I’m back with the next section of my top 200 NBA players of all-time list. This time we got a little bit of everything…new school, old school, players who are coaches, players who have been coaches and players who wanted to beat up opponents.
Enjoy the list.
159 Richard Hamilton/ Penny Hardaway
Penny Hardaway and R.I.P. Hamilton are not the same type of player but I couldn’t figure out who I liked better, so they earned the same spot.
Hamilton is Reggie Miller-like in the way he fights through screens to get an open shot. He is deadly from anywhere on the court and was main reason the Detroit Pistons won the 2004 NBA Championship.
Penny was the man in the mid-1990′s. He could do a little bit of everything whether it was taking it to the hoop, hitting a three, making the extra pass to a wide open Nick Anderson or playing defense. Hardaway could have easily been a top 20 player on this list, but he was hit hard with injuries, which short changed his career.
158 Peja Stojakovic
This selection may be out of pure bias for the the Sacramento Kings during the golden years of Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Doug Christie and of course Peja. Stojakovic was one of the top three-point shooters in the league for about eight or nine seasons. You Tube his name, you’ll find plenty of clips of him hitting the game winning shot with three defenders in his face.
He is a two-time three point shooting champion, three-time NBA All-Star, a EuroBasket MVP, a Greek League MVP and an NBA Champion with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
157 Dale Ellis
Ellis played from 1983-2000 and was a key member to some solid teams including the Seattle Super Sonics from 1986-91 and 1997-99. Ellis was originally a member of the Dallas Mavericks but was traded to the Sonics in 1986. He rose from seven points per game to 24.9 ppg to win the Most Improved Player award in 1987.
He wasn’t a super dynamic player but he got the job done.
156 World B Free
First of all, I wish I had a name like World B Free. Maybe, I’ll pull a Ron Artest aka Metta World Peace and change my name to Earth’s Saving Grace.
Anyway…Free, born as Lloyd Berand Free, was a solid NBA player from 1975 to 1988 with six different NBA teams including the 86-87 Dr. J led Philadelphia 76ers. He was an all-star in 1980 and finished his career averaging 20.3 ppg.
155 Mark Aquirre
In his 13 seasons as an NBA small forward Aquirre shocked and entertained all with his flashy but physical style of play. Aquirre was a supreme scoring talent but could also bang inside for rebounds.
He was drafted to the Dallas Mavericks in 1981 and put up big numbers for Dallas until he was traded in 1989. His 13,930 points as a Maverick are third in franchise history behind Rolando Blackman and Dirk Nowitzki.
Aquirre found his key success with the “Bad Boy” Pistons where he won two championships.
154 Chris Bosh
Although Bosh is relatively weak for his 6’11 frame and power forward position, the man can play. He is definitely a finesse player with his lack of rebounds and love for the mid-range jumper instead of battling inside. It does sound like I’m semi-bashing him, but that is only because of the new big three in Miami…they will not win a championship.
As a individual player, Bosh has been a top 15 NBA player since the 2005-06 season to the present day. He is a six-time NBA All-Star from the 2006-11 and will probably remain on the squad for a long time to come. During his eight year career he has averaged 20 points and nine rebounds a game.
153 Alvin Robertson
Robertson should be listed on an All-Time NBA Defensive team because of the way he stopped any opponent who had the guts to play him. His defensive skills led him to the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award and the Most Improved Player of the Year in 1986.
He is a four-time NBA All-Star including three straight games from 1986 to 1988 and then returned in 1991. Also, he did hold the record for at least one steal in 105 consecutive games until Chris Paul made a new record with 108 in 2007-08.
152 Charles Oakley
This man is the definition of a hard nosed physical player who never wanted to be responsible for scoring points but wanted all accolades when it came to defensively stopping the NBA’s elite scorers.
Oakley played for 19 seasons from 1985 to 2004 with five different teams, including two stints with the Chicago Bulls. As a member of the Bulls from 1985-88, Oakley lead the league in rebounds twice and was in top 10 rebounds per game, which went from 1987 to 1994.
Oakley was traded to the Knicks because Horace Grant became the man in Chicago. He didn’t skip a beat as he became a key member of the New York squad with Patrick Ewing, John Starks and Mark Jackson. In his 10 seasons with the Knicks, Oakley made the NBA All-Star team in 1994 and was a two-time All-Defensive team member.
His name has to be mentioned when the words intimidating and physical presence or brought up in the NBA.
151 Rod Strickland
Talk about bouncing around the league and making the best out of every given opportunity…this is Strickland. He was drafted in 1988 to the New York Knicks, who also drafted Mark Jackson. Strickland grew as a player but didn’t get the minutes because of Jackson.
He was then traded to the San Antonio Spurs where he spent two years and then moved on to the Portland Trailblazers in 1992. Portland house Strickland for four years and then went to the Washington Wizards for five years. Later in his career he went on a one to two year stint with many teams including the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets.
Although, he moved around a lot, it wasn’t because of lack of talent. Strickland could score, pass and defend. In 1998, he led the NBA in assists. He finished his career averaging 13 points and seven assists a game.
Rod was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we would have been given a chance, Strickland’s stats and legacy would have been higher and better remembered.
150 Doc Rivers
He might be a better coach than he ever was as a player, but he was still a good player who could ball with the best of them. Rivers and Dominique Wilkins turned the Atlanta Hawks into a must watch team with their fantastic flashy play.
Besides averaging a double-double during the 1986-87 season with 12 points and 10 assists a game, his stats are nothing to brag about. On the other hand, he did a little bit of everything on the court, which doesn’t show up in the box score.
As a coach, Rivers propelled the Orlando Magic from a bad team to an elite Eastern Conference contender and then went on to win the NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics.
149 Zach Randolph
When I was writing this list, I stayed away from a lot of current players because I like to see longevity or compare a full career with another full career. Lets face it, if I would have done this five years ago Tracy McGrady would be closer to the top of my lists, but injuries dragged him to the bottom.
With that said, Randolph makes my list because he has had a solid 10-year NBA career. He does have an attitude problem and probably isn’t the best locker room guy, but when he is on the court, everyone knows it. Defenses are scared of him and teammates want to give him the ball in the low post. In the 2006-07 season Randolph showed his skill all year with averages of 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Look at the 2010-11 Memphis Grizzlies. Without Z-Bo the team never would have reached the level of success it did.
148 Fat Lever
In the 1980′s, Lafayette “Fat” Lever was one of the best point guards in the league. He was only 6’3 but could do everything a little guy and a big guy could do on the court as he led the Denver Nuggets in rebounding several times. His best game of his career was against the Chicago Bulls during the 1986-87 season when he scored 31 points, had 12 assists, grabbed 16 rebounds and stole the ball six times.
Also, Lever is one of three players to record 15 plus points, rebounds and assists in a playoff game. Jason Kidd and Wilt Chamberlain are the other two; not bad company to be in.
147 Reggie Theus
Reggie is the opposite of Doc Rivers because he was a way better player than he is a coach. He hasn’t had a coaching job since 2008 when the Sacramento Kings fired him.
As a player, Theus was a key member of the pre-Jordan Chicago Bulls as a two-time all-star in 1981 and 1983. In 1983 Theus averaged a career high 23 points per game. Although Theus put up big numbers for the Bulls, the team struggled and didn’t make the playoffs from 1981 to 1984. Theus was then traded and the Michael Jordan era began.
Theus stayed productive with the Kansas City/Sacramento Kings by averaging 18 plus points during his four years there.
146 Johnny Green
With the fifth pick in the 1959 NBA draft the New York Knicks drafted 6’5 forward Johnny Green from Michigan State. Green played for six teams from 1959 to 1973 and was a four-time NBA All-Star.
He could score the ball, play defense and grab rebounds with the best of them. His career averages are 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists a game.
145 Norm Nixon
Nixon was part of the 1980 and 1982 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers teams. He was more than just a part, he led the team in scoring during the 1982 playoffs and was a major reason why the Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers in both of those finals.
During his time in LA, he was an all-star caliber player and went to another all-star game after being traded in 1983 to the Los Angeles Clippers for the draft rights to Byron Scott, who helped the Lakers stay a dominant team in the 80′s and early 90′s.
144 Toni Kukoc
Call me a sucker for the Chicago Bulls all you want, but Kukoc was a baller. He was a point guard in a 6’11 frame. The man had handles, could make a tough pass and could knock down the three. The Bulls were led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen but Kukoc was relied on to spread the floor and draw defenses away from the stars.
He is a three-time NBA Champion and was named the Sixth Man of the Year in 1996. Besides his time with the Bulls, Kukoc is a nine-time player of the year in Europe…pretty impressive.
143 Marcus Camby
Camby is one of the best defensive centers to play the game. He isn’t Dikembe Motumbo, but he isn’t far from his level of play. Camby was the defensive player of the year in the 2006-07 season and has been on the All-Defensive Team four times.
The Toronto Raptors drafted him in 1996 but traded him to the New York Knicks two season later where his defense helped Patrick Ewing and company become the first No. 8 seed to make it to the NBA Finals.
He doesn’t wow anyone with high scoring numbers or his percentage from the field but when it comes to blocking shots and grabbing boards, he is one of the best in the league. He has led the league in blocked shots numerous times as he has averaged more than three blocks a game five times in his career.
142 Sam Cassell
New NBA fans might remember Cassell with the Los Angeles Clippers or the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics at the end of his career. But Sam was a solid back up point guard behind Kenny Smith for the 1994 and 1995 NBA Champion Houston Rockets.
Career backups don’t make this list. Cassell became a floor general for the Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Clippers as he guided all of these teams further in the playoffs than the franchises had been in quite some time.
He averaged 15.7 points and six assists a game during his 15-year career.
141 Lamar Odom
There are not very many 6’10 guys who can block a shot on one end of the court and then dribble the ball inbetween defenders to go coast to coast for a dunk. Lamar Odom can.
Odom is one of the most versatile players to ever play in the NBA and has become a staple of the Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. He is a two-time NBA Champion and won last season’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
140 Doug Collins
The last entry in this section of the list is a guy who is both a good player and a good coach. Collins was the first overall pick in the 1973 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and played there until he retired in 1981. During this time he was a four-time all-star and helped the 76ers go to the 1977 finals, where they lost to Bill Walton and the Portland Trailblazers.
As a coach, Collins led the early-Jordan Bulls to the playoffs each of the three years he was there including, an Eastern Conference Finals match up the Bulls lost against the eventual champs…the Detroit Pistons.