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.

If you’d like to look at my top 50 players list from last year you can do so here

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 – 14 NBA regular season, post season and NBA Finals).
  • An green name indicates an active player.

2014 All time NBA Legacy

  1. Michael Jordan
  2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
  3. Wilt Chamberlain
  4. Shaquille O’Neal
  5. LeBron James (+1)
  6. Tim Duncan (+2)
  7. Larry Bird
  8. Magic (Earvin) Johnson
  9. Hakeem Olajuwon
  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. Kevin Durant (New addition)
  39. Dominique Wilkins
  40. Jerry Lucas
  41. Walt Frazier
  42. Willis Reed
  43. Jason Kidd
  44. Chris Paul (New addition)
  45. Allen Iverson
  46. Steve Nash
  47. Nate “Tiny” Archibald
  48. Dolph Schayes
  49. Walt Bellamy
  50. Pete Marvich (Pistol Pete)

New Additions / New Rankings

LeBron James at #5 – Although he ended this season without a championship he did move up a lot of lists in terms of all-time totals, passing both Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in regular season total assists as well as moving into 10th all time in total post season assists.  He led the Heat to their 4th consecutive finals appearance and finished 2nd in MVP voting this season.  His continued dominance in the NBA shows that he is one of the greatest players to ever play.

Tim Duncan at #6 – I want to make this clear; Duncan moving up my list is not just due to him winning a 5th ring.  Duncan’s longevity has been amazing and this post-season he set a lot of career milestones:

  • All-time leader in post season minutes
  • All-time leader post-season double-doubles
  • Second in post season defensive win shares
  • Second in post season win shares

This in addition to him already being first in post season blocks, fifth in post season points and third in post season total rebounds.

I do think Hakeem was a better raw player than Duncan, but a case can be made that Duncan has a better legacy, hence why I’ve moved him ahead of Hakeem.

Kevin Durant at #38 – The first of two new appearances in my top 50 list this year; Kevin Durant.  KD has only been in the league for seven seasons but has already led his team to the finals, won 4 scoring titles, led the NBA in total points 5 times, finished second in MVP voting three times and won an MVP.  Not to mention making multiple all NBA teams.  KD will certainly (barring a career ending injury) move up this list, he’s still only 25 and has a long way to go.

Chris Paul at #44 – Chris Paul has, in my opinion, been the best point-guard in the game since 2008.  His continued high level of play on both sides of the ball has led to him being one of the best point-guards to play the game.

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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