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Greatest Basketball Players Of All Time

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Rated 289 points - posted 10 years ago by Haskel in category Sports.
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101.

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david thompson Report Abuse
-7 points - added 9 years ago by guest - 1 comment
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A historically great collegian who played his 1st pro season in the ABA (and was awesome), then started out his NBA career just as well... He was going for lines like 26ppg, 5rpg, 4apg and he just couldn't stay healthy, I guess. Nice to see him mentioned.
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102.

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Dave Bing Report Abuse
-8 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

103.

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Paul Arizin Report Abuse
-8 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

104.

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Lenny Wilkens Report Abuse
-9 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

105.

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Dolph Schayes Report Abuse
-10 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

106.

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Billy Cunningham Report Abuse
-10 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

107.

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David Thompson Report Abuse
-10 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

108.

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hendrick riley Report Abuse
hes just a 11 year but you have to give him some props this kid avereges 21.1 points atleast each game he plays with the urban stars a minneapolis ,mn team
-11 points - added 9 years ago by hendrick112 -

109.

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Bailey Bagley Report Abuse
Why not?
-12 points - added 8 years ago by guest - 2 comments
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well but stil he will.
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I agree!
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110.

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adam fitzgerald Report Abuse
he scored 2000 points in one game and he can dunk in grade 1
-12 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

111.

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fadi al khatib Report Abuse
he's the best player in asia he led his teame lebanon to win against france in the fiba chamionship
-12 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

112.

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Bill Sharman Report Abuse
-16 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

113.

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Candice Parker Report Abuse
she can dunk!
-17 points - added 9 years ago by guest -

114.

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Nikos Galis Report Abuse
Europs greatest hall of famer, was draftted out of college behind Larry bird, created Greek basketball phenomenon, had 40 point game while bind guraded by michal jordan when he played in a frindly vs north carolina.
-17 points - added 9 years ago by guest - 2 comments
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he had to be an NBA player!!!everybody would think that he is at least in the top 10 basketball players ever!!!
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Simply the best player ever!
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115.

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danel thomas Report Abuse
-19 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

116.

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Kyle Korver Report Abuse
THE MAN, THE LEGEND...
-20 points - added 7 years ago by Wrecquiem - 2 comments
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putting this name in this list makes this a joke.
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haha
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117.

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llerret nosliw Report Abuse
play on houston hawks
-20 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

118.

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Billy Packer Report Abuse
-22 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

119.

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Biggie Smalls Report Abuse
-23 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

120.

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rachel Benjamin Report Abuse
-23 points - added 9 years ago by guest -

121.

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Vasilis Spanoulis Report Abuse
-26 points - added 9 years ago by gadalf7 -

122.

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top 10 best basketball ball players ever Report Abuse
i feel that people should express their self.
-29 points - added 8 years ago by guest -

123.

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hala back Report Abuse
becous its me
-30 points - added 8 years ago by gama -

124.

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Dirk Nowitzsky Report Abuse
He has great hair. And he does great in All- Star weekend.
-34 points - added 9 years ago by guest - 20 comments
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he should be on top
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He should be higher.
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First he was good, then bad, then good enough down the stretch, but for a guy who stands 7-foot, Dirk doesn't bring much to the table when his shot isn't falling. He's a below-average defender and an average rebounder -- hardly ideal for a guy being treated like a franchise player.
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Dirk was the best player on the floor in the Finals. He had the heart and the nerve and his SKILL + TALENT easily beat LeBron's SKILL + TALENT.
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Champion 2011 in a avarange Team Final MVP 2011
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NBA Single Season Playoff Leaders and Records for Free Throws 1. Dirk Nowitzki "205" 2006 DAL NBA & ABA Game Playoff Leaders and Records for Free Throws 1. Dirk Nowitzki "24" 2011-05-17 DAL
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Career Leaders and Records for Points 23. Dirk Nowitzki 22792
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NBA Most Valuable Player (2007) 10× NBA All-Star (2002–2011) 4× All-NBA First Team (2005–2007, 2009) 5× All-NBA Second Team (2002–2003, 2008, 2010–2011) 2× All-NBA Third Team (2001, 2004) NBA Three-Point Shootout Champion (2006) FIBA World Championship MVP (2002) EuroBasket MVP (2005) 7x European Player of the Year: 5× Euroscar Award Winner (2002–2006) Mister Europa Player of the Year (2005) FIBA Europe Player of the Year (2005
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MVP: 2006–07 Nowitzki, DirkDirk Nowitzki^ Forward Germany Dallas Mavericks
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The Mavericks finished the 2009-10 NBA season as the second seed for the playoffs—it was their 10th consecutive season with at least 50 regular season wins. Notable additions to the squad were multiple All-Stars Shawn Marion and Caron Butler, with the latter coming in the latter half of the season. On January 13, 2010, Nowitzki became the 34th player in NBA history—and the first European—to hit the 20,000 point milestone, while ending the regular season with averages of 25 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1 block. He was selected to the 2010 All-Star game, his ninth appearance. The Mavericks faced off against San Antonio once more in the first round of the playoffs, but for the third time in four seasons, they failed to progress to the next round. Nowitzki was the only consistent player throughout the series for the Mavericks, averaging 26.7 points per outing, while the likes of Jason Terry, second leading scorer for the Mavericks averaged only 12.7 points per game compared to his 16.6 regular season. There was speculation that Nowitzki might join another team in the off-season as a free agent, but on July 5, 2010, he agreed to remain with Dallas by re-signing to a four-year, $80 million deal.[71] Despite Nowitzki's numbers dipping significantly as compared to previous seasons, the Mavericks concluded the 2010–11 regular season with 57 wins, seeding third behind the Spurs and the Lakers for the 2011 NBA Playoffs. The most significant changes to the team roster was the arrival of Tyson Chandler via a trade. During the playoffs, the Mavericks saw off Portland in the first round, and swept the Lakers (the defending champions) in the semi-finals, before meeting Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference Finals. In Game 1 of that series, Nowitzki scored 48 points en route to setting an NBA record of 24 consecutive free throws made in a game as well as most free throws in a game without a miss.
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The 2007–08 campaign saw another first-round playoffs exit for Nowitzki and his Mavericks. Despite a mid-season blockbuster trade that sent veteran NBA All-Star Jason Kidd to Dallas, the Mavericks could only finish seventh in a highly competitive Western Conference. Nowitzki averaged 23.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, and a career-high 3.5 assists for the season.[69] In the playoffs, they faced rising star Chris Paul's New Orleans Hornets, and were eliminated in five games.[69] The few positive highlights that season for the German were his first career triple-double against the Milwaukee Bucks on February 6, 2008, with 29 points, 10 rebounds, and a career-high 12 assists, and on March 8, 2008 (34 points against the New Jersey Nets), when he surpassed Rolando Blackman with his 16,644th point to become the Mavericks' all-time career points leader.[70] The 2008–09 NBA season saw Nowitzki finish with averages of 25.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists. He was fourth in the league in scoring, and garnered his fourth All-NBA First Team selection. He also made the 2009 All-Star game, his eighth appearance. Nowitzki led Dallas to a tight finish towards the playoffs, finishing 50–32 for the season (6th in the West), after a slow 2–7 start. In the playoffs, the German led Dallas to an upset win over long-time rival San Antonio (3rd seed), winning the first round series 4–1. The Mavericks, however, fell short against the Denver Nuggets 4–1 in the second round, with Nowitzki averaging 34.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the series.
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The 2006–07 season was the year Nowitzki was named the league's Most Valuable Player. He shot a career-best 50.2% from the field, and recorded averages of 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 3.4 assists[22] and led the Mavericks to a franchise-high 67 wins, which meant Dallas earned the first seed of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.[65] Nowitzki was touted as the overwhelming favorite for the Most Valuable Player award, and was expected to lead the Mavericks to an easy win against the eighth seed Golden State Warriors. However, the Mavericks ended up losing to the Warriors in six games, marking the first time a #8 seed has beaten the #1 in a best of seven series in NBA history.[66] In the clinching Game 6, Nowitzki shot just 2–13 from the field for only eight points.[66] Defended by Stephen Jackson, Nowitzki averaged nearly five points less than his regular season average in that series and shot only 38.3% from the field as compared to 50.2% during the regular season.[22] He described this loss as a low point in his career: "This series, I couldn't put my stamp on it the way I wanted to. That's why I'm very disappointed."[67] In spite of this historic playoffs loss, Nowitzki was named the NBA's regular season Most Valuable Player and beat his friend and back-to-back NBA MVP Nash with more than 100 votes. He also became the first European-born player in NBA history to receive the honor.[68]
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The Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Finals, where they would again meet Nash and the Phoenix Suns. Nowitzki scored 50 points to lead the Mavericks to a victory in the crucial Game 5 with the series tied 2–2; the Mavericks would go on to win in six games and face the Miami Heat in the 2006 NBA Finals. A content Nowitzki commented: "We've been a good road team all season long, we believed in each other. We went through some ups and downs this season, but the playoffs is all about showing heart and playing together."[61] Of Nowitzki's performance, ESPN columnist Bill Simmons would remark, "Dirk is playing at a higher level than any forward since Bird."[62] The Mavericks took an early 2–0 lead, but then gave away a late 15-point lead in a Game 3 loss[63] and finally fell to a scoring onslaught by Heat Finals MVP Dwyane Wade: Wade scored at least 36 points in the next four games, which the Heat all won. Nowitzki only made 20 of his last 55 shots in the final 3 games as the Mavericks lost the Finals series 4–2 to the Heat. The German was criticised by ESPN as "clearly... not as his best this series" and remarked: "That was a tough loss (in Game 3) and that really changed the whole momentum of the series... After that, they got confidence. They played a lot better afterwards."[64]
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Nowitzki paced the Mavericks to a 60-win season. The team finished with the third-best record in the league, behind the defending champion San Antonio Spurs and defending Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons.[59] As in the 2004–05 season, he finished third in the league's MVP voting, this time behind Nash and LeBron James. He was again elected to the first team All-NBA squad.[22] Nowitzki confirmed his superstar status during the playoffs as he averaged 27.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists.[22] The Mavericks swept the Memphis Grizzlies with 4–0, with Nowitzki's most spectacular play being a clutch three-point shot in the closing seconds of Game 3 which tied the game and forced overtime. In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Mavericks played against the San Antonio Spurs again. After splitting the first six games, the Mavericks took a 20-point lead in Game 7 before Spur Manu Ginóbili broke a tie at 101 by hitting a clutch three-point shot with 30 seconds left. On the next play, Nowitzki completed a three-point play, which tied the game at 104. In the end, the Mavericks won 119–111, and Nowitzki ended the game with 37 points and 15 rebounds.[60] Nowitzki commented: "I don't know how the ball went in. Manu hit my hand. It was a lucky bounce."[60]
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[55] In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Mavericks met the Phoenix Suns, the new club of Nash. They split the first four games, before the Suns won the last two games. In Game 6, which the Mavericks lost in overtime, Nowitzki was again not at his best: he scored 28 points, but also sank only 9 of his 25 field goal attempts;[56] in addition, he was visibly irritated, repeatedly shouting at his team mates and missing all his five shots in overtime.[57] Prior to the 2005–06 NBA season, veteran Mavericks captain Michael Finley was waived over the summer, and now Nowitzki was the last player remaining from the Mavericks' "Big Three" of Nash, Finley, and himself. Nowitzki blossomed as the sole franchise player, averaging 26.6 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. Not only was this his third 2,000 point season, but his scoring average of 26.6 points was highest ever by a European, and the highest by a white player since the 27.2 average of Tom Chambers again in 1989–90.[22] He improved his shooting percentage, setting personal season records in field goals (48.0%), three-point shots (40.6%) and free throws (90.1%).[22] During the 2006 All-Star Weekend in Houston, Nowitzki scored 18 points to defeat Seattle SuperSonics guard Ray Allen and Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas in the Three-Point Shootout contest.[58]
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However, the Mavericks had a subpar 2005 NBA Playoffs campaign. In the first round, Dallas met the Houston Rockets of scoring champion Tracy McGrady and 7–6 center Yao Ming, and Nowitzki was expected to average high figures against unheralded forward Ryan Bowen: nba.com described Bowen as "overmatched" versus the German.[53] Instead, Bowen limited Nowitzki to just 21 points in Game 1[53] and 26 points in Game 2, where the latter only hit 8 of 26 shots from the field.[54] The Rockets took a 2–0 lead before the Mavericks won three games in a row. After losing Game 6, Dallas won Game 7 convincingly and won the series even though Nowitzki struggled with his shooting.
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Franchise player (2004–present) Nowitzki (no. 41) has been the face of the Mavericks franchise.Before the 2004–05 NBA season, the Mavericks were re-tooled again. Defensive center Erick Dampier was acquired from the Golden State Warriors, but Nowitzki's close friend Steve Nash left Dallas and returned to the Phoenix Suns as a free agent. During the season, long-time head coach Don Nelson resigned, and his assistant Avery Johnson took on coaching duties. In the midst of these changes, Nowitzki stepped up his game and averaged 26.1 points a game, a career-high, 9.7 rebounds, and his 1.5 blocks and 3.1 assists were also career numbers.[22] In addition, Nowitzki scored at least 10 points in every game and was only one of four players who registered at least 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. This was also his second 2,000 point season, his 26.1 points scoring average set a new record by a European player, and was the highest by a white player since Tom Chambers knocked in 27.2 per game in 1989–90.[2] On December 2, 2004, Nowitzki scored 53 points in an overtime win against the Houston Rockets, a career best.[2] As a reward, Nowitzki was voted to the All-NBA First Team for the first time.[22] He also placed third in the league's MVP voting, behind Nash and Shaquille O'Neal. By being elected to the All-NBA First Team, Nowitzki became the first player who did not attend a United States high school or college to be on the All-NBA First Team.
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Some critics have alleged Nowitzki's defense is a weakness, as he averages just over one block per game and never made an All-Defense Team.[22] However, playing more around the perimeter takes him out of position where a typical power forward would be, with detracts from his overall defensive stats. Despite that, he is 9th in active players for defensive win shares, placing him higher than even Kobe Bryant. Nowitzki is the 34th player in NBA history, and the first European to hit the 20,000 point milestone. Apart from being the Dallas Mavericks' all-time leader in points, rebounds, field goals, field goal attempts, 3-pointers, 3-point attempts, free throws, and free-throw attempts, Nowitzki has made the NBA All-Star games ten times, and the All-NBA Teams eleven times. He was voted NBA MVP of the 2006–07 NBA season, becoming the first European player to receive the honor. Other achievements include winning the 2006 NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout, being voted "European Basketballer of the Year" five times in a row by La Gazzetta dello Sport, and being the leading scorer and MVP of the 2002 FIBA World Championship, and Eurobasket 2005 tournaments.
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His shooting accuracy combined with his long seven-foot frame and unique shooting mechanics, such as having a release point above his head, makes contesting his jump shots incredibly difficult. Additionally, he can put the ball down and drive with it from the perimeter, like few have been able to do with his size.[84] NBA.com lauds his versatility by stating: "The 7–0 forward who at times mans the pivot can strike fear in an opponent when he corrals a rebound and leads the break or prepares to launch a three-point bomb."[2]. Charles Barkley describes the best way to guard Nowitski is to "get a cigarette and a blindfold". When defenses guard Nowitzki with one of their biggest men, who is then pulled out to the perimeter, the net effect is that while Nowitzki's own stats are actually compromised by being out of position to offensively rebound or make an easy close range basket, the rest of the team becomes more offensively potent with the defense having to be spread across the floor. Often times this creates player mismatches that Nowitzk's teammates can exploit.
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Nowitzki is a versatile frontcourt player who mostly plays the power forward position, but has also played center, small forward and point forward throughout his career. Nowitzki is considered one of the best shooters in the game, hitting almost 88% of his free throws, connecting on almost 50% of his field goal attempts and on almost 40% of his three-point shots, and is also winner of the 2006 NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout competition.[22] In 2006–07 Nowitzki became only the fifth member of the NBA's 50–40–90 Club for players who shot 50% or better from the field, 40% or better on three-pointers, and 90% or better on free-throws in a single season while achieving the NBA league minimum number of makes in each category. Throughout Nowitzki's career, he has responded to the increased pressure of the playoffs by increasing his productivity. In the regular season he averages 23 points, 8 rebounds. In the playoffs he averages 25.6 points, 10.9 rebounds, which only Hakeem Olajuwon, Bob Pettit and Elgin Baylor have managed to do. In the most pressure packed games, such as playoff elimination games he averages 28.4 points, 12.2 rebounds. He has had 13 elimination games where he scored 30 or more points, with only Jerry West having more at 14. Of the top 100 elimination game performances in the last 20 years, Nowitzki has had the best performances in 8 of them, more than any other player in the NBA in that same time frame.[83]
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