season Scoring Leader3x (1958–1960)
First-team All-MVC3x (1958–1960)
Mr. Basketball USA1x (1956)

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