The spotlight of the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend was the celebration of the all-time finest gamers all through the 75 years of the league. The NBA named and honored the gamers, however with each outlet taking a stab at rankings, we’ll do it too, with a twist.
We simply give a high-line cause why every participant slots into the place he does, but additionally consider ABA success. In any case, ABA stats and honors rely, in contrast to the USFL for soccer. We additionally give a rundown of what the participant was like in highschool and group all of them into six classes: All-Time Nice, HS All-American, All-Stater, Run Of The Mill, Did Not Play, Worldwide.
We rank the very best highschool gamers of the group right into a Prime 25, based mostly on efficiency.
Essentially the most attention-grabbing half is we insert our snubs the place we predict they belong on the checklist, as a result of the 76 gamers who had been honored by the NBA usually are not the 76 finest NBA gamers of all-time!
Two issues actually stand out in rating these all-time NBA greats. A lot of them received’t be round when the NBA has its a hundredth anniversary celebration and fairly a couple of weren’t highschool basketball All-People. Actually, some had been bench-warmers or didn’t even play.
Goes to indicate how remarkably completely different individuals’s path are to greatness and immortality.
Editor’s Word: Accomplishments within the ABA are thought-about right here as a result of the statistics rely and among the league’s finest gamers ever did compete within the upstart league. The checklist of 76 gamers (there was a tie in the course of the NBA’s voting for its seventy fifth Anniversary Crew) are listed by highschool, highschool dimension and 12 months of commencement and we insert deserving snubs the place they belong. These gamers are famous by italics.
1) Michael Jordan, Laney (Wilmington, N.C) 6-4 G ’81
He was a second workforce All-NBA alternative as a rookie and received exponentially higher in subsequent seasons with reference to his capturing, ball-handing and offensive assault. It’s not a stretch of the creativeness to say MJ is each essentially the most proficient offensive and defensive perimeter participant of all-time. He additionally stored the motivation and drive to satisfy his objectives regardless of changing into some of the recognizable individuals on the plant by the point his championship run started with the Bulls in 1991. He additionally by no means took performs — or video games — off.
HS Standing (All-American): After being lower from the varsity workforce as a sophomore, expertise scout Brick Oettinger known as him the very best “two guard” prospect he’d ever seen the primary time seeing MJ play as a junior. The following perceived slight that motivated Jordan was not being listed as a preseason All-American by Road and Smith’s Journal or perhaps a prime 500 participant. The late Dave Krider positioned Jordan on his post-season first 5 All-American workforce for Basketball Weekley, however that “make good” alternative didn’t section Jordan as a result of he nonetheless wasn’t named State Participant of the 12 months in North Carolina.
2) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Energy Memorial (New York) 7-1 C ’65
Six titles, six MVPs, and all-NBA 15 occasions solely tells half the story. Jabbar was anticipated to dominate the sport and he did. He additionally understood caring for his physique effectively earlier than most of his friends and the “Showtime Lakers” rejuvenated his profession sufficient to the purpose he was nonetheless able to a 24-point, 13-rebound efficiency just like the one he put forth in his second-to-last sport within the 1989 NBA Finals.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): It’s not a stretch to say Jabbar (then often known as Lew Alcindor) was the very best participant at every degree of the sport, faculty included (UCLA). By the point he enrolled at UCLA, he was thought-about one of many ten finest gamers within the World and was a two-time Nationwide Participant of the 12 months.
3) Earvin Johnson, Everett (Lansing, Mich.) 6-8 G ’77
No person else as an ALPHA went toe-to-toe with 4 different legit dynasties and he got here out of these highly-anticipated battles with a 5-4 NBA Finals document. He’s essentially the most distinctive participant of all-time, possessing Invoice Russell’s dimension with the ball-handling wizardry of a person six inches shorter and 40 kilos lighter. Had two NBA titles and two NBA Finals MVPs by 22 and the Lakers had been nonetheless favored to win the West in 1991-92 earlier than he shocked the world by retiring at 32.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): A well-known commodity even in center faculty, his highschool coach George Fox gave him his nickname in tenth grade. As a senior, he averaged 31 ppg, 17 rpg with 121 assists and 73 steals. If the Detroit Pistons had their approach, he would have come out after his freshman 12 months at MSU and been the No. 1 decide.
4) LeBron James, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) 6-8 F ’03
Essentially the most scrutinized participant of all-time, James’ friends on the prime of this checklist layed the groundwork for the league to outlive and make it thrive, however he remodeled himself from a participant to an energetic stakeholder within the league’s multi-billion greenback enterprise. Some really feel that detracts from enjoying the sport, however there is no such thing as a denying his all-around capacity and sustained excellence. If he turns into the league’s all-time main scorer, it ought to put issues in perspective as he’s recognized for being a pass-first level ahead.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): A once-in-a-generation expertise, he lived as much as super media expectations and produced three state championships and an unbeaten FAB 50 nationwide title as a senior. His lasting legacy is making highschool basketball and nationally televised sport and displaying the super financial worth prime tier highschool athletes possess.
5) Wilt Chamberlain, Overbrook (Philadelphia, Pa.) 7-1 C ’55
If Jordan isn’t the best athlete to ever play the sport, Wilt actually is. The time period “forward of his time” is tossed round approach too loosely however Wilt is actually one of many few gamers who actually was, together with Pete Maravich. He was simply so huge, robust and athletic that his mind-boggling numbers are taken without any consideration.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Wilt didn’t play in faculty at no cost and Dipper had already made a pleasant chunk of cash working as a bellhop at Kutsher’s Nation Membership, a Jewish resort within the Catskill Mountains of New York. He was coached there by Purple Auerbach and it’s not a stretch to say by his senior season at Overbrook, he was already the very best participant within the World.
6) Bill Russell, McClymonds (Oakland, Calif.) 6-9 C ’52
Russell had a knack for timing, whether or not it displaying up in Boston as an ideal piece to a budding dynasty, or retiring on prime together with his eleventh championship. In between, Russell revolutionized defensive basketball and the NBA quick break. Individually, he received 5 NBA MVPs and his impression can’t be measured in stats alone.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): Performed with proficient athletes in highschool and backed up future MLB HOFer Frank Robinson at Mack. Alot of credit score goes to USF coaches who noticed the potential and the best way to make the most of his budding quickness and instincts across the basket.
7) Larry Bird, Springs Valley (French Lick, Ind.) 6-8 F ’74
Take it from those that watched him reside and in actual time, he was fast and had among the sport’s finest defensive instincts earlier than his again started to behave up. The one 20-10-5 participant ever; one in every of one. And he was approach over 5 assists (6.3 apg) regardless of typically hardly ever dealing with the ball. All it took was a fast flick, or faucet, and Hen might discover the open man with out needlessly pounding the rock.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Averaged 31 ppg, 21 rpg and 4 apg as a senior, however amazingly wasn’t first workforce all-state. Indiana coach Bob Knight took him due to his dimension as an in-state recruit, however expectations for Hen at IU weren’t excessive. Maybe if Knight had taken a bit extra curiosity, he stays, however in actuality the Hoosiers had been good with out him.
14) Hakeem Olajuwon, Muslim Academics Faculty (Lagos, Nigeria) ’81
Everybody is aware of about Dream’s stellar offensive footwork, however some don’t know he used it on the defensive aspect of the ball with the identical devastating impacts. Dream was a nine-time all-defensive choice, and in case you noticed him play, you recognize he might decide a guard’s pocket and go the size of the ground as simply as he might block a shot inside.
HS Standing (Worldwide): He was the primary non-American to do hit these particular person marks: All-Star, NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months. However he labored exhausting to get higher after not choosing up the sport till 15 and received exponentially higher by enjoying pick-up with Moses Malone as soon as at U of H.
15) Steph Curry, Charlotte Christian (N.C.) 6-1 G ’06
He’s the best vary shooter ever and his quantity and proportion of makes from 3-point vary remains to be breath-taking, even after all of the accolades (2-time MVP, 3-time NBA Champ, and many others.). Folks relate to him as a result of his dimension and unassuming demeanor, however it’s an entire misnomer that he’s not among the best athletes on the earth. His steadiness and power are unimaginable.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): It’s embarrassing the universities that missed him and didn’t provide a scholarship, contemplating the entry he had because the son of a NBA participant. Similar factor may be stated about NBA brass on draft evening.
16) Isiah Thomas, St. Joseph (Westchester, Sick.) 6-1 G ’79
The ringleader of the Unhealthy Boy Pistons, that terrific group are the best “occasion crashers” in NBA historical past, maintaining the Lakers and Celtics from complete dominance and suppressing Jordan’s Bulls so long as it might. The one factor maintaining Thomas larger is the abrupt decline to his profession due to put on and tear to his small body.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Entered highschool with loads of fanfare, however some felt Bloom’s Raymond McCoy was going to be the larger guard. That started to vary by the top of the junior season and by the top of his highschool profession it was evident Thomas was a future NBA All-Star.
17) Kevin Durant, Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) 6-9 F ’06
Some really feel KD is the best scorer within the historical past of the sport, and he’s already a nine-time all-NBA alternative at age 33. The four-time scoring champ is great proportion smart from the sphere and the road, whereas his help numbers have steadily elevated over the latter a part of his profession.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): He was the No. 2 prospect in his class behind Greg Oden and it’s really easy to say Portland screwed up the No. 1 decide within the 2007 NBA Draft. It wasn’t dangerous scouting, as Oden was a once-in-a-decade middle expertise, however one factor scout Clark Francis famous was that KD has among the best work ethics he’d ever seen in a younger participant with that a lot expertise.
18) Julius Erving, Roosvelt (N.Y.) 6-7 F ’68
Most individuals beneath the age of 45 have seen the Good Physician’s NBA highlights, however most of these are towards the Lakers within the NBA Finals as an growing older Celebrity. His work is the ABA is just stellar, as Erving was a tireless rebounder, terrific defender and greater than stable 3-point shooter contemplating the league-wide common. Need proof? Go test what number of occasions he blocked over 100 pictures in his profession and what number of occasions LeBron has carried out it.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He earned all-county and all-Lengthy Island honors and was truly seen by legendary grassroots scout Howie Garfinkel in highschool. He he performed in New York Metropolis’s PSAL or Catholic League, he doubtless would have acquired tons extra acclaim. Both approach, he was a terrific long-term prospect and made a direct impression at UMASS.
19) Karl Malone, Summerfield (La.) 6-9 F ’81
How a lot larger could be on this checklist if the Jazz received a NBA title? Not a lot, actually. What you see is what you get, a bodily specimen who stored enhancing to the purpose of the place he received MVPs at 33 and 35 years previous.
HS Standing (All-Stater): A small-school terror who led his faculty to a few consecutive Class C state titles, the Mailman received a glimpse of what fashionable, big-time journey ball is immediately. He performed on the New Orleans-based First Progressive membership financed by a rich banker that additionally featured NBA Prime 75 snub Joe Dumars.
20) John Stockton, Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.) 6-0 G ’80
The all-time chief is assists and steals (by a large margin), Stockton was powerful and had a nasty streak that solely made him that rather more interesting to Jazz followers. Stockton solely missed 22 video games in 19 seasons.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He had presents to Idaho and Montana after breaking native scoring information, however selected to remain house and play for Gonzaga.
21) Rick Barry, Roselle Park (N.J.) 6-7 F ’62
The ABA’s all-time common season and post-season scoring chief, Barry additionally averaged 40.8 ppg within the ’67 NBA Finals and 36.3 ppg in all NBA Finals video games. He’s additionally received a title in each leagues as an ALPHA participant and is the one participant to go for 50 plus factors in a Sport 7 playoff contest.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Was a superb highschool participant, however it wasn’t till he arrived at Miami that he started to indicate the makings of a future NBA standout. Going to play for the Hurricanes was a terrific match for the fast-rising prospect.
22) Kevin Garnett, Farragut (Chicago) 6-11 F ’95
The Child developed into the Huge Ticket and for a pair seasons within the early 2000s, he was pretty much as good as any participant within the sport in serving to the Timberwolves achieve respectability. A NBA champ with the Celtics, Garnett made 12 all-defensive groups and averaged double-digits in rebounds for 10 seasons.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Ranks with LeBron as essentially the most proficient participant of the previous quarter century. KG did present glimpses it was potential he might efficiently make the leap from excessive to the professionals as a rising junior. If NBA entrance places of work might have measured his willpower and work ethic, he would have been the No. 1 decide as a substitute of arising skepticism when he declared for the draft.
23) Dirk Nowitzki, Rontgen Gymnasium (Wurzburg, Germany) 7’0 F ’98
From 1998-2019, the Mavs solely had six All-Star choices exterior of their sweet-shooting German and after they received the NBA title in 2011, he was their solely all-star. Simply as spectacular, the Mavs received 50 video games for 11 straight seasons (2000-11) with out attracting alot of high-profile free agent expertise.
HS Standing (Worldwide): The primary Euro participant to win NBA MVP, Dirk confirmed glimpses of that expertise together with his 33-point, 14-rebound efficiency on the ’98 Nike Hoop Summit. Had he performed within the states within the American grassroots system, there’s little doubt he would have been the No. 1 participant in an in any other case pedestrian class.
24) David Robinson, Osbourn Park (Manassas, Va.) 7-1 C ’83
One of many best bodily specimens ever to lace them up, Robinson dominated instantly after serving two years within the Navy and closed out his profession with a NBA title in 2003. As late as 2001, he was nonetheless enjoying at an all-NBA degree (third workforce).
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): The Admiral shot up from 5-foot-9 to 6-foot-6 as a senior, however didn’t obtain any scholarship presents after an all-district season. He didn’t cease rising till his second 12 months within the Navy, when he was too tall to each serve on a U.S. naval ship.
25) Bob Pettit, Baton Rouge (La.) 6’9 F ’50
Watch movie of Huge Blue, and it’s simple to see how he’d nonetheless be terrific within the fashionable NBA, working the baseline and scoring from all angles. He additionally will get credit score for ending Boston’s stronghold on the title with a memorable efficiency within the ’58 Finals, en path to first workforce all-NBA accolades in every of this primary 10 seasons.
HS Standing (All-Stater): A two-time all-city performer after not making the workforce as a sophomore, Pettit stored engaged on his craft till he led Baton Rouge to a state title and accepted a scholarship from close by LSU.
26) Charles Barkley, Leeds (Ala.) 6-4 F ’81
When immediately’s gamers and scouts describe a “Unicorn”, it evokes pictures of Sir Charles, some of the uniquely gifted gamers of all-time. In his prime, he did issues NBA followers are hoping a wholesome Zion Williamson can do by way of operating the courtroom, ending with authority and blocking pictures.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Quick (5-10) and heavy (220 lbs.) as an underclassmen, Barkley blossomed as a senior (19.1 ppg, 17.9 rpg) and get seen by Auburn’s teaching workers after he went up towards Huntsville Butler’s Bobby Lee Harm, a primary workforce All-American ahead.
27) John Havlicek, Bridgeport (Ohio) 6’5 F ’58
Hondo would nonetheless be an all-timer if he simply stayed in his sixth man/secondary position, however after Russell retired he took the position of an ALPHA and led the Celtics to championships in ’74 and ’76. Not solely the Celtics’ all-time scoring chief, he additionally was an eight-time all-defensive alternative.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Hondo was recognized extra as a terrific athlete than an all-world basketball participant in highschool. He had the power to play within the NFL and was truly within the Cleveland Browns’ mini-camp earlier than he determined to focus on basketball.
28) Jason Kidd, St. Joseph (Alameda, Calif.) 6-4 G ’92
No guard has been in the identical breath as Magic since he got here onto the scene 40 years in the past, however from the standpoint of pushing the rock and organising, Kidd is available in No. 2. He additionally was a hellacious defender and all-NBA first workforce 5 groups.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Identified for his power and stamina from the lead guard place, he was four-time all-NorCal, three-time all-state and customarily thought-about NorCal’s finest prep ever.
29) Dwyane Wade, Richards (Oak Garden, Sick.) 6’3 G ’00
D-Wade performs huge and got here up huge as a cornerstone of three NBA title groups in “Wade County”. He was named first or second workforce All-NBA 5 occasions and blocked extra pictures than any guard in historical past.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): Famously got here off the bench for his loaded journey workforce and was ranked No. 51 within the nation by expertise scout Bob Gibbons.
30) Walt Frazier, Howard (Atlanta, Ga.) 6-4 G ’64
A flashy backcourt performer, he doesn’t get sufficient credit score for being an ace defender and for his scoring capacity. Put collectively the very best ever NBA Finals Sport 7 efficiency (36 factors, 19 rebounds) to result in Knicks to the primary of two titles.
HS Standing (All-American): A terrific all-around athlete with goals on being a NFL quarterback, Frazier is taken into account one in every of The Peach State’s finest guards ever, regardless that his profession exploits are a bit buried enjoying at an all-Black faculty throughout segregation.
31) Elvin Hayes, Britton (Rayville, La.) 6-9 C ’64
The “Huge E” was sturdy and dominant, main the Bullets to a NBA title and making 12 all-star groups.
HS Standing (All-American): An incredible recruit for legendary U of H coach Man Lewis who all the time dreamed of enjoying MLB, similar to many different black youth after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in 1947.
32) Patrick Ewing, Ringe & Latin (Cambridge, N.Y.) 7-0 C ’81
He was billed as the subsequent Invoice Russell with far more offense popping out of Georgetown, however regardless that he by no means was that nice, Huge Pat was nonetheless rattling good. He endeared to followers due to how exhausting be performed and due to his effort in making an attempt to convey the Knicks a championship towards rugged 90s competitors.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Probably the most adorned huge males of all-time, his was a 3 time All-American, the nation’s prime recruit and his faculty dedication to Georgetown was nationwide information.
33) Giannis Antetokounmpo, Filathlitikos (Athens, Greece) 6-10 PF ’12
There’s little doubt when the ultimate chapter is written, The Greek Freak will probably be fairly excessive on this checklist, maybe close to the vary of the highest dozen. He’s already a two-time NBA MVP and had a 50-point, 14-rebound, 5-block efficiency to assist the Bucks clinch their first title in 50 years.
HS Standing (Worldwide): He performed within the semi-pro Greek B Basket League, and quite a few main Euro golf equipment had curiosity within the Nigerian who grew up in Athens. His rise is why worldwide highschool aged scouting is such a significant a part of the recruiting panorama and NBA mock drafts now.
34) James Harden, Artesia (Lakewood, Calif.) 6-5 G ’07
Except you’ve seen him up shut or studied his numbers, you don’t understand how proficient he actually is on the offensive finish. Regardless of being so polarizing, he’s completed issues solely the sport’s best possible have.
HS Standing (All-American): A two-time divisional state participant of the 12 months, Harden averaged 19 ppg on California’s finest workforce and was considerably youthful than a lot of his friends in an awesome class.
35) Scottie Pippen, Hamburg (Ark.) 6-7 F ’83
A terrific all-around expertise who stored getting higher early in his NBA profession, this seven-time All-NBA performer will get dinged for not main a workforce to a NBA title as an ALPHA performer. He actually had a few golden alternatives.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): Younger Pip had some expertise, however not alot of refinement and never sufficient publicity for a scholarship provide.
36) Elgin Baylor, Spingarn (Washington, D.C.) 6’5 F ’54
A ten-time all-NBA First Crew choice, Baylor was one of many pioneers of above-the-rim play and making strikes whereas suspended in mid-air. A gifted scorer, he additionally averaged 13.5 rpg, together with a excessive of 19.8 rpg.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Dropped out of highschool for a 12 months to work, however got here again as a senior to common 36.1 ppg, together with a D.C. single-game document of 63 factors. Had he performed even only a few years after Brown vs. Board of Schooling as a substitute of at an all-Black program, his accolades would have been way more nationwide in scope.
37) Chris Paul, West Forsyth (Clemmons, N.C.) 6’0 G ’03
The primary participant in historical past with 20,000 profession factors and 10,000 profession assists. Will get credit score for his sustained excellence, however at his peak there are guys ranked decrease who had been higher and Paul doesn’t personal one monster playoff run one can’t level to in an effort to justify the next spot.
HS Standing (All-American): Averaged 31 ppg, eight apg and 6 spg to earn state Mr. Basketball honors. Like everybody in his class, his exploits had been over-shadowed by Lebron James’ larger-than-life persona.
38) Allen Iverson, Bethel (Hampton, Va.) 6-1 G ’94
Some individuals love him for his model and cultural affect, however he’s one of many quickest, quickest and hardest athletes in historical past. A four-time scoring champ and ’01 MVP, AI was additionally a quantity shooter who related on lower than 43 p.c of his subject objective makes an attempt.
HS Standing (All-American): The nation’s prime two-sport athlete as a junior, he didn’t get to play his senior season after a now notorious bowling alley brawl. The late John Thompson deserves loads of credit score for providing him a scholarship after the destructive press. Felipe Lopez was the nation’s prime participant in his class, however would Iverson have pressed him for Mr. Basketball USA honors if not for the unlucky incident?
39) Steve Nash, St. Michaels College Faculty (Victoria, B.C.) ’92
At his peak, he was enjoying the place in addition to anybody since Magic, however the Run ‘N Gun Suns by no means received over the hump within the NBA Playoffs. The 2-time MVP led the league in assists 5 occasions and shot 42.8 p.c from 3-point vary.
HS Standing (Worldwide): A budding prospect in British Columbia, Nash averaged 21.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, and 11.2 apg as a senior, however wasn’t recruited by any American faculty till Santa Clara’s Dick Davey took a have a look at his movie.
40) Kawhi Leonard, Martin Luther King (Riverside, Calif.) 6-7 F ’09
The one participant to earn NBA Finals MVP with a workforce from every convention in a full season, Leonard is dominant on each side of the ball. Within the period of stars switching groups, ought to Leonard at some point lead a 3rd franchise to a NBA title, he’ll proceed to climb quickly on this checklist.
HS Standing (All-American): A considerably late bloomer who was a part-time starter as a sophomore at Canyon Springs of close by Moreno Valley, ‘Whi was undoubtedly checked out as a big-time prospect and impression Pac-12 recruit. Nevertheless, these applications received on board a lot too late and he stayed loyal to SDSU’s recruiting efforts.
41) George Gervin, Martin Luther King (Detroit) 6-8 G ’71
At his peak, the Ice Artificial first or second workforce all-NBA seven consecutive years (1977-83) and was the very best scorer within the league 4 occasions.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He had a late progress spurt that allowed him to place up monster numbers (31 ppg, 20 rpg) as a senior. Jerry Tarkanian at Lengthy Seashore St. noticed his potential, however he was homesick and wished to get again to Michigan as quickly as he might.
42) Russell Westbrook, Leuzinger (Lawndale, Calif.) ’06
Probably the most explosive guards of all-time, he’s additionally some of the polarizing NBA MVPs of all-time.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He was actually one of many last choices on the Cal-Hello Sports activities All-State workforce, after averaging 25.1 ppg. A progress spurt helped his sport on the boards (8.7 rpg) whereas he honed his perimeter talent.
43) Paul Pierce, Inglewood (Calif.) 6-7 F ’95
There is no such thing as a denying what he did within the huge moments, outplaying Kobe Bryant and LeBron James in key playoff sequence, and his profession marks.
HS Standing (All-American): Began off his profession sluggish, however took off his junior 12 months and was thought-about the very best participant on the West Coast as a senior. One of many best possible in a terrific class.
44) Dwight Howard, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) 6-10 C ’04
Our highest-rated snub, it’s mind-boggling to have a look at his accolades and assume he’s not a Prime 50 alternative, a lot much less Prime 75. It’s nearly as egregious because the ‘Nique snub 25 12 months in the past. He’s been All-NBA First Crew 5 occasions, an eight-time all-star and 3-time NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months. He additionally was the ALPHA on a NBA Finals workforce.
HS Standing (All-American): The Georgia Participant of the 12 months led his workforce to a state Class A title whereas averaging 25.5 ppg, 18.3 rpg and eight.0 bpg. A primary 5 All-American alternative and the top-ranked prospect in his class.
45) Willis Reed, West Facet (Lillie, La.) 6’9 C ’60
A rugged defensive participant, he additionally earned each particular person accolade a participant can get. A two-time NBA finals MVP.
HS Standing (All-Stater): A terrific all-around athlete who excelled in hoops, soccer, baseball and monitor, Reed was recruited to play soccer at Grambling for legendary coach Eddie Robinson. He well selected basketball as a profession path.
46) Carmelo Anthony, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 6-7 F ’02
A prime ten all-time scorer, Anthony will get knocked right here as a result of has by no means been the distinction maker in an enormous playoff sequence.
HS Standing (All-American): Would have been Mr. Basketball USA as a senior if not for a junior named LeBron, whom entered the league with him amid a lot fanfare.
47) Bob McAdoo, Smith (Greensboro, N.C.) 6-9 C ’69
By the top of his fourth season, he had ROY, three scoring titles and a MVP is his pocket. A scoring machine within the 70s, he adjusted his sport to assist the Lakers win two of their 5 “Showtime” titles.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Led his workforce to the state semifinals and was additionally a superb all-around athlete, profitable a state title within the excessive bounce.
48) Dominique Wilkins, Washington (N.C.) 6-7 F ’79
It was embarrassing when Wilkins didn’t make the NBA Prime 50 workforce 25 years in the past. Till Trae Younger got here alongside, he WAS the Atlanta Hawks for his high-flying model of play. He produced and performed exhausting even after he got here again from a probably devastating Achilles harm on the again 9 of his profession.
HS Standing (All-American): Two-time All-American was one of many best possible gamers in essentially the most legendary class of all-time that helped formed the recognition of the NBA within the Eighties. ‘Nique performed in each camp and all-star sport he might get to, together with his well-known “Human Spotlight Movie” nicknamed coined by Naismith HOF grassroots camp mogul Howie Garfinkel.
49) Gary Payton, Skyline (Oakland, Calif.) 6-4 G ’86
The Glove is among the finest sensible and fame defenders ever, incomes first workforce all-defense 9 consecutive seasons. Payton was additionally sturdy, underrated offensively and a famous clubhouse presence for groups seeking to recover from the hump.
HS Standing (All-Stater): A 3rd 5 all-state choice as a senior, the primary workforce all-East Bay alternative led Skyline to back-to-back OAL titles alongside future NBA participant Greg Foster. As a a senior, he averaged 20.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 10.5 apg.
50) Nate Thurmond, Central (Akron, Ohio) 6-11 C ’59
Anybody that averaged 15 rpg for his profession is a foul dude, and Thurmond epitomized toughness throughout an period outlined by inside play.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Was a teammate of high-flying future NBA participant Gus Johnson at Central and selected to not go to Ohio St., so he might see the courtroom instantly as a substitute of battling NBA 75 member Jerry Lucas for enjoying time.
51) Artis Gilmore, Carver (Dothan, Ala.) 7-2 C ’67
After a distinguished run within the ABA, the place he earned MVP honors in ’72 and was playoff MVP in ’75, he put forth collectively a pleasant run by way of the NBA, too. Gilmore was a five-time All-Star, together with his final choice in his fifteenth professional season in ’86.
HS Standing (All-American): Gilmore was a high-jumping, dominant huge man who attended Carver after de-segregation in his hometown of Chipley, Fla. He was a 3rd 5 All-American and thought of a terrific prospect.
52) Anthony Davis, Perspetives Constitution (Chicago) 6-9 F ’12
Some had been stunned to see AD make the lower, however we’re much more stunned to see him make it in entrance of Dwight Howard. AD has by no means carried a workforce deep within the playoffs as an ALPA like Howard did in Orlando.
HS Standing (All-American): Charges with Invoice Walton and Tracy McGrady because the gamers who skyrocketed the quickest to the elite standing of their respective class after their junior 12 months of highschool. A progress spurt allowed AD to common 32 ppg, 22 rpg and seven bpg, regardless that his workforce went 6-18 towards Class 3A competitors.
53) Wes Unseld, Seneca (Louisville, Ky.) 6-7 C ’64
In lots of respects, he’s nonetheless the face of the Washington Wizards (then often known as the Bullets) franchise. The ’78 NBA Finals MVP, by no means made all-NBA after his rookie season when he was additionally named MVP.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Would have been the nationwide participant within the 12 months as a senior if it wasn’t for a junior named Lew Alcindor. Thought-about one of many all-time greats within the Bluegrass State and anticipated to be a future NBA participant.
54) Dave Cowens, Central Catholic (Newport, Ky.) 6-9 C ’66
There’s this misnomer the Celtics fell off after Russell retired in ’69. In actuality, Cowens led them to a 68-14 document in ’73, when he received MVP, and to 2 NBA titles.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He wasn’t recruited by UK, however made a superb alternative in Florida St. as a result of he would get enjoying time and additional develop his sport and aggressive model.
55) Clyde Drexler, Sterling (Houston) 6-7 G ’80
Among the best all-around huge guards in NBA historical past, Drexler got here at a time when he was over-shadowed by Michael Jordan and greater, extra marketable personalities. Go have a look at his numbers.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): After rising six or seven inches the summer time after his freshman season, he stored getting higher and folks might see the potential. Though not a prime-time recruit, U of H’s Michael Younger really helpful him to the Cougars’ teaching workers and somebody tipped off expertise scout Bob Gibbons, who ranked him No. 4 within the class.
56) Dennis Rodman, South Oak Cliff (Dallas, Texas) 6-7 F ’79
The best rebounder ever who didn’t play the normal pivot, Rodman was a winner and consummate workforce participant.
HS Standing (Did Not Play): He was listed at 5-foot-6 as a freshman and never thought-about a expertise in basketball or soccer, the latter which he cherished like most Texas schoolboys.
57) Robert Parish, Woodlawn (Shreveport, La.) 7-0 C ’72
In his 14 seasons with the Celtics, he averaged a double-double and shot over 55 p.c from the sphere. He did his job and did it effectively.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): His first highschool was closed as a result of de-segregation, however he was the Mr. Basketball USA alternative as a senior and completed his prep profession with 3,562 factors.
58) Nate Archibald, DeWitt Clinton (Bronx, N.Y.) 6-1 G ’66
All people is aware of he’s the one cat to steer the league in scoring and assists in the identical season, however he additionally adjusted his sport to suit on a World Championship workforce in Boston.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): Reduce from the varsity as a sophomore, however primarily as a result of Clinton was loaded past perception. There was three future NBA gamers on the workforce he received lower from and his senior 12 months he wasn’t the star, however helped Clinton win the legendary nationwide title.
59) Bill Cunningham, Erasmus Corridor (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-6 F ’61
For 3 years operating, the Kangaroo Child was first workforce all-NBA and is among the greats within the ABA as effectively.
HS Standing (All-American): A prime 5 participant in his class, Cunningham is among the best Caucasian playground legends of all-time, recognized for his leaping capacity.
60) James Worthy, Ashbrook (Gastonia, N.C.) 6’8 F ’79
Just like Boston’s Sam Jones, “Huge Sport James” was statistically higher throughout the board within the post-season. The Lakers has an opportunity to draft Dominique Wilkins, however haven’t any regrets choosing among the best “No. 3 possibility” of all-time.
HS Standing (All-American): A two-time All-American, Worthy averaged 21.2 ppg, 12.2 rpg, 5.0 apg and shot .594 from the sphere as a senior. Consider it or not, he drew some comparisons to his future NBA teammate Magic Johnson.
61) Earl Monroe, Bartram (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-3 G ’63
An iconic participant, “Black Jesus” would have been a Mixtape sensation as a contemporary participant. It’s exhausting to consider he solely made all-NBA solely as soon as.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Averaged 21.4 ppg as a senior and infrequently performed within the entrance courtroom as a youth. He attended prep faculty and was later recruited to play for legendary coach Clarence “Huge Home” Gaines at Winston-Salem State.
62) Dolph Schayes, De Witt Clinton (Bronx, N.Y.) 6-9 F ’44
12-time all-star was a pioneer and dependable, however for an enormous man inside his capturing percentages had been lower than snuff.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He was one of many early stars of New York’s Public Faculty Athletic League and led his well-known faculty to a borough title as a senior. He entered faculty at 16.
63) Hal Greer, Douglass (Huntington, W.Va.) 6’2 G ’54
A mannequin of consistency, Greer was a 7-time second workforce All-NBA alternative and didn’t have any weaknesses.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Went to an all-Negro faculty and was the primary African-American to play for a public faculty in his house state (Marshall).
64) Dennis Johnson, Dominguez (Compton, Calif.) 6-3 G ’72
Maybe D.J. was snubbed from this workforce as a result of three members of the Eighties Celtics already are on, however he can’t be judged simply by what he did in Boston. A trusted, clutch performer and among the best defensive guards ever, Johnson has to get credit score for being a primary workforce all-NBA performer in ’81 and second workforce in ’80. On prime of that, he was the ’79 NBA Finals MVP for the Sonics.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): He hardly performed at Domingues, toiling deep on the Dons’ bench. Jim White, the coach at L.A. Harbor Faculty, noticed him play and inspired him to enroll. In three years, he developed right into a second spherical draft alternative.
65) Jerry Lucas, Middletown (Ohio), 6-8 F ’58
Can’t ignore 15.6 rpg for his profession. Plus he made first or second workforce all-NBA 5 occasions and later adjusted his sport to play a job on a championship NY Knicks membership.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): His video games had been on radio all throughout Ohio and he’s one of many largest highschool stars ever. The primary two-time nationwide participant of the 12 months (solely Lew Alcindor and LeBron matched that feat).
66) Bernard King, Fort Hamilton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-7 F ’74
One of many first gamers to come back again from a devastating ACL harm, King averaged 28.4 ppg and 4.6 apg in 1991 on his re-constructed knee. He was trying like an MVP candidate earlier than the harm and shortly established himself within the NBA, averaging 24.2 ppg as a rookie for the Nets. You’d must have seen him in actual time to comprehend his explosive scoring capacity and rightful place on this checklist.
HS Standing (All-Stater): King was thought-about a proficient prospect, however he received even higher at Tennessee, and was extra fitted to the professionals than his faculty operating mate Ernie Grumfield. King’s youthful brother Albert is among the largest highschool legends of all-time, however was a pedestrian professional.
67) Pete Maravich, Broughton (Raleigh, N.C.) 6-5 G ’65
Arguably the best showman of all-time, this basketball wizard was four-time all-NBA. He led the league in scoring as soon as and made 10-of-15 3-pointers in his last season, the identical 12 months the NBA 3-pointer was instituted.
HS Standing (All-American): Like everybody else in his class, he was overshadowed by the exploits of Lew Alcindor (later Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). He did a 12 months of prep faculty be enrolling at LSU to play for father Press Maravich.
68) Ray Allen, Hillcrest (Dalzell, S.C.) 6-5 G ’93
Excellent at what he does, however just like Reggie Miller, he was by no means thought-about among the many league’s best possible. Made All-NBA Second Crew and Third Crew as soon as. An excellent participant on stable groups and a specialist on championship groups.
HS Standing (All-American): A part of one of many all-time nice lessons, Allen was only a notch beneath McDonald’s All-American standing. He did play within the Nike US vs. Illinois sport that featured a lot of 93’s prime expertise.
69) Kevin McHale Hibbing (Minn.) 6-10 F ’76
Probably the most environment friendly and harmful low-post gamers ever, McHale thrived off the bench and have become an all-NBA performer as soon as he moved right into a beginning lineup. Though accidents ultimately slowed him down, McHale performed by way of ache and was beloved for it.
HS Standing (All-Stater): He led his workforce to the Class AA state last and regardless that he was named Mr. Basketball within the state of Minnesota, he was often known as a team-first participant.
70) Dave Bing, Spingarn (Washington, D.C.) 6-3 G ’62
Was among the best gamers within the league in his prime and a fan favourite.
HS Standing (All-American): Bing was one of many best possible guards within the nation after having goals of enjoying MLB as a youth.
71) George Mikan, Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Sick.) 6-10 C ’42
A lot of his dominance got here off the offensive glass, as Huge Mike proclaimed in numerous interviews later in his life. Positive, his dominance might need waned had he performed in future a long time enjoying on the degree he did within the early 50’s, however he should get credit score for being the league’s first star attraction and capturing 5 titles with the Minneapolis Lakers.
HS Standing (Did Not Play): The massive fella was a bit awkward and reserved throughout his highschool days, however legendary faculty coach Ray Meyer of DePaul harnessed his potential.
72) Bob Cousy, Jackson (Queens, N.Y.) 6-1 G ’46
The “Cooz” admitted effectively after his enjoying days had been over that 12-year previous youngsters on the playgrounds might do a few of his NBA strikes. The sport progressed, however that’s not the purpose. He was known as “Mr. Basketball” as a result of he deserves loads of credit score for serving to make the NBA worth-while leisure and well worth the worth of a stand-alone ticket.
HS Standing (All-American): He was a NYC standout as a senior, however that was after he was lower the primary two years and missed the start of his junior season due to a failed citizenship course.
73) Paul Arizin, La Salle Faculty (Philadelphia, Pa.) 6-4 F ’46
The bounce shot pioneer was nonetheless a terrific participant in his final NBA season (21.9 ppg)
HS Standing (Didn’t play): Reduce from tryouts as a senior.
74) Bill Walton, Helix (La Mesa, Calif.) 6-11 C ’70
At his peak, Walton was one of many best possible gamers within the league. Defeating the ’77 76ers within the finals is among the finest particular person accomplishments for a ALPHA main a non-dynasty membership. Outplayed Kareem within the convention finals the identical season and had the Blazers rolling the subsequent season till harm modified the projection of his profession. If peak efficiency is a standards of focus, the Huge Purple Head greater than deserves his spot on this checklist.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): After a nondescript junior season, Walton wasn’t thought-about the front-runner for state participant of the 12 months regardless that he was faculty prospect. That each one modified when Helix ventured to the San Dimas Event of Champions. After his performances, scouts and faculty coaches knew Walton was most likely a greater prospect that SI cowl boy and three time All-American Tom McMillen.
75) Tony Parker, INSEP (Paris, France) 6-2 G ’00
A four-time NBA champion, Parker was additionally named NBA Finals MVP in 2007 when the Spurs steamrolled to the title. Parker was a six-time NBA All-Star and three-time all-NBA second workforce; his significance and impression in huge video games can’t be understated and that’s why he’d make our last lower.
HS Standing (Worldwide): After excelling on the 2000 Nike Hoop Summit, many American schools wished him to enroll however he determined to stay within the French League earlier than declaring for the 2001 NBA Draft.
76) Tracy McGrady, Mt. Zion Christian Academy (Durham, N.C.) 6-8 F ’97
Accidents robbed him of a profession within the NBA after 30, however in his prime there have been few scorers higher than T-Mac. He received two scoring titles and was a seven-time NBA All-Star.
HS Standing (All-Time Nice): Wasn’t thought-about a Prime 500 prospect coming into his senior 12 months, however all that modified when he was really helpful for the ABCD Camp. He shortly confirmed explosive expertise and left the camp on par with Lamar Odom, the No. 1 participant within the nation. No participant within the historical past of grassroots basketball had his fortunes change as shortly as McGrady, who was drafted into the league out of highschool lower than a 12 months later.
77) Lenny Wilkens, Boys (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 6-1 G ’56
He simply received higher as he received older, and it’s most likely a foreshadow to his prolonged teaching profession.
HS Standing (All-Stater): One of many nice gamers from The Excessive, a breeding floor for proficient gamers within the 50s and 60s.
78) Sam Jones, Lauringburg Institute (Lauringburg, N.C.) 6-4 G ’51
Because the Celtic dynasty aged, Jones needed to rating extra and made his first all-star workforce at 28 years previous. Mr. Clutch received 10 NBA titles and is among the league’s best playoff performers.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): Performed at a D2 faculty (HBCU North Carolina Central) and was really helpful to Purple Auerbach by the Wake Forest coach.
79) Joe Dumars, Natchitoches Central, Natchitoches, La.) 6-3 G ’81
Only a few accolades missed Dumars, as he was the unsung cog on the Unhealthy Boys dynasty and teamed with Isiah Thomas to type of the very best backcourts in historical past. He was a however extra sturdy, too, enjoying in his sixth and last all-star sport in 1997 effectively after Zeke retired. A five-time all-defensive alternative, Michael Jordan felt Dumars was his hardest test.
HS Standing (Run of the Mill): Identified extra for his soccer capacity at an early age, Joe-D ultimately gravitated for hoops and have become a prolific scorer at McNeese State College.
80) Chauncey Billups, Washington (Denver, Col.) 6-3 G ’95
The 2004 Detroit Pistons are the one NBA champ and not using a Prime 75 member, however Mr. Huge Shot must be included above a couple of who made it, together with his teammate Ben Wallace additionally deserving. A clutch participant within the mildew of John Havlicek or Sam Jones, Billups was the 2004 NBA Finals MVP, averaging 21 ppg, 5.2 apg and three.2 rpg towards the favored Lakers. He was a five-time NBA All-Star.
HS Standing (All-American): Billups was recognized within the area as a terrific prospect in ninth-grade and was anticipated to be among the best gamers Colorado ever produced. He all the time seemed ahead to summer time camps to show he was among the best gamers within the nation.
81) Dikembe Mutombo, Institute Boboto (Kinshasa, Congo) 7-1 C ’84
Within the early days, blocked pictures weren’t an official statistic however by the point Mutombo retired, he had the second most in historical past behind Hakeem Olajuwon. An eight-time All-Star, Deke additionally averaged double-digit rebounds his first 13 seasons and was a four-time Defensive Participant of the 12 months honoree.
HS Standing (Worldwide): Mutombo was a gifted pupil and picked up basketball in his late teenagers. He determined to come back to the states at age 21 and he selected the proper mentor in John Thompson to show him the defensive fundamentals of the sport.
82) Bill Sharman, Porterville (Calif.) 6-1 G ’44
4-time champ and an awesome shooter, if Sharman is on so ought to the No. 2 or No. 3 choices from newer nice dynasties.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Sherman was an completed athlete throughout WW2.
83) Ben Wallace, Central (Hayneville, Ala.) 6-9 F ’92
Earned NBA Defensive Participant of the 12 months honor 4 occasions, a document he shares with Dekembe Mutombo. He additionally led the league in blocked pictures as soon as, rebounding twice and made All-NBA Second Crew thrice.
HS Standing (All-Stater): A terrific all-around athlete, Wallce performed soccer, basketball and baseball and was really helpful to Virginia Union however one other participant from the D2 faculty inbuilt his mildew: Charles Oakley.
84) Walt Bellamy, Barber (New Bern, N.C.) 6-11 C ’57
Though his scoring tailed off on the finish of his profession, Bellamy averaged 20.1 ppg and 13.7 rpg in a 14-year profession. He was over-shadowed by a few of his contemporaries, however his total numbers can’t be ignored.
HS Standing (All-American): Bellamy was one of many state’s prime recruits, however couldn’t go to an ACC faculty. As a substitute of going to a HBCU, he went to Indiana, the place he developed into of the storied program’s finest gamers.
85) Dave DeBusschere, Austin Catholic (Detroit, Mich.) 6-6 F ’58
A rugged and nice team-oriented defensive participant, there are undoubtedly higher, extra completed skills who didn’t make the lower.
HS Standing (All-American): Helped his faculty defeat Chet Walker’s workforce within the state Class A last and was a terrific all-around athlete. Actually, among the best on the NBA 75 workforce.
86) Alex English, Dreher (Columbia, S.C.) 6-7 F ’72
He averaged 21.3 ppg or extra for each season of the Eighties and received a scoring title in 1983 (28.4 ppg). English made All-NBA Second Crew thrice and most essential, the Nuggets made the playoffs 9 consecutive occasions in his prime.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Earlier than he retired from the NBA as its seventh main scorer, he was all-region and all-state at Dreher. His jersey quantity No. 22 was retired by his highschool in 2020.
87) Reggie Miller, Poly (Riverside, Calif.) 6-6 G ’83
Pacers all-time nice by no means made larger than third workforce All-NBA. His longevity makes him higher than guys like Klay Thompson, Vince Carter, Sidney Moncrief or Marques Johnson, guys who had been higher at their peak however both haven’t performed as lengthy or didn’t final as lengthy.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Was a primary 5 alternative as a senior, however Miller and the opposite seniors in California had been overshadowed by a terrific crop of juniors.
88) Damian Lillard, Oakland (Calif.) 6-2 G ’08
A clutch shooter, Lillard will transfer up on this checklist at some point, however he was extra fitted to the a hundredth anniversary workforce.
HS Standing (All-Stater): Averaged averaged 22.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg and a pair of.3 apg as a senior, simply by no means received to play within the huge showcase sport or event to indicate he was on par with California’s best possible gamers.
NBA TOP 75: Prime 25 GREATEST AS HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS
1. Lew Alcindor 2. Wilt Chamberlain 3. Moses Malone 4. LeBron James 5. Kevin Garnett 6. Oscar Robertson 7. Jason Kidd 8. Jerry Lucas 9. Magic Johnson 10. Jerry West 11. Patrick Ewing 12. Isiah Thomas 13. Wes Unseld 14. Elgin Baylor 15. Shaquille O’Neal 16. Kevin Durant 17. Robert Parish 18. Invoice Walton 19. Kobe Bryant 20. James Worthy 21. Dominique Wilkins 22. Tracy McGrady 23. Carmelo Anthony 24. Billy Cunningham 25. Michael Jordan.
Ronnie Flores is the nationwide Grassroots editor of Ballislife.com. He may be reached at email@example.com. Don’t overlook to comply with him on Twitter: @RonMFlores