Kobe was selected to 12 All-Defensive teams during his career and would routinely shut down top NBA players night in and night out. He was a 15-time all-star and four-time NBA Champion. STEPHON MARBURY, 6-2 [Eds. And who do you give the nod to between three legendary point guards—Chris Paul, Steve Nash, and Jason Kidd—when there's only room for one? That’s a league MVP award, but I don’t think we should knock him for that if that’s missing from his resume when he ultimately retires. He became the first player to earn Parade Magazine first team honors three years in a row. That's flat out impressive. Since coming out of high school to enter the NBA in 2001, Chandler has enjoyed a long and successful NBA career thanks to his defensive talents. Bill Russell might have more titles, Wilt Chamberlain might have all those untouchable records, but Abdul-Jabbar was offensively skilled in ways Russell never was and retired as the league leader in nine statistical categories thanks to an impressive staying power Chamberlain couldn't match. However, he was also one of the best defensive players of his era. We all know Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, and at least a handful of other stars can mess around and get a triple-double practically whenever they want. “This might shock you: Elgin Baylor. —ZF, If you’re wondering why we have the diminutive point guard who played all 19 seasons of his storied career with the Jazz on this list, I have to seriously question your basketball IQ. And let's be honest, you're being naive if you don't think he has a chance to take the No. He also ranks 12th all-time in blocks. All you really need to know is that Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest center and it’s not even a debate. The captain of the "Showtime" Lakers should firmly be included on anyone's NBA top 5 list. It comes in a range of great colors which is perfect for a full young team. Dennis Johnson played 14 seasons in the NBA and held crucial roles on three different NBA championship teams. [Background: former D3 player; 9-year overseas professional player] There is not a clear answer to this question, for multiple reasons. The Big O is easily one of the best college basketball players ever. 1. 1 spot on this list when his career is over. There’s a reason why the NBA Finals MVP is named after him. Younger players want cool basketballs and the Wilson Killer Crossover Basketball is sure to impress. Despite this, Frazier is remembered as having some of the quickest hands in NBA history, allowing to snatch up plenty of steals. However, Tony Allen made a name for himself by playing elite defense night in and night out. NBA MVP. Probably agreed with half of it, but was so respectful he wouldn’t say anything until later.” After hashing things out, Pop often let Duncan have his way. But one of the greatest guards ever made the All-Star team each of his 14 seasons in Los Angeles, made 12 All-NBA squads, and was a five-time All-Defense selection. Others, like James Harden and Giannis Antetkounmpo, could very well have resumes worthy of serious consideration, meaning we'd have to demote two legends. —AC, If you know The Big Fundamental’s backstory then you know the idea that he would become one of basketball’s greatest power forwards is preposterous. —ZF, Before he was known as The Logo, his teammates called him Mr. But how much more credit do you give Bryant for winning more rings and drawing legit comparisons to Michael Jordan? Despite going to nine NBA Finals with the Lakers, West won only one title in 1972. Not only is he the greatest winner in all of American sports, Russell is also both the smartest and best defensive player to ever pick up a basketball. Thomas was a diabolical general who was able to score whenever he wanted and put his team on his back to will them to victory. His defensive style was described as “aggressive,” as Hayes was a hound on the boards and an excellent post and perimeter defender. Technically, Baylor earned one since he was part of the 1971-72 Lakers squad that won it all, but he only played 9 games that season, retiring well before the playoffs started because of a nagging knee injury at age 37. —ZF, Dr. J was everyone’s Michael Jordan before Michael Jordan. 1. Standing at an impressive 7’7 feet tall, Bol is tied as the tallest player in NBA history. His college career is practically unmatched, but since we’re talking professional basketball here know that he was the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell to win an MVP between 1960 and 68. However, there’s no denying what he did as the leader on two of the most hated championship teams in NBA history. With that being said, here is my list of the top 50 defenders in NBA history. He also made 11 NBA All-Star teams and won three total MVP awards across the NBA and ABA. —AD. We may never see a 7'1", 365-pound big that was as explosive, athletic, and quick as Shaq. In his 21 years playing, Malone made 2 All-Defensive Teams and was a 6x rebounding champ. Above all of that impact, Dirk's numbers and accolades back up his spot on this list. There should be no shock that Dwyane Wade lands on this list. Top 10 Basketball Players of All Time (Plus Honorable Mentions) Who are the 10 best basketball players of all time? From the high-flying dunks to the clutch mid-range jumpers off that patented D Wade pump fake, there was moment after moment where No. I would say something to him and he would stare. Since the league’s first season in 1997, it has seen its list of teams grow along with its talent pool. There will never be another Michael Jordan. Did you really watch Kobe Bryant for 20 years and say to yourself, "Well he’s not that efficient so I don’t think he’s great as he’s portrayed"? A true GOAT. Jordan's greatest accoplishment was done off the court. Ewing is one of the best big men of all time, although his name is often left out of debates since he never won a championship. Nor we’re they expected to rip down double-digit boards on a nightly basis. Although he only made one All-Defensive Team in 1976, Erving excelled in on-ball defense and is credited as one of the first players to perfect the chase-down block. Larry Bird is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, and he didn’t get that reputation without playing defense. 1 on their personal best NBA players list, this is an easy one to write. Barkley couldn’t be stopped offensively either, beating out Jordan for the ‘93 MVP and taking his new team the Suns to the Finals where he lost to Jordan’s Bulls in six. Despite being an undersized center at 6’9, he made up for it with his effort on defense. A true dominant force on both sides of the ball, it's still bewildering to watch old highlights and see how smooth Olajuwon was able to move in the paint for a player his size. In my book, that's the single greatest achievement in NBA history and will be hard to top. Piedmont runs to record-breaking win December 11, 2020 Twitter Facebook. However, having played in the 60s and 70s, DeBusschere played in a time where defensive statistics were not recorded. He also played a huge role in the NBA instituting free agency when he brought a lawsuit against the league in 1970 that challenged the legality of the league’s proposed merger with the ABA, the merits of the draft, and the reserve clause that prevented players from pursuing contracts with any team they wished. He was always one of the most entertaining players on and off-the-court, leading him to becoming an Emmy Award-winning studio host on Inside the NBA. Now he’s the first unanimous MVP in league history (which is pretty stupid, but still) and has three rings to go with another MVP. One of the best big men of all time, Moses Malone’s career spanned from 1974 to 1995. Obviously, Leonard's regular-season resume isn’t as strong as others on this list due to injuries and being in that Spurs system, but his playoff performances smokes a lot of people on this list as well. 2015 NFL season: Hoping to improve upon his career-best 2014 season th Barkley started J-ing people up and shooting threes, forcing opponents to guard from all over the court and not just on the block. The Bad Boys wreaked havoc on the NBA’s Holy Trinity of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan and most of the damage that was done was on the orders of the 6’1” point god. Erving’s career numbers are just as impressive as his plays. Dirk brought about change that fundamentally altered the way the NBA is played. NO. In Robinson's case, his greatness was never flashy, but his presence and play helped propel the San Antonio Spurs dynasty, which was of course then carried on by Tim Duncan. We’re ranking the best NBA players of all time. One of the greatest college basketball players ever, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shows off his talent. 1. He did it all and made sure you knew about it along the way. Duncan was voted to an NBA record 15 All-Defensive Teams, meaning he was not selected in only 4 of the seasons he played. Take Oak Hill, Mater Dei, Spire Institute, or even Chino Hills with the Ball brothers, they would beat the WNBA Since coming into the league in 2011, Paul George has established himself as a star and one of the game’s premier defenders. He was also a 5-time All-Defensive Team selection. The Admiral was able to do it all and then some. Camby led the NBA in blocked shots four times, made an All-Defensive Team 4 times, and won the DPOY in 2006-07 with the Nuggets. We’re not just talking about the basic stats like points per game (+4.2), assists per game (+1.0), rebounds per game (+1.5). It was not until 1968 that the NBA began naming players to All-Defensive teams. Good division 3 coaches hold their players accountable and demand focus from their players just as much as division I coaches. It goes without saying that ranking the top NBA players of all time doesn't come without its own set of controversies. He almost averaged a triple-double his rookie season before his iconic campaign during the 1961-62 season when he was good for 30.8 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 11.4 APG a night. The D3hoops.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. I know this first hand. With the exception of his rookie season where he didn’t start a single game, Gobert has averaged two or more blocks every season of his career. He was an All-Defensive selection eight times in his career and was a key contributor in 3 of the Spurs 5 championships. Dave DeBusschere was known as one of the best defensive players of his era. Trophies. Honestly, I don’t think the WNBA Olympic team would even beat an elite high school basketball team. Praise or pillar the selections as you see fit. Nonetheless, he was still a dominant defensive player with the Knicks. You could go on and on with former and current NBA stars talking about why Iverson was so great and means so much to them. Shaq is recognized as one of the most dominant players in NBA history. Some will love the rankings, others will loathe them. People forget that he dominated for years as a 6’6” power forward. Moncrief was a 5-time All-Defensive Team selection and won back-to-back DPOY awards in 1983 and 1984 despite only being a 6’3 guard. Previous men's Top 25 polls. From opening a school in his hometown to building his own media empire, LeBron has consistently done everything we've expected from him and then some. However, he has made a name for himself from his defense. Some are obvious. I’d love to see some of today’s greats playing against Elgin. 21 on our list. But we will not tolerate any talk about Stockton being unworthy of top 30 status. Wade will go down as He led Power Memorial to three city championships … Relevance. Cooper was a lengthy guard who was an elite defender and shooter, a perfect role player for Magic to work with. Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers 10/11/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers 10/9/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers 10/6/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Miami Heat vs Los Angeles Lakers 10/4/20: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, NBA Live Streaming Reviews: Best Services to Watch NBA Games Online, 2020 NBA Power Rankings (Updated 9/6/2020), Top 100 Players Of The 2019-20 NBA Season: Kawhi Leonard Outranking Giannis Antetokounmpo, Top 10 NBA Players in the 2019-2020 Season: Kawhi Leonard at #1. We’ve ranked the absolute best men’s college basketball players to ever hit the court. Although he is often remembered as Michael Jordan’s sidekick, Scottie Pippen was the better defender of the two and is perhaps the best perimeter defender ever. Like Magic Johnson before him, Garnett raised the bar as to what a man of his size could do on the court. Leonard’s elite perimeter defense has helped him win two NBA championships: one as a role player on the Spurs and another as the star on the Raptors. He’s top 10 all-time in rebounds, blocks, win shares, and defensive win shares. They breath different air than the rest of us and that's ok. LeBron's book isn't finished yet and he could add a few more titles along the way, but let's not also ignore everything he's done over his career off the court. In the modern basketball world where too … The Dream Shake will forever be one of the most iconic moves in NBA history and for that, we will always be thankful for Hakeem Olajuwon. The winning, the endorsements, the shoes, the legacy. And I didn't even mention how magical he was during the 2011 NBA Finals when his Mavs upset LeBron James and the Miami Heat. And he’s not all style and flair either. Trying to play college basketball during a pandemic isn't easy. He was named to 2 All-Defensive Teams, led the league in blocks twice, and was a 2-time DPOY. For Malone, this is even more the case because of his two NBA Finals defeats at the hands of MJ and company. You’re not supposed to win NBA Finals MVP awards 14 years apart, but Abdul-Jabbar did. Kareem averaged over three blocks seven times in his career, and that includes his first four seasons in which blocks weren’t recorded. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers. He is an 11-time All-Defensive Team selection and led the league in blocked shots four times. They couldn’t guard him. This is the first of three podcasts tackling the Coronavirus Pandemic in Division III. Dumars was a key contributor on the Bad Boys Pistons teams that won consecutive NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. Magic simply changed the game of basketball when he burst onto the NBA scene out of Michigan State in 1979. The discourse never dies and we're here for it. If you go further and compare win shares, CP3 is at 179.5 while Nash is at 129.7. In 1991, he announced that he … There’s virtually no formula to stop him. If he continues to play at the pace he is currently playing, Paul should easily finish his career within the top 5. Standing at 6’11 245lbs, Giannis has the size and speed to guard any position on the floor. Despite this, Wilt should still be recognized as one of the game’s defensive greats due to his size and dominance over his opponents during his career. His accomplishments speak for themselves, as does his outstanding tournament record. Sometimes I watch his reverse layup during the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the 1980 Finals against the Lakers and try to figure out how the hell he was able to stay in the air that long. The players coming out of college and the international game have only gotten better, as each ... Read more The Best Women’s Basketball Players In WNBA History—ranked He had the point guard position in the shooting guard , he is a winner of the MVP and was voted to be one of the 50 best players in the NBA . He was selected to 2 All-Defensive Teams during his career. He was a premier on-ball defender who would cause fits for whoever he played. In his 14 seasons in the NBA, Allen routinely guarded the opposing team’s best scorer and was a pest for opposing offenses. Wade holds the record for the most blocked shots by a guard in NBA history, a distinction he earned in 2019 by passing Michael Jordan. More than 480,000 athletes compete at each division of the NCAA. Has a Division 2 or 3 college basketball player ever been selected in the NBA Draft directly out of college? Indeedy. Playing The #1 D3 Basketball Player In The Nation ! From Michael Jordan to LeBron James, here are the 30 best basketball players to ever play. “Dr. His contributions on defense and to those Bulls teams as a whole cannot go unnoticed. Jason Williams was one of the best college basketball players ever. Playing this role led to much success for Rodman, who was a 7-time Rebounding Champ, 8-time All-Defensive Player, 2-time DPOY, and a 5-time NBA Champion. He was selected to an All-Defensive Team 3 times in his career. Having to argue how Stockton, a 2009 inductee into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, is inarguably one of the greatest point guards gets laborious. Philadelphia Sixers His hybrid play, like Magic Johnson’s, was way ahead of its time. When the Complex Sports crew started to put together this list, we didn’t waffle over whether LeBron deserved to be ranked higher than MJ. Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t physically dominant the way Wilt or Shaquille O’Neal was, but his fluidity was something special for someone of his gargantuan size. In addition to winning the NBA Championship in 1978 with Washington and being the #10 all-time scorer, Hayes was a dominant defensive player. The saying often goes in sports that “Defense Wins Championships”, and that is no exception in the NBA. Paul has led the NBA in steals six times and has been named to an All-Defensive Team 9 times in his career. But Robertson broke the mold almost 20 years before Magic Johnson made his debut. His season with the Raptors catapulted him up the all time ranks, if we’re being transparent. Players don’t choose the era they play in, all we can do is look at who dominated it. There was no way the greatest basketball squad ever assembled could leave off the greatest small forward the game had ever known at that point. 1 votes) W-L: Pts. Best NCAA basketball players ever from every state by Trevor Sinodhinos 4 months ago Follow @sinodhinos Tweet Share x Pin Comment Next 2 … For a guy his size to go out and drop 48 on the road against the heavily-favored Los Angeles Lakers is straight-up unbelievable. Still, Malone is the No. But Malone’s accolades compare quite favorably. However, he was also a solid defensive player. He can retire today and waltz into the Hall of Fame. —AC, Zeke’s legacy has been somewhat tarnished over the years by the opinions of his peers and the off-the-court issues he brought on himself while in the Knicks' front office. West legitimately did it all, including leading the league in scoring during the 1969-70 season and assists during his lone championship season. The list goes on, but Iverson's cultural impact on the current, and even future, generation of NBA players are more meaningful than his numbers on the court. DIII Football News Every DII and DIII player on a 2020 NFL roster Texas A&M-LSU sets record for highest-scoring game in FBS history These are the 3 DII and DIII players … Standing at 7’4 275lbs, Mark Eaton was one of the most intimidating forces in NBA history. Dwyane Wade has said AI is part of the reason he wore No. Instead, the politicking and petty attacks on each other’s basketball intelligence got really heated, over multiple Zoom calls and text threads, when we tried to properly rank Shaq and Kobe and a bunch of point guards toward the bottom of our 30 Best NBA Players of All Time list. Wilt the Stilt was perhaps the most dominant player ever to play the game. The 1964 NBA MVP, the 1961 Rookie of the Year, a 12-time All-Star, and an11-time All-NBA selection…I can keep going. Nobody could.” —AC, The Admiral. He has been named to 4 All-Defensive Teams in his career and led the NBA in steals during the 2018-19 season. From the first dribble he took in an NBA game up until now, he's done nothing but live up to the massive hype that was placed on his shoulders coming out of high school in Akron, Ohio. If you love Division III Basketball, this podcast is the one for you! Magic and Shaq crowned Kobe as the greatest Laker ever after he retired. Arguably the best pure point guard in basketball history, Utah Jazz icon John Stockton’s scoring average of 13.1 points per game is one of the lowest on this list, but his average of 10.5 assists per game is second all time. I wasn’t sure if he was paying attention…finally I realize he understood everything I was saying. —AC, Elgin Baylor never won a ring. But it didn’t stop him from averaging 24.3 PPG and 10.0 RPG for his 13 seasons. The No.1 overall pick in the 1958 NBA Draft, the Rookie of the Year in 1959, an 11-time All-Star, and an astounding 10-time First-Team All-NBA selection, Baylor more than lived up to the hype when he entered the league and left it averaging 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds per game. The teams play EuroLeague games during the week and in their own countries' leagues on the weekends.Regular-season schedule: October to AprilTeams in current season: 16Defending champion: CSKA MoscowNotable: The EuroCup, run by the EuroLeague, is the second-level transnational league in Europe. AI is unquestionably a top 30 NBA player ever. It's wild that it's even a debate. Qual… How many 6' guards can you confidently put on Kevin Durant in a playoff series? To me, that’s absolutely silly for a guy who still managed to win just as many or more titles than Bird, LeBron, Wilt, Magic, and Shaq. He is a 3-time All-Defensive Team selection, two-time DPOY, and led the league in blocks in the 2016-17 season. You could quibble about Hakeem only winning his two NBA titles while Michael Jordan was retired, but if you do, you don't understand how hard it is to win a championship. He never made an All-Defensive Team, but Unseld helped the Washington Bullets/Wizards win their lone NBA Championship back in 1978. Of course the best shooter in the NBA has a basketball … With five championships, three MVPs, nine-time All-NBA First Team selections, Magic had one of the best careers in NBA history. We’re already seeing Steph's impact on basketball as kids start launching from deep earlier than ever in their young careers and on the league with NBA teams putting the mid-range jumper out to pasture and fully embracing the 3-pointer. Dominant seems like the only adjective to describe Shaq’s career. Pippen is inarguably one of the greatest defenders in NBA history having made 10 All-Defensive squads (8 First-Team selections) during his 17-year career and regularly stifled the opposition’s best player like it was nothing. —AC, Boston’s had more than its fair share of Hall of Famers roll through the old Boston Garden, but nobody was as lethal a scorer or as clutch at the end of games like Larry Legend. NCAA DIVISION II PLAYERS WHO HAVE PLAYED PROFESSIONALLY IN U.S. (Through 2017-18 season) The following list consists of players who played NCAA Division II basketball who have or are currently playing in either the National Basketball Association or played in the American Basketball Association when that league existed. This was just the start for Magic, who at his size, completely changed the way the basketball world looked at guards. Steps each are taking to play the game fun—that 's what made Magic so special as a player like. 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