Skip to main content

The Top 5 Greatest No. 3's in NBA History

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

Sports are filled with superstition and strong belief about luck, so several guys ask for their “lucky numbers” on their jerseys to feel confident about themselves and their skills, spending their entire career with the same number on their backs.

Others choose their numbers because of something meaningful for them, such as Michael Jordan when he decided to wear number 45 after the Bulls retired his 23 jersey when he retired after the passing of his father.

So, whenever you think of your favorite players, one of the things that come to mind first is definitely his jersey and of course, the number stitched to it. Having said that, let’s take a look at the top 5 best NBA players to ever wear number 3 on their uniform.

5. Shareef Abdur-Rahim

Shareef Abdur-Rahim #3

The Olympic winner with Team USA should definitely be on this list despite not getting all the credit he deserves through his career, as the former third pick of the 1996 draft was arguably the best player on those early Vancouver Grizzlies squads, before also playing for the Hawks, the Trail Blazers and the Kings, where he retired in 2008.

The Reef was a great overall player with lifetime averages of 18.1 points, 7.5 boards, 2.5 helpers, 1 steal and 0.7 blocks per game, although he was never able to actually make an impact in the playoffs due to the bad teams the forward played for over his 12-year NBA Career.

4. Stephon Marbury


The next guy on our list definitely has to be Starbury, another Olympic medalist with Team USA to wear number 3 (although he also wore number 8 at some point in his career). Through 13 years, Marbury played for the Timberwolves, Nets, Suns, Knicks and Celtics, and he’s still playing in China since 2009 to be exact.

Stephon was one of the best point guards of his generation, although he was never able to actually win an NBA Championship despite his career averages of 19.3 points, 3 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game, even becoming the league leader in assists in 2004 with his 719 helpers.

3. Chris Paul

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 27: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers directs his teammates against the Boston Celtics on December 27, 2012 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

You can’t say Chris Paul without thinking of CP3, as the former Wake Forest and Hornets player is one of the most important players to ever wear the number. Even if he’s never gone beyond the second round of the playoffs, he’s a no-brainer to make it into the hall of fame when he decides to retire. Chris Paul is one of the league’s best passers and he’s always at the top of the assists rankings, being considered the best true point guard that’s still left in the game as well as being a more than capable scorer.

Now, as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, CP3’s trying to break his curse and finally become an NBA Champion after winning a couple of gold medals at the Olympics and a bronze medal at the World Cup, as well of owning several records for the Hornets franchise, an 8-time All-Star and one-time All-Star MVP, a former Rookie of the Year, a 3 time assists per game leader and a 5 time steals leader.

Read More

Top 11 NBA Teammates Who Truly Hated Each Other

Can LeBron James Become The Greatest Scorer In NBA History?

Top 15 NBA Stars With The Worst Rookie Seasons

2. Dwyane Wade

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Flash was another no-brainer to make it on this list, as the current Chicago Bull shooting guard is one of the best players to ever step foot on an NBA court, becoming a 3-time NBA Champion with the Miami Heat and one of the most prolific and consistent scorers we’ve seen, despite not having a very good three point shot.

Wade’s also a 2-time Olympic medalist, a 14-time All-Star, an All-Star MVP and one of the league’s best defenders, always known for his ability to swat shots despite his height. Besides, his career averages of 23.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 blocks per game make him one of the most complete players in NBA history, and even if his prime seems to be far behind him, he’ll be remembered for his fierce nature and vertiginous speed.

1. Allen Iverson

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Even if he was never able to win an NBA Championship, there’s absolutely no doubt that “The Answer” is the ultimate number 3, as he was one of the league’s worldwide ambassadors that made millions fall in love with the game and help the league’s popularity grow dramatically through his entire career.

Always polarizing and stealing headlines, Iverson was a complete force and a dominant scorer, leading his Philadelphia 76ers with almost no help whatsoever to the NBA Finals, and being one of the most fearless players to ever set a foot on an NBA Court. Iverson won the Rookie of the Year, was an NBA MVP, an 11-time All-Star and 2-time All-Star MVP, a 4-time scoring champion, an Olympic champion, and of course, a Hall Of Fame inductee.

Sadly, his questionable habits and lack of discipline probably stopped him from being one of the best basketball players of all time, but he still managed to put up some outstanding numbers through his 14-year career, averaging 26.7 points, 3.7 boards, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game, and becoming the ultimate Philadelphia 76er.


Could The Celtics Really Trade For A Star?