Basketball Guru Thumper Newman Lists the Ten
Greatest Basketball Players of All Time.
1) Magic Johnson : At 6' 9" Magic Johnson ran
the point guard like no other player in history. Magic avreraged 11.2 apg. No
one his size will ever do that again. The Lakers of the 80s were a fast break,
high octane team who averaged 115- 120 ppg. Magic won 5 NBA titles and an NCAA
title. In game 6 of the 1980 finals (Magic's rookie season), Abdul Jabbar
with a sprained ankle, and Magic jumped center. That game Magic scored 42 points,
grabbed 15 rebounds, and had 7 assists to lead the Lakers to the championship. Magic
also averaged 19.5 PPG while shooting 52% from the field, 85% from the line,
from downtown. Magic had the flash of Pistol Pete with the size of a power
forward. The HIV virus cut Magic's career short, but he came out of retirement
in 1992 and was declared MVP of the All Star game. He won an Olympic
gold medal as a member of the '92 dream team.
Watch Magic Johnson
2) Dirk Nowitzki :The Best Giant of All Time.
At 7' 1" 245 lbs, Nowitzki is a true giant, yet he possess the skills of a
point guard. Arguably the greatest shooter of all time, Nowitzki is averaging
23.0 ppg. while shooting a shocking 47% fg., 88% ft, 38% 3p. Nowitzki has hit
1131 career 3s. At the 2006 All Star weekend, Nowitzki won the 3-point contest,
becoming the tallest player by 4 inches to win the shootout. Nowitzki was MVP
of the 2002 World Championships, where he led Germany to the bronze medal. In
2005 Nowitzki led Germany to the silver medal in the European Championships,
where he was also named MVP. Nowitzki has been the
NBA's MVP 6 times. For his career in
the NBA playoffs, Nowitzki has averaged 25.6 ppg. and 10.9 rpg..
Dirk Nowitzki, Germany vs USA 8-4-2004
Pistol Pete Maravich
3)Pistol Pete Maravich- The 6' 5" Maravich was
light years ahead of his time; his flashy ball handling skills were unlike
anyone in the history of the game. Maravich grew up with a basketball in his
hands, dribbling a basketball wherever he went. Playing for his father at LSU, Maravich averaged 44.2 ppg. Maravich once said that his father would have him lean out of the car
window and dribble a basketball as the two drove down the street. Maravich's pro
career was cut short when he blew out his knee throwing a between-the-legs pass
at the Superdome.
Pistol score 68 points vs Knicks
4) Rick Barry- The 6' 8" Barry is the only
player in history to lead the NCAA, NBA, & ABA in scoring. In the 66-67 season,
Barry scored 35.6 ppg. with 9.2 rpg. In 1967 Barry became the center of a
bidding war between the NBA & ABA and ultimately signed as a free agent with the Oakland
Oaks (owned by singer Pat Boone) of the ABA. A court order required him to
sit out one season. In 1975 Barry led the Golden State Warriors to an NBA title
with an improbable four game sweep of the Washington Bullets. For his
pro career, Barry averaged 24.8 ppg., 6.7 rpg., and 4.9 apg. while shooting a
stunning .893% from the foul line.
5) Arvydas Sabonis-In 1988 the 7' 3" 292 lbs.
Sabonis led the Soviet Union Olympic team to a gold medal. In 1992
and 1996, Sabonis led Lithuania, a country of about 3 million people, to the
bronze medal. Sabonis also won gold at the '82 World Championships & '85 European
Championships. Sabonis began his pro career at the age of 17 playing for
Zalgiris Kaunus. Sabonis was an excellent passer and is considered one of the
most highly skilled big men in history. Bill Walton once called Sabonis a 7' 3"
Larry Bird. Sabonis hit 259 3s at a 35 % clip for his pro career.
6) Emanuel Ginobili- In 2004 the 6'6" Ginobili
led the undermanned Argentine Olympic team to the gold medal, a feat that
some consider the most remarkable in all of basketball history. Ginobili was MVP of the
Tournament leading his team in scoring and assists. Nine months later, Manu led
the Spurs to an NBA championship, scoring 9 of the final 12 points in game
7. Ginobili has been a member of three NBA championship teams (2003,2005,2007)
with the San Antonio Spurs. Manu also led Argentina to a silver medal at the 2002 World
Championships. Ginobili is the 2nd Best shooting guard of all time.
Manu & Argentina 2004 Olympics
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
7) Kareem Abdul Jabbar- The 7' 2" Jabbar had
the most unstop able shot in NBA history, the Sky Hook. At UCLA Jabbar won 3
NCAA titles (1967, 1968,1969 ). With a 56% FG.
average for his career, Jabbar also averaged 24.6 ppg and 11.2.rpg and was a 6 time NBA MVP. He was also a member 6 NBA Championship teams (1971, 1980, 1982,
1985,1987, 1988). Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points.
Were the statistic on blocks recorded at the beginning of Jabbar's career, he
would likely also be the league's all time leader in that category.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
8) Larry Bird-The 6' 9" Larry Bird is
considered by many to be the best shooting big man of all time. Bird shot 50% FG.
89% FT & 38% 3P.
Averaging 24.3 ppg over his 13 year career, he led the Boston Celtics to 3 NBA titles
( 1981, 1984, 1986 ). The '86 Celtics have been called the best NBA team ever.
Bird was also a great passer, averaging 6.3 apg.
Known as a tough competitor, Bird averaged 10 rpg. Bird won the long distance shootout 3
times (1986,1987,1988) and was also a member of the '92 dream team that
9) Kevin Garnett- The 6' 11" Garnett has averaged
19.8 ppg. , 10.8 rpg., and 4.4 apg while shooting 50% FG., 79% FT.,
and 29% 3P. Garnett
entered the NBA out of high school, playing his first game at the age of 19 years
5 months. Long and athletic, Garnett is a strong rebounder and good defensive
player. Since his move to Boston, Garnett has begun to garner the praise
he deserves but did not receive while a member of the less hyped Minnesota
Timberwolves. The 2nd best big man of his era, Garnett has played in the shadow of Dirk Nowitzki for much of his career.
10) Karl Malone- At 6' 9" 256 lbs, Malone ran
the floor as well as any man his size but also had a great mid-range jump shot.
Both offensively and defensively, he was able to carve up space inside. Teaming
up with John Stockton for much of his career, they ran pick n' roll as well as
anyone in the history of the sport. For his career, Malone averaged 25 ppg and 10.1 rpg.
and is the second all time leading scorer in the NBA with 36,928 points. Malone
won the Olympic gold medal twice (1992, 96 ).