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Who is the greatest NBA player ever?

| 18.05.2020

As Netflix’s The Last Dance wrapped up this week, we can finally take stock at what was a blistering ten-part documentary into the heart of the Chicago Bulls’ golden era.

Dennis Rodman’s antics, Scottie Pippen’s vital influence and the rivalry with Detroit Pistons all came to light again.

But the big thing which shone through was Michael Jordan’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality that transcended the sport and won him six NBA rings.

So that got us thinking, is Jordan the best there ever was? We’ve got four of the NBA’s greatest players for you to choose between…

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

The seventies and eighties belonged to Kareem. Six NBA titles, six regular season MVPs and two Finals MVPs were won. The stats tell their own story.

The New York native become a legend of the game and a Los Angeles Lakers hero with his famous skyhook shot that only the seven-foot two-inch Abdul-Jabbar could perform.

Kareem won a chip with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971, but it was his partnership with Magic Johnson in L.A which reaped big rewards with five NBA titles and a place in the NBA Hall of Fame.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

Black Mamba. Kobe Bryant’s infectiousness was felt both on and off the court. He was a one-franchise man and won the hearts and minds of the NBA world during a 20-year career at the Lakers.

After playing second fiddle to some of the leagues best like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson – it was former Bulls coach Phil Jackson that helped Bryant become of the greatest players the game has ever seen.

Five NBA titles followed between 2000 and 2010, alongside the 2009, 2010 Finals MVP. A player that had a knack for the clutch shot, his achievements will mean his legacy will live on forever.

LeBron James

If you’re nickname is ‘The Chosen One’ then you know you’ve done something right. James is still going strong in his seventeenth season in the league and despite growing challenges, and is widely regarded as still the best in the game.

A three-time NBA champ may be behind the others on this list, but his ability to pull his team-mates together to achieve something great can arguably only be matched by Jordan.

His championship win with Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 did just that and rubber-stamped his supremacy in the game. He’s been a brilliant ambassador for the NBA throughout his career and a ring with the Lakers in the next few years could give him immortality.

Michael Jordan

One line from former commissioner David Stern at the very end of The Last Dance, really sums up Jordan’s legacy. In 1992, the NBA was in 80 countries and now the game is in 215 countries worldwide.

MJ became one of the first global icons of the NBA as he dominated the sport with the Chicago Bulls in the late eighties and nineties, winning a combined 11 regular season and Finals MVP awards.

It was his incessant will to win that saw him become a six-time NBA champ including two three-peats -a record unrivalled in the game.

While James is still on court, he may have something to say, but Jordan helped create the game as a showpiece in the modern era.

Some notable mentions have got to be given to likes of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

It’s time to have your say. Who do you think is the best NBA player of all time? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @Ladbrokes!

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Author

Charlie Dear

Charlie has covered sport for the likes of The Guardian, Football365 and FourFourTwo. Arsenal sufferer. German football enthusiast.