40. Bob McAdoo
Best Season:31.1 pts 12.4 rebs 4.0 asts 48.7%FG PER 23.3 12.3 win shares
Career:22.1 pts 9.4 rebs 2.3 asts 50.3%FG PER 20.7
Peak:3 Years 1973-76 32.1 pts 13.8 rebs 2.8 asts 1.2 stls 1.5 blks 51.4%FG PER 24.6
Accolades:2x NBA champion(’82,’85) MVP (’75) 5x All Star (’74-’78) 2x All NBA Team (’74-’75) Rookie of the Year (’73) 3x Scoring Champion (’74-’76)
McAdoo had the best years of his life very early on in his career as his peak was 3 out of his first 4 years in the league. After that incredible start injuries became a real issue for McAdoo during his years with Detroit, Boston, New York, and New Jersey. He eventually stopped in Los Angeles though and became a crucial 6th man for a championship winning team. McAdoo career early on in Buffalo defined his place in history as he was one of the few players really pushing Kareem for best player in the league for a 3 year push.
39. Steph Curry
Best Season:30.1 pts 5.4 rebs 6.7 asts 2.1 stls 50.4%FG 45.4%3PT PER 31.5 17.9 win shares
Career:22.4 pts 4.3 rebs 6.9 asts 1.8 stls 47.7%FG 44.4%3PT
Peak:2 Years 2014-16 26.9 pts 4.8 rebs 7.2 asts 2.1 stls 49.6%FG 44.9%3PT PER 29.7 33.6 win shares
Accolades: NBA Champion (’15) 2x MVP (’15-’16) 3x All Star (’14-’16) 3x All NBA Team (’14-’16) Scoring Champion (’16) Steals Leader (’16) Record for most 3-pointers made in a season. (402)
I won’t lie that I was ready to put Curry in the top 30 had they went all the way through with a championship and if he had an amazing run through the playoffs, but that is not the case. Curry has been a great player for about 4 years now and lifted off into the stratosphere in the last two years. Despite what many say is only a very recent climb to greatness like Curry was an average player before last season, in the 2012-13 season Curry averaged 22.9 points a game and 6.9 assists a game while shooting 45% from the field and 3 point line. That is pretty damn good. Curry will surely rise in the rankings the pace he’s going at and will more than likely end up a top 25 player all time. He is the most efficient scorer possibly ever with his ability to knock down such a high volume of 3s at such a high efficiency.
38. Willis Reed
Best Season:21.1pts 14.5reb 2.3ast FG%.521 PER: 21.4
Career: 18.7pts 12.9reb FG%.476 PER: 18.6
Peak:3 Years 1968-71 21.3 pts 14.1 rebs 49.7%FG PER 20.4 40.0 win shares
Accolades:2x NBA Champion(’70,’73)2x FinalsMVP (‘70,73) League MVP(’70) 7x Allstar(’65-’71) 5x All-NBA Team (’67-71) All Defensive Team (’70) Rookie of the Year (’65) All-Rookie First Team (’65)
Why he moved: This had to do more with Worthy’s drop than anything else.
Willis Reed came into the league better than most of the competition ranking 7th in scoring and 5th in rebounding his rookie year. The Knicks struggled early on but soon became contenders with Willis Reed in the fold. Being forced to move to the power forward spot in 1965 hurt Reed because he was being forced to play out of position. After a trade that moved Bellamy out and allowed Reed to be back at his normal position at center. The following year Reed led the Knicks to their first ever championship and is best known for what he did in the finals that year. Reed missed game 6 due to a torn muscle and all hope was lost for the New York Knicks who were going against the trio of Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, and Elgin Baylor. In game 7 in Madison Square Garden Willis Reed showcased what very few player in the history of the NBA would do. He started the game which had the fans in New York go wild. He went 2 for 2 in the contest and even though that was all he did it gave his team the mental edge to take down the heavily favored Lakers team for the first championship in franchise history.
37. Gary Payton
Best Season:24.2pts 8.9ast 6.5reb 1.9stl PER: 23.6
Career:16.3pts 6.7ast 1.8stl PER 18.9
Peak:5 Years 1998-03 22.4 pts 5.0 rebs 8.6 asts 1.8 stls 45.3%FG PER 22.5 53.7 win shares
Accolades:NBA Champion(’06) 9x Allstar (’94-’98,’00-’03) 9x All-NBA team (’94-’02) Defensive Player of the Year (’96) 9x All-Defensive team (’94-’02) All-Rookie Second Team (’91) Leader in Steals (’96)
Why he moved: Simply my idea of what I should base my own perception on a player has changed. I had him above Nash before because of his two way play but with two MVPs and consistently running the league’s best offense Nash just slightly surpasses Payton in my book
“The Glove”, is one of the best perimeter defenders of all time. He earned his nickname from pick pocketing the ball from opposing point guards. Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp brought the Seattle Supersonics (Now Oklahoma City Thunder) to heights the franchise had not seen in a long time. Alongside Kemp, Payton lead the Sonics all the way to the finals but then running into a buzz saw that was the Chicago Bulls’ of the 90s. As a perimeter defender is where Payton was at his finest. Locking down players with his natural defensive instincts. That alongside Payton being considered the greatest trash talker the league has ever seen he could wear down his opponents physically and mentally.
36. Steve Nash
Previous Rank: 38
Best Season:18.8 pts 4.2 reb 10.5 ast FG%.512 3PT%.439 FT%.921 PER:23.3
Career:14.3 pts 8.5 ast FG%.490 3PT%.428 FT%.904 PER:20.0
Peak:4 Years 2004-08 17.5 pts 3.6 rebs 11.2 asts 51.3%FG 45.1%3PT PER 22.5 46.3 win shares
Accolades:2x League MVP(’05-’06) 8x Allstar (’02-’03,’05-’08,’10,’12) 7x All-NBA Team (’02-’03,’05-’08,’10) 5x assists leader (’05-’07,’10-’11) 3rd All-Time Career Assists Leader. 12th All-Time Career 3PTs Made
Why He Moved: When reordering my list I was expecting Nash to fall if anything but to my own surprise he did not only stay in the same area but actually moved up one spot. A lot of this had to do with James Worthy and Gary Payton’s drop more than anything else in this list.
One of the most efficient players to ever play the game, Nash excelled at making the perfect play in the famous 7 second offense. Nash dazzled arenas with ridiculously difficult passes to open guys. No matter where you were at you had to be ready to score anytime you were on the floor with this guy. Made impossible passes look easy and did so for the majority of his career. Nash is also one of the greatest shooters of all-time. In my opinion there is not another player in the history of the league with a better shooting stroke than Steve Nash had. The very exclusive 50-40-90 club is for the most efficient of players. The only people to ever be a part of it is Nash, Dirk, Bird, Price, and Durant. Out of each of these guys Nash leads the club with four seasons of having his FG%.50+, 3PT%.40+, FT%.90+. Larry Bird is the only other person to have more than one season with this efficiency with two seasons. He led the Suns to four different Western Conference Finals’ appearances. Even though one of his MVPs is very questionable, you cannot deny how great he was at making his teammates flourish in one of the greatest offenses in history.
35. Clyde Drexler
Best Season:27.2 7.9 reb 5.8 ast 2.7 stl FG%.496 PER 23.6
Career:20.4 pts 6.1 reb 5.6 ast 2.0 stl FG%.472 PER 21.1
Peak:5 Years 1986-91 24.1 pts 6.9 rebs 6.1 asts 2.3 stls 49.6%FG PER 22.4 60.1 win shares
Accolades:NBA Champion (’95) 10x Allstar (’86,’88-’94,’96-97) 5 All-NBA Team (’88,’90-’92,’95) 7th All-Time Career Leader in Steals
Why he moved: While there was movement around him Clyde happened to only fall back 5 spots. Clyde gets underrated a lot. He was a great all-around player. He barely edged out Payton because of his consistent impact on the game.
Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was known for the way he attacked the rim so efficiently. You can see he had an eye for the ball on defense from his numbers averaging two steals a game. As great of a scorer as Clyde was, he was never selfish. He was great at making teammates better averaging over 5 assists a game. He lead two teams to the finals when he was in Portland but came up short against the Pistons and of course the Michael Jordan Bulls team. His year against the Pistons he averaged 21.4 points 7.2 rebounds 7.1 assists and 2.5 steals. He raised his overall play once he reached the postseason. After many hard fought years in Portland he joined the reigning champions, Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon. He helped Hakeem capture another ring averaging 20 points and finally getting the ring that had eluded him up to that point. Clyde is one of the greatest shooting guards to ever play the game.
34. Allen Iverson
Previous Rank: 26
Best Season:33.0 pts 3.2 reb 7.4 ast 1.9 stl PER 25.9
Career:26.7 pts 6.2 ast 2.2 stl PER 20.9
Peak: 6 Years 2000-06 30.1 pts 3.9 rebs 6.3 asts 2.5 stls PER 22.7
AccoladesLeague MVP(’01) 11x Allstar (’00-’11) 7x All-NBA Team (’99-’04, ’05-’06) All-Rookie First Team (’97) Rookie of the Year (’97) 4x Scoring Champion (’99,’01-’02,’05) 3x Steals Leader (’01-’03) 22nd All-Time Career Leader in Scoring. 12 All-Time Career leader in Steals. Record for most steals in a playoff game(10).
Why he moved: Iverson had so much responsibility upon his shoulders it is ridiculous. What he did in 2001 was nothing short of spectacular. He gets labeled a selfish player despite having 6.2 assists per game for his career which is higher than the league average for point guards which is 5.9. Many will point to his field goal percentage which was not horrible most years and there were also some bad ones here and there, but whenever he went to Denver he shot 46% and that was an indication of what could have been the norm if he ever had any real offensive help in prime. Iverson moved bsck simply for that inefficiency overall and the missed playoffs.
He is pound for pound the best player to ever touch a basketball. Allen Iverson came in with a lot of hype and he lived up to it early on. Despite his famous “Practice” rant, he brought it every single game by sacrificing his body and doing anything he could to win. He was an icon; the first player to have tattoos all down his arms like so many players you see today. Arm sleeves came from when Allen Iverson had to cover up certain tattoos as the NBA found them inappropriate to display on TV. He took the worst set of surrounding players I have seen all the way to the Finals in 2001. The Lakers that year had won 19 straight games going into game 1 and Iverson beat them almost by himself as he did so many other times. Sadly his team just could not handle Shaq and the Sixers lost 4 straight after that. A ring has always eluded Iverson, but he never had any good pieces around him. The best player he got to play with was a very young Carmelo Anthony and at that point Iverson was on his way down from his prime. He is most known for his killer handles. He is probably the only guy ever to be able to have his own personal top 100 crossovers. The dude could ball. He brought street-ball to the NBA court and nobody has been able to do it like him since.
33. Bob Pettit
Previous Rank: 39
Best Season:27.9 pts 20.3 reb 3.4 ast PER: 25.2
Career:26.4 pts 16.2 reb 3.0 ast PER: 25.3
Peak:5 Years 1958-63 28.6 pts 17.5 rebs 3.4 asts 44.4%FG PER 25.2 67.0 win shares
Accolades:NBA champion (’58) League MVP (’56,’59) 11x Allstar (’55-’65) 11x All-NBA Team (’55-’65) Rookie of the Year (’55) 2x Scoring Champion 17th All-Time Career Leader in Rebounding.
Pettit was one the most dominant players of his time. His career numbers show just as much. He made the All-NBA team as a rookie and was only the second person to do so at the time. There is only two players in history to score more than 20 points every single season of their career. The two people are Bob Pettit and Alex Groza who only played two seasons, and Pettit he never finished less than 7th in the scoring race. He excelled at getting to the free throw line with over 30% of his points coming from free throws. He led a team to a championship in ’58. His career average of 16.2 rebounds per game is 3rd only to Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.
32. Kevin Durant
Previous Rank: 40
Best Season:32.0 pts 5.5 ast 7.4 reb FG%.503 PER: 29.8
Career:27.4 pts 3.7 ast 7.0 reb 48.3%FG 38.0%3PT PER 25.0
Peak:5 Years 2009-14 29.3 pts 7.5 rebs 3.9 asts 1.3 stls 1.0 blks 48.9%FG 38.1%3PT PER 26.9
Accolades:League MVP(’14) 7x Allstar (’10-’16) 6x All-NBA Team (’10-’14,’16) All-Rookie First Team (’08) Rookie of the Year (’08) 4x Scoring Champion (’10-’12,’14)
Why he moved: Kevin Durant is one of the greatest scorers in the history of basketball. His game is so smooth and fluid and would be much better off if he was not with Westbrook. Nevertheless though there is no way Kevin Durant is not over the others I originally had above. Willis Reed, George Gervin and the rest of those guys have been great. No question about it. Still it is hard for me to say that either of those two should be ahead of KD. Kevin Durant if he retired today is a surefire top 35 player of all time in my book.
It is too early for me to put him much higher but this last year he launched himself into the top 50 with his ridiculous MVP season. Breaking records Kevin Durant is an offensive juggernaut. He can pull up for a jumper anywhere on the court and there’s not a thing anyone can do about it. The man is 6’10!!! He has handles like a guard and can finish with ease. He already has a track record for hitting clutch shots. The only knock on him is that he does not look to score enough and he already averages 30. (And people ask for more!) His one appearance in the Finals he averaged 30 points and people said he was not trying hard enough. Even though I disagree with that, it just shows you how dominant KD is offensively. If they ever get a real offense down in Oklahoma watch out because the sky is the limit for Durant. By the end of his career he will more than likely be in the top 25.
31. Walt Frazier
Best Season:20.9 pts 8.2 asts 6.0 Rebs FG%.518 PER 21.1
Career:18.9pts 6.1asts 5.9reb FG%.490 PER 19.1
Peak:4 Years 1969-73 21.7 pts 6.7 rebs 6.6 asts 50.3%FG PER 20.4 58.1 win shares
Accolades:2x NBA Champion(’70,’73) 7x All-Star(’70-76) 6xAll-NBA team(’70-’75) 7xAll-Defensive team(’69-’75) All-Rookie first team(’68)
Why he moved: Walt Frazier’s ability to lock down players on one side of the court and demolish them on the other was not as appreciated to me as it is now so therefore he saw a big jump in perception from me.
Despite being known mostly for his attire worn to games Walt Frazier could ball. He was a part of one of the greatest backcourts ever. With him and Earl Monroe being constant threats attacking the rim. Frazier was a great rebounder as a point guard even averaging up to 7 rebounds in a season. He alongside Earl and Willis Reed led the Knicks to a championship against the powerhouse Lakers who had Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and Wilt on the same team. Nobody knows about the old Knicks teams in the 70s that actually won and gave a reason for the franchise to be revered. Frazier was one of the reason for that.