BallnRoll’s 100 Greatest NBA Players of All Time: #71-80
In BallnRoll’s third instalment of NBA Top 100, we look at the next set of NBA greats!
If you missed part two, click here.
Following up part one, part two highlighted some of the greatest players to ever step foot on a basketball court. The likes of Chris Webber, Alonzo Mourning, and Chris Bosh all cracked the top 100 list.
Now moving on, we take a look at numbers 71-80, a list that may just be highlighted by the greatest Toronto Raptor of all time.
80. David Thompson
- Career Stats: 9 Seasons, 22.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 19.9 PER, 60.3 Win Shares
Starting us off this week is former Denver Nugget great, David Thompson, one of the most explosive basketball players to ever step onto the hardwood. Compared to the ‘Dr. J’ and nicknamed ‘Skywalker’, Thompson soared through the air and was able to score from anywhere at anytime.
At the age of 23, Thompson was already the best paid player in the league. If you ever questioned his ability to score, Thompson poured in a 73-point effort against the Detroit Pistons – yeah, he could not be stopped. In the blink of an eye, he was able to get to the net and sore above the rim.
Unfortunately, cocaine and alcohol troubled Thompson throughout his career, and as injuries began to kick in, Thompson was unable to continue his career in his age 30 season.
79. Hal Greer
- Career Stats: 15 Seasons, 19.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, 15.7 PER, 102.7 Win Shares
Racking up over 20,000 career points, Hal Greer was a 10-time All-Star and an NBA champion throughout his illustrious 15-year career.
A model of consistency, played with the same franchise for his entire career after being a 13th overall pick in the second round. A definite diamond in the rough, Greer was well known for his unorthodox jump shot free throws and being recognized as the third best guard of the 60’s, behind Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.
78. Bill Sharman
- Career Stats: 11 Seasons, 17.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 18.2 PER, 82.8 Win Shares
One of the biggest names in NBA and Boston Celtics history, Bill Sharman was the greatest shooter of his era and one of the first guards to push his field goal percentage over 40%. To this day, Sharman remains one of the best free throw shooters the NBA has ever seen.
Teaming with point guard Bob Cousy to form a legendary backcourt, Sharman won four NBA championships as a player, one as a coach, and five more as an executive. The late Sharman was inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame twice, once as a player, then as a coach.
77. Manu Ginobili
- Career Stats: 15 Seasons, 13.6 PPG, 3.9 APG, 20.6 PER, 104.2 Win Shares
While it is still unknown whether or not Manu Ginobili will continue his career, one thing is for certain – the four-time NBA champion and San Antonio Spurs lifer is an all-time great.
As he ages, it’s rare to see the same flashiness that Manu has been known for in his days in Argentina and early on in his NBA career. Still, a clutch performer, a great leader, a professional in every sense of the word, Ginobili continues to be productive in a game that favours younger guards.
A big part of the Spurs dynasty, Ginobili was able to do it all in his prime. With flare and swagger, Ginobili became a superstar on the NBA level, while still continuing to be a massive component of Argentinian basketball.
76. Dennis Johnson
- Career Stats: 14.1 PPG, 5.0 APG, 14.6 PER, 82.6 Win Shares
Not known for lightly tossing around compliments, Larry Bird called Dennis Johnson the greatest player he has ever played with. A bench player as a senior in high school and lightly recruited college player, Johnson grinded his way into the NBA and worked his way into superstardom.
Known primarily for his work on the defensive end of the court, ‘DJ’ became the best defensive guard of his time. With quick hands, the gritty defender was selected onto nine NBA All-Defensive teams. Johnson would also win three NBA championships as a player.
Unfortunately, Johnson was only 52 when he passed away due to a heart attack he suffered, but his legacy will live on in the fabrics of the NBA forever!
75. Grant Hill
- Career Stats: 18 Seasons, 16.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 19.0 PER, 19.9 Win Shares
Robbed from his true potential due to injury, Grant Hill was on his way to becoming one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Playing 82-games only once in his 18-NBA seasons, Hill was a seven time All-Star, and came out of the storied Duke University basketball program touted as one of the best players in the school’s history. Known as one of the best all-around players the league has ever seen, it is disappointing that Hill was never able to live up to his potential, but despite his extensive NBA history, Hill is still a top 100 player of all time.
74. Tom Heinsohn
- Career Stats: 9 Seasons, 18.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 17.8 PER, 60.0 Win Shares
Another Celtics great cracks the list.
Tom Heinsohn is a winner. In his nine seasons in the NBA, all of which he spent with the Boston Celtics, Heinsohn was part of eight championship teams and was selected to the All-Star team six times. Similar to Bill Sharman, Heinsohn was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on two different occasions – as a player and as a coach.
Now a colour commentator for the Celtics, Heinsohn is a basketball and Celtics lifer who has been part of the organization in some capacity for each of their 17-NBA championships.
Despite being overshadowed by his Celtics teammates, Heinsohn was a key cog in Boston’s dynasty and is rightfully one of the greatest of all time.
- Career Stats: 18.8 PPG, 7.4 APG, 18.0 PER, 83.4 Win Shares
The Celtics theme is clearly not ending.
At a minuscule 6’1”, 150-pound frame, Nate Archibald was nicknamed ‘Tiny’ and went onto become one of the greatest point guards in NBA history. In 1972-73, Archibald averaged 34-points and 11.4-assists per game, as his legendary career really began to take off.
Upon retirement, Archibald was the only player in league history to have a season in which he led the league in points and assists. While a good passer and adequate shooter, it was his speed and shiftiness that really set him apart, as ‘Tiny’ used his electric agility to drive past defenders on his way to the basket.
72. Pete Maravich
- Career Stats: 10 Seasons, 24.2 PPG, 5.4 APG, 18.4 PER, 46.7 Win Shares
Pistol Pete Maravich brought a flare to the NBA unlike any other and flash that was never before seen until the ‘Showtime Lakers’ era.
Cited by the Basketball Hall of Fame as “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history”, Maravich was a dynamic scorer and one of the flashiest passers to ever step foot on an NBA court. Becoming the first player to dribble behind his back and make between-the-leg passes, there was not a single trick that the late, great Pistol Pete couldn’t do.
71. Vince Carter
- Career Stats: 18.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 19.3 PER, 122.3 Win Shares
Half man, half amazing, Vince Carter rounds out part three of our NBA Top 100 list.
The greatest dunker of all time, Carter’s career took off while with the Toronto Raptors, quickly becoming the greatest player in the team’s history. An electric scorer, not many players in the history of the game can ever match his athletic ability.
Now as a shabby veteran, Carter has been able to transform his game to still be a very productive NBA player. A sure-fire Hall of Famer, Carter’s electrifying dunks and swagger will never be forgotten.
Check back next week for part four of our Top 100 list!