10. Kobe Bryant
Previous Rank: 6
Best Season:35.4 pts 5.3 reb 4.5 ast 1.8 stl PER 28.0
Career:25.0 pts 5.2 reb 4.7 ast 1.4 stl PER 23.2
Peak:5 years 2002-2008 29.7 pts 6.0 reb 5.4 ast 1.7 stl 45.0%FG PER 25.4
Accolades:5x NBA Champion (’00-’02, ’09-’10) 2x Finals MVP (’09-’10) League MVP (’08) 16x Allstar(’98,’00-’14) 15x All-NBA Team (’99-’13) 9x All-Defensive Team (’00-’04, ’06-’12) All-Rookie Second Team(’97) 2x Scoring Champion (’06-’07)4th All-Time Career Leader in Scoring. 15th All-Time Career in Steals. 13th All-Time Career Leader in 3-Pointers Made. Record for most 3-pointers in a game(12).
Why he moved: Kobe is the toughest player that has ever been in the NBA. He has played through so many injuries and these last few years have been sad to watch. Many might wonder why he dropped and a lot of that will be addressed with the next player, but I almost wanted to put Kobe higher especially with the feels of his retirement. He fell after close reexamination of those players around him, and as much as it has hurt me to do so Kobe just has to be under those others around him for me.
Warrior, hard-work, dedication, love for the game. These are the things Kobe should be known for. He works harder and is more relentless in his pursuit for greatness than any other player who has stepped into the NBA. If Kobe can walk Kobe will play. Nothing can keep him off of the court because he loves it that much. 5 time champion. One time MVP, Kobe is one of the greatest perimeter scorers of all-time sitting in 3rd place as of right now in career points. Kobe’s greatness packs arenas, even today at his old age now. He’s responsible for the 2nd greatest scoring performance ever in the NBA when he put up 81 points against the Raptors in a regular season game. He also put up 63 points in 3 quarters against the Mavs which was more than the entire Mavs team after 3 quarters. The man over a 5 game stretch averaged 53.6 points 6.8 rebounds on 52% from the field and 47% from 3. That is insane. Not only could he score, but he could lock up other wings and guards as well. Kobe is greatness personified.
9. Larry Bird
Previous Rank: 5
Best Season:29.9 pts 9.3 reb 6.1 ast 1.6 stl FG%.527 3PT %.414 FT%.916 PER 27.8
Career:24.3 pts 10.0 reb 6.1 ast 1.7 stl FG%.496 3PT%.376 FT%.886 PER 23.5
Peak:5 years 1981-1986 25.1 pts 10.5 reb 6.3 ast FG%.504 71.5 win shares PER 24.7
Accolades:3x NBA Champion (’81,’84,’86) 2x Finals MVP(’84,’86) 3x League MVP (’84-’86)12x Allstar (’80-88,’90-’92) 10x All-NBA Team (’80-’88,’90) 3x All-Defensive Team (’82-’84) Rookie of the Year (’80) All-Rookie First Team (’80)
Why he moved: It took me forever to do it but I have finally moved LeBron ahead Bird, and it is simply LeBron’s all around consistent dominance. He stays above Kobe because Bird did undoubtedly have the title as the best player in the league for a 3 year stretch, and it is hard to determine if Kobe ever really had that mantle or not. Larry Bird also I would argue just had more impact on the court than Kobe ever did.
Arguably the greatest Celtic to ever live. Larry Bird could do everything on the court just look at his career numbers. Making nearly 50% of his shots 38% of his threes and 88% on free throws Bird was an unstoppable force on offense. His defense has been overlooked as well despite being on the all-NBA defense 2nd team two different times. He won 3 MVP awards in a row. Players in the league were not scared of a Magic dominating them, they were afraid of the team as a whole. Teams went into Boston expecting Bird to single-handily beat them. He came into the league and immediately started destroying teams with the multiple ways he impacted the game. The man averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds while not being either of the two main bigs, and on top of that he was never a primary ball handler and managed to average 6 assists a game. The infamous Bird vs Magic rivalry was the reason the sport thrived in 80s after nearly plummeting in the 70s. Bird’s career ended up getting cut short because of major back problems in his later years.
8. Tim Duncan
Previous Rank: 7
Best Season:23.3 pts 12.9 reb 3.9ast 2.9blk FG%.513 PER 26.9
Career:19.9pts 11.1 reb 3.1 ast 2.2 blk FG%.506 PER 24.5
Peak: 4 years 1999-2003 23.5 pts 12.5 reb 3.5 ast 2.5 blk PER 25.7 60.5 win shares
Accolades:5x NBA Champion (’99,’03,’05,’07,’14) 3x Finals MVP (’99,’03,’05) 2x League MVP (’02-’03) 14x Allstar (’99-’11,’13) 14x All-NBA Team (’99-’10,’13) 14x All-Defensive Team (’98-’10,’13) All-Rookie First Team (’98) Rookie of the Year (’98) 19th All-Time Career Leader in Scoring. 11th All-Time Career Leader in Rebounds. 7th All-Time Career Leader in Blocks
Why he moved: Duncan ahead of Kobe I know creates a great debate. I could see the 2 argued over each other and both would be plausible arguments. Before I saw Kobe easily over Duncan until someone really changed my views upon it. Tim Duncan won that 03 finals and I mean TIM DUNCAN WON THE 03 Finals. He lead his team in scoring, rebounding, assists, and blocks. In that series Manu, Stephen Jackson, and Tony Parker all fell below the 40% mark from the field. Duncan in the closeout game put up 21 points 20 rebounds 10 assists and 8 blocks. That is just one example and I would give many, many, more, but I do not wish to go on a long rant over one player out of the 100 that are here.
Class personified is the best way to describe Timmy. Flashy, emotional, flamboyant, are all words not associated with Duncan. He treats basketball like a job. He comes in does what he’s asked and goes home to watch film on the next game. He’s never packed arenas but Tim Duncan never wanted to. He is without a doubt the best power forward of all-time. He hasn’t missed the Playoffs a single time since joining the league. He’s a 4 time champion including his sophomore season where he also took home the Finals MVP over David Robinson. Duncan is the reason for the greatness of the San Antonio organization. Duncan legitmeately carried two teams to championships and everyone seems to forget that because of what him and Pop have made the norm for the franchise. It will be interesting to see how this illustrious career ends.
7. Hakeem Olajuwon
Previous Rank: 8
Best Season:24.3 pts 14.0 reb 4.6blk 2.1 stl FG% .501 PER 24.1
Career:21.8 pts 11.1 reb 3.1 blk FG% .512 PER 23.6
Peak: 3 years 1992-1995 27.0 pts 12.0 reb 3.6 ast 1.8 stl 3.8 blk PER 26.2
Accolades: 2x NBA Champion (’94-’95)2x Finals MVP (94-95) League MVP (’94) 12x Allstar (’85-’90,’92-’97) 12x All-NBA team (’86-’91,’93-’97,’99) 9x All-Defensive Team (’85,’87-’88,’90-’91,’93-’94,’96-’97) 2x Defensive Player of the Year (’93-’94) All-Rookie Team (’85) 2x Rebounding Leader (’89-’90) 3x Blocks Leader (’90-’91,’93) 9th All-Time Career Leader in Scoring. 13th All-Time Career Leader in Rebounds. All-Time Career Leader in Blocks 8th All-Time Career Leader in Steals. Record for most blocks in a playoff game(10).
Why he moved: I was asked a question. That question was, “What exactly does Duncan do better than Hakeem?” . That question alone made me realize that even though Duncan has been a tremendous player throughout his career, he is not touching Hakeem. Circumstances have favored Duncan as well mightily and Hakeem was never really in an ideal situation even the years he was able to breakthrough and earn a ring. Hakeem was doubling the amount of points of his second leading scorer consistently and carried the Rockets throughout his time there while Duncan as amazing as he has been has had a lot of help along 2nd half of his career. I could see the argument when you look at what Duncan has been able to accomplish compared to what Hakeem has throughout his career, but by the numbers and individually Hakeem is better at every aspect of the game of basketball than Duncan is.
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. To anyone that disagrees with this I ask you this one question: Tell me one thing Hakeem couldn’t do. Just look at the awards. Rebounding machine 2 time defensive player. MVP. Champion. Had the most graceful post moves anybody has ever seen. All time leader in blocks. Case in point Olajuwon was a monster on both sides of the court. He would block shots emphatically averaging 4+ blocks in more than one season. He’s one of 4 players to ever record a quadruple double showing he is capable of dominating the game is a vast majority of ways. Hakeem is the only player to ever have 200+ steals and 200+ blocks. Which is pretty damn impressive. Hakeem is also the only player to ever win Defensive player of the Year, League MVP and Finals MVP in a single season. He’s the only player ever to retire in top 10 career numbers for points, rebounds, blocks, and steals. He’s the only guy I could find who averaged more than double the points than the next best scorer on his team in the Playoffs. (Jordan was close in ’97)He had a memorable playoff run in 94′ to grab hold of a championship that eluded him up to that point. He wasn’t done there though winning another title for the franchise the following year with help of Clyde Drexler. His skill set alone put him in the top 15, but his achievements near the end of his prime are what defined him making him number 6.
6. Wilt Chamberlain
Previous Rank: 9
Best Season: 50.4pts 25.7 reb FG%.506 PER 31.7
Career:30.1 pts 22.9 reb 4.4asts FG%.540 PER 26.1
Peak:3 years 1965-1968 27.4 pts 24.2 reb 7.2 ast FG%.593 63.7 win shares PER 26.5
Accolades:2x NBA Champion (’67,’72) Finals MVP (’72) 4x League MVP (’60, ’66-’68) 13x Allstar (’60-’69,’71-’73) 10x All-NBA Team (’60-’68,’72) 2x All-Defensive Team (’72-’73) Rookie of the Year (’60) 7x Scoring Champion (’60-’66) Assists Leader (’68) 11x Rebounding Champion (’60-’63,’66-’69,’71-’73) 5th in All-Time Career scoring. Career All-Time Leader in Rebounds. Record for Points in a single Game(100). Record for most rebounds in a single game(55). Record for most Points per game in a season(50.4). Record for most free-throws in a single game(28). Record for most points in a season(4092). Record for most rebounds per game in a season(27.2). Record for most rebounds in a season (2149). Record for most minutes in a season (3882). Record for most minutes per game average (48.5). Record for most rebounds in a playoff game(41). Highest career average for rebounds per game(22.9). Highest career average for minutes per game (45.8).
Why he moved:He is the main reason everyone else moved. I simply had him too low before, and he was the most dominant player the NBA has ever seen. You can simply look at the accolades above and know that he deserves to be here. Another thing that many people do not remember is his ridiculous playoff run in 1967 dominating every single aspect of the game leading the team to become one of the greatest ever.
Big Dipper paved the way for a player like Shaquille O’Neal. There would never have been a Shaq without first having Wilt Chamberlain. His numbers are unreal. If there was any one player to look at when it came to stuffing stat sheets it’s Wilt. He averaged 50 points a game in the 62′ season. And 29 rebounds per game another year. People say he wasn’t playing with any good centers but in the game he recorded 50 rebounds Bill Russell was on the floor. As great as Wilt was he was not a winner. Winning two championships in his later years with the Warriors and being the 2nd best player on a 72′ Lakers team he lost to the Celtics time and time again. There are many misconceptions of the time Wilt played in, but contrary to the belief of many Wilt did not just face a bunch of small white guys. There were other centers in the league not named Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain and the average height of centers at the time was 6’10. The one thing Wilt is known for more than anything else is his performance that could be argued as the greatest performance by a player ever in any sport, scoring 100 points in a single game. Wilt to this day owns over 90 records. There will never ever be another Wilt Chamberlain. Ever.
5. Shaquille O’Neal
Previous Rank: 4
Best Season:29.7 pts 13.6 reb 3.8 ast 3.0 blk FG%.574 PER 30.6
Career: 23.7 pts 10.9 reb 2.3 blk FG%.582 PER 26.4
Peak:3 years 1999-2002 28.6 pts 12.4 reb 3.5 ast 2.6 blk FG%.575 46.8 win shares PER 30.2
Accolades:4x NBA Champion (’00-’02,’06) 3x Finals MVP (’00-’02) League MVP (’00) 15x Allstar (’93-’98,’00-’07,’09) 14x All-NBA Team (’94-’06,’09) 3x All-Defensive Team (’00-’01,’03) All-Rookie First Team (’93) Rookie of the Year (’93) 2x Scoring Champion (’95,’00) 6th All-Time Career Leader in scoring. 14th All-Time Career Leader in Rebounds. 8th All-Time Career Leader in Blocks
Why he moved: Shaq ahead of Wilt is a bold move to many and I understand why. The reason for this though is simply the playoffs. Shaq is one of the most dominant forces we have ever seen in the NBA but that dominance translated to the postseason better than Wilt did. For that reason alone I have Shaq over Wilt. Shaq moved down a spot in favor of LeBron who put on arguably the greatest finals performance of all time.
Shaq was the most dominant force the NBA has ever seen. There was absolutely nothing you could do to stop Shaq down in the paint. He could drop 40 and 20 anytime he wanted; the problem was always his want to do it. From 1992 – 2006 he averaged 20+points per game. He lead the Lakers alongside Kobe to 3 straight championships. Absolutely dominating the competition. If Shaq was to ever have the motivation as any other player in the top 10 we would more than likely be talking about the greatest player ever being a center.
4. Magic Johnson
Previous Rank: 3
Best Season:22.5 pts 7.9 reb 12.8 ast 1.8 stl FG%.509 FT%.911 PER 26.9
Career:19.5 pts 7.2 reb 11.2 ast 1.9 stl FG%.520 PER 24.1
Peak:3 years 1986-1989 22.0 pts 5.8 reb 12.3 ast FG%.509 PER 25.8
Accolades:5x NBA Champion (’80,’82,85’87-’88) 3x Finals MVP (’80,’82,’87) 3x League MVP (’87,’89-’90) 12x Allstar (’80,’90-’92) 10x All-NBA Team (’82-’91) All-Rookie First Team (’80) 4x Assists Leader (’83-’84,’86-’87) 2x Steals Leader (’81-’82) 5th All-Time Career Leader in Assists. 18th All-Time Career Leader in Steals. Record for most assists in a playoff game(24). Record for highest average for assists per game(11.2).
Why he moved: Magic Johnson edges out Shaq because there is something to be said about going to the finals 9 times winning 5 times in a 12 year span as the best player of the team. . It is not like Magic does not have the stats to back his claim as the 4th best player ever as you can see above. The reason Magic fell was in favor of LeBron who has done nearly as much in terms of team success and on an individual level done even more with less talent around him.
The 6’9 point guard as a rookie won a championship and Finals MVP honors. Describing how great his career was is hard but this is the best way I can put it. Magic was the greatest point guard on the greatest team in the most difficult and competitive era of basketball. The ring leader of the “Showtime” Lakers. Magic made the Finals 9 out of his 12 years and despite the competition in the West going to the finals 9 out of 12 years is impressive nonetheless. If anyone wants one guy to run their team it would be Magic Johnson. The selfless superstar thrived off of making ridiculous passes. The hardest part is his career was cut short after his early retirement due to the HIV virus. His rivalry with Larry Bird and the Celtics will be talked about forever as the greatest rivalry in basketball.
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Previous Rank: 2
Best Season:27.7 pts 16.9 reb 5.0 ast 1.5 stl 4.1 blk FG%.529 PER 27.2
Career:24.6 pts 15.3 reb 2.6 blk FG%.559 PER 24.6
Peak:5 years 1970-1975 30.8 pts 15.5 reb 4.3 ast FG%.553 100.9 win shares PER 27.6
Accolades:6x NBA Champion(‘71,80,’82,’85,’87-’88) 2x Finals MVP(’71,’85) 6x League MVP (’71-’72,’74,’76-’77,’80) 19x Allstar (’70-’77,’79-’89) 15x All-NBA Team (’70-’74,’76,’81,’83-’86) 11x All-Defensive Team (’70-’71,’74-’81,’84) Rookie of the Year (’70) All-Rookie First Team (’70) 2x Scoring Champion (’71-’72) 4x Blocks Leader (’75-’76,’79-’80) Rebounding Champion (’76) All-Time Career Leader in Scoring. 3rd All-Time Career Leader in Rebounding. 3rd All-Time Career Leader in Blocks. All-Time Career Leader in minutes.
Why he moved: The reason Kareem is not number 1 is simply because this a list of the NBA top 50. Meaning this does not bring in the ABA, college or high school accolades, because if this was a list about entire basketball career Kareem would be number one. Magic stays behind Kareem because of the fact that Kareem has more rings and was the most dominating player in the game for a very long time including before Magic stepped foot into the league. He falls back in favor of a player who has been the #1 option on 3 championship teams and never was able to play 2nd fiddle to anyone.
The creator of the unstoppable sky hook Kareem walked in the league and immediately made noise. Winning a ring alongside Oscar Robertson and 5 more with Magic Johnson. Winning 6 MVPs and being selected to 19 all star selections (only year he missed the all-star game was 1978 in which he was out 20 games due to a broken hand). His first 3 years in the league Kareem had 2 scoring titles, 2 league MVPs, Rookie of the Year and one Finals MVP. That alone would have gotten him in the top 50 but that was just the start. Kareem is the definition of consistency. At his peak he never dominated like Shaq or Wilt but his consistency and leadership give him an edge. The all-time leader in scoring Kareem had it all. He never averaged less than 20 points a game until he was 39 and I implore you to find someone else at the center position who has done that. His passing is not talked about enough when he has more career assists than any other big man ever. Underrated leader Kareem has been accustomed to winning since high school. Arguably if you’re speaking on terms of an entire basketball career and not NBA career you can make an argument for Kareem being the greatest ever. When Kareem retired he lead the league in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, blocked shots, and defensive rebounds.
2. LeBron James
Previous Rank: 14
Best Season:30.0 pts 7.9 reb 7.2 ast 1.8 stl 1.1 blk PER 29.1
Career:27.2 pts 7.2 reb 6.9 ast 1.7 stl PER 27.7
Peak: 4 years 2009-2013 27.6 pts 7.7 reb 7.3 ast 1.7 stl PER 30.1
Accolades:3x NBA Champion (’12-’13,’16) 3x Finals MVP (’12-’13,’16) 4x League MVP (’09-’10,’12-’13) 12x Allstar (’05-’16) 12x All-NBA Team (’05-’16) 6x All-Defensive Team (’09-’14) Rookie of the Year (’04) All-Rookie First Team (’04) Scoring Champion (’08).
Why he moved: I have never put the final losses to the Spurs on him as they have been simply out of his control, but I believe I put more weight into his disappearance against the Mavericks than I should have. What LeBron did this past year with the Cavs was something special. He put on one the greatest finals performance ever in a series, that in all honesty went way farther than I ever thought was possible. I never should have had him as low as I did and will admit that fault. Many might wonder why I have him over Kobe. Well the reason is that LeBron has better numbers across the board and no matter if you’re looking at basic numbers or the advanced ones they all favor LeBron. Many might point to Kobe’s rings but LeBron never got a chance to play with prime Shaq. LeBron has more MVPs Finals MVPs better across the board statistically and done the impossible taking that 07 Cleveland team to the finals and not getting completely torn apart by the Warriors in the 2015 finals. He has been making the impossible possible a lot. His latest championship is arguably the most impressive championship of all time. He not only beat a 73 win team on a game 7 on the road but led both teams in every single statistical category. He was already a top 10 player of all time before, but he is now unquestionably a top 3 player of all time in my eyes and he edges out Kareem for me just because LeBron has never been 2nd fiddle to anyone.
The most physically gifted player to ever step foot on the hardwood. He’s as strong as a power forward, as fast as a guard and one of the most intelligent minds we’ve seen on the court. A lot of expectations were thrown at the high school player from Akron but from the very first day he stepped into the league he dominated. The year of the ’07 Playoff run was a great one to say the least for LeBron. What I believe to be his best game ever, he put up 24 straight points against the Detroit Pistons. Leading the team in ’07 to the NBA finals only to run into a buzz saw against the Spurs. James is the greatest Cavalier ever after a 8 year stint with the team before taking his talents to South Beach to team up with champion Dwyane Wade and all-star Chris Bosh in pursuit of a ring. LeBron had many troubles that first season but despite that the team was able to make it to the Finals, only to be beat by a red hot Dallas Mavericks team. In that series LeBron put up the worst performance I have ever seen in a Playoff series ever. He was putrid in 4th quarters as he left Dwyane Wade hanging on his own. After the travesty of the 2011 Finals LeBron took a look in the mirror and figured out what he needed to do. He then came back that following year completely dominating all competition.
Putting up an epic performance against the Boston Celtics to force a game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Followed by beating the Thunder in a 5 game series. He got a rematch the following year against the Spurs. And again this time LeBron’s team got the job done in an epic 7 game series. LeBron came back to the finals for the 4th straight year in an attempt for a three-peat. This time being supremely outmatched by the San Antonio Spurs system, losing by a record margin of 14 points a game. If you look at impact numbers alone, LeBron has some of the most ridiculous VORP, BPM, win shares, etc. of any player in history. After losing the Finals he has come back home to Cleveland and only time will tell what else LeBron is able to show us.
1. Michael Jordan
Previous Rank: 1
Best Season:37.1 pts 5.2 reb 4.6 ast 2.9 stl 1.5 blk FG%.482 PER 29.8
Career:30.1 pts 6.2 reb 5.3 ast 2.3 stl FG%.497 PER 27.9
Peak:5 years 1988-1993 31.9 pts 6.5 reb 5.9 ast 2.6 stl FG%.519 94 win shares PER 30.3
Accolades:6x NBA Champion (’91-’93,’96-’98) 6x Finals MVP (’91-’93,’96-’98) 5x League MVP (’88,’91-’92,’96,’98) Defensive Player of the Year (’88) Rookie of the Year (’85) All-Rookie First Team (’85) 14x Allstar (’85-’93,’96-’98,’02-’03) 11x All-NBA Team (’85,’87-’93,’96-’98)9x All-Defensive (’88-’93,’96-’98) 10x Scoring Champion (’87-’93,’96-’98) 3x Steals Leader (’88,’90,’93) 3rd All-Time Career Leader in Scoring. 3rd All-Time Career Leader in Steals. Record for most points in a playoff game(63). Record for highest points per game (30.1).
Why he stayed: I mean I feel like there is not much of an explanation needed here. Jordan is the greatest player that ever step foot into the NBA. You want a winner? 6 time champion. You want a player who dominated on an individual level? 5 time MVP. Need a great defensive player? One of only 6 guard/forwards to ever be honored as defensive player of the year. He was a scoring machine, and there are plenty indications of how he could dominate a game with his rebounding or passing. In my opinion and the perspective I have when judging players makes him easily the greatest NBA player of all time.
Jordan is without a doubt the greatest NBA player to ever step on the hardwood. His competitive will to win outweighed the odds multiple times over. After scoring 63 points against the juggernaut Celtics his sophomore season Larry Bird started to believe he was Jesus on the court. From that point on is when the legacy began. He has had the most 50 point games in a single season since the ABA-NBA merger. If you believe that Jordan was purely a scorer then you would be dead wrong. When coach Doug Collins decided to experiment with Jordan playing the point guard position one of the most amazing feats happened. Jordan had 10 triple-double games out of an 11 game stretch. The thing Jordan excelled at the most was finding a way to make things happen on the court. If his shot wasn’t falling he wouldn’t force it, but instead would try and succeed in dominating another facet of the game. I don’t think I have to mention what kind of ability Jordan had to finish games out in the clutch. Everyone knew when it was time for someone to close the deal, that Jordan would be that guy that would finish out the game. For many years after that he had struggles passing by the Pistons in the Playoffs. They implemented the “Jordan Rules” which was to make sure that wherever Jordan was he felt them. If he tried to go inside the paint he was punished and dared to go back inside. After many years of struggling he improved vastly for his matchup against Detroit and Scottie Pippen helped propel the Bulls past Detroit. Once Jordan got over that hurdle the sky was the limit. He won 3 straight championships and the game became so easy to him that he retired to go after new challenges for a year. Then he got his competitive edge back and wished to compete again. The year he came back they fell up short to the Orlando Magic led by Shaq. This was the only Playoff series Jordan lost in the entire decade of the 90s. Following that year Jordan went on again to win another 3 championships and having the best regular season record ever with 72 wins and only 10 losses. If you feel like Jordan didn’t face any competition, every opponent he faced in the Finals had a player within the top 35 of this list. He dominated each and every one of them. In most sports there is not a GOAT, but when it comes to basketball everyone knows Michael Jeffrey Jordan is hands down the greatest that ever lived.
Disagree, sound off below in the comments section to voice your opinion. If not here then you can debate any of this list with me on Twitter @DeeSportsTalk