Making a top 50 legacy list isn’t easy.  In fact, it’s an automatic way for people to get angry at you.  I’ve based this top 50 list off of what I know, what I’ve seen and what I’ve researched.  Feel free to leave a comment saying whether you agree / disagree and what your own top 20 list would be (or 50 if you want).

Some of the players on the list are still active in the NBA and therefore their position on this list will likely change in the near future.

The reason I’ve chosen to do an all time legacy list over an all time skills based list is because there are too many exceptions with an all time skill based list.  For example, Grant Hill had the potential to be a top 25 player of all time based on his level of skill before  injuries plagued his career.  If this was an all time skill based list then he would have to be included, despite his obvious lack of achievements in his career.  My all time legacy list is built on a combination of a players achievements; how they dominated their respective era; how I feel they would perform in other eras; statistics and the eye test.

Please note that I am strictly talking about what a player has done on the basketball court. Not impact on the game of basketball, not how many sneakers they’ve sold or how many kids shout their name every time their commercial comes on the TV.

A number within a bracket indicates how many places a player has advanced due to their play last season.

2013 All time NBA Legacy

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  3. Wilt Chamberlain
  4. Magic (Earvin) Johnson
  5. Larry Bird
  6. LeBron James (+6)
  7. Hakeem Olajuwon
  8. Tim Duncan (+1)
  9. Shaquille O’Neal
  10. Bill Russell
  11. Oscar Robertson
  12. Moses Malone
  13. Jerry West
  14. Kobe Bryant
  15. Karl Malone
  16. Charles Barkley
  17. Kevin Garnett
  18. David Robinson
  19. Julius Erving (Dr J)
  20. Dirk Nowitzki
  21. George Mikan
  22. Bob Petit
  23. Dwyane Wade
  24. Isiah Thomas
  25. Clyde Drexler
  26. Elgin Baylor
  27. John Stockton
  28. Gary Payton
  29. John Havlicek
  30. Bob Cousy
  31. Rick Barry
  32. Patrick Ewing
  33. Bob McAdoo
  34. Neil Johnston
  35. George Gervin
  36. Elvin Hayes
  37. Scottie Pippen
  38. Dominique Wilkins
  39. Jerry Lucas
  40. Jason Kidd
  41. Allen Iverson
  42. Steve Nash
  43. Walt Frazier
  44. Willis Reed
  45. Nate “Tiny” Archibald
  46. Dolph Schayes
  47. Walt Bellamy
  48. Pete Marvich (Pistol Pete)
  49. Paul Arizin
  50. Dave Cowens

Take the list for what it is, it’s just merely my opinion.  As I stated in the introduction, please feel free to comment with your own personal list.

You can follow me on twitter: @SwishNBA

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