My homeboy and Oncourt Onslaught writer Brett Roberts shot me a text yesterday to tell me he had a crazy but great idea. A day later, both of us have put together a top 200 NBA players of all-time list and are ready to get the debates rolling.
He’s in Florida while I’m in northern Illinois. I’m sure he has Orlando Magic players higher than I do while I have Chicago Bulls charging up the ranks.
We didn’t see each others lists until after they were written and ready to go, so this should be a great adventure for us and our readers.
Here are my top 200-180 NBA players of all-time:
200: Jalen Rose
When I wrote the rough draft for this list, Rose was at 195. I loved watching Rose at Michigan on the college level and his NBA stints with the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls, but he doesn’t have the resume to move him past 200. Most wouldn’t have put him on the list, but he made Chicago happy with his 20 plus point game averages in the post-Jordan era. If the Chi-Town love doesn’t work, he also had 20.5 points a game during the Pacers 2000-01 season when they went to the finals.
199: Kevin Love
K-Love had an unbelievable 2010-11 season with averages of 20 points and 15 rebounds per game. Also, who could forget about the 30 point and 30 rebound game; he is the first player to reach this feat since Moses Malone in the 1982-83 season. Love proved he could be a beast in the NBA, but he needs more than one season with high productivity to climb my list.
198: Darryl Dawkins
This man didn’t innovate the art of the dunk in the same way Dr. J did, but he had an influence. The NBA adopted break away rims because ” Chocolate Thunder” broke two back board in 1979 with his thunder dunks. Dawkins was the 70′s and 80′s version of Blake Griffin before the invention of You Tube.
197: Kenny Anderson
Before the title journeyman became an every other day occurrence in the NBA, there was Kenny Anderson. During his 14-year NBA career spanning from 1991-to-2005, Anderson was on nine team rosters. The moves were not because he couldn’t play, because he had shooting, passing and ball handling skills, but because he didn’t fit the nature of the teams he was on. Anderson is on the top 50 assist leaders.
196: Kenny “The Jet” Smith
Before he became everyone’s favorite analysis on TNT’s Inside the NBA, Smith was ripping up the net. He won two NBA Championships with the Houston Rockets along side Hakeem Olajuwon. Although Olajuwon was the team’s go to star player, Smith helped with pin point shooting and sticky defense. In the first game of the 1995 finals Smith hit seven 3-pointers to get the win over the Shaquille O’Neal Orlando Magic.
195: Allan Houston
Everyone knows Reggie Miller has the best/ prettiest long distance shot in the history of the league. Ray Allen is usually the No. 2 consensus pick. Before Allen came into the league, Houston was Miller’s only competition. Houston’s J had perfect form and didn’t touch the rim or the twine when it sank through. Unfortunately, his knee gave out and he couldn’t push legacy further than “the guy before Ray Allen”.
194: Sam Perkins:
“Big Smooth” was exactly that…smooth. Perkins had a smooth playing career as a role player who could step up and deliver big games if need be. In 1986 he recorded the only 30 point and 20 rebound game in Dallas Maverick history with 31 and 20. He was a major contributor to all the teams Michael Jordan (his college teammate at North Carloina) wouldn’t let have a championship: the 1992 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1996 Seattle Super Sonics.
193: Tom Sanders
Tom “Satch” Sanders’ 8 NBA Championship rings puts him third on the list of players with the most championships behind, surprise, teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones. I would love to move “Satch” up the list, but he only averaged 9.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. If he was on a different team, he would have doubled his stats but wouldn’t have any rings. I’m sure he has thanked the Boston franchise.
192: Robert Horry
Horry is one of the best role players of all time. If there was an Encyclopedia definition of the term NBA role-player, a photo of Horry shooting from the top of the 3-point line would be there. “Big Shot Bob” won at least two championships with three teams: the Rockets, Lakers (3) and the San Antonio Spurs. He made the most out of every opportunity.
191: Rashard Lewis
In terms of rings or playoff greatness Lewis wouldn’t be in the top 200, especially if we talk about his performance with the Magic in the 2009 NBA Finals. On the other hand, he has made a living and great TV with his 3-point stroke. He holds the record with the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise for the most 3-pointers made.
190: Steve Francis
Francis was a great player and a NBA super duper star for his first four seasons with the Houston Rockets. In this time period, he never averaged under 18 points (21.6 in 2001-02 his highest), six assists or five rebounds for a season. He had a slightly down year with Houston before being traded to Orlando where he continued to play well. If he wouldn’t have tore his quad and played at the level he did in Orlando he could have broke the top 150. Houston level…top 70 or higher.
I realize this name is attached to dirty play and taking an opponent’s head off at any given moment. Well, so was Dennis Rodman, but the world loves him. Martin not only jumped out of the gym but has been a defensive staple for both the New Jersey Nets and the Denver Nuggets. His stats are not eye popping by any means, but if his stats are combined with the intangibles and defensive leadership he shows on the court, Martin deserves to be on a top 200 list.
188: Rik Smits
The Indiana Pacers did something which rarely happens in sports by keeping two players for their entire career: Reggie Miller and Rik Smits. The 7’4 center was a nightmare in the lane for opposing offenses and could fill up the box score himself. In 12 NBA seasons he only averaged less than one block per game twice and has career averages of 15 points and six rebounds a game.
187: Ron Harper
Most people remember Harper for being on the Chicago Bulls for their last three championship runs in the late 90′s or his minimal role with the Lakers for two of their three rings in the beginning of the 2000′s. However, Harper was a star long before 1996. During his rookie year of 1987 in Cleveland, Harper set a rookie record with 10 steals in a game with five in each half. He also averaged 23 ppg in his inaugural season.
186: Michael Finley
Finley should be accredited for the Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship. Before Finley, Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash turned Dallas into a winning franchise, no one wanted to play there. Finley’s 20 plus points, five assists and five rebounds per game during the late 90′s and early 2000′s was a defining factor in Dallas turning into a Western Conference power. He didn’t win a ring with the Mavericks, but he did get one with the Spurs in 2007.
185: Jerry Stackhouse
The way I feel about Finley and Dallas is the same way I feel about Jerry Stackhouse and the Detroit Pistons. After Isiah Thomas and the bad boys left Detroit, Grant Hill came in, got hurt and left the Pistons scratching their heads. Stackhouse and Allen Iverson were tearing it up in Philadelphia. Stackhouse goes to Detroit to help Hill with 20 ppg compiled of high shooting percentages from anywhere on the court. Then he is traded for Richard Hamilton and the Pistons become an Eastern Conference predator, which leads to a championship in 2004. Stackhouse’s high level of play made the ring happen.
184: Tom Gugliotta
Although he was only there for four of his 13 NBA seasons,”Gugs” was the savior in Minnesota before Kevin Garnett arrived. In 96-97 he scored 20.6, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists a game. In efforts to deny a fluke season, he delivered the same numbers in 97-98. From 1992-to-2000 he averaged double-digits every season and never went below 7.2 rebounds for a season. 9.6 was his highest.
183: Sleepy Floyd
Eric Floyd, known as “Sleepy” came into the league in 1982 with the Nets. One season later, the Warriors traded for him and Sleepy turned into a star. His first season he averaged 16.5 ppg, followed by 19.5 and 18.8. His 18.8 campaign came in 1987 when his scoring and 10.3 assists per game put him in the all-star game. Floyd’s greatest accomplishment is his still holding record of most points in scored in a quarter, 29, and a half, 39. The record came in game four of of the 1987 Western Conference Finals to stop the Lakers from sweeping the Warriors on their route to the championship.
182: Stephon Marbury
The myth known as “Starbury” has had a bumpy road since being at the top of the world, close to it, in the NBA, but, let’s face it…he had mad talent. From 1996, his first year in the NBA, until 2007-08 season, Marbury never scored under 15 points per game for a season. While he was scoring points like me on Call of Duty, he was also handing out assists for a clip of 7.6 for his career. The man is a mental midget but he was one hell of a ball player.
181: Otis Thorpe
Thorpe is the best member of the 1994 Rocket championship team no one cares to remember. Although he was overshadowed by Kenny Smith’s loud mouth, Hakeem Olajuwon’s fantastic play and Robert Horry’s shot selection, Thorpe was good enough to be traded for Clyde Drexler, a hall of famer, in the middle of the 1995 season. During his 17-year career, Thorpe scored 17,000 points and grabbed 10,000 boards.
180: Clifford Robinson
“Uncle Cliffy” is often overshadowed by his long-time teammate Clyde Drexler and his ability is overlooked by his legacy of being the old man in the league. In his 18 NBA seasons, he only missed the playoffs once, which include two trips to the finals with the Portland Trail Blazers. Robinson was the sixth man of the year in the 92-93 season with 19 ppg, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks…off the bench.