Basketball is one of the most popular and storied sports in the world. For decades, the world's best basketball players have achieved international fame and glory through their performances on the court, in some cases becoming true global icons. As successive eras of basketball superstars have passed, the debate over which player is the greatest of all time has evolved with ever-increasing complexity and passion. Taking into account championships, records, accolades, statistics, and impact on the game, which player stands above all the rest? Who is the greatest NBA player of all time?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best basketball player of all timeShow moreShow less
Abdul-Jabbar had more sustained success at the highest levels than any other player.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, known as Lew Alcindor during his college years, had already accomplished an all time great basketball career before he ever played in the NBA. Starting on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) freshman basketball team in 1966, Alcindor set the single-game scoring record for the school in his very first game. Once eligible to play on the upper class team in 1967, he went on to win national championships all three years he played (1967-1969), being named a First Team All-American all three years, the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA championship tournament all three years, and the national player of the year twice out of three years each by the Associated Press, the United States Basketball Writers Association, and Sporting News. Alcindor's impact on college basketball was so enormous that he even changed the rules: his dunking was so dominant in 1967 that the move was banned for the next decade. Many great professional players have played under the NCAA system, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands above them all for his achievements at the college level.
[P1] Abdul-Jabbar had the greatest achievements of any college basketball player.
[P2] Therefore, he is the greatest of all time.