Perhaps more than any other team sport, basketball allows for excellent players to make themselves stand out from those who are exceptionally good. A great basketball player can take over a game almost single-handedly. A truly special one can even lead a team to season-length greatness without needing a lot of help. In its more than 70 years of existence, the NBA has seen countless outstanding star players. And plenty of them have even earned enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Most of these players are not new to US gambling news. Today, in our article we’ll have a look at some of the best basketball players ever. Based upon their stats, accolades, what the era gave at the time, and what strengths and weaknesses each player had in order to determine who was truly the greatest.
Who is the Best Basketball Player Ever?
The NBA has been there around since 1946. And in that time we have witnessed some of the greatest athletes of all time in the court. There have been different styles of play that crossed over several different eras. Today, shooters dominate the sport, but only a few decades ago the center position ran the game. We’ve seen defensive dominance, sharpshooting snipers from 3, crafty slashers, and all-around godlike athletes. With all of these varying skills, differences in play style, and levels of athleticism, skill, and coaching, it’s hard to determine who the best single-player of all time is. Arguments can be made for players like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bill Russell, and all could be thought to be great for different reasons. Let’s have a look at some of the best basketball players that we have on our list!
Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant defined the 2000s. He was drafted directly out of high school in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th overall pick. The Los Angeles Lakers had worked out a deal the day prior to obtain the pick from the Hornets, instructing them to take Bryant. He never played a game for the Hornets, and immediately was traded to the Lakers, signing a $3.5 million rookie contract. He was an all-time great scorer with a killer instinct that struck fear in his opponents.
Bryant earned his nickname, being as deadly on the court as the venomous snake he donned the name of. He played in the NBA for 20 years, winning 5 championships along the way, including 3 in a row. To this day, Bryant remains one of the most cold-blooded shooters of all time and best basketball players ever, making 17 game-winning shots in his career and another 7 game-tying shots that led to victories in overtime. Kobe Bryant died tragically alongside his daughter Gianna on January 26th, 2020 in a helicopter crash that was also reported by online sports-books news in the US.
Bill Russell currently has the most championships in NBA history with a hit of 11. In fact, he only failed to win a championship in 2 of his 13 seasons in the NBA. Russell also won at other levels, winning the NCAA Championship twice (in 1955 and 1956). He also won a gold medal for the USA in the 1956 Summer Olympics. Russell is mostly known for his rings, but he is known as one of the greatest rebounders and defensive men in NBA history. Bill rebounded better than anyone, leading the league in rebounds 5 times, and averaging over 20 rebounds a game 10 times in his 13-year career. He is one of seven players to ever win an NCAA championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic gold medal.
Russell also helped to bridge the gap for the color barrier in the United States. He’s been seen in the gambling news in the US as well. While he wasn’t the first black player to play basketball, he was the first to become a superstar level player. He also was a players-coach for the Celtics near the end of his career, making him the first black coach in the NBA and the first black coach to win a championship.
Hakeem Olajuwon is one of the greatest defensive players in NBA history. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he began his basketball career, before he traveled to the United States to play for the University of Houston. Despite never playing basketball until the age of 15, he dominated wherever he played. During his time in college, he took the Houston Couguars to three Final Four appearances in the NCAA Division One National Tournament.
Olajuwon went on to become one of the most powerful forces in the NBA. He was an incredible rebounder and defensively he was entirely unmatched. Olajuwon led the league in rebounds twice and led in blocked shots three times. In fact, he still leads the all-time list for blocked shots in the NBA by over 500 blocks, with a total of 3,830. This incredible feat led to him being a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
In 1984, the Houston Rockets selected Olajuwon with the first overall pick. He was selected above other greats like Michael Jordan, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley.
Born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., at the age of 24, converted to Islam and took the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, meaning “noble one, servant of the Almighty.” Kareem was a dominant basketball player from the time he stepped on a court. In high school, Kareem won 71 consecutive games. After joining UCLA he went on to win three consecutive NCAA Championships, earning the Tournament MVP all three years, a record that still holds today. He was drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969. He played six seasons before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kareem became one of the league’s most prolific scorers and all-around players. He used his signature “skyhook” shot to dominate his opponents. During his career, Kareem took his team to the Finals ten times, winning six championships. He also won six MVP awards, a record that still stands and has not been broken yet. At the age of 42 when Kareem retired, he held the record for most points scored, most rebounds, most blocks, most games played, and most wins. He was also the 1969-1970 Rookie of the Year. You can also find odds for the winner of the next season’s NCAA champion on 1xBet.
Michael Jordan definitely needs to be in the list of best basketball players ever. His “Airness” brought the game of basketball back to life when it’s ratings were at their lowest point. He marketed the game better than anyone, putting the Jordan brand on a pedestal that has yet to be reached. Jordan is somehow very synonymous with basketball. When people think of the sport, they typically think of Jordan.
Jordan is the greatest scorer in the history of the game. He wasn’t born with the size of Kareem, yet he could not be stopped by any player on the court. He won the league’s scoring title ten times during his career, and this piled on the wins. Jordan won more than anyone. He set a record for wins in a season with the Bulls in 1996 when he led the team to 72 victories and a championship, a feat that wasn’t broken for twenty years. He also has two separate three-peat championship runs, and a perfect 6–0 record.