Best All Time Professional Basketball Player
When discussing the best basketball player of all time I believe only a few names can be mentioned. These names include Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Based on the number of championship rings, the easy choice in this group is Bill Russell. With 11 NBA titles (Jordan had 6), Russell was the most successful NBA player of all time. However, I don’t believe that he dominated the game of basketball like Michael Jordan did. Russell’s statistics will show you that he was one of the best shot blockers and rebounders of all time, but Jordan’s ability to score and take over a game, lead me to believe that he is the best player the NBA has ever seen.
Jordan’s numbers are off the charts. He won six NBA titles over his career and was the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) five times. He made the All-NBA first team ten times as well. Jordan recorded a career average of 30.1 points per game over the span of his fifteen year career. Early in his career during the 1986-1987 season he averaged an incredible 37.1 points per game. It is difficult to compare Michael Jordan to post players such as Chamberlain, Russell, and Abdul-Jabbar. The reason I put Jordan ahead of these great big men is because of his dominance of the game in the time period he played. There was no doubt that Jordan was the top player in the NBA during each of his playing years (not including his two year stint in Washington).
And, he wasn't the top player due to a lack of competition throughout the league. He dominated the NBA while having to play great players such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Karl Malone. These are all hall of fame players with amazing careers of their own.
Michael Jordan was, and still is, a huge favorite of the basketball fans all over the world, not only because of his excellent basketball skills, but also his charisma and off-court presence.
Michael Jordan Fans. Thanks to flickr.com for the picture. Source: Miss Shari
When he started his NBA career, he was already a huge star, people knew him from his college career, and very fast he established himself as one of the best players in the league, competing with some of the best ever players like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. He was famous for his explosiveness. He also had a very attractive style of playing, and he established himself as one of the most attractive slam-dunkers in the history of the game. At the same time he had a great distance shot as well. The diversity of his skills at the highest levels of the game really stands out in NBA history.
Jordan won the NBA All Star Dunk contest, with a dunk, which will forever be remembered, the first ever dunk from the free throw line which amazed everybody. This dunk earned him his nickname, "Air".
Michael Jordan did the impossible and the unimaginable many times throughout his career. He was the main reason why, his Bulls dominated the league for a long time, and won 6 championship rings, and he got 6 MVP of the finals, but he was also awarded 5 times with the MVP of the season award. He will be remembered as a man who retired three times in his career, but twice returned to the game. His first retirement was caused mainly because of his father's death, while he retired for second time after the sixth championship ring he won.
Michael Jordan. Thanks to flickr.com for the picture. Source: akachippy
But, a few years later, when no one thought we'll ever see the Jordan's 23 on the court, he returned to play for the Washington Wizards, the team which he was a co-owner off. Even though he was older than most of the guys in the league, we still could see his greatness, and he still was among the best in the league. After his third and final retirement, we can see a lot of guys, a huge basketball stars, who try to copy, to imitate him, and steal a piece of the greatness of the best NBA player ever, the Bulls "23": the best all time professional basketball player.
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