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.
Basketball players's legacies are most often evaluated by two measures: their accolades and their statistical production. In the former category, the highest accolade an individual basketball player can win is the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. In the latter category, the most important statistic is generally considered to be the number of the points the player scored. In both of these categories, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all time leader.
Abdul-Jabbar won six MVP awards, a record which stands alone. He also scored 38,387 points (regular season) over the course of his NBA career, making him the NBA's all time scoring leader. In his 20 seasons in the NBA, he was named an All-Star 19 times, to an All-NBA team 15 times, and to an All-Defensive team 11 times, all records as well. Abdul-Jabbar's legacy is one not only of unmatched longevity, but of longevity as a truly elite player at the very top of the game.
His lasting impact becomes even more remarkable in consideration of the fact that he only started in the NBA after a full four-year college basketball career, which has frequently been skipped or shortened by subsequent generations of NBA player. For the length and sustained excellence of his basketball career, no other player compares to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
[P1] Abdul-Jabbar has had the most sustained success of any player.