Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

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Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Tue May 14, 2013 12:38 pm

Point Guard:
1. Oscar Robertson
2. Magic Johnson
3. Isiah Thomas
4. John Stockton
5. Walt Frazier

Shooting Guard:
1. Michael Jordan
2. Kobe Bryant
3. Pete Maravich
4. Jerry West
5. Clyde Drexler

Small Forward:
1. Lebron James
2. Larry Bird
3. Julius Erving
4. Elgin Baylor
5. Dominique Wilkins

Power Forward:
1. Karl Malone
2. Elvin Hayes
3. Tim Duncan
4. Charles Barkley
5. Kevin Garnett

Center:
1. Lew Alcindor/Kareem
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Bill Russell
4. Moses Malone
5. Patrick Ewing

My own favorites/opinions. Who do you have?
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby The Schwab » Tue May 14, 2013 12:52 pm

I agree with most, but I think you have to have Shaq in there for centers.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Tue May 14, 2013 12:58 pm

The Schwab wrote:I agree with most, but I think you have to have Shaq in there for centers.


haha. Yeah, probably, just never been a Shaq fan.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby Flip » Tue May 14, 2013 1:15 pm

Shaq is at minimum #3.
Everyone does it, but it bothers me that Tim Duncan is considered a PF. He is a C, he just happened to get drafted by a team that had a future HOF playing C when he got there.

PF is really debatable too, even if you include Duncan or not. I'll revisit the topic when I get home.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Tue May 14, 2013 2:47 pm

I will give you Shaq, but not in the top 3.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby ndlionsfan » Tue May 14, 2013 4:05 pm

Shaq definitely over Ewing. If you don't put Duncan as a PF, he is still a top 5 center of all time.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Tue May 14, 2013 5:21 pm

top 1 in each

Lebron 1 spot...but play him where you need him
Jordan 2 spot....but look out if he wants to drive the lane
Bird 3 spot....give him the ball at the end of the game please (even though Jordan closed a few too)
Hakeem 4 spot...when shaq sits move Hakeem at 5 and make Malone play 4
Shaq 5 spot.... reinforce all the Goal sets and rims
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Wed May 15, 2013 4:00 pm

winner-within wrote:top 1 in each

Lebron 1 spot...but play him where you need him
Jordan 2 spot....but look out if he wants to drive the lane
Bird 3 spot....give him the ball at the end of the game please (even though Jordan closed a few too)
Hakeem 4 spot...when shaq sits move Hakeem at 5 and make Malone play 4
Shaq 5 spot.... reinforce all the Goal sets and rims


Well, many of the players could be interchangeable to upgrade an "all-star" starting 5. That's why I did it by position instead. Preps was a bit static, so wanted something to debate.
With that said, would take the Big O or Magic over Lebron at the 1. Just better at the position. As stated earlier, Duncan really is a 5. He probably would be top 5, but that would move Shaq out in my opinion. For me, Shaq was just bigger then everyone and because of his "likable" personality, the NBA fell in love with him and gave him a lot of leeway as far as traveling and offensive fouls. IMHO, he is not even in a conversation talent wise with Kareem.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Thu May 16, 2013 11:16 am

I'm not a huge shaq fan.....but he did it with just Kobe (got a ring) than he did it with just Wade...Kareem had the whole team stacked....Kareem was more talented (hook and could shoot free throws) but like wilt, shaq was a force to be reckoned with....yes my line up is allstarish...but just like last nights game and stats shows on Lebron, he plays the game as good as magic did already at a 1 with years to develop more tools....whats wierd is LeBron is truly a one spot when it all unfolds
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Thu May 16, 2013 11:56 am

winner-within wrote:I'm not a huge shaq fan.....but he did it with just Kobe (got a ring) than he did it with just Wade...Kareem had the whole team stacked....Kareem was more talented (hook and could shoot free throws) but like wilt, shaq was a force to be reckoned with....yes my line up is allstarish...but just like last nights game and stats shows on Lebron, he plays the game as good as magic did already at a 1 with years to develop more tools....whats wierd is LeBron is truly a one spot when it all unfolds


Kind of why I listed him as Lew Alcindor. He won a ring in his second year with Milwaukee with only the Big O to help. I agree that Wilt and Shaq are very comparable because both were physically bigger then their opponents. IMO, however, I still think Wilt was much more athletic and had better basketball skills. Another thing that sets Kareem apart was his passing ability. He had great vision and was incredible hitting a slasher going to the hoop.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Thu May 16, 2013 2:26 pm

I like this break down its alot of what I knew but I'm to busy to type it out...lol

they are both hall of famers
Shaq vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Abdul-Jabbar may have the edge in titles won, but Shaq has the three-to-two edge in Finals MVPs won and played with less great players during his titles runs.

Abdul-Jabbar played with Hall of Famers such as Bob McAdoo, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Oscar Robertson during his title runs. Shaq won titles with only two players who are most likely going to be in the Hall of Fame one day in Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade.

One game in particular sums up why Shaq is a better player than Abdul-Jabbar. In Game Six of the 1980 NBA Finals, with the Lakers up 3-2 against the 'Sixers, Abdul-Jabbar, who was in his prime, couldn’t play because of an ankle injury.

Magic Johnson thus took his place at center and led the Lakers to a championship-clinching victory. Imagine if Shaq got injured in the playoffs during his three-peat with the Lakers and they still managed to beat a team comparable to Julius Erving’s 'Sixers in a championship clinching game. That is unimaginable to me.

If you took Shaq off the Lakers during their title runs, the Lakers wouldn’t be guaranteed to make the playoffs. When Shaquille was injured during his three peats, the Lakers had a regular-season record of 12-11 (.5217%).

When Kobe was injured, the Lakers regular season record was 25-7 (.78%). Interestingly, the Lakers' entire regular-season record during their three-peats was 181-65 (.735%), which is a lower record than when Kobe wasn’t playing. The Lakers actually had a better record when Kobe wasn’t playing.

If you took Abdul-Jabbar off his team during his third to sixth title runs, I believe his teams would still have gone deep in the playoffs, considering how much talent he had on his teams, with James Worthy and Magic Johnson as his teammates.

During Abdul-Jabbar’s last two titles, which separate him from Shaq, he only averaged around 16 points a game during the regular season and wasn’t even one of the two best players on his team. I believe that during Shaq’s title runs, he was more important to his team than Abdul-Jabbar was.

One of the most important things that Shaq does that statistics do not record is the amount of fouls he draws.

Every player who ever guarded Shaq was constantly in foul trouble. Some teams would have to put their fourth-string big man in to guard Shaq because all their other big men were in foul trouble.

In a way, Shaq was an incredible defender because he would always take the opposing center out of the game by getting them in foul trouble. In fact, opponents would keep extra big men on their roster just to guard Shaq when the time came in the playoffs.

I remember when the Detroit Pistons acquired Elden Campbell from waivers before the 2005 playoffs so when they faced the Heat, he could play 10-20 minutes against Shaq.

Shaq is the best center of all time, but his career has become underrated due to the following things, which may or may not be true:

1. He is often injured and misses a good portion of the season.

2. He supposedly doesn’t take the regular season as serious as people would like.

3. He supposedly is fat, lazy, and out of shape, and could be an even better player.

4. He isn’t a good free-throw shooter.

5. He supposedly isn’t very skilled and simply uses his strength.

6. He’s always had a great player playing with him.

7. Drama constantly surrounds him wherever he goes.

8. He has a love or hate him personality.




1. Yes he is often injured, but his teams have only missed the playoffs once in his career. If his regular-season injuries aren’t hurting his teams, than why should we hold it against him?

During his four titles, he only missed 35 games, while Kobe Bryant missed 32 games during his three titles. One thing I will say is that in recent years his injuries have become more of a concern, but this shouldn’t have come as a surprise since he has gotten older and past his prime.

2. If Shaq doesn’t take the regular season seriously, how does he have one the highest winning percentages of any player in regular-season history?

Even though he has been known to stress the importance of the playoffs and dismiss the importance of the regular season, Shaq is a very competitive person and plays his hardest every time he plays.

We live in a what-have-you done-for-me-lately world, and people have come to a conclusion that Shaq takes days off when he can play because he doesn’t care about the regular season.

Maybe Shaq is just being smart. Shaq is older, more fragile, and needs more rest and recovery time than he did when he was younger.

Shaq doesn’t care about playing all the time and putting up great regular-season statistics. At this stage in Shaq’s career, he only cares about winning titles.

3. Do people not realize that Shaq purposely stays around the same weight and body build? When he was younger, he was leaner and was more versatile but never won anything. When Shaq put on a large amount of muscle and weight, he finally started dominating and won four titles.

If Shaq continued to be that leaner guy who first entered the league, he probably would have had better highlight reels and people might like him better. However, he wouldn’t have been the dominant force and winner he was.

4. Yes, Shaq isn’t a good free-throw shooter. But besides Michael Jordan, there really isn’t a perfect player. Shooting free throws is Shaq’s kryptonite. There is no doubt that his free-throw shooting has cost him some games.

But almost every other player has at least one thing there not good at. The main difference is that Shaq’s is more obvious because free throws our so easy to point at.

If anything, people should look at his poor free-throw shooting and realize that he’s probably an even better live court player than we give him credit for. If Shaq was an 80 percent free-throw shooter, he could have arguably been a better player than Jordan.

5. Yes, Shaq does use his strength to overpower players and doesn’t have as much skill as a player like Tim Duncan. But if you were stronger than everyone, wouldn’t you use your power to dominate games?

Nobody is asking Allen Iverson to dominate games with his power. Allen Iverson is a very quick player and that’s why he uses his quickness to dominate games. Nobody asked Reggie Miller to dominate games by driving to the rim.

Miller was a natural shooter, and that’s why he won games by shooting. Shaq was blessed with greater physical strength than every other basketball player on the planet, so why should he need to learn how to shoot a 15 footer.

6. What great center didn’t have a great player playing with him during his title runs? In fact, every great center had at least one and usually multiple Hall of Famers surrounding them. Shaq never played with more than one great player at a time, unlike Chamberlain, Russell, and Jabar.

As I showed earlier, the Lakers actually had a better record with Kobe not playing than with him playing, and the Lakers had a much worse record without Shaq playing. That should show you how a younger Kobe Bryant wasn’t as big of a factor for the Lakers as most people think.

7. Yes, Shaq has brought some drama to every team he has played for. But he has always brought winning to every team as well. The point of playing in the NBA is to win, not to have perfect locker room chemistry.

Since Shaq has won where ever he has gone, it shouldn’t be held against him. To be frankly honest, there is only a few players Shaq has played with (one in particular) that he has had drama with.

8. Shaq has one of those unique personalities, where you either love him or you hate him. He has a unique mix of being the cockiest player in the NBA and being the most outgoing.

Although he is a extremely cocky person, he’s not a snobbish person who looks down on people. Shaq’s a friendly guy and loves talking to the ordinary man. Ironically, he might be the biggest guy in the NBA and at the same time the most childish.

He's had some of the best quotes in sports history and is just a natural entertainer. He may not always do what everyone wants, but love him or hate him, you can’t deny he’s being real.



Although I do believe Shaq is the best center of all time, I can understand how people can make arguments for Jabbar and Chamberlain having better careers than him. However, I believe that Shaq, in his prime from 2000-'02, was the second-greatest player of all time, behind Jordan.

During his three-peat with the Lakers, he was the most dominant force to ever play in the NBA. He was constantly doubled team and tripled team and yet he couldn’t be stopped.

For his size, Shaq is a one-of-a-kind athlete who is unmatched by any player in any sport. No 7'1" player, who weighs 330 pounds, has ever had as good footwork, been as powerful, had as good lift, and been able to move as quickly as Shaq has.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby Indy5 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:27 pm

winner-within wrote:I'm not a huge shaq fan.....but he did it with just Kobe (got a ring)

I'm nitpicking here but I feel this often gets overlooked. As much as Kobe and Shaq dominated to win those rings, Fisher and Horry did just as much to ALWAYS make the huge shot late in games. There's something to be said about a guy that never misses those
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby Indy5 » Thu May 16, 2013 7:34 pm

I haveto agree that when you look at Shaq's production, he's probably the best center ever. Wilt and Kareem are both right there with him though. Shaq was stronger than everyone, Wilt was taller than everyone, and Kareem just reached over everyone with the sky hook. Each had their own unique specialty
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Fri May 17, 2013 9:52 am

Indy5 wrote:I haveto agree that when you look at Shaq's production, he's probably the best center ever. Wilt and Kareem are both right there with him though. Shaq was stronger than everyone, Wilt was taller than everyone, and Kareem just reached over everyone with the sky hook. Each had their own unique specialty


Totally agree....and in regards to Horry and fisher yes they were the dagger alot of times.....I really wanted the Kings that year with Webber & Bibby ....but the scabby :) Lakers and Horry sunk the ship
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby The Schwab » Fri May 17, 2013 9:55 am

winner-within wrote:
Indy5 wrote:I haveto agree that when you look at Shaq's production, he's probably the best center ever. Wilt and Kareem are both right there with him though. Shaq was stronger than everyone, Wilt was taller than everyone, and Kareem just reached over everyone with the sky hook. Each had their own unique specialty


Totally agree....and in regards to Horry and fisher yes they were the dagger alot of times.....I really wanted the Kings that year with Webber & Bibby ....but the scabby :) Lakers and Horry sunk the ship


The reffing in that series was awful and also helped beat the kings.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Fri May 17, 2013 10:56 am

The Schwab wrote:
winner-within wrote:
Indy5 wrote:I haveto agree that when you look at Shaq's production, he's probably the best center ever. Wilt and Kareem are both right there with him though. Shaq was stronger than everyone, Wilt was taller than everyone, and Kareem just reached over everyone with the sky hook. Each had their own unique specialty


Totally agree....and in regards to Horry and fisher yes they were the dagger alot of times.....I really wanted the Kings that year with Webber & Bibby ....but the scabby :) Lakers and Horry sunk the ship


The reffing in that series was awful and also helped beat the kings.


Oh yea, Lakers were prima donna & with Big Phil cryin to the refs Kings were up against a tough task
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Fri May 17, 2013 11:27 am

Kareem was a much better free throw shooter, a .721 average, compared to Shaq's career .524. Kareem has more rings, more points, more assists, more steals, more blocks (even when they didn't count blocks his first 4 seasons -- he led the league in blocks 4 times compared to Shaq's zero). Kareem was 11 time First or Second All-Defensive team to Shaq's 3 times. He was also selected to 10 all-NBA 1st teams and 5 all-Defensive 1st teams.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
6-time NBA Champion
6-time NBA MVP
19-time NBA All-Star
2-time NBA Finals MVP
2- NBA Scoring titals
1970 NBA Rookie of the Year

Shaquille O'Neal
4-time NBA Champion
2000 NBA MVP
3-time NBA Finals MVP
2-time All-Star MVP
14-time All-Star
'92-'93 NBA Rookie of the Year

IMO, the comparison between these two isn't close. One is the greatest of all time, the other was just the "biggest" of all time. haha
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Fri May 17, 2013 12:08 pm

LOl ...I know where your comin from

Kareem was definitely a more intense teammate and I would say more demanding too!

A great story I always remembered from Magics Book "My Life" he called Kareem "Big Fella"
they wanted to really do something special when the Big fella retired so the team and Riley pitched in a bought Kareem a Rolls Royce....now Kareem loved his faded Bell Bottom jeans and always folded them the same and put them in his locker ...well the boys got out the scissors and cut them all up.....so when the contribution and the presentation concluded Kareem went to the locker room showered and was going to get dressed and saw his jeans cut up...lol...needless to say he said no thank yous for the night and left MAD LOL...He made UCLA and Wooden look real good.
Last edited by winner-within on Fri May 17, 2013 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Fri May 17, 2013 12:32 pm

Good stuff. Speaking of his college days, read that he wasn't allowed to play varsity his freshman year at UCLA. However, they had a scrimmage and his freshman team beat UCLA's varsity team that year.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby winner-within » Fri May 17, 2013 1:27 pm

classB4ever wrote:Good stuff. Speaking of his college days, read that he wasn't allowed to play varsity his freshman year at UCLA. However, they had a scrimmage and his freshman team beat UCLA's varsity team that year.


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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby Flip » Fri May 17, 2013 5:47 pm

classB4ever wrote:Good stuff. Speaking of his college days, read that he wasn't allowed to play varsity his freshman year at UCLA. However, they had a scrimmage and his freshman team beat UCLA's varsity team that year.

Freshman weren't allowed to play in those days.

During their red-shirt year Ben Woodside and his classmates used to do the same thing to NDSU's varsity.
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Re: Top 5 Greatest NBA Players at each Position

Postby classB4ever » Mon May 20, 2013 11:59 am

Flip wrote:
classB4ever wrote:Good stuff. Speaking of his college days, read that he wasn't allowed to play varsity his freshman year at UCLA. However, they had a scrimmage and his freshman team beat UCLA's varsity team that year.

Freshman weren't allowed to play in those days.

During their red-shirt year Ben Woodside and his classmates used to do the same thing to NDSU's varsity.

That is pretty impressive for our neck of the woods. After doing some research, NCAA Div. 1 basketball allowed freshmen to play until 1954, when they no longer could. Rescinded the rule in 1973 after Robertson, Maravich, Alcindor, West, Hayes (just to name a few) had finished their college careers. One article predicted that Maravich would have scored more than 5000 points in his LSU college career had he played all 4 seasons. Averaged 44.2 points in 83 games (3 seasons) and without a 3-point line. He became the all-time NCAA scoring leader beating out none other then The Big O, who had averaged 33.8 points per game over 3 seasons at the Univ. of Cincinnati. Maravich is still the all-time leading scorer with Robertson and Hayes in the top 11.
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