The Best Basketball Players in History

Every sport has its shining stars. Not all of them are shining, of course, but among the many thousands of elite athletes playing a sport, there are always those few which you can name as soon as someone asks you as to who you think defines a sport.

In basketball, the conversation often revolves around a couple of athletes, some no longer with us, some no longer playing and some still active. Following is a list of the best basketball players in history, in no particular order. As one might expect, these lists can never be complete and to everybody’s satisfaction.

LeBron James

Still in his prime, LeBron James is redefining what people can expect from professional athletes in a sport.

Basketball is a very physical sport where you have to do multiple things right, and not just pass or be a brick wall. James had to do all the things plus deal with all the stress induced by being presented as one of the upcoming Gods in basketball. He managed to live up to his assumed reputation, and he has been doing so for a while, longer than most professional athletes have competed.

There is nobody like him, but there are plenty of players contesting the “best of” category.

Michael Jordan

This is one name that no best of basketball list has ever been made without. Michael Jordan, known for his career in the Chicago Bulls, is a retired basketball superstar who also played baseball professionally while also starring alongside Bugs Bunny. Jordan is well-known in the world of basketball, and is often one of the first athletes that people name when talking about basketball, fans of basketball or not. His reputation is legendary, often contested only by LeBron James.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is another name that you will see on best of basketball players lists, simply because he was first in many statistics. Known for playing for the Bucks and later in his career, the Lakers, Jabbar was selected for 19 All-Stars out of his 20 NBA seasons. That is just one of the many statistics in which Jabbar exceeded in. Currently retired from both coaching and playing, Abdul-Jabbar’s records remain one of the challenges that upcoming athletes need to overcome.

Earvin Magic Johnson

Earvin Johnson, known for his nickname Magic Johnson, is one of basketball’s greatest point guards. He is also known to be one of basketball’s most amazing passers. Nicknamed Magic, his plays were something to be seen and are still used as examples of how to guard and pass. A Lakers player, Johnson is often contested by Stephen Curry, but Curry still has more titles and MVPs to win if he wants to catch up to Johnson.

Larry Bird

Larry Bird was the Celtics’ greatest weapon. He was the man who led them to many victories and also a player who earned himself a solid reputation by being good at everything.

He did not only play at an above average level in all categories but also matched his play with an attitude about as cocky as could be expected.

These lists can never be complete and people will always have another great athlete to add. Yet, sometimes, you have to cut them short and name at least some of the many amazing basketball players. This list should give you an idea of who were and are still among the best in the game.