- Larry Bird
– Larry Legend. Arguably one of the greatest players to put on a Celtics uniform and the man that brought basketball back to life along with Magic in the 80’s. He is without a doubt the smartest player I have ever seen. He didn’t dazzle with his athleticism, but he was so good at being one step ahead of the opponent that he could beat them to different spots all the time. He is also on the all-time list of best clutch shooters. This man was so confident in his abilities that it literally made him that much more dangerous on the court.
2. Scottie Pippen
– For those of you that say he was only good because of MJ, go look at his stats ad highlights from 1993-1995 when Jordan was gone. He carried the Bulls and led them in pretty much every category. He was one of the first players that could get the rebound and then take the ball the length of the floor to slam it in. He was something to watch. Pippen’s greatest attribute was his defense. He was so versatile and athletic that he could guard wings and point guards. He was always among the league leaders in steals and was an all-defensive 1st team selection 8 times!
3. LeBron James
– He may be number one on this list when he hangs them up, but that fact that he is number three and is only 30 is mind-boggling! LeBron can literally play every position on the floor. He is fast, quick, and skilled enough to play he point, versatile and athletic enough to play the wing, and big and strong enough to pay in the post. I have never seen anything like him and I don’t think we will again for a long time. I really don’t see a weakness in his game anymore since he improved his jump shot. So he may actually be un-guardable at times now.
4. Julius Erving
– Everyone may know him for his dunking ability, and rightfully so. What people don’t remember, however, is that he popularized the very move. It wasn’t just him slamming it in, it was him perfecting an art that is rarely used the same way today. Dr. J is ranked 6th in career scoring and is arguably the best player in 76ers history. His most memorable play was the rocking windmill over Michael Cooper in the 1983 NBA Finals, which the Sixers won over the Lakers in a sweep.
5. James Worthy
– BIG GAME JAMES. The man consistently the finisher of the Lakers’ “Showtime” fast break. He was something to watch too. He wasn’t the type of small forward you see today. He didn’t shoot a lot of 3’s, but was instead usually on the perimeter doing his damage from mid-range or in the post. What impressed me the most about Worthy was his ability to do multiple things during the game. He rebounded the ball, ran the floor, and finished fast breaks the entire game. That takes a lot of stamina, durability, and skill!