We have talked about the greatest players ever to play in the NBA, but those players had to come from somewhere. Each player came from a high school or college where they began to form their legacy. Those players might have moved around the state after they were brought into this world. That’s why if you look deep into the biographies of some players, you will see that some have never played basketball in their birth states.
Some states are known for a particular sport. Some places like New York, Illinois, and California own some elite basketball talent. Other states are looking for their first All-Star caliber player, or even a player to represent them at all. We are talking about players that were born in the state, not those that grew up there. If they were born in the state, they were under consideration.
These are the greatest players of all time from each state in the United States.
Alabama - Charles Barkley
Career Stats: 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 1992-1993 MVP, 11x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team Selection, 1986-1987 Rebounding Champion, Hall of Fame
In 1993, Barkley was a league MVP and led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals. Because of Michael Jordan, he was unable to cap off the perfect season, which hampered his one shot of winning an NBA championship. Barkley was a menace when it came to grabbing offensive rebounds and putting shots back in.
Honorable Mention: John Drew, DeMarcus Cousins, Ben Wallace
Alaska - Mario Chalmers
Career Stats: 8.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: All-Rookie Second Team
Chalmers was a stud at the University of Kansas and settled into being a role player for the Miami Heat. His best days came when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the Heat. Chalmers was the team’s starting point guard for those championship runs and contributed some big shots of his own. Chalmers is one of two players ever to play in the NBA born out of Alaska.
Honorable Mention: None
Arizona - Sean Elliott
Career Stats: 14.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Honors: 2x All-Star, No. 32 Retired by Spurs
Elliott is an Arizona man. Not only was he born in the state, but he also starred at the University of Arizona in college. Elliott is a former No. 3 overall pick and was a part of the 1999 Spurs championship team. He was considered a perfect complement to star David Robinson during the 90s. He finished his career getting his jersey retired by the Spurs.
Honorable Mention: Jerryd Bayless, Marvin Bagley
Arkansas - Scottie Pippen
Career Stats: 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 7x All-Star, 7x All-NBA Team Selection, 10x All-Defensive Team, 1994-1995 Steals Champion, Hall of Fame
Pippen caught onto basketball late in his life but in comparison to his Arkansas natives, he is the best. The seven-time All-Star and All-NBA selection was a defensive workhorse that could also put the ball in the basket in transition. He was the perfect complement to Michael Jordan, who helped lead the Chicago Bulls to six championships.
Honorable Mention: Joe Barry Carroll, Glen Rice, Joe Johnson, Mike Conley Jr., Fat Lever
California - Kawhi Leonard
Career Stats: 19.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Honors: 2x Finals MVP, 5x All-Star, 5x All-NBA Team Selection, 7x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2x Defensive Player of the Year, 2014-2015 Steals Champion
The sunshine state has a lot of potential candidates for this award. From past to present, California breathes basketball as 426 players from this state have played in the NBA. A lot of that has to do with a lot of the kids watching the Los Angeles Lakers growing up. Now, it’s also the Clippers because Kawhi Leonard is such a star. He has earned this right given that he is the player out of all the honorable mentions that led two different teams to NBA championships, including two Finals MVPs.
Honorable Mention: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, Paul Pierce, Klay Thompson, Ray Allen, George Yardley, Gail Goodrich, Reggie Miller, Jason Kidd, Kevin Love, Bill Walton, Kevin Johnson
Colorado - Chauncey Billups
Career Stats: 15.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 1x Finals MVP, 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection, 2x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1x Teammate of the Year, No. 1 Retired by Pistons
Only 19 players from Colorado have ever played in the NBA. It wasn’t a hard debate when it came to this player as Chauncey Billups takes the cake. Billups was the floor general for a team that was a constant contender in the Eastern Conference Finals, which included winning in 2004. After the Pistons defeated the Lakers in 2004, Billups was named Finals MVP.
Honorable Mention: Chuck Williams
Connecticut - Marcus Camby
Career Stats: 9.5 PpG, 9.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.4 BPG
Honors: 4x All-Defensive Selection, 2006-2007 Defensive Player of the Year, 4x Blocks Leader
Connecticut is an underrated area for NBA talent. For a smaller state, you would think it would have less than 37 prospects. With that said, UCONN is a brand in the college landscape, owning legendary coaches in Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma bringing national championships home. As for the best player to make the NBA, that has to go to Camby, who was one of the most dynamic defensive players in the 2000s. He led the league in blocks four times, as well as won a Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Honorable Mention: Calvin Murphy, Michael Adams
Delaware - Walt Hazzard
Career Stats: 12.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.9 APG
Honors: 1x All-Star
Hazard is one of 10 players to make the NBA from Delaware. Hazard played for the SuperSonics in his first year. He scored a career-high 24.0 points per game and averaged 6.2 assists. After making his lone All-Star appearance, he was in the package that brought Seattle Lenny Wilkins. After playing briefly for the Hawks, he returned to Seattle and retired after the 1973-1974 season.
Honorable Mention: Donte DiVincenzo
District of Columbia - Kevin Durant
Career Stats: 27.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG
Honors: 2x Finals MVP, 2013-2014 MVP, 11x All-Star, 9x All-NBA Team Selection, 4x Scoring Champion, 2007-2008 Rookie of the Year
Elgin Baylor, Adrian Dantley, and Dave Bing were all great players, but Kevin Durant is going to potentially finish his career as a top-10 player to play the game. If Durant can win a title in Brooklyn, there will be a conversation for him to finish top-5. Durant is ranked in the top-25 in all-time scoring and is continuously moving up the ladder. LeBron James has a chance to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time mark. If that happens, Durant could be next.
Honorable Mention: Elgin Baylor, Adrian Dantley, Dave Bing
Florida - David Robinson
Career Stats: 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, 3.0 BPG
Honors: 1994-1995 MVP, 10x All-Star, 10x All-NBA Team Selection, 8x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1991-1992 Defensive Player of the Year, 1993-1994 Scoring Champion, 1990-1991 Rebounding Champion, 1991-1992 Blocks Champion, 1989-1990 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
Florida is one of 13 states that have at least 100 NBA players come from its state. If Tracy McGrady won one championship, there is an argument that he could contend for this spot, but David Robinson won an MVP, scoring title, rebounding title, and blocks title in his career. There’s also the double-digit All-Star appearances and the fact he was durable most of his career.
Honorable Mention: Tracy McGrady, Mitch Richmond, Gilbert Arenas, Artis Gilmore, Red Robbins, Eddie Johnson
Georgia - Walt Frazier
Career Stats: 18.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 7x All-Star, 6x All-NBA Team Selection, 7x All-Defensive Team Selection, Hall of Famer
Given that Georgia is not a top team in the college basketball rankings year around, you would not think that they would have more NBA players than Florida but they do. Dwight Howard was considered for this title, but he was not able to clinch a title with the Magic when he was the star player. As for Frazier, he won two titles as a major contributing piece back in the 1970s. Frazier was a solid ball-handler, but an even better defender.
Honorable Mention: Dwight Howard, Horace Grant, World B. Free, Norm Nixon
Hawaii - Cedric Ceballos
Career Stats: 14.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Honors: 1x All-Star, 1992 Slam Dunk Contest Champion
One of the coolest moments from Ceballos career came in 1992 when he participated in the Slam Dunk Contest. He converted a blindfolded dunk that got the crowd energized. When he played for the Suns in 1992-1993, he led the league in field-goal percentage as the Suns made the NBA Finals. Then, he eventually joined the Lakers, where he led the team in scoring in 1994 and 1996. When he scored 50 points, it was the first 50 point game in 20 years. Ceballos is only one of two players from Hawaii to play in the NBA.
Honorable Mention: Red Rocha
Idaho - Luke Ridnour
Career Stats: 9.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Out of the five players from Idaho that played in the NBA, Luke Ridnour owns the best overall line. Ridnour was the starting point guard that started most of his games in a season seven times. While he was never selected for an All-Star Game, he enjoyed a long successful career. His career-high for points in a season was 11.5.
Honorable Mention: Charlie Black
Illinois - Dwyane Wade
Career Stats: 22.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 2005-2006 Finals MVP, 13x All-Star, 8x All-NBA Team Selection, 3x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2008-2009 Scoring Champion
If Derrick Rose never gets hurt, is he the greatest player to come out of Illinois ever? That is a question that Bulls fans will now be asking themselves. As for the best player, Wade beats out Isiah Thomas because Wade won three championships to go with a Finals MVP. Wade won a title without LeBron and Bosh on the team, which solidifies his greatness. When he played with greatness, the Heat made the Finals four straight seasons.
Honorable Mention: Isiah Thomas, George Mikan, Anthony Davis, Dan Issel, Derrick Rose, Maurice Cheeks, Dan Issel
Indiana - Larry Bird
Career Stats: 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 2x Finals MVP, 3x MVP, 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA Team Selection, 3x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1979-1980 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
Bird was a true Indiana man. Born in Indiana, played at Indiana State, and then coached the Indiana Pacers to the NBA Finals. Granted, all of his player success came with the Boston Celtics, where he won three straight MVPs. He’s the last player to accomplish that feat too. Bird was so great that many alumni would put him on their NBA Mount Rushmore. Indiana is a pretty successful basketball state too, having 158 players ever to make it to the NBA.
Honorable Mention: Clyde Lovellette, Louie Dampier, Glenn Robinson, Shawn Kemp, Gordon Hayward, Zach Randolph, George McGinnis
Iowa - Harrison Barnes
Career Stats: 14.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: All-Rookie First Team
Before Barnes played a single game in college basketball at North Carolina, the media pegged him as a Preseason All-American. Barnes eventually confirmed that when he played a full season. When he got into the league, he was a starter for the 2014-2015 Golden State Warriors team that won an NBA championship.
Honorable Mention: Kirk Hinrich
Kansas - Alvan Adams
Career Stats: 14.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 1x All-Star, 1976 Rookie of the Year, No. 33 Retired by the Suns
Adams was an underrated player back in the day. Adams made only one All-Star appearance but lives on forever with his jersey retired. Adams is the all-time leader in games, minutes, offensive rebounds, and steals for the Suns. The University of Kansas must do a lot of out-of-state recruiting because Adams is only one of 36 players to make the league born in Kansas.
Honorable Mention: Warren Jabali
Kentucky - Dave Cowens
Career Stats: 17.6 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Honors: 1972-1973 MVP, 8x All-Star, 3x All-NBA Team Selection, 3x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1970-1971 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
Kentucky has a rich basketball history, especially at the college level. If the NBA added an expansion team, Louisville should be an option. Tough players like Wes Unseld and Rajon Rondo have come out of the state, but the best to ever play was Dave Cowens. The former Celtics star was a big-time contributor for Boston, where he won a regular-season MVP and won two championships.
Honorable Mention: Cliff Hagan, Wes Unseld, Arnie Risen, Rajon Rondo
Louisiana - Bill Russell
Career Stats: 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, 4.3 APG
Honors: 5x MVP, 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team Selection, 1968 All-Defensive Team Selection, 4x Rebounding Champion, Hall of Fame
Imagine being Karl Malone. You can’t win a championship because Michael Jordan stops you both times. You aren’t the all-time leading scorer because of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Then, you can’t be considered the best player from Louisiana because 11-time champion Bill Russell was also born there. That’s a tough draw for the Mailman.
Honorable Mention: Karl Malone, Bob Pettit, Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler, Willis Reed, Robert Parish, Joe Dumars
Maine - Duncan Robinson
Career Stats: 12.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 1x All-NBA G-League Third Team
Only two players have made it to the NBA from Maine. Duncan Robinson certainly is a feel-good story because of it. After going undrafted after a successful college career at Michigan, Robinson found his rhythm shooting in the NBA. When Robinson signed his five-year, $90 million deal with the Heat, it was the largest contract for an undrafted player in the history of the NBA.
Honorable Mention: None
Maryland - Sam Cassell
Career Stats: 15.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 1 All-Star, 1x All-NBA Selection
Many believe if Sam Cassell was fully healthy in the 2004 playoffs, that the Timberwolves would have defeated the Lakers in the Conference Finals. Instead, the team couldn’t cash in on Kevin Garnett’s MVP year. Cassell was beloved for his abilities but was also a contributor on three championship teams of his own.
Honorable Mention: Marvin Webster, Steve Francis
Massachusetts - Bill Laimbeer
Career Stats: 12.9 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Honors: 4x All-Star, 1986 Rebounding Leader, No. 40 Retired by the Pistons
Did you ever wonder if the state of Massachusetts tried to distance itself from Bill Laimbeer's back in the 1980s? Laimbeer was one of the most hated individuals. He embraced the “Bad Boys'' mentality, which helped the team win back-to-back championships. Laimbeer was a strong, physical bully that had no problem doing the dirty work back then.
Honorable Mention: Nerlens Noel
Michigan - Magic Johnson
Career Stats: 19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Honors: 3x Finals MVP, 3x MVP, 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA Team Selection, 4x Assist Champion, 2x Steals Champion, Hall of Fame
George Gervin was a really good player for the Spurs, but Magic Johnson was better. Had retirement not knocked on his door at the age of 31 years old, Johnson might have won six or seven total championships. Johnson was an MVP in the regular season, as well as three times in the Finals. Many consider him the greatest point guard of all time.
Honorable Mention: George Gervin, Chris Webber, Rudy Tomjanovich, Dave DeBusschere, Mel Daniels, Draymond Green, Devin Booker
Minnesota - Kevin McHale
Career Stats: 17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.7 BPG
Honors: 7x All-Star, 1x All-NBA Team Selection, 6x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2x 6th Man of the Year, Hall of Fame
Minnesota hasn’t produced a lot of All-Stars out of the 65 total players. McHale was a seven-time All-Star that produced off the bench for the Boston Celtics during their championship runs. He was also a sound defensive player that could take care of the boards when needed as well.
Honorable Mention: Mark Olberding
Mississippi - Spencer Haywood
Career Stats: 19.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 1x ABA MVP, 4x NBA All-Star, 1x ABA All-Star, 1970 All-Star Game MVP, 4x All-NBA Selection, 1x All-ABA Selection, 1970 Rookie of the Year, 1970 ABA Scoring Champion, 1970 ABA Rebounding Champion, No. 24 Retired by the Seattle SuperSonics, Hall of Fame
Mississippi only needs seven more players born from the state to make it to the NBA to reach the 100 player total. The state has seen scorers like Monta Ellis to role players like Mo Williams and Al Jefferson. The best was Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood, who was a force in the ABA before crossing over to the NBA. Had he played long in the NBA, he would have many more NBA-related awards.
Honorable Mention: Monta Ellis, Mo Williams, Al Jefferson
Missouri - Bradley Beal
Career Stats: 22.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Honors: 3x All-Star, 1x All-NBA Selection
Beal nearly won his first scoring title last year. Ever since John Wall went down with his injury years back, Beal has grown into a true number one option for the Wizards. If he were to join a contender, he would be a perfect complement like Klay Thompson in terms of offense, but he has chosen to stay in Washington to help lead a contender. You can’t fault his determination.
Honorable Mention: Ed McCauley, Jo Jo White, Jayson Tatum
Montana - Phil Jackson
Career Stats: 17.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: All-Rookie First Team
If we are talking about Phil Jackson the coach, we would be here all day. Out of all the players that came from Montanna, the best to ever do it is still Phil Jackson. He was a contributor for the 1970 and 1973 championship teams for the Knicks. While his state never yielded All-Star level numbers, he played his role in a winning team. Jackson is one of 11 players to make it to the NBA from Montanna.
Honorable Mention: Mike Lewis
Nebraska - Bob Boozer
Career Stats: 14.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.4 APG
Honors: 1x All-Star
Outside of Fred Hoiberg, the NBA hasn’t seen a player hail from Nebraska put up big numbers in a long time. When Boozer came into the league, he played alongside Oscar Robertson with the Cincinnati Royals. He was regarded as a high-energy player but was eventually pushed out when Jerry Lucas arrived. He eventually joined the Bulls with the expansion draft and averaged 21.5 points and 9.8 rebounds during his lone All-Star season.
Honorable Mention: Fred Hoiberg
Nevada - Ricky Davis
Career Stats: 13.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Davis spent two seasons with the Hornets. His poster dunks and high energy made him a fan favorite. That also helped him get an invite to the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, but he lost to Vince Carter. He was later traded to the Heat and Cavaliers. Cleveland was his big moment when he landed a six-year contract. For a city like Las Vegas, you would think there would be more players coming out of the area making the pros.
Honorable Mention: Greg Anthony
New Hampshire - Matt Bonner
Career Stats: 5.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Only one player has ever made it to the NBA out of New Hampshire. That would be Spurs fan favorite Matt Bonner. While he was never a flashy player, Bonner enjoyed a long career in the NBA. That included playing a reserve role for the 2007 and 2014 championship teams in San Antonio.
Honorable Mention: None
New Jersey - Shaquille O’Neal
Career Stats: 23.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 2.3 BPG
Honors: 3x Finals MVP, 1999-2000 MVP, 15x All-Star, 14x All-NBA Team Selection, 3x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2x Scoring Champion, 1992-1993 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
New Jersey has produced some solid players in Rick Barry and Dennis Rodman. The best Hall of Famer of them all is Shaq, who some believe is the best center of all time. His physical stature allowed him to bully his way to scoring anything he wanted. The three-time Finals MVP and four-time champion made the state proud.
Honorable Mention: Rick Barry, Tom Heinsohn, Dennis Rodman, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mike Bibby
New Mexico - Bill Bridges
Career Stats: 11.9 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.1 SPG, 0.0 BPG
Honors: 3x All-Star, 2x All-Defensive Team Selection
Bridges played 13 seasons and won one championship with the Warriors. He was regarded as a strong rebounder that averaged a double-double. He is the only player outside of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Willis Reed to record more than 35 rebounds in a playoff game. He once led the league in fouls, 366 for a season, which was an NBA record. Bridges is also one of seven players to make it to the pros out of New Mexico.
Honorable Mention: Andre Roberson
New York - Michael Jordan
Career Stats: 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 6x Finals MVP, 5x MVP, 14x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team Selection, 9x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1987-1988 Defensive Player of the Year, 10x Scoring Champion, 3x Steals Champion, 1984-1985 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
If Michael Jordan wasn't born in New York, this would be incredibly hard to pick. There are Hall of Famers everywhere in this state. New York has the most players that make it to the NBA who are born in the state. Out of 418 total players, Jordan tops this honor. The greatest to ever play the game owns a perfect 6-0 record in the Finals, as well as six Finals MVPs, but look at the rest of the talent that was in the state.
Honorable Mention: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony, Bernard King, Billy Cunningham, Charlie Scott, Bob Lanier, Tiny Archibald, Connie Hawkins, Dolph Schayes, Bob Cousy, Chris Mullin, Roger Brown, Richie Guerin, Lenny Wilkins, Larry Brown, Andre Drummond, Stephon Marbury, Joakim Noah, Rod Strickland, Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell
North Carolina - James Worthy
Career Stats: 17.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Honors: 1987-1988 Finals MVP, 7x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Team Selection, Hall of Fame
North Carolina had Dean Smith and Roy Williams lead the college program to high status. Maybe, it helped parents move to the state because 145 athletes have been born in the state and then made it to the pros. “Big Game James” Worthy was born in the state and then played at North Carolina before being selected with the No. 1 overall pick. He is well regarded for being one of the best Lakers ever.
Honorable Mention: David Thompson, Bob McAdoo, Lou Hudson, Walt Bellamy, Chris Paul, John Wall, Bobby Jones
North Dakota - Doug McDermott
Career Stats: 9.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Doug McDermott was born in North Dakota but didn’t stay. He played high school ball in Iowa and then played at Creighton University for his father. Only six players born in North Dakota have played in the pros, but McDermott was a stellar player in college. That included winning 2014 National College Player of the Year, while also being named First-Team All-American three times.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Johnson
Ohio - LeBron James
Career Stats: 27.0 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 7.4 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.8 BPG
Honors: 4x Finals MVP, 4x MVP, 17x All-Star, 17x All-NBA Team Selection, 6x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2007-2008 Scoring Champion, 2019-2020 Assist Champion, 2003-2004 Rookie of the Year
Steph Curry is going to give LeBron a run for his money this year. Curry has a chance to tie LeBron with four championships if the Warriors can continue to win at this high level. As for LeBron, how can you go against him? He is a 17-time All-Star and All-NBA selection that has won titles with three different teams. In a few years, he could be the all-time leading scorer as well.
Honorable Mention: Steph Curry, John Havlicek, Neil Johnston, Jerry Lucas, Gus Johnson, Nate Thurmond, Michael Redd, Charles Oakley
Oklahoma - Blake Griffin
Career Stats: 20.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 4.2 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Honors: 6x All-Star, 5x All-NBA Selection, 2011 Slam Dunk Contest Champion
Griffin was born in Oklahoma and then attended college at the University of Oklahoma. After that, he was the No. 1 overall pick by the Clippers. There, Griffin helped turn the franchise around, making the All-NBA Team five times. His slam dunks were a premier viewing spectacle of “Lob City” when Chris Paul came to town.
Honorable Mention: Mark Price, Ron Boone
Oregon - Domantas Sabonis
Career Stats: 14.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.4 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Honors: 2x All-Star
Damon Stoudemire once averaged 20.2 points per game but did not make an All-Star Game. Despite being a younger player, Sabonis is the best Oregon-born player to be in the league. Sabonis is a double-double machine that has already made an All-Star Team. Now, he is going to be a top trade target at the trade deadline.
Honorable Mention: Damon Stoudemire, Terrell Brandon, A.C. Green, Danny Ainge
Pennsylvania - Kobe Bryant
Career Stats: 25.0 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Honors: 2x Finals MVP, 2007-2008 MVP, 18x All-Star, 15x All-NBA Team Selection, 12x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2x Scoring Champion, Hall of Fame
For those of you wondering why this honor doesn’t belong to Wilt Chamberlain, you have every right. Chamberlain is one of the greatest ever to play, but Bryant is a top-5 player of all time. Five championships, including a 5-2 record in the Finals is impressive. Bryant has every right to be the king of Pennsylvania.
Honorable Mention: Wilt Chamberlain, Pete Maravich, Paul Arizin, Jack Twyman, Maurice Stokes, Guy Rodgers, Kyle Lowry
Rhode Island - Marvin Barnes
Career Stats: 9.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Honors: 2x ABA All-Star, 1x All-ABA Selection, 1975 ABA Rookie of the Year
Barnes was the No. 2 overall pick by the 76ers and by the Spirits of St. Lous in the ABA. He opted to play in the ABA before joining the NBA in 1976. Barnes shared the ABA record for most two-point field goals in a game with 27. In 2005, the ABA 2000 named one of their divisions after him. Out of the 11 potential candidates, Barnes was a solid option.
Honorable Mention: Ernie DiGregorio
South Carolina - Kevin Garnett
Career Stats: 17.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.4 BPG
Honors: 2003-2004 MVP, 15x All-Star, 9x All-NBA Team Selection, 12x All-Defensive Team Selection, 2007-2008 Defensive Player of the Year, 4x Rebounding Champion, Hall of Fame
South Carolina is getting close to 50 players who are born from the state. Of the 46 total players, Garnett was a clear choice. Garnett made the Timberwolves relevant. They haven’t been anything close to competitive since he left. The team is still waiting to make the NBA Finals. The team nearly did it in 2004 when Garnett was the league MVP. You could also make a good argument that he should have been the Finals MVP in 2008 when he won his championship with the Celtics.
Honorable Mention: Alex English, Khris Middleton, Jermaine O’Neal, Larry Nance
South Dakota - Mike Miller
Career Stats: 10.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 2006 Sixth Man of the Year, 2001 Rookie of the Year
When Miller was a rookie, he was the only rookie to play in all 82 games. He scored 11.9 points per game and shot over 40% from the three-point range. Then, he shot over 40% again from deep to go with 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds to win Sixth Man of the Year in 2007. Miller remains as the record holder for most points in a game for the Grizzlies with 45. He is also the first player ever to score at least seven three-point field goals in three straight games.
Honorable Mention: Jon Sundvold
Tennessee - Oscar Robertson
Career Stats: 25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 9.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Honors: 1963-1964 MVP, 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team Selection, 6x Assist Champion, 1960-1961 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
Four more players born in Tennessee need to make the NBA so that the state can make the 100-player mark. Out of the 96 players to ever make it, it’s hard to top Oscar Robertson. He was a walking triple-double, who averaged a triple-double for a season. Outside of Russell Westbrook, we have never seen a player play the way he did.
Honorable Mention: Bailey Howell, Penny Hardaway, Lou Williams
Texas - Chris Bosh
Career Stats: 19.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.8 SPG, 1.0 BPG
Honors: 11x All-Star, 2006-2007 All-NBA Team Selection
Before Bosh joined the Heat, he was already a player that had a Hall of Fame resume. He helped the Raptors rise to relevance. He left as the all-time scorer, which has since been broken. When he played with LeBron and Wade, he helped the team win two titles and make four appearances in the Finals. Bosh sacrificed for the greater good of winning as he went from the guy to the third-best option on offense. As a side note, Texas has 199 players born from the state who make it to the NBA. Which player from the state will make the total jump to 200?
Honorable Mention: LaMarcus Aldridge, Bill Sharman, Jimmy Butler, Grant Hill, Zelmo Beaty, Trae Young, Mookie Blaylock
Utah - Tom Chambers
Career Stats: 18.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG
Honors: 4x All-Star, 1987 All-Star Game MVP, 2x All-NBA Selection
Chambers was the No. 8 overall pick by the San Diego Clippers. He paired with Jack Sikma and Gus Williams to form a formidable trio for the SuperSonics in his third year. His best season came with the Suns, where he accepted a sixth-man role when Charles Barkley joined the team and the Suns made the NBA Finals. His career-high for points was 27.2.
Honorable Mention: Byron Scott, John Collins
Vermont - None
Vermont has never had a player born from the state make it to the NBA. There have been some players that have made international teams, but not the NBA. Maybe one day, we will be talking about that first player.
Honorable Mention: None
Virginia - Allen Iverson
Career Stats: 26.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 6.2 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 2000-2001 MVP, 11x All-Star, 7x All-NBA Team Selection, 8x All-Defensive Team Selection, 4x Scoring Champion, 3x Steals Champion, 1996-1997 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Fame
It was a coin flip when it came to comparing Allen Iverson and Moses Malone. Both are Philadelphia icons and both players meant so much to the franchise. The decision to go with Iverson was because he had the deck stacked against him more. He was the shortest MVP ever and he led the 76ers to their last Finals appearance in 2001.
Honorable Mention: Moses Malone, Bob Dandridge, Alonzo Mourning, Ralph Sampson
Washington - John Stockton
Career Stats: 13.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 10.5 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 10x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Team Selection, 5x All-Defensive Team Selection, 9x Assist Champion, 2x Steals Champion, Hall of Fame
If Brandon Roy stayed healthy, who knows what his career would have looked like. As for the best Washington-based players, Stockton beats out a class of 67 players. He owns the record for most assists all-time. While playing with Karl Malone, he helped the Jazz make two appearances in the NBA Finals. Had Michael Jordan not stopped him twice, he would have been a champion on top of all his other awards.
Honorable Mention: Zach LaVine, Brandon Roy, Jason Terry
West Virginia - Jerry West
Career Stats: 27.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 6.7 APG, 2.6 SPG, 0.7 BPG
Honors: 1968-1969 Finals MVP, 14x All-Star, 12x All-NBA Team Selection, 5x All-Defensive Team Selection, 1969-1970 Scoring Champion, 1971-1972 Assist Champion, Hall of Fame
Hal Greer is one of the best scorers in 76ers history, but we would still take Jerry West if the two players play one on one. West’s skills were so great that it led him to be on the NBA logo. Had West not had to match up with Bill Russell in each Finals appearance, he would have more rings on his fingers.
Honorable Mention: Hal Greer, Deron Williams
Wisconsin - Latrell Sprewell
Career Stats: 18.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Honors: 4x All-Star, 1x All-NBA First Team, 1x All-Defensive Team
Sprewell made the All-Star Team as a member of the Warriors in 1994, 1995, and 1997. In 1993-1994, he led the league in games played and minutes per game. In 1996-1997, he scored 24.2 points, which was the fifth-best in the league. In 1999, he helped the Knicks make the NBA Finals, which was the first time an eight seed made it all the way. During the 2002-2003 season, he made NBA history by making 9 of 9 three-point shots, a record that has been tied by Ben Gordon twice.
Honorable Mention: Terry Porter, Nick Van Excel
Wyoming - James Johnson
Career Stats: 7.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Only seven players born in Wyoming have made the NBA. The best is James Johnson, the former No. 16 overall pick, who has had stints with the Bulls, Raptors, Kings, Hawks, Grizzlies, Heat, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Pelicans, and Nets. This year, he is a vital piece to the bench as the Nets are contending for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Honorable Mention: Vern Gardner