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Who is the All Time Greatest Basketball Player?

Is Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player ever? He won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, was a five-time MVP, and was named to the All-Star team 14 times. Other players that are often considered among the greatest include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, and Wilt Chamberlain.

Not everyone will agree - there have been some great basketball players over the years, but it is sometimes difficult to compare players from different eras, as they never get to play head to head, under the same conditions. This makes it hard to compare, but we are going to do it anyway.

We have compiled a list of the greatest basketballer ever to play the game, which you can vote on, with the winner placed on the shortlist of the all time greatest athlete ever (all sports). A somewhat similar poll to determine the Greatest Basketball Athlete of All Time was conducted on the ESPN Sport Science website in 2012 - looking for the greatest athlete, not player, from the sport of basketball.

Basketball's Greatest

The list below of 15 nominees for the greatest ever male basketball player has been compiled using the information above, other published lists and visitor feedback. Cast your vote on who you think is the greatest male basketball player ever. The winner is to be placed on the shortlist of the all time greatest athlete ever (from all sports).

name notes
Allen Iverson  
Bill Russell 11 NBA titles, 5 MVP awards, Olympic Gold
John Havlicek  
Julius Erving 1 NBA title, 1 MVP (NBA).
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 NBA Titles, 6 MVP awards
Kobe Bryant 5 NBA titles, 1 MVP award
Larry Bird 3 NBA titles, 3 MVP awards, Olympic Gold
Lebron James 1 NBA title, 3 MVP awards, Olympic Gold
Magic Johnson 5 NBA titles, 3 MVP awards, Olympic Gold,
Michael Jordan 6 NBA titles, 5 MVP awards, two Olympic Gold Medals and an NCAA title.
Moses Malone  
Oscar Robertson 1 NBA title, 1 MVP award, Olympic Gold
Pete Maravich  
Shaquille O’Neal 4 NBA titles, 1 MVP award, Olympic Gold.
Wilt Chamberlain 2 NBA titles, 4 MVP awards

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Lists Extra

Football/Soccer is clearly the world's most popular sport, and has the most popular athletes, but which sport has the fittest players (but not necessarily the greatest athlete). These players do not always earn the most. The best of the best have made it to our 7 Sporting Wonders Lists.

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