50. Ray Allen
Best Season:26.4 pts 4.1asts 4.5reb FG%.438 FT%.903 PER 21.6
Career18.9pts 3.4asts 4.1 Rebs FG%.452 FT%.894 PER 18.6
Accolades:2x NBA Champion (’08,’13) 10x All-Star (’00-’02,’04-’09,’11) All-NBA team(’01,’05) NBA All-Time leader in three-pointers made. 21st All-Time Career Leader in Scoring.
Why he moved: Ray Allen has been moved down in favor of guys who were not in my list to begin with at all.
Allen is the greatest three-point shooter ever statistically. He wasn’t just that though. There was a time when he handled the ball, attacked the rim, and was a solid defender. He took the Milwaukee Bucks all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, but came up short against Allen Iverson who was simply on a mission that year. He had a stint with the Supersonics for a little bit and then went to the Celtics where he joined forces with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. He got his first ring there being a huge contribution in pursuit of that ring. A few years went by and he started having problems with point guard Rajon Rondo and ultimately left to join the Miami Heat. There he hit the biggest shot in Finals history since Jordan’s last shot. Nailing a three to force an overtime that the Miami Heat ended up winning with all of the momentum on their side and possibly saving LeBron from another lost opportunity against the Spurs. That was the biggest shot of his career and the biggest shot I have seen live in my lifetime.
Best Season:24.6 pts 3.8 asts FG%.514 3PT%.4.14 FT%.868 PER 20.8
Career:18.2pts 3.0asts FG%.471 3PT%.395 FT%.888 PER 18.4
Accolades:5xAll-Star(’90,’95-’96,’98,’00) 3x All-NBA team(’95-’96,’98) 2nd all-time leader in 3-pointers made, 16th All-Time Career Leader in Scoring
Why he moved: Both Ray Allen and Reggie Miller have been moved in favor of guys I believe should have been on the list before and higher up on the list. Reggie still stays ahead of Ray Allen for me mainly because of the fact that he was the franchise player for a team who caused hell in the playoffs for many teams. Many of Ray Allen’s greatest moments came as a third or even fourth or fifth option.
Unless you’re a Knicks fan I do not understand how you cannot love Reggie Miller. Well he probably stuck a dagger in your team at some point but that’s not the point. Reggie is one of the clutchest players EVER. Larry Bird even said Reggie Miller deserves the last shot more than any other player there has been. His regular season numbers are not anything outstanding, but it is worth mentioning that he carried the Indiana Pacer franchise for quite a long time. He was part of the 50-40-90 club which only a few elite shooters have ever been a part of. He is also known as one of the best trash talkers which he liked to do to take the opponent out of the game mentally. He got Michael Jordan to choke him and John Starks to head-butt him in the middle of a game. Easy enough to say he got under players’ skin. His best game for me has to be his infamous 8 points in 9 seconds at Madison Square Garden. There are plenty more clutch shots you can find which I implore you to do so if you disagree with me because I am 100% positive you will.
Best Season:21.2 pts 6.3 reb 7.7 ast
Career:18.4 pts 5.2 reb 7.5 ast
Accolades:6x NBA Champion (’57,’59-63) League MVP (’57) 13x Allstar (’51-63) 12x All-NBA Team (’51-’63) 8x Assists leader (’53-’60) 15th All-Time Career Leader in Assists. Record for most Free Throws in a playoff game(30).
Why he moved: When I reordered my list I really thought one way another Cousy would move. Cousy was not just another cog in the machine in Boston. Cousy won a championship and an MVP award before he ever put on the Boston jersey. With point guards that is something special. The point guards to win an MVP award and a championship are very slim. There is Magic Johnson, Steph Curry, and Bob Cousy. That’s it. With that being said though he was incredibly inefficient as a player. Most of the time when he faced another great point guard he lost the head to head matchup, but being with Bill Russell definitely has benefits for you. This may seem like a drastic change but it seems appropriate. Could anyone really say Bob Cousy was better than Steve Nash or Chris Paul? I could not.
Houdini. The first guy to bring a flashy flair to the game. He was the first guy to pass between guys’ legs and do behind the back dribble moves. Every point guard you see today and I mean literally every single point guard today had their path paved by Bob Cousy. He entertained fans with his great gifts with the ball and incredible IQ. Cousy helped lead the team to 5 championships. He was not just a guy surrounded by great players along for the ride as he did win an MVP award in 1957. Without Cousy we do not see the play we do today. The floaters, dribble moves, and flashy passes. Cousy revolutionized the game and was a stepping stone for other players.
47. Dwight Howard
Best Season:22.9 pts 14.1 rebs 1.4 stls 2.4 blks 59.3%FG PER 26.1 14.4 win shares
Career:17.8 pts 12.7 rebs 1.0 stls 2.1 blks 58.2%FG PER 21.7 113.2 win shares
Peak:4 years 2007-11 20.6 pts 13.8 rebs 1.0 stls 2.6 blks 59.3%FG PER 24.6 54.2 win shares
Accolades: 8x All Star (’07-’14) 8x All NBA Team (’07-’14) 3x Defensive Player of the Year (’09-’11) 5x All Defensive Team (’08-’12) All Rookie First Team (’05)
Believe it or not there was a time when Dwight was the most beloved player in the NBA, and there was a time when he was a top 5 player in the game. Dwight was a defensive machine, and an efficient scorer going to the rim in his prime. Think about this for a moment. Dwight was the best rebounder in the league, best defensive player in the league, and was scoring 20 points a game shooting north of 57% from the field for years. If that isn’t worthy of being one of the best players of all time I do not know what else can be done to convince you.
46. Nate Archibald
Previous Ranking: 45
Best Season:34.0 pts 11.4 asts FG%.488 FT%.847 PER 25.2
Career:18.8 pts 7.4 ast FG%.467 FT%.810 PER 18.0
Accolades: NBA Champion (’81) 6x All Star(’73.’75-’76,’80-82) 5x All-NBA team(’72-’73,’75-’76,’81) Scoring Champion(’73) Assist leader (’73) 20th All-Time Career Leader in Assists.
Why he moved: Archibald only moved down in favor of guys who I believe should have been here before.
Nate “Tiny” Archibald recorded one of the greatest statistical seasons the league has ever seen. He led the league in scoring and assists the same year. Not like it was a down year in scoring or assists as he averaged 34 points and 11.4 assists which would have led the league this past season in both categories. Injuries took down what could have been an even better career. He was traded to the Knicks in ’76 and was injured for much of that season. He was then traded in ’77 to the Buffalo Braves and tore his Achilles’ tendon before ever playing a regular season game. He then got traded again to the Celtics and won his first ring there playing in more than two-thirds of every season he was with them. He was not just along for the ride those years having numbers of 14.1 points 8.4 assists in the 1979-80 season. 13.8 points 7.7 assists the next year. 12.6 points 8.0 assists another year there. His ability to run an offense was his greatest strength making every player around him better. One can only wonder what could have been if it was not for an ugly amount of injuries during his prime.
45. George Gervin
Previous Rank: 43
Best Season:33.1pts 5.2 reb FG%.528 PER 24.0
Career:26.2 4.6 reb FG% .511 PER 21.4
Accolades: 9xAllstar (’77-’85) 7x All NBA team(’77-83) 4x NBA scoring Champion(’78-80,’82)
Why he moved: George Gervin was a scoring machine that got to the rim with incredible ease. He was easily the hardest for me to place because he was very one-dimensional in his play, but he did that one dimension incredibly well and I think it warrants Gervin as a top 45 player of all time.
Gervin was part of the flashy style the ABA had and transferred over to the NBA. He is best known for his way of finger rolling the ball with such ease in traffic. The man could score without any issues averaging over 30 points a game in two different seasons and four straight seasons of having 26+points per game. He does not get enough credit for helping bring over the ABA style to the NBA as all that credit goes to Julius Erving. He was not quite there in his ability to fly, but in stylish finishes Gervin is right up there with Dr. J.
44. James Worthy
Previous Rank: 36
Best Season:21.1 pts 6.0 reb FG%.548 PER 19.8
Career:17.6 pts 5.1 reb FG%.521 PER 18.1
Accolades:3x NBA Champion (’85,’87-’88) Finals MVP (’88) 7x Allstar (’86-’92) 2x All-NBA Team(’90-’91) All-Rookie First Team(’82)
Why he moved:Worthy was an amazing player on an amazing team, but I realize I might have had him a little bit too high due to based on his ring count. He only made 2 All NBA Teams and that hurts his legacy for me quite a bit. I put him behind Kevin McHale because… well… McHale is simply better. No matter which way you slice it McHale has more accolades and was the better individual player.
Worthy alongside Magic Johnson was the reason for the nickname their team received “Showtime” Lakers. He was unstoppable around the rim and was a great defender. He is known mostly for his lethal spin move on the baseline. His regular season numbers do not match up at all to what he did in the postseason. He only averaged less than 20 points his first and last time in the playoffs. Worthy was the reason for their championship victory against the Pistons in the 87-88 season. In game 6 he had 28 points 9 rebounds and in-game 7 put up a triple-double effort of 36 points 16 rebounds and 10 assists. When the Lakers needed Worthy he always delivered. Like many other players he attempted to fight off many injuries at the end of his career to no avail. Without James Worthy there would have never been a “Showtime” Lakers.
43. Kevin McHale
Best Season:26.1pts 9.9 reb 2.2blks FG%.604 PER 24.0
Career: 17.9 pts 7.3 reb 1.7 blk FG%.554 PER 20.0
Accolades: 3x NBA Champion (’81,’84,’86) 7x All Star (’84,’86-’91)All NBA team (’87) 6x All-Defensive team (‘83,86-’90) 2x Sixth man of the year(’84-85) All-rookie first team(’81) 25th All-Time Career Leader in Blocks
Why he moved: McHale was an excellent player who was not sure where he would land when I reorganized this list. I figured McHale would stay in about the same range and he has. He moved up due to others in the list being moved back.
McHale’s greatness was over-shadowed by Larry Bird and the rest of the Celtic players of the 80’s. McHale was incredibly efficient and is one of the best low post power forwards in a position lacking a lot of them. He won back to back sixth man of the year awards. He was a great defender as he was always near the top for blocks and made 6 All-NBA defensive teams. He broke the Celtics franchise record for points in a game, which lasted a day after Bird broke the record literally a day later. Without McHale the Celtics would not have been able to be as dominant as they were. He was easily the second best player on the team and do not be deceived by McHale coming off of the bench a couple of years as he still was getting over 30 minutes a game.
42. Dominique Wilkins
Best Season:30.3 pts 7.9 reb 1.8 stl PER: 23.3
Career:24.8 pts 6.7 reb 1.3 stl FG% .461 PER:21.6
Accolades:9x Allstar (’86-’94) 7x All-NBA Team (’86-’89,’91-’94) All-Rookie Team (’83) Scoring Champion (’86) 12th All-Time Career Leader in Scoring.
Why he moved: Wilkins was higher than Kevin Durant before and looking back that is insane to me. Everyone talks about that group of players that just scored a lot of points and Dominique is the best of that group. Durant’s playoff success and MVP have separate him from being in that group.
Dominique was truly a human highlight film. Aggressively attacking the rim Wilkins was completely unstoppable anytime he decided to attack the rim. And if he did decide to attack it then as a defender you had to watch out because he will be looking to put you on a poster. He was not just athletically gifted. He led the Atlanta Hawks to 3 straight 50 win seasons. He never had much help outside of a past his prime Moses Malone. The most memorable game he has ever had was game 7 against the Celtics. Wilkins and Larry Bird continuously traded buckets and even though the Hawks lost, Dominique’s 47 point performance solidified his place as a legend. His best season in my opinion has to be the year he came back from an injury that is considered a death sentence in sports. After having a torn Achilles 91-92 season he came back and averaged 29.9 points 6.8 rebounds while shooting 46%.
41. Jason Kidd
Previous Rank: 20
Best Season:14.3 pts 10.1 ast 7.2 reb 2.0 stl PER 18.4
Career:12.6 pts 8.7 ast 6.3 reb PER 17.9
Accolades:NBA Champion (’11) 10x Allstar (’96,’98,’00-04,’07-’08,’10) 6x All-NBA Team(’99-’04) 9x All-Defensive Team (’99-’07) Co-Rookie of the Year (’95) All-Rookie First Team (’95) 5x Assists Leader (’99-’01,’03-’04) 2nd All-Time Career Leader in Assists. 2nd All-Time Career Leader in Steals. 3rd All-Time Career Leader in 3-Point Shots made.
Why he moved:Just look at the previous ranking and it will not be a mystery.
Kidd is one of the most intelligent people to ever pick up a basketball. Being creative with his dynamic passes Kidd mesmerized many fans of the game right when he stepped in. Making an impact early on winning Co-Rookie of the Year with Grant Hill, Jason Kidd’s best years though were with the New Jersey Nets. There is where he truly flourished and made a statement at how great he was. Being the pass first point guard he lead the team by making everyone better to back to back Finals appearances. Sadly his teams were nowhere near as talented as the opposition in Kobe/Shaq and the Spurs. Jason Kidd by the way was not just a great passer but is second in Playoff triple-doubles behind only Magic Johnson. Craziest development seen in his game was his huge improvement in his shooting stroke. He went from being a horrible shooter to making the 3rd most 3s in the history of the NBA. After many great years in New Jersey not quite getting the job done, he got traded to Dallas the place he was drafted. Much older now at this point in his career he became a spot up shooter making big shots for the team. In 2011 Jason Kidd finally got what he rightfully deserved. Making huge contributions he helped Dirk lead the franchise to their very first ring. Kidd is without a doubt a first ballot Hall of Famer and now a coach for a very young team. We’ll be able to see if that incredible on the court IQ can translate to the sidelines.