Joe Rhoades' Top-10 NBA players in history
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
No. 10 Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson was a diverse point guard during an era where the position was expected to be a distributor and not necessarily a scorer. The “Big O” took things a step further, ranking as one of the best rebounding guards of all time. His 181 triple-doubles ranks first in history, with the next closest total coming from Russel Westbrook with 146. Robertson finished his career with one NBA title, an MVP award, and had nine All-NBA first-team honors.
No. 9 Hakeem Olajuwon
Known as “The Dream” during his years with the Houston Rockets in the 80s and 90s, Hakeem Olajuwon might very well have been the second-best player of an era dominated by Michael Jordan.
Olajuwon brought a skill set to the center position not seen before him, changing how the position was played after. Where most players of his size were shooting the patented hook shot, Olajuwon used a bevy of moves in the post with varying finishes. The Rockets won two titles with Olajuwon, with one of those coming during the Nigerian’s MVP season in 1994.
No. 8 Larry Bird
Along with his Lakers rival Magic Johnson, Bird helped salvage the NBA during a time that the league was falling out of favor in popularity among fans. Larry Legend won three titles to match his three MVP awards during his 13-year career. Birdshot 50% from the field overall for his career which helped him become a two-time member of the 50–40–90 club, which requires a player to achieve all three criteria of 50% field goal percentage, 40% three-point field goal percentage and 90% free throw percentage by the end of the regular season.
No. 7 Shaquille O’Neal
Quite possibly the most dominant force in NBA history, Shaquille O’Neal can lay claim to being one of the few players to knock Michael Jordan out of the playoffs as he did with the Orlando Magic in 1995. O’Neal’s career took off with Los Angeles where he won three NBA championships, snagging Finals MVP honors during each. O’Neal added a final championship to his resume as a member of the Miami Heat in 2006. One of the more colorful players in history, Shaq earned All-NBA First Team honors on eight occasions.
No. 6 Magic Johnson
Ervin “Magic” Johnson played the point guard position unlike anyone else in history, with size at the position that is a rarity to this day. Johnson ranks third all-time in triple-doubles with 138. Johnson is one half of the greatest individual rivalry in NBA history, along with Larry Bird. Magic had all the accolades during the 1980s to be considered the best of the decade, winning five titles, three Finals MVPs, and three regular-season MVP awards. Johnson finished his career with an impressive stat line of 19.5 ppg. 7.2 rpg, and 11.2 apg over 13 seasons with the Lakers.