Michael Jordan is the greatest one-on-one player in history. He wasn't as imaginative in making difficult shots as Kobe, but he was tremendously meticulous in scoring the ball. Michael Jordan averaged nearly 30 points per game during his career.
The best players in NBA history were often judged by their ability to compete in isolation situations. Since the offense runs through the center of the court in today's game, it is important for defenders to be able to handle him by themselves. The following are the top five most effective players in NBA history based on statistics compiled by Sports-Reference.com.
5 Wilt Chamberlain: 15,713 career points (Kia Center, UCLA)
4 LeBron James: 12,213 career points (Stadium, High School)
3 Kobe Bryant: 10,850 career points (Pauley Pavilion, Mater Dei High School)
2 Michael Jordan: 9,965 career points (United Center, University of Chicago)
1 Allen Iverson: 9,460 career points (University Gardens, Georgetown College)
Iverson had a great deal of success against Chamberlain because he was a much better defender than people give him credit for.
He's the closest thing to Jordan we've seen. Even though his teams had several terrible seasons, Kobe still managed to win five titles. He was even named the most valuable player of the league three times.
Kobe Bryant has a reputation as one of the boldest players in basketball history. He was known for his aggressive play on the court, and often found himself at the center of controversy.
However, there are some things that have been said about him that aren't true. For example, he hasn't called out an opponent by number, instead choosing to call out specific people. Also, it has been claimed that he told referee Ed Rush, "You're too easy a target," before announcing his retirement at the end of the 2016-17 season. Although this isn't exactly true, it does show how much pressure he felt from critics who believed that he should have retired after winning only one title in six years.
Finally, it's been said that during his youth career, he used to shoot hoops with his parents' garage door open so that they could hear how well he shot free throws. This isn't true either; according to reports, his father used to leave the door open so that he could practice shooting foul shots.
Steph Curry is presently the top player in the NBA. He has surpassed LeBron's kingdom, and guys like Kevin Durant and Paul George are mere afterthoughts in contrast to Steph. Yes, he is out there playing against some of the best players in the world every night, but still, it's hard to argue with his stats.
For example, look at this season alone: In 39 games, he's averaging 28 points per game! And remember, this is coming from a guy who used to be afraid of shooting 3-pointers all the time.
He has also become one of the most dangerous shooters in history, having made over 500 three-pointers throughout his career so far. Not only that, but he also gets to the free-throw line almost twice as often as anyone else in the league.
Overall, it's safe to say that Steph Curry is the best basketball player right now. He is having a phenomenal season this year, making him one to watch out for in future years too. Sure, LeBron is still going to come back and win more titles than anyone else, but for now, we can just sit back and enjoy watching Curry carry on his legendary career.
Which NBA player is the best of all time, LeBron James or Michael Jordan? LeBron James has won his fourth NBA title and fourth Finals MVP, narrowing the distance on all-time great Michael Jordan's ring total. But while many fans consider Jordan to be the greatest player in NBA history, others say it's James.
They both rank among the top five players of all time, but only one can be considered the greatest of all time. Some factors to consider: dominance on offense and defense, overall skill set, championships won, etc. And since we're talking about sports legends, what else could you ask for? Money? Drugs? Girls? Sure, but those are also considerations for any other athlete.
It's hard to argue with four NBA titles, but is LeBron James better than Michael Jordan? That depends on how you define "better." If you look at rings alone, then yes, LeBron has surpassed Jordan -- he's won more games in more years against weaker opponents. If you count stats like points scored, rebounds taken, or assists made, though, then no, Jordan remains the king.
But we know that's not how these things work. They don't always go by numbers; sometimes you just know when someone is great. And if you ask most people who watch basketball today which player is better, most will say Jordan.
Malone was the best player in the NBA in 1979, but it wasn't until 1981 that he made his first finals appearance, with the House Rockets. He's won three MVPs in a row. James received his first MVP title the same year that the Cleveland Cavaliers lead the major categories, including points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. James is still going strong, playing for his third consecutive season for the Cavs.
James was also the best player in the NBA in 1998 and 1999. In between these two awards, Michael Jordan retired from basketball and started a career as a baseball player with the Chicago White Sox. During this time, Scottie Pippen and Karl Malone were winning their first titles as members of the Bulls and Jazz, respectively. When asked who was the best player in the NBA during those years, most people would say James or MJ. But according to statistical analysis by ESPN, James was not even close to being the best player in the NBA. He finished second behind Jordan, who averaged 26.4 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. James averaged 25.8 points, 6.1 assists, and 0.9 steals per game.
After losing in the finals each of the last two seasons, the Lakers finally reclaimed their place at the top of the league with a championship in 2000.