Incredibly, it’s been an entire 12 years since we last saw Michael Jordan in a Wizards jersey, and 17 years since he last wore the Chicago red.
Since MJ finally called it a day, for the third time in his career, we have been blessed to watch so many greats on the hardwood. Basketball may have been grittier and tougher back in the 90’s, but that doesn’t make today’s players any less talented.
#10 – Jason Kidd
Even though Kidd’s career started while MJ was still saving the Looney Tunes from living out their lives on Moron Mountain, he still played 10 years after Jordan retired for the last time.
Jason Kidd will go down as one of the greats, winning a title with the Mavs in 2011, a ROTY award in ’95, as well as being named a ten time All-Star, five time All-NBA First Teamer, and four time All-Defense First Teamer.
Kidd led the league in assists for five years of his illustrious nineteen years career, and will probably go down as the greatest rebounding point guard there ever was.
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#9 – Dirk Nowitzki
For as long as basketball exists, we’ve been witness to a guy that will probably go down as the greatest German basketball player ever. He helped change the game in showing the world that a power forward doesn’t have to make their way with brute strength in the low post.
With one of the most unorthodox jumpshots to ever grace the hardwood, Dirk has done it all. An NBA champ with J-Kidd in 2011, and even won the Finals MVP in doing so. A thirteen time All-Star and four time All-NBA First Teamer, Dirk has also written himself into the Dallas Mavericks record books leading the franchise in all-time scoring.
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#8 – Kevin Garnett
With KG aging, and now playing for a simply horrible team, people seem to have forgotten just how good Garnett used to be.
In his twenty year career, Garnett has made the All-Star team for fifteen of those. He also won a championship with the Celtics in 2008, a DOPY award in the same year and even the league’s MVP award in 2004.
The league wont be the same when KG finally stops bashing his head against the stanchion while talking to himself like a mad man.
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#7 – Dwyane Wade
D-Wade is the greatest member of the Miami Heat organization ever, period. He’s definitely lost a step as father time has taken his youthful explosiveness away, but we can never take those three championships away from him.
Wade is the Miami Heats all-time leading scorer, and in thirteen NBA seasons has only missed the All-Star team twice.
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#6 – Steve Nash
This guy was awesome to watch when injuries weren’t crippling his season. If it wasn’t for his bad back, Nash would probably still be out there as a very effective corner pocket shooter.
In his prime, Nash won back-to-back league MVP awards, was selected to eight All-Star teams and led the league in assists for five seasons. With all of those credentials, Nash also goes down as one of the greatest free throw shooters there ever was.
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#5 – Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson led the sorriest team ever to the NBA Finals in 2001. In that season, Iverson led the league in scoring with 31.1 points a night. The second best scorer that season for the Sixers? Theo Ratliff with 12.4 points a night.
A.I was simply a scorer with no chill. He led the league in scoring four times, led the league in steals three times, was ROTY in ’97, an eleven time All-Star, and the NBA’s MVP in 2001.
Not only is Iverson one of the greatest post-Jordan era players, but he’s simply one of the greatest players ever.
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#4 – LeBron James
LeBron would be higher on this list if he hadn’t have lost three of his five Finals appearances. In All-Time ranks of the greatest basketball player to ever play, James has only one player to surpass, and that is Michael Jordan.
James is a four time MVP, ROTY, eleven time All-Star, nine time All-NBA First Teamer, five time All-Defense First Teamer, two time champion, two time NBA Finals MVP, and owns just about every all-time record in Cleveland Cavaliers history.
Only titles separate James from Jordan now.
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Ashish Mathur ·
#3 – Shaquille O’Neal
‘Shaq’ is simply the most dominant low-post player, ever. In his early 2000’s period of complete dominance, nobody could guard him one-on-one.
That is evident by his four titles in seven years. In addition, O’Neal won the NBA MVP in 2000 and Finals MVP in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
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#2 – Tim Duncan
It’s crazy that a guy known as ‘Mr. Fundamental’ who has only ever shown one emotion on his face in an eighteen year career is as popular as he is.
Tim Duncan is a legend, and always will be. He’s won three Finals MVP’s in five total championships, two league MVP awards and been named to just about every ‘All-NBA’ team ever created.
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#1 – Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is the closest replica to Michael Jordan that we may ever see. Bryant has won five title with his Lakers, been named to an incredible seventeen All-Star teams and leads the storied Lakers franchise in all-time scoring.
Bryant will forever go down as the worst draft night trade, and maybe even the worst trade of all time. Hope you enjoyed Vlade Divac for those two seasons, Charlotte.