Fadeaway World

While the league is known for movement and no real loyalty to a specific franchise, there is generally one franchise player that had achieved the most or has been the most consistent for their team. Superstar players have always controlled the outcome of the league, and this hasn’t changed since basketball was created.

Every NBA franchise has the luxury of sporting at least one superstar player that shined most for their fans. Many NBA franchises even have more than one player that has the right to argue that they were the greatest player in their respective franchises.

It is finally time to settle in and choose the greatest player for every single NBA franchise.

 

Atlanta Hawks – Bob Pettit

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 26.4 PPG, 16.2 RPG, 3 APG

Pettit was the most established and most decorated player for the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks during his time. Pettit won a rookie of the year award and was the first recipient of the NBA MVP Award. Pettit was also a very impactful player, averaging over 26 points and 16 rebounds per game. His dominance on the court and his ground-breaking achievement makes him the best player in Hawks history ahead of Dominique Wilkins.

 

Boston Celtics – Bill Russell

NBA Titles Won: 11

Averages: 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG

There are some amazing players that have played for the franchise, including the likes of Larry Bird and John Havlicek. But Bill Russell comes out on top as the very best, thanks to his incredible 11 NBA titles as the most dominant defensive presence in Celtics history.

Russell was a phenomenal leader, and winning 11 times out of 12 in the Finals will most likely never be done again.

 

Brooklyn Nets – Julius Erving

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 28.2 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.3 SPG, 2.1 BPG

The Nets have had some great players, including one of the best point guards ever in Jason Kidd. Kidd came close to winning a title for the Nets, by taking them to two NBA Finals. Unfortunately, he fell short and was unable to lead his team past better teams including the juggernaut Lakers.

Erving, instead, won an NBA title for the Nets and is regarded as one of the most exciting players to lace them up. Irving was simply box-office and one of the best talents on the floor during his time with the Nets.

 

Charlotte Hornets – Kemba Walker

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 19.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.3 SPG

Kemba Walker played amazing 8 seasons with the Charlotte Hornets and he has an edge over Larry Johnson for the best player in Charlotte Hornets history.

Even though he never won the First Round in the playoffs, he is the franchise’s all-time scoring leader and he is top 10 in almost every category.

 

Chicago Bulls – Michael Jordan

NBA Titles Won: 6

Averages: 31.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 5.4 APG, 2.5 SPG

There is no doubt that the best player for the Chicago Bulls was Michael Jordan. Even without considering his pure talent, athleticism, and ability to control a game single-handedly, Jordan’s six championship rings with six Finals MVPs settles this one with ease. There isn’t much more to he said.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers – LeBron James

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 27.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.6 SPG

Another no-brainer, James is easily the greatest Cavaliers player in their history even if he left them twice. James began his rookie season in Cleveland and has never looked back. He has dominated the game in every manner, and most importantly captured an NBA title for Cleveland on his second try with the franchise.

There hasn’t been a player to bring a title to Cleveland before, and there hasn’t been a player even close to LeBron James who played for them.

 

Dallas Mavericks – Dirk Nowitzki

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 20.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.4 APG

Dirk is the greatest player in Maverick’s history, and the greatest taken that Mark Cuban ever had. Dirk was one of the first sharpshooting big men who were completely unstoppable when he got it going. Dirk possessed an unstoppable one-legged fadeaway shot that still gives defenders nightmares since he recently retired from basketball.

Dirk consistently led the Mavs to +50 win records and managed to capture an NBA title for them by knocking off the powerhouse Miami Heat led by LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.

 

Denver – Alex English

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 25.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.4 APG

Alex English beats out Carmelo Anthony, averaging 25.9 PPG during 11 seasons with the Nuggets and shooting over 50% from the field. English was a special talent and a very dominant offensive player who even managed to capture the NBA scoring title as a member of the Nuggets.

Except for his first season, English also never played less than 80 games per season with Denver either. His longevity and consistency give him the edge.

 

Detroit Pistons – Isiah Thomas

NBA Titles Won: 2

Averages: 19.2 PPG, 9.3 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.9 SPG

Ask any old-school basketball fanatic who the greatest Pistons player was, and they would give you very dirty looks. There was only one, and Isiah Thomas was a rare breed. He was always the toughest player on the court, despite being much smaller than almost every player on the court. He had a passion and fire for the game that we simply do not see anymore nowadays.

Thomas was the architect and leader for the Pistons teams that won two NBA titles and is one of the most looked up to players of all time.

 

Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry

NBA Titles Won: 3

Averages: 23.5 PPG, 6.6 APG, 4.5 RPG, 1.7 SPG

While big names such as Wilt Chamberlain deserve to be mentioned, Stephen Curry changed the game to the modern style we see today. His three-point shooting is the greatest we have ever seen, and he deserves the spot as the best Warriors player ever simply because he is the number one shooter of all time and the fact that he won three NBA titles and two MVP awards.

 

Houston Rockets – Hakeem Olajuwon

NBA Titles Won: 2

Averages: 22.5 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 3.1 BPG, 1.7 SPG

The Rockets have had the luxury of some superstar players, including the likes of Moses Malone and James Harden. But Hakeem is easily the best of the bunch, as a completely dominant center who is renowned for his all-time great footwork. When Jordan briefly retired, it was Hakeem that was the best player in the league and he carried the Rockets to two straight NBA Finals wins.

The Dream is still consulted for his amazing footwork and ability to score the basketball and is a top-five big man the game has ever seen.

 

Indian Pacers – Reggie Miller

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 18.2 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.0 APG

There have been some great players who played for the Pacers, including Jermaine O’Neal and even Paul George, but Miller was the most exciting and the most dominant player in Indiana’s franchise.

Miller is regarded as one of the most clutch players the game has ever seen, and also a top-three shooter in the league. Before there was Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it was Miller who controlled the game with his shooting. Miller managed to lead his team to the NBA Finals before falling just short.

 

Los Angeles Clippers – Chris Paul

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 18.8 PPG, 9.8 APG, 4.2 RPG, 2.2 SPG

The Clippers have only recently had some superstar players, and Chris Paul is the best player in their franchise. Acquire via trade, Paul instantly transformed the franchise from bottom-feeder to instant contender. His floor leadership and ability to control the game as the games best point guard allowed makes him the best talent the Clippers have had.

It is a shame he was never able to bring a ring to “Lob City”, as he did manage a Western Conference Finals appearances.

 

Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant

NBA Titles Won: 5

Averages: 25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG

Mr. Laker himself, Kobe Bryant takes this one over the likes of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar because of longevity. Kobe stayed with the Lakers for his entire career, en route to winning five NBA titles and two Finals MVP Award.

Bryant had two separate careers with the Lakers: a younger more athletic “Number 8” Bryant and a mature leader in “Number 24”. Both players are first-ballot Hall of Famers.

 

Memphis Grizzlies – Marc Gasol

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 15.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.5 BPG

While Pau Gasol seemed like the man to be the Grizzlies greatest player early on in his career, it is his younger brother Marc who holds the title as the best player in Memphis history.

Marc was acquired via a trade for his brother Pau and blossomed into a true defensive force. He managed to capture a Defensive Player of the Year Award as a member of the Grizzlies and was a part of the Grit N’ Grind era that was the most successful run in franchise history.

Marc later developed an amazing all-around game that includes shooting, passing, and inside scoring that he demonstrates in the league today.

 

Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade

NBA Titles Won: 3

Averages: 22.7 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4.7 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Miami is another franchise that has had some incredible talents, including the likes of LeBron James and Alonzo Mourning. But Wade will go down in history as the best player in Miami Heat history.

Wade was the main man on the team in 2006, where he won an NBA title by putting forward one of the best NBA Finals performances of all time. Wade was also the reason both LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the Heat, en route to them winning two straight NBA titles.

In terms of pure success, stats, and longevity, Wade is the best player in Miami Heat history.

 

Milwaukee Bucks – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 30.4 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 3.4 BPG

The Bucks have had amazing talent including Oscar Robertson and now Giannis Antentokounmpo, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best player in their franchise. Abdul-Jabbar won an NBA title for Milwaukee and was often regarded as the best player in the league for the duration of his time there.

Kareem had one of the most unstoppable moves ever in the Sky Hook-shot and was a force on the defensive end as well.

Kareem’s success with the Bucks along with his all-time great talent makes him number one.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves – Kevin Garnett

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 19.8 PPG, 11 RPG, 4.3 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.6 BPG

KG is the best player for the Wolves, and it isn’t very close. Garnett won an MVP during his time with the Wolves, by putting up monster performances for them all season long.

 

New Orleans Pelicans – Anthony Davis

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 23.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.4 SPG, 2.4 BPG

Despite playing there for less than a decade, Davis is the best player in Pelicans history. He is a unique big man with the skills of a guard and dominated the court every time he played. Unfortunately, he did not last long as he was eventually traded to the Lakers per his request where he aims to climb the ranks there.

 

New York – Willis Reed

NBA Titles Won: 2

Averages: 18.7 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 BPG

Even though Carmelo Anthony deserves a mention, it is Willis Reed who is the best player in Knicks’s history and it shouldn’t be close. Reed won an amazing two NBA titles for the Knicks and helped them become one of the most famous and glamorous franchises in NBA history.

Reed was a consistent player on both ends of the floor, and his play in the Finals earned him a Finals MVP.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder – Russell Westbrook

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 23.0 PPG 8.4 APG, 7.0 RPG, 1.8 SPG

Even though Kevin Durant’s name should be there, Westbrook takes the number one spot because he showed loyalty and played every single game with the Thunder jersey on his back, until he was traded. Westbrook became the second player to completely own the triple-double statistic and even won an MVP as a player for the Thunder.

His consistency and dominance on the court give him the number one spot.

 

Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 18.4 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.2 BPG

Many don’t remember how dominant Dwight Howard was with Orlando. He was the best big man in the league by far and a top-five player in the league during that time. He was also the best defensive player in the league, winning three Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and arguably the best dunker too. Howard led the Magic to the NBA Finals and was always consistent as a force in the middle.

Even if his career turned out to be a bit disappointing, he is the best player ever for the franchise.

 

Philadelphia 76ers – Julius Erving

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 22.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 1.5 BPG

Even though Allen Iverson deserves to be mentioned as the greatest Sixer ever, Erving just edges him out because he brought a very valuable NBA title to the franchise. Erving was always a high-flying dunker extraordinaire, but he left a solid impact on the floor thanks to his scoring and leadership.

While Iverson has longevity on his side, it was Erving who managed to win it all.

 

Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 14.4 PPG, 9.4 APG, 3.1 RPG

While some great players such as Charles Barkley have played for the Suns, no one had some individual success than Nash. He was one of the best passers of all time, a pure unselfish leader, and a winner of two straight MVP awards. Nash was a beast on offense, controlling the pace of the game by finding open men for shots every trip down the floor.

He is also one of the greatest shooters of all time and a definite Hall of Famer.

 

Portland Trail Blazers – Clyde Drexler

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 20.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.7 APG, 2.1 SPG

Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was one of the most popular players in NBA history. He was one of the originators of the high-flying style and jaw-dropping above the rim plays that have seemingly become the norm nowadays. Drexler was a special scorer and a very competitive player who made the Blazers one of the better teams in the conference when he played.

His scoring ability and impact on the game both on and off the floor make him number one in Blazer’s history.

 

Sacramento Kings – Oscar Robertson

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 29.3 PPG, 10.3 APG, 8.5 rpg

Mr. Triple Double, Oscar Robertson was the king of the triple-double statistic before it became so popular as it is now. He put up monster stats every single year and is recognized as one of the best to ever do it. Many swear that he is a top ten player of all time since he did it all on the court and even won an NBA title before he ended his career.

 

San Antonio – Tim Duncan

NBA Titles Won: 5

Averages: 19.0 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 2.2 BPG

Without a doubt, Tim Duncan is the greatest Spur of all time. He was the best player on his team as soon as he joined the Spurs in his first season, usurping David Robinson immediately. Duncan soon became recognized as the greatest power forward of all time and was always the best player for a team that was in the playoffs every single year.

Duncan’s five chips solidify his stance as the best Spur ever.

 

Toronto Raptors – Vince Carter

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 23.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.0 BPG

The Raptors have had only a few all-time great players in their history, with the likes of Chris Bosh and Kawhi Leonard. Bosh has a legitimate case as being one of the most consistent performers in franchise history, while Leonard brought an NBA title to the franchise in one year. But Vince Carter put Toronto on the map and was the first real superstar they had.

Carter is also arguably the greatest dunker of all time, and he changed the way Toronto was viewed around the league.

 

Utah Jazz – Karl Malone

NBA Titles Won: 0

Averages: 25.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.8 BPG

When we think of Utah, we think of Stockton and Malone. Their pick n roll was phenomenal, and their tandem led the Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances. They were never ever able to win a ring together, but Malone did manage to become the best player in Jazz history.

He is the second leading point leader in NBA history and was one of the most dominant offensive players ever.

 

Washington Wizards – Elvin Hayes

NBA Titles Won: 1

Averages: 21.3 PPG, 12.7 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2.4 BPG

Elvin Hayes was one of the most talented players to ever play the power forward position and made history over the course of his NBA career. Hayes finished his career fourth all-time in rebounds, and fifth in the number of games played.

His impact on the floor was the stuff of legends, as he played very aggressive defense and had an assortment of offensive moves including a turn-around jump shot. Hayes will go down as the greatest player in Wizards history.

Facebook Comments