NBA Top 75 Countdown: Players 50-26

NBA Top 75 Countdown: Players 50-26

by October 23, 2021 0 comments

For the 75th anniversary of the NBA, the league released the Top 75 players that ever played the game. They allowed media, fans, and a few inner employees to vote on who deserves to be on the list. My own list highlights players who not only dominated during their time in the NBA, but also those who helped influence the growth of the league.

You can find players 75-51 right here.

50 Tracy McGrady (1997-2012)

Although injuries derailed his career from becoming one of the best in the league history, McGrady became one of the most influential players of his era. Tons of current NBA players modeled their playing style after McGrady, as a high-flying athletic wing. The forward was a seven-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA team recipient.

49 Vince Carter (1998-2020)

Carter is the only NBA player to have played in four decades. He came into the league in 1998 and finished his career at the end of the 2020 NBA season. Just like his cousin in McGrady, Carter had a huge influence on the NBA world. Known for his world-renowned dunking ability, the Daytona Beach native revolutionized the dunk by adding flare, athleticism, and power. Carter was an eight-time All-Star, and two-time All-NBA player.

48 Dwight Howard (2004-Present)

The most dominant center in the late 2000s and early 2010’s. Howard was the best defensive player in the league as he won three Defensive Player of the Year awards in a row. The center would also finish in the top five in MVP voting for four straight years, and led a rather weak Orlando Magic team to the NBA Finals.

47 Pete Maravich (1970-1980)

In today’s era of basketball, Kyrie Irving is known to have the best handles and flashy moves. Back in the 1970s, Maravich was introducing new dribbling moves and flashy passes. A unique style of play was born from Pistol Pete, and his influence on the game was immense.

46 Bob Pettit (1954-1965)

Pettit was the league’s first MVP, and the league’s first player to win two of them. He reached the All-Star game and an All-NBA team every season he played. Pettit is known as the NBA’s first superstar, and during his time he was the best player in the league. 

45 Elgin Baylor (1958-1972)

An 11-time All-Star and 10-time All-NBA,  Baylor was the best player in the league to never win a championship or MVP award. He was unstoppable offensively, and currently ranks third all-time in points per game.

44 Clyde Drexler (1983-1998)

Drexler won his only championship with the Houston Rockets in 1995, but was one of the elite guards of the late ’80s and early ’90s. He reached 10 All-Star games and made five All-NBA teams in his career.

43 Dominique Wilkins (1982-1999)

Just like Drexler, Wilkins was an elite guard from the late ’80s and early ’90s. A high-flyer who showcased his athleticism through dunks and flashy layups. Wilkins reached nine All-Star games and made seven All-NBA teams in his career.

42 James Worthy (1982-1994)

A three-time Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and a Finals MVP, Worthy was the defensive anchor of the Lakers dynasty of the 1980s. The forward always had to guard the best wing player and even helped on bigger players in the post.

41 John Havlicek (1962-1978)

Havlicek won eight championships during his career as part of the best dynasty in league history, the 1960’s Boston Celtics. One of the league’s most decorated players, Havlicek reached 13 All-Stars games. The Ohio State alum was named to 11 All-NBA teams and eight All-Defensive teams in his career. The only knock on these awards is that the league was not even half the size of what it is now.

40 Carmelo Anthony (2003-Present)

Anthony may be the best mid-range shooter to ever play in the NBA. One of the best scorers of his era, ‘Melo thrived in making the late 2000’s a mid-range style of play. Thus far, the small forward has been a 10-time All-Star and a six-time All-NBA player.

39 Bob McAdoo (1972-1986)

McAdoo is a two-time champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and a former MVP. He led the league in scoring three separate times as a center. He finished his career with five All-Star appearances and two All-NBA selections.

38 Gary Payton (1990-2007)

Payton is one of the few guards to ever win a Defensive Player of the Year award. “The Glove” was the league’s best perimeter defender and was the leader of a thrill-a-minute Seattle SuperSonics team. Payton was a nine-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA player, and earned All-Defensive honors nine times.

37 Walt Frazier (1967-1980)

Frazier won two championships for the New York Knicks during his career. The guard was a seven-time All-Defensive player, seven-time All-Star, and six-time All-NBA selection.

36 Alex English (1976-1991)

English is the league’s most underrated Hall of Famer. The forward was the top versatile scorer of his era, competing with Larry Bird with scoring talent. English is the Denver Nuggets’ all-time leading scorer. He finished his career with three All-NBA selections, and eight All-Star appearances.

35 Steve Nash (1996-2014)

Nash is a two-time MVP, eight-time All-Star, and seven-time All-NBA. He ranks third in career assists of all time, and is second all-time in career free-throw percentage.

34 Paul Arizin (1950-1962)

During his 10 year career, Arizin never scored less than 20 points per game after his rookie season. He took two seasons off to serve the United States Marine Corps and came back as an even better basketball player. Every season he played, he was selected to the All-Star game and was a four-time All-NBA player.

33 Bob Cousy (1950-1970)

Cousy helped the Celtics win six championships during their 1960s dynasty. The guard won the MVP award in 1957, received 13 All-Star selections, and was selected to 12 All-NBA teams throughout his career.

32 Isiah Thomas (1981-1994)

Thomas was the frontman of the ‘Bad Boy’ Pistons of the late 80s and early 90s. He led the team to two championships while being selected to six All-NBA teams. One of the grittiest guards to ever play in the game, he made a name for himself as a fearless and relentless player.

31 Julius Erving (1971-1987)

Erving was the flashiest player to dominate the game through the air. The forward has more highlights than games played. During his career, he racked up four MVPs, 16 All-Star selections, 12 All-NBA selections, and one All-Defensive selection.

30 Allen Iverson (1996-2010)

Iverson ushered in a new era of basketball in the early 2000s. Bringing in new clothing styles, play styles, and how a franchise player can interact with media. He took a mediocre Philadelphia 76ers roster to the NBA Finals. Iverson won an MVP in 2001, was selected to 11 All-Star games and seven All-NBA teams.

29 Giannis Antetokounmpo (2013-Present)

Antetokounmpo is one of five players to win both an MVP and Defensive Player of the Year award during their career. The “Greek Freak”, is one of just two players to win both awards in the same season. At age 26, the forward already has two MVPs, one Defensive Player of the Year award, one championship, and a Finals MVP award.

28 Reggie Miller (1987-2005)

Before Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and even Ray Allen, the forward was the league’s best shooter. Miller was the leader in three point-scoring throughout his career, and was one of the most clutch shooters.

27 Scottie Pippen (1987-2004)

Pippen is the best ‘second option’ in league history. One of the most well-rounded players of his era, Pippen was the guy to do everything for his team. During his career he won six championships, reached 10 All-Defensive teams, seven All-NBA teams and seven All-Star selections.

26 Dwyane Wade (2003-2019)

Wade is a three-time champion who was able to lead a team to a championship in just his third season. He also won the Finals MVP during the run. In his career, he reached 13 All-Star games, eight All-NBA teams, and three All-Defensive teams.

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