Talking about the best basketball players in history this article features both male and female basketball players. Basketball is one of the most important team sports on an international scale. It consists of a competitive match between two teams of five players each who must move a ball across the field of play to score it in a hoop with a net placed 2.60 meters above the ground.
What makes a basketball player a star? Without a doubt, having skills for sports activities is fundamental, but it is not the only quality that must be possessed to become one of the fundamental figures of international basketball. In addition to the great skill with the ball, it is necessary to have a prodigious sense of team and handling of tensions. Probably the people who go far have managed to adequately develop all these skills, turning their dream into a collective desire.
The history of basketball has numerous and very important names. For this reason, it becomes extremely difficult to establish a list of the best athletes in this profession in history; not only because the tastes of each one influence a lot, but also due to the great diversity of players, their performances and their successes developing this beautiful sport.
The 7 Best Basketball Players In History
Here is a list of some of the best basketball players in history. There are always many good and big names left out, but
1. Michael Jordan
Among the most famous figures in basketball is Michael Jordan. Who currently owns the Charlotte Hornets team in the NBA.
Michael Jordan was born on February 17, 1963 in New York (United States). The breakthrough of his career took place during the 1980s, when he managed to win his first MVP and was awarded the Best Defender award.
Another feature of his biography was the terrible murder of his father in 1993, which led him to make the decision to retire from basketball. However, two years later he started playing baseball, to fulfill a promise he made to his father.
Later, he returned to the NBA, and again broke records and attracted attention.
He participated in representing the United States Basketball Team in two Olympic Games (Los Angeles ’84 and Barcelona 92), and on both occasions, he won the gold medal. He also won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championship (Portland ’92) and at the Pan American Games (Caracas ’83).
2. Lebron James
LeBron James is one of the benchmarks in basketball. He plays for the Los Angeles Lakers at the small forward position, although he has also performed duties as a point guard and power forward.
LeBron Raymone James Sr. was born on December 30, 1984 in Ohio (United States). He is 2.06 meters tall and weighs 113 kilograms.
Inspired by the figures of Michael Jordan and Jason Kidd, LeBron found in basketball an escape route from his family difficulties: the abandonment of his father and his mother’s difficult economic situation forced the family to move often in search of a better quality of life, which made it difficult for them to have a group of friends and feel their place in the world. Basketball gave him that space to connect with his emotions and opened the doors to a better future.
LeBron was selected to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003-04 season, where he would begin to show what material he was made of.
As a member of the National Team he has participated in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, in which the team won the bronze medal. The victory that they repeated at the 2006 World Cup in Japan. And in 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, LeBron would raise his first gold with the national team.
3. Magic Johnson
“Magic” Johnson was born on August 14, 1959 in Michigan (United States). He was an important basketball player who is considered one of the best players in the world. He is 2.06 meters tall and weighs 116 kilograms.
He began standing out in the lower leagues and in the NCAA Tournament on the Michigan State University team.
In the eighties, he was one of the most outstanding players in the NBA, where he also won two MVP titles.
He participated with the US National Team in the Barcelona Olympic Games and the FIBA Americas Championship. Both in 1992 and both times the team won the gold medal.
He has been an inescapable figure for the LA Lakers. In 1996 he announced his retirement from basketball. Since then he has stood out as an important activist to make visible the struggle of people with HIV.
In 1996, Magic Johnson was chosen as one of the best players in the history of the NBA.
In 2001 his name appeared on a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was an American basketball player of Arab descent. He was born on April 16, 1947 in New York. He is 2.18 meters tall and weighs 106 kilograms. In his student days, he enrolled at UCLA and began to show his great talent for basketball.
He is the player who has stood out the most in the university league. He being the one with the highest scoring promise, field goals and points in a season. A very difficult mark to beat.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was named Player of the Year twice (1967 and 1969), three times NCAA Champion (1967, 1968 and 1969).
Later, as an NBA player, he also broke records and managed to become one of the 50 best players in the history of the league (in 1996). And he also received the MVP (Most Valuable Player: ‘Most Valuable Player’) of the NBA six times.
In a list of great basketball players, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar should not be missing in any way.
5. Larry Bird
Larry Bird on December 7, 1956 in Indiana (United States) and is one of the great basketball players in the country. He competed in 13 seasons in the NBA as a member of the Boston Celtics.
He had an extremely difficult childhood and adolescence due to the family’s economic problems. Despite this, he always strove to improve and managed to become one of the best French Lick players.
He was also a player for the University of Michigan, where he shared a team with Magic Johnson.
He was part of the United States National Team that won the gold medal at the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games, in that team that received the name of Dream Team and that is one of the great groups in the history of sport.
After this competition, he retired from basketball due to a back injury. His time in the NBA would be remembered forever.
6. Bill Russell
When it comes to naming the great basketball players in history, it’s hard not to think of Bill Russell. He was born in Louisiana on February 12, 1934 and played for thirteen years as a pivot for the Boston Celtics in the NBA.
He has been part of the Basketball Hall of Fame since 1975 and has been named one of the 50 best players in the history of this sport.
On many occasions throughout his life, Russell experienced situations of racism, which is why a large part of his career was dedicated to making this violence visible and fighting for a different world.
For the Boston Celtics, Russell is the best player that has passed through their groups, for this reason they retired his number (6) in 1972.
Russell got the MVP in numerous seasons: 1957-58, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1962-63 and 1964-65. Also, in 1963 he was awarded the Alls Star Game MVP.
7. Breanna Stewart
Currently, the name of Breanna Stewart is known to any lover of basketball. She was born on August 27, 1994 in Syracuse (United States) and stands out as one of the most important players in the WNBA (the first women’s league). She is 1.93 meters tall and weighs 77 kilograms.
She has been WNBA champion twice with the Seattle Storm (in 2018 and 2020) and has been chosen in those two championships as MVP of the MNBA and the Basketball World Cup in 2018.
She has played one season for Shanghai Baoshan Dahua of the WCBA and Dynamo Kursk of the Russian Premier League, always standing out above her teammates and rivals.
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As part of the United States National Team, he participated in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016, winning the gold medal. Stewart’s performance during this championship was decisive for the victory.