The full list of ESPN’s 100 greatest NBA players of all-time #NBArank

Top 10 NBA all-time players

ESPN has been counting down the 100 best NBA players of all-time. You might have seen the articles being passed around over the last several weeks. If not, you surely must have caught the response when John Stockton (#19) and Scottie Pippen (#25) appeared before Isiah Thomas (#26)? John Stockton as the top-20 player in NBA history? Give me a break.

Check the ESPN’s 2020 list of the 74 greatest NBA players 

No, you didn”t hear any of that fuss? What about when ESPN ranked Kevin Durant (#22) and Steph Curry (#23) so high up on the list. I love Steph Curry, but surely he isn’t the 23rd best player of all-time, already — is he?

Not a peep — then you must have heard all the Kobe fans collectively wail when ESPN placed him as #12 on the list? Not that either? You must live in a cave. I won’t assume that your Twitter blew up today when they announced that LeBron James was the third greatest NBA player of all time?

Don’t have Twitter. That explains it.

ESPN’s full list of all 100 greatest NBA players

In any case, lists are lists are lists. They’re not going to make everyone happy. In fact, I think ESPN is quite satisfied with all the discussions, comments, and retweets they’re getting from their controversial list. The only non-drama? Michael Jordan was named as the greatest player in NBA all-time. Ho hum.

ESPNRank: Top 100 NBA Players in NBA History
#ESPNRank Player
1 Michael Jordan
2 Kareem-Abdul Jabbar
3 LeBron James
4 Magic Johnson
5 Wilt Chamberlain
6 Larry Bird
7 Bill Russell
8 Tim Duncan
9 Shaquille O'Neal
10 Hakeem Olajuwon
11 Oscar Robertson
12 Kobe Bryant
13 Jerry West
14 Julius Erving
15 Moses Malone
16 Karl Malone
17 Dirk Nowitzki
18 Charles Barkley
19 John Stockton
20 David Robinson
21 Kevin Garnett
22 Kevin Durant
23 Steph Curry
24 Elgin Baylor
25 Scottie Pippen
26 Isiah Thomas
27 Dwyane Wade
28 John Havlicek
29 Chris Paul
30 Steve Nash
31 Kevin McHale
32 Patrick Ewing
33 George Mikan
34 Bob Petit
35 Jason Kidd
36 Clyde Drexler
37 Rick Barry
38 Walt Frazier
39 Bob Cousy
40 Elvin Hayes
41 Gary Payton
42 Bill Walton
43 James Worthy
44 Dominique Wilkins
45 Paul Pierce
46 Allen Iverson
47 George Gervin
48 Willis Reed
49 Russell Westbrook
50 Ray Allen
51 Reggie Miller
52 Bob McAdoo
53 Wes Unseld
54 Bernard King
55 Dave Cowens
56 Pau Gasol
57 Robert Parish
58 Tony Parker
59 Carmelo Anthony
60 Earl Monroe
61 Manu Ginobili
62 Alex English
63 Tracy McGrady
64 Dennis Rodman
65 Alonzo Mourning
66 Chris Webber
67 Dwight Howard
68 Bob Lanier
69 Vince Carter
70 Artis Gilmore
71 Pete Maravich
72 Adrian Dantley
73 Dikembe Mutombo
74 Dolph Schayes
75 Blake Griffin
76 Tiny Archibald
77 Joe Dumars
78 Sam Jones
79 Jerry Lucas
80 Grant Hill
81 Sidney Moncrief
82 David Thompson
83 Chris Mullin
84 Dennis Johnson
85 Dave DeBusschere
86 Chris Bosh
87 Chauncey Billups
88 Billy Cunningham
89 Yao Ming
90 Paul Arizin
91 Maurice Cheeks
92 Nate Thurmond
93 Lenny Wilkens
94 Mark Price
95 Marc Gasol
96 Bobby Jones
97 James Harden
98 Gail Goodrich
99 Kevin Love
100 Shawn Kemp

It’s never easy to put together an all-time of anything list, and it doesn’t get any easier when you have to factor in today’s players. As we mentioned, does Curry deserve a spot this high up, so early in his career? Does that factor? ESPN was smart, they only listed the players, their accomplishments with maybe a sentence or two supported by “ESPN Stats & Info”.

As Cassidy Hubbarth says in the video announcing the top 5 — “It’s not yo’ list!” Not angry enough yet — check out SLAM Magazine’s Top 500 NBA Players of All-Time from 2011 or SLAM’s list of the the top 100 NBA players of all-time from their March 2018 issue.

Also see the full list of ESPN’s 100 Greatest Game Changers that Influenced the Game (2018)

The Top College Players in NCAA History

Interested in the 100 top college players of all-time, go to this piece



  • Almost every statistical measure supports Stock over Isiah. He was also, skillset-wise, a better shooter, passer and defender. Stockton was able to hound teams defensively in a way Isiah never could, while being perhaps the greatest faciliator and pace control player to ever player, all matched to asttonomical peak and all statistical records (only player in history to have multiple 1,000 assist seasons…did it multiple times; broke Magic’s assists record in just seven and a half seasons as a starter, etc.).

    Isiah is mainly remembered for being the perceived alpha on two title teams. Yet he was not an elite defender on a team known almost purely for it, and a team full of tough and great defenders.

    He has two titles. For some that is the only stat that matters. One would think a basketball blog would be a bit more in-depth than that; a bit less innumerate and blind to hoth skillset value and historical context.

    But in this case, that would be a poor assumption. Clearly.

  • *all-time statistical records

  • Numbers are great, but that never, ever translated to a championship — ask Barkley, Nique, Ewing and any other 80s star that had numbers and they would trade that for one title. 95% of the NBA play 82 games for the sole reason at a championship. Isiah was the unquestioned leader of a two championship teams, one of which is always in the discussion as a top ten team ever to play the game. What Utah Jazz team can boast that? Let me answer that — none. I’m not a Jazz hater nor a Stockton-hater, but hardly anyone outside of SLC would choose to pick Stockton over Isiah on any combination of scenarios that didn’t include Karl Malone. And even with Mailman as starting PF, Isiah would most-likely get the vote to helm the PG position over Stockton. Nice try.

  • m2h, yeah, your opinion is “clearly” more weighted over Magic’s, who said that Isiah is better than Stockton, and it’s not even close. I will trust Magic’s input just a tad over your’s.

  • Ashten Corey

    Kevin Love top 100? and Marc Gasol? and Dwight Howard? I think that A.C Green very much belongs up here if these idiots even know who he is.

  • Ashten Corey

    Seriously?Howard and Love heck even Marc Gasol shouldn’t be up here compared to A.C Green or Vlade Divac, and what about Walt Frazier??? All of the guys i listed are better than Manu Ginobili too the guys I listed were stars until the end of their career….

  • what is the most noteworthy stat for a PG, on offense and defense?

    Assists and Steals

    So therefore Stockton deserves that right to be listed that high, he was very unselfish and humble as a basketball player, and played hard nose defense every play, he gave it everything he had out on the basketball court.

    I personally think players from the 60’s to the late 70’s had a huge advantage on building stats and titles since NBA was fairly new and the competition was just starting to build.

  • worstest list i ever seen

  • Well everyone on that list could at least form a sentence and spell. Wtf is worstest.

  • Joseph Schnuerle

    I believe after the 2017 season, James Harden should take a monumental leap on the list. Minimal incremental increase consideration for Durant, Westbrook, and Curry. Where is Anthony Davis? He is young, but already set an NBA record at scoring in an all-star game. Yes, I know the all-star game is a free for all, still his name is in the record book. He deserves a top 80 consideration for next year given he stays healthy.

  • Kobe goat

    Worst list ever created by a person. So your telling me lebron James is already third best player of all time how AND KOBE AT 13 FUCK ESPN FOR MAKING THIS LIST. By the way Kobe better than lebron

  • Andrew M Goldin

    I think Wade was slighted the worst being at 28. Glad to see Kobe at 12 but he should be higher. Id go : MJ, LeBron, Kareem, Bird, magic , Hakeem , Shaq , Duncan, Kobe, Wade.

  • Anonymous

    I feel Kobe is above 12 AI3 is surely better than a 46 I would at least give Kobe 9 and AI3 gets 32 but hey who am I

  • lebron is better than kobe

    lebron should be in number 2 and durant should be in below top 50

  • Honestly not a bad list. I get that AI never won a title but 46 is definitely too low. Also Wilt and Bill Russel deserve to be switched in positioning regardless of the offensive advantage Wilt had on Bill

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