Not every player in the NBA has the great primes that LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, etc. had in their respective careers. Most players usually do not have a lengthy prime, instead, they have peak years.
A short span of time, when they are absolute beasts and no one can match their level during that time. But if we were to rank the absolute peaks of NBA legends or even normal players, what would the top 10 list look like?
Redditor u/kotakim asked this very question through a post on Reddit recently. Before asking fellow NBA fans their opinion on the question, they also gave their thoughts on the list.
Personally, I think at their absolute peaks the top ten looks like:
1. Michael Jordan
2. Wilt Chamberlain
3. Shaquille O’ Neal
4. LeBron James
5. Magic Johnson
6. Kobe Bryant
7. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
8. Larry Bird
9. Tracy McGrady
10. Stephen Curry
Upon seeing this list, many fans thought it was simply absurd apart from a few players. On the other hand, many fans also agreed with the list and praised the Redditor for creating a good list.
2KareDogs: "No Peak Hakeem? Basically won everything in 94."
Smekledorf1996: "Why is Tmac above peak Curry?"
1998TimThomas: "Giannis’ current peak is already better than TMac."
Swarleymonlives: "It depends on what you mean. Klay Thompson had the absolute best peak of any NBA player ever. It lasted about 9.5 minutes."
Party-Cranberry-9325: "1991 Jordan 2013 LeBron 2000 Shaq 1967 Wilt 1994 Hakeem. This is my personal top 5."
thechemistrychef: "Best peaks in no particular order 91-93 Jordan 09-13 LeBron 00-02 Shaq 84-86 Bird 93-95 Hakeem. Lots of legends had insane peaks but these are probably in most people's top 5-10."
Cozum: "Feel like we can start Jordan's peak in '88 when he avg 35, won MVP & DPOY."
The_Nutz16: "T-Mac never even won a playoff series until he was washed as f**k riding the bench for the Spurs in 2013. Dumbest f*****g take in history to have T-Mac even on the list, let alone above Steph."
scorelesswilliamson: "Larry peaked higher than Magic. Just a better all around player."
PakPresiden: "Hakeem. when he won back to back that was amazing. But then Michael back and reminded the world why is he the way that he is."
OkInvestigator6193: "2013 Lebron at 4? …. Also 2009 Lebron is the best athlete I’ve ever seen."
Remote-Picture-8341: "18-20 Harden should defo be a top 10 peak. Improved defensively a lot. Huge regular season numbers and played well in the playoffs. Maybe its not top 10 because he didnt win a ring but you put TMac in who never made it out the first round."
AndrewMonck: "Kobe Bryant when he had that week of 4 games over 50 points. God mode Kobe."
Great_Huckleberry709: "If we're talking great peaks, I feel like we also have to include Harden. From 2017-2020 or so, he was absolutely unbelievable on the offensive end."
ILoveZimsD: "2004 Kg deserves a shout. One Sam cassell big balls dance away from the finals."
No doubt, the initial list submitted by the Redditor was controversial and he was called out for it by many fans.
However, looking closely at it, the top 5 seem okay. It was the bottom 5 on the list, which could have been better. Anyway, looking at the comments, one thing is certain - fans believe that Michael Jordan arguably had the best peak of all-time.