BallnRoll’s 100 Greatest NBA Players of All Time: #21-30
We begin part 8 of our top 100 Greatest NBA Players list this week as we continue to creep closer to the top-10 and eventually to the part of our list where we name the best player in NBA history.
In the case that you missed part 7, click here.
After Part 7 covered a plethora of point guards, Part 8 follows a different trend and will spotlight four of the game’s greatest big men to ever play. You will also notice a few ‘Kevins’ will have cracked this weeks list as well.
Who makes this week’s list? Let’s kick things off at number 30!
30. Chris Paul
- Career Stats: 12 Seasons, 18.7 PPG, 9.9 APG, 25.7 PER, 154.6 Win Shares
Chris Paul is the classic, pass-first point guard. An extension of the head coach on the floor and the perfect floor general. Quite possibly the best point guard of the 21st century, the nine-time All-Star is built in the mold of what a point guard should be.
And Paul is not only a great passer. He can score when he wants, he has the handles and finesse to get away from defenders and can put in the work on the other end of the floor as well. The former Rookie of the Year, has also been named to nine All-Defensive teams. A leader, an ambassador of the game, and a player who gives back to the community, Paul gets us started at number 30!
29. Kevin McHale
- Career Stats: 13 Seasons, 17.9 PPG, 7.3 PPG, 20.o PER, 113.0 Win Shares
Enter, the first Kevin of our list!
There may have never been a power forward with a better post game than Kevin McHale, a three-time NBA champion as part of the Boston Celtics.
A seven-time All-Star, McHale also won the Sixth Man of the Year award twice and was named onto six All-Defensive teams. A defensive standout, not many players, if any at all were able to stop one third of quite possibly the greatest front line in NBA History (along with Larry Bird and Robert Parish).
28. Isiah Thomas
- Career Stats: 13 Seasons, 19.2 PPG, 9.3 APG, 18.1 PER, 80.7 Win Shares
A point guard who never let his lack of size impact his effectiveness on the court. At just six feet, 180-pounds, Isiah Thomas was a 12-time NBA All-Star, and an integral part of the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons whom he led to two NBA championships.
He is the greatest player ever to don a Detroit Pistons jersey, and is the team’s all-time leader in games, points, assists, and steals. ‘Zeke’ was feisty, gritty, quick, and scrappy, and despite his size, became one of the top two greatest point guards of the 1980’s.
27. Clyde Drexler
- Career Stats: 15 Seasons, 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 21.1 PER, 135.6 Win Shares
One of the game’s most underrated yet greatest guards of all time, Clyde Drexler was an explosive scorer and a key part of the Houston Rockets 1995 NBA championship team.
While winning his only NBA ring in Houston, Drexler first made a name for himself as a member of the Portland Trailblazers where he became one of the league’s best scorers. Drexler was such a great scorer and player that he is widely considered to be the second greatest shooting guard of the 1900’s, right behind a certain Chicago Bulls great.
26. Dwyane Wade
- Career Stats: 14 Seasons, 23.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 24.3 PER, 117.2 Win Shares
Widely known as the third greatest shooting guard in NBA history, Dwyane Wade has put together a Hall of Fame worthy resume as a member of the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls.
While as of late, injuries have slowed him down and ‘Flash’ has turned into just ‘Flashes’, Wade is still a very dangerous offensive weapon. As for in his prime, Wade was electric and a true offensive juggernaut. A 12-time All-Star, Wade won three NBA championships with the Heat, putting in one of the best Finals’ performances ever seen.
Always a great scorer with tons of swagger, Wade was a box office attraction as a member with the Miami Heat and still renames one of the biggest names in the NBA today.
25. Scottie Pippen
- Career Stats: 17 Seasons, 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 18.6 PER, 125.1 Win Shares
The great Michael Jordan was never able to win until his Hall of Fame sidekick entered the fray.
When discussing greatest defenders in league history, the seven-time All-Star Scottie Pippen should be mentioned on every list. At 6’7” Pippen was the forgotten hero in Chicago, but went down as one of the more versatile players in NBA history.
The six-time NBA Champion and 10-time All-Defensive team member, Pippen was able to lead an entire offense like a point guard, rebound the ball like a power forward, and score like a shooting guard. Even without Jordan, Pippen was able to lead his Chicago Bulls in to the playoffs and keep the team competitive.
24. Bob Pettit
- Career Stats: 11 Seasons, 26.4 PPG, 16.2 RPG, 25.3 PER, 136.0 Win Shares
A prolific scorer at LSU, Bob Pettit simply out-worked his competition in the NBA and became one of the league’s first superstars.
An All-Star in every single season of his career, Pettit led the St. Louis Hawks to an NBA championship in 1958. He was a four-time All-Star Game MVP, a two-time league MVP, and a two-time Scoring Champion in what was an illustrious NBA career for the lanky power forward. Pettit was actually the first ever recipient of the NBA MVP award and retired as the game’s superstar power forward.
23. Dirk Nowitzki
- Career Stats: 19 Seasons, 21.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 22.9 PER, 201.3 Win Shares
When discussing best international player in NBA history, the name atop of the list should be Dirk Nowitzki’s.
Entering the league as one of the century’s first few stretch-fours, Nowitzki become a legend as part of the Dallas Mavericks, scoring over 30,000-points with the franchise and winning the team’s only championship.
The German power forward is a 13-time All-Star and former league MVP, and with his token fadeaway jumper was able to craft himself a Hall of Fame worthy career. It is unknown how much time Dirk has left in the NBA, but one thing is for sure, Nowitzki is one of the best shooting big man the league has ever seen and one of it’s best players.
22. Kevin Garnett
- Career Stats: 23 Seasons, 17.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 22.7 PER, 191.4 Win Shares
Raw emotion and dominance can sum up Kevin Garnett’s career rather nicely.
A 15-time NBA All-Star, Garnett was one of the best two-way players in NBA history. A guy who essentially helped put the Minnesota Timberwolves on the map and keep them relevant, Garnett was his first and only NBA ring with the Boston Celtics.
With a good mid-range game and athleticism, Garnett was always a great scorer, but on the defensive end, he was just as great. Garnett has a Defensive Player of the Year award in his trophy case and cracked 12 All-Defensive teams. One of the best trash talkers and motivators in the game, Garnett is the one of the NBA’s greatest power forwards and players!
21. Kevin Durant
- Career Stats: 10 Seasons, 27.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 25.2 PER, 119.8 Win Shares
When all is said and done, Kevin Durant may go down as the greatest scorer in NBA history. There is not a spot on the floor where Durant is not effective.
An underrated defender, Durant can really do it all. An MVP, a Finals’ MVP, a nine-time All-Star, and a four time Scoring Champion, there has never been a purer scorer in NBA history. He can pull up from anywhere and score over anyone. Simply put, there is no better way to end our week’s list than with this past NBA Finals’ Most Valuable Player!
Check back next week for part nine of our Top 100 list!