It is one of the biggest compliments for a player to be deemed unstoppable. That means no matter what a coach plans or what defenses do, a particular player can do whatever he wants on the court. We have seen some all-time great offensive players put up iconic performances, but which players truly make the cut as the most unguardable ever?
We have compiled a list of the 10 most unstoppable players ever based on their impact and offensive production. These players are all-time great superstars with accolades that are matched by very few, as their calling cards on the NBA court was their undeniably great offense. Without further ado, here are the 10 most unguardable players in NBA history.
10. LeBron James
Career PPG: 27.0 PPG
Scoring Titles: 1
LeBron James is one of the greats the game has ever witnessed, although his scoring ability often goes underappreciated. But it's only natural when a player is a special passer. James is arguably the best playmaker to have ever played alongside Magic Johnson. The King is a master at controlling the pace of the game, directing his teammates, and making the right basketball play. His basketball brain makes him a completely unguardable star, especially at his size as the most physically dominant forward ever.
But James is also an unstoppable scorer. He did not have a consistent jumper early in his career but didn't need it as he was a locomotive at attacking the paint. He eventually developed a very consistent jumper and is now the most complete small forward to have ever played. LeBron's size, playmaking, and scoring place him in the top-10 with ease.
9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Career PPG: 24.6 PPG
Scoring Titles: 2
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the man with the only truly unstoppable shot in basketball. Kareem's skyhook could not be blocked because he released it so high and did not need much effort to get off. Kareem was a special player with incredible size, but his touch on the skyhook was the biggest headache in sports. No coach could game plan for it and that is why Kareem achieved so much in his great career.
6 MVPs, 6 NBA titles, and 2 Finals MVPs are a result of Kareem's dominance as a player. Abdul-Jabbar could not be defended by any player at his position ever, and he would achieve what he achieved in any era. Kareem did it all on the court including 2 scoring titles and was arguably the best player in the league by his rookie season. It is only fitting Kareem is placed on this list because the skyhook still gives his opponents nightmares.
8. Wilt Chamberlain
Career PPG: 30.1 PPG
Scoring Titles: 7
The man with the most incredible NBA records, Wilt Chamberlain was an almost inhuman athlete in his day. He was bigger, taller, and stronger than any other player and that is why he shattered countless records. After all, Chamberlain once scored 100 points in a single game, something that will likely not be repeated again. Wilt was blessed with a ton of athletic gifts, but he maximized that to the fullest.
Chamberlain holds a career 30.1 PPG average which ranks 2nd all-time. Wilt Chamberlain had a field day against any opponent and things wouldn't be much different even if he played today. It is doubtful Wilt would have scored 100 points in today's game but he would still be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and a top-5 center to have ever lived. Wilt's scoring transcends any era and therefore he ranks in the top-10 on this list.
7. James Harden
Career PPG: 25.2 PPG
Scoring Titles: 3
We cannot deny that we are witnessing history with James Harden. His offensive output in recent years is truly sensational, and he is climbing the ranks as an all-time great scorer and playmaker. Harden is completely unstoppable in today's NBA because he can get to the rim anytime he wants, shoots the three with ease, and is money from the stripe. He is also a capable playmaker, making him an entire offense on his own.
Harden holds the achievement of leading the league in scoring and also assists, a feat that is incredible for a shooting guard. The Beard blossomed from a 6th man to an MVP, and he is a perfect offensive player as his improvements as a franchise star were special to witness. Harden is easily top-10 on this list and he might climb the ranks before he hangs it up.
6. Allen Iverson
Career PPG: 26.7 PPG
Scoring Titles: 4
The greatest little man to have ever played, Allen Iverson was completely unguardable even at his miniature frame. The Answer was the best ball handler of his time and his ability to slice and dice for buckets was unprecedented. Iverson destroyed any defender he faced, even crossing up arguably the greatest perimeter defender ever in Michael Jordan.
Iverson's offensive dominance led him to win 4 scoring titles, an MVP, and even an NBA Finals berth against the Goliath Lakers with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Iverson would have been the best player ever if he was blessed with size, but ranking 6th all-time as an unguardable player is a testament to his greatness as a scorer and impactful superstar.
5. Shaquille O'Neal
Career PPG: 23.7 PPG
Scoring Titles: 2
The Diesel is the most dominant modern superstar at the center position. Shaq won an MVP and 3 straight Finals MVPs during his dominant reign with the Lakers. There was simply no answer for O'Neal because he was bigger and stronger than any player in the NBA. Even when he was blessed with incredible size, O'Neal was a tremendous athlete with a hunger to be the most dominant star on the court every time.
O'Neal only shot a putrid 52.7% from the stripe for his career, but he was known to make them when it really counted. Shaq dominated the paint and his presence was undeniable as he brought championships to the Lakers and Heat. Even as Shaq aged, his raw strength was a reason he dominated for years. A history of broken backboards, posters, and accolades is the reason O'Neal is a top-5 unguardable player ever.
4. Stephen Curry
Career PPG: 24.2 PPG
Scoring Titles: 1
It is simply amazing how a player who is only 6'3" can be the 4th most unstoppable player to have ever played. Curry might be benefitted from the era of basketball he is playing in, but he has taken offense to a different level as his dominance in the NBA continues to shock the world. Curry is the greatest shooter to have ever lived, and it isn't close.
No player can create their own shot from three like Curry can, and he shoots a career 43.4% from deep so far in his career. His shooting has convinced every team in the league to jack up threes, and we witness a three-point contest every night thanks to Curry. The unstoppable point guard has achieved all there is to achieve including NBA titles and MVPs, and it is all thanks to his unstoppable shooting ability.
3. Kevin Durant
Career PPG: 27.1 PPG
Scoring Titles: 4
There is no logical way to stop Kevin Durant. He stands close to 7-feet tall with one of the purest jump shots in NBA history. That is why there was massive outrage when Durant joined a 73-9 Golden State Warriors team because he single-handedly made them the most unstoppable team in history. After all, Durant is the 3rd most unstoppable force to ever grace the NBA floor.
A 4-time scoring champion, Durant has absolutely no weakness on offense. He shoots 49.4% from the field, 38.4% from three, and 88.3% from the free-throw line. Durant can literally shoot over any defender in the NBA and if he is fouled, it is an automatic 2 points. His handles rank among the best ever at his position and he is easily a top-3 offensive player to have ever played.
2. Kobe Bryant
Career PPG: 25.0 PPG
Scoring Titles: 2
Kobe Bryant was the greatest tough shot-maker in NBA history. The tougher the shot, the more beautiful Kobe made it look. Bryant was known for going off on any defender and when that happened, it mainly resulted in a win for the Lakers. Bryant shot 44.7% from the field over his career, a respectable number for a gunner who could take every shot in the game if he could.
Bryant, and everyone else, knew that he had a better chance of making shots than anyone else on the court. That's why he had the ultimate green light. The Black Mamba has had tremendous scoring outputs over his career, including an 81-point game against the Raptors, and ranks 4th all-time in points scored. Bryant's fadeaway jumper was arguably the most beautiful move in history and he ranks second all-time behind his idol as the most unguardable player ever.
1. Michael Jordan
Career PPG: 30.1 PPG
Scoring Titles: 10
The greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan amassed a whopping 10 scoring titles over his Hall of Fame career. Jordan is and will forever be the most unstoppable force in NBA history because he paired unbeatable athleticism with perfection in his fundamentals. Jordan shot 49.7% from the field and 83.5% from the stripe for his career, making him a cash machine whenever the ball left his fingertips.
Jordan's fadeaway jumper was unguardable. He could back down any defender at his position thanks to physical strength and his ability to rise over defenders was a joy to watch. MJ was also the best ever at attacking the rim and there is no question who the most unguardable player in NBA history is.