80. Vince Carter
Best Season:27.6 pts 5.5 rebs 3.9 asts 45.0%FG 40.8%3PT
Career:18.8 pts 4.6 rebs 3.4 asts 43.9%FG 37.3%3PT
Peak:24.6 pts 5.2 rebs 4.1 asts 44.8%FG 39.43PT
Accolades:8x All Star (’00-’07) 2x All NBA Team (’00-’01) Rookie of the Year (’99) All Rookie First Team (’99)
Vince Carter is best known for his insane dunks and sadly that has made people forget just how talented he was during his prime. He was an efficient scoring machine shooting a high percentage from 3 for most of his career and we all know what he could do around the rim. He had his best years in Toronto bringing up the argument of who was better at the time between himself, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant. There were many supporters for all 4 camps, but with issues over how things were going over in Toronto with no help at all Vince asked to be traded the relationship he previously had with the fans was severed. He went to the New Jersey Nets where he teamed up with Jason Kidd, and the two fit together perfectly. The greatest moment of his career was late way after his prime though when he hit a game winning 3 in the left corner in game 3 of the First Round against the 1st seeded San Antonio Spurs.
79. Billy Cunningham
Best Season:23.3 pts 12.2 rebs 5.9 asts 46.1%FG
Career:21.2 pts 10.4 rebs 4.3 asts 45.2%FG
Peak:5 years 1968-73 24.3 pts 12.5 rebs 5.0 asts 46.0%FG
Accolades:NBA Champion (’67) 4x All Stars (’69-72) 4x All NBA Team (’69-’72) All Rookie First Team (’66)
Billy Cunningham was a tremendous player during the late 60s and early 70s who was apart of one of the greatest teams of all time the 1967 Sixers team that won a record 68 wins in a season and went on to win the title. After Wilt Chamberlain left the team to go to LA many did not know where the team would go from there, Billy Cunningham stepped up to the challenge. He led the team to multiple 50+ win seasons without Wilt and was named to multiple All NBA First Teams from that point onward. Cunningham is a forgotten player in history often because of the dark ages of 70s basketball.
78. Chauncey Billups
Best Season:18.5 pts 3.1 rebs 8.6 asts 41.8%FG 43.3%3PT 15.5 win shares
Career:15.2 pts 5.4 asts 41.5%FG 38.7%3PT 120.8 win shares
Peak:4 years 2005-09 17.6 pts 3.1 rebs 7.3 asts 42.7%FG 40.0%3PT 50.5 win shares
Accolades:NBA Champion (’04) Finals MVP (’04) 5x All Star (’06-’10) 3x All NBA Team (’06-’07,’09) 2x All Defensive Team (05-06)
Chauncey Billups was the point guard for the Detroit Pistons during the mid 2000s and was known for his ability to hit big shots at the end of games. This Piston squad I feel like will be forgotten as time goes on, but they deserve to be recognized. Chauncey was the spearhead of the team offensively while Ben Wallace was the main man on he other side of the court and it all flowed perfectly. “Mr. Big Shot” was journeyman before going to Detroit trying to find his place in the league. He played for Boston, Toronto, Denver, and Minnesota within the span of 4 years before becoming a Piston. He was known for coming up big when it mattered most whether his team needed 30+ points that game or for him to just hit the one huge shot to keep the team away at the end of a close game. He won a finals MVP after the Pistons dominated the Lakers in the 2004 Finals many forget how great he was for the team but he recorded 12+ win shares on 3 separate occasions. He eventually went back to the Nuggets where he helped to team improve from a first round and out squad to one inches away from reaching the finals.77. George Mikan
Best Season:28.4 pts 14.1 rebs 42.8%FG 23.4 win shares
Career:23.1 pts 13.4 rebs 40.4%FG 108.7 win shares
Peak:5 years 1948-53 25.6 pts 14.0 rebs 40.8 pts 94.4 win shares
Accolades: 5x NBA Champion (’49-’50,’52-’54) 4x All Star (’51-’54) 3x Scoring Champion (’49-’51) Rebounding leader (’53)
George Mikan… Well most that follow me on Twitter know my opinion on the man but let’s go ahead and jump into it. He was the leader of the earlier championship dynasty with the Minneapolis Lakers in the 50s. Mikan led the league in scoring 3 times and led the league in rebounding twice. I’ve seen many place Mikan in the top 50 players of all time due mainly to the evolutionary benchmark he is to the game. He was the first “true” big man and dominated when the league was first being brought up. There was little talent in the early 50s and that is evident through Mikan’s own numbers. As a 6’10 in a league of very loose knowledge of fundamentals of the game he shot below 43% every single season of his career and below 40% in 4 consecutive seasons. Needless to say that wouldn’t pass for anything positive at any point in the last 50 years. Main reason he is even this high on the list is because in 5 seasons he was easily the best player in an admittedly watered down league and was the best player on 5 championship teams.
76. Pete Maravich
Best Season:31.1 pts 5.1 rebs 5.4 asts 43.3%FG
Career:24.2 pts 4.2 rebs 5.4 asts 44.1%FG
Peak:5 years 1972-78 26.5 pts 4.8 rebs 5.9 asts 44.2%FG
Accolades:5x All Star (’73-’74,’77-’79) 4x All NBA Team (’73,’76-’78) Rookie First Team (’71) Scoring Champion (’77)
Pete Maravich if nobody knows is my favorite “old guy” to watch. He was simply amazing for his time and the moves he pulled off are things many point guards have just recently brought into their repertoire. The types of passes, ball fakes, and dribbling moves he did were things just recently being used regularly in the NBA. Pistol Pete Maravich is best known for his time in college, but for the limited time he had playing healthy in the NBA was spectacular. His flashy finesse in transition plus his willingness to take shots many wouldn’t dare to take defined him. Eventually injuries became consistently nagging him but if not for that Pete could’ve easily have been a top 50 NBA player of all time.75. Nate Thurmond
Best Season:20.5 pts 22.0 rebs 4.2 asts
Career:15.0 pts 15.0 rebs 2.7 asts
Peak:21.0 pts 17.4 rebs 3.4 asts
Accolades:7x All Star (’65-’68,’70,’73-’74) 5x All Defensive Teams (’69-’74) All Rookie First Team (’64)
Thurmond started off his career as rebounding and defensive specialist alongside Wilt Chamberlain which made for a hellacious front court to deal with. After Wilt was traded though Thurmond thrived in his role taking over games by dominating the glass and anchoring the defense down on the other end. Thurmond even finished 2nd in the MVP race before right behind Wilt. Thurmond was never able to get a ring though despite having Rick Barry and Jerry Lucas at one time or another. The major hurdle that was the Lakers just could not be surpassed in his time. His most famous achievement though was his debut at a Chicago Bull. Thurmond recorded the first ever quadruple double putting up 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocks.
Best Season:20.9 pts 6.7 rebs 4.5 asts 49.8%FG 12.7 win shares
Career:15.6 pts 4.7 rebs 3.6 asts 50.2%FG 90.3 win shares
Peak:5 years 1981-86 21.0 pts 5.8 rebs 4.7 asts 50.3%FG 62.2 win shares
Accolades:5x All Star (’82-’86) 5x All NBA Team (’82-’86) 2x Defensive Player of the Year (’83-’84) 5x All Defensive Team (’82-’86)
Sidney Moncrief is an underrated talent in the NBA that has been severely overlooked throughout history and for whatever reason is still not a Hall of Famer which is just blasphemy. Sidney Moncrief is one of the best 5 perimeter defenders of all time and has two Defensive Player of the Year Awards to show for it. He was not a one-sided player though has he averaged over 20 points during his 5 year peak in the NBA. He could do just a little bit of everything and I personally have him as the greatest perimeter defender to ever live. His chasedown block on Magic Johnson in transition is one of my favorite plays of all time.
73. Grant Hill
Best Season:21.4 pts 9.0 rebs 7.3 asts 49.6%FG PER 25.5 14.6 win shares
Career:16.7 pts 6.0 rebs 4.1 asts 48.3%FG
Peak:6 years 1994-00 21.4 pts 7.9 rebs 6.3 asts 47.6%FG PER 22.2 60.0 win shares
Accolades:7x All Star (’95-’98,’00-’01,’05) 5x All NBA Team (’96-’00) Rookie of the Year (’95) All Rookie First team (’95)
Grant Hill is arguably the most famous case of what could have been. Grant Hill was a baby LeBron. He was a tremendous all around talent and could do a little bit of everything while scoring efficiently. He eventually had many ankle issues during his time in Orlando and his ascension to stardom was halted. Before, Grant Hill had the many injuries though he put up some impressive years during his first 6 years of the NBA basketball. He was a triple double machine and even finished top 3 in the MVP race of the 1996-97 season behind only Michael Jordan and Karl Malone. Grant Hill would have been one of the top 30 players of all time with no doubt in my mind if injuries did not strike him like they did.
72. Adrian Dantley
Best Season: 30.6 pts 5.7 rebs 3.9 asts 55.8%FG PER 24.6 14.6 win shares
Career:24.3 pts 5.7 rebs 3.0 asts 54.0%FG PER 21.5 134.2 win shares
Peak:4 years 1980-84 30.5 pts 6.1 rebs 4.0 asts 56.4%FG PER 24.4 45.1 win shares
Accolades:6x All Star (’80-’82,’84-’86) 2x All NBA Team (’81,’84) Rookie of the Year (’77) 2x Scoring Champion (’81,’84)
Adrian Dantley was another deadly scorer of the 80s who shot inside shots for lethal efficiency. The man was simply a scoring machine averaging over 30 points a game four consecutive season and averaged 20 or more points in 10 seasons. Dantley later went to the Detroit Pistons where there became issues in the locker room as Dantley felt that he was not the man the way he believes he should have been and you know typical diva stuff you would see from many wide receivers in the NFL. Regardless, Dantley was consistently destroying team’s with his lethal scoring on the inside.
71. Bernard King
Best Season:32.9 pts 5.8 rebs 3.7 asts 53.0%FG PER 25.2
Career:22.5 pts 5.8 rebs 3.3 asts 51.8%FG
Peak:2 years 1983-85 29.1 pts 5.4 rebs 55.2%FG PER 23.8 19.2 win shares
Accolades:4x All Star (’82,’84-’85,’91) 4x All NBA Team (’82,’84-’85,’91) All Rookie First Team (’78) Scoring Champion (’85)
A guy I did not know much about before creating this top 100 Bernard King has been forgotten by many viewers of the game. If not for injuries he could have been another one of those guys in the top 50. He was a scoring machine, getting to the basket at will. He was not one of those guys just chunking up a bunch of shots if you look at his stats shooting over 50% for his career as a wing player is no small feat. He averaged 32 points making 53% of his shots in an era that did not allow guys to go in the paint without being punished. King’s greatest achievement was historical playoff run he had in the 1984 playoffs. Let me just list the point totals he had in the playoff run. 36,46,46,41,44,26,13,24,43,30,44, and 24. So in the 5 game series against the Detroit Pistons King averaged 42.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, and shot 60.4% from the field. Against Boston, the team that was clearly the best in the East King pushed to a 7 game series averaging 29.1 points per game on 54.5% from the field. It is sad that more viewers do not realize how great he truly was and could have been if not for injury troubles.