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?
Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all timeShow moreShow less
No player in basketball history dominated every area of the game like Jordan.
The Chicago Bulls's 1996 NBA championship victory concluded what remains the greatest season for any team to date. The Bulls set a record for wins in the regular season, going 72-10 overall and becoming the first team to win at least 70 games in the 82-game season. They also set a record for NBA Elo rating at 1853 after winning the third game of the NBA finals series. While both of those records were later surpassed by the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors, that Warriors team failed to win the NBA championship, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA finals.
The 1995-96 Bulls represented an improvement on Jordan's previous championship teams, which won three NBA titles in a row from 1991-1993. In addition to Jordan's long-time teammate Scottie Pippen, the 1995-96 Bulls benefited from the addition of Dennis Rodman, another future Hall of Famer who is often regarded as the greatest rebounder in NBA history. With extensive championship experience, Jordan and Pippen in peak form, and Rodman contributing to a stronger defensive identity, the 1995-96 Bulls set a new standard for dominance in the NBA, and paved the way to Jordan's second championship threepeat from 1996-1998.
As he was undeniably the leader and best player on the most successful team in NBA history, Jordan's case for being considered the greatest player of all time extends well beyond his legacy of individual brilliance.
[P1] The 1995-6 Chicago Bulls were the best team of all time.
[P2] They were led by Jordan.
[P3] Therefore, Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.