One thing is dominating in the regular season and then a completely different thing is being able to do it in the playoffs, as even some of the most talented players underperform when it matters most, either because of fatigue, pressure, or just tough luck.
Even so, there have been a handful of players that have been able to replicate their regular-season success in the postseason. Moreover, some players have taken their game to a whole new level once they need those 16 wins to win an NBA Championship.
That's why today, we're going to honor the top-tier playoff performers in NBA history by letting you know about the top 10 players with the most playoff wins ever. Spoiler alert: one of them may end up as the all-time leader once this season is done.
10. Shaquille O'Neal
Playoffs Wins: 129
Playoff Games Played: 216
Playoff win %: 59.72%
Shaquille O'Neal is perhaps the most dominating player of all time. He just couldn't be stopped in the offensive end thanks to his physical and athletic traits but he was also a far smarter player than people credit him for nowadays. He could do it all.
More than that, Shaq always lived up to the expectations when he made it to the playoffs, especially in the NBA Finals. Even though he lost to Hakeem and the Rockets and then to the Pistons, he has 3 Finals MVPs under his belt to brag about.
9. Kobe Bryant
Playoffs Wins: 135
Playoff Games Played: 220
Playoff win %: 61.36%
Kobe Bryant is the closest thing to Michael Jordan we will ever witness. He was a competitive animal that wasn't going to back down from a challenge or hesitate to take that last-second shot to lead his beloved Lakers to the ultimate glory.
Bryant's relentless competitiveness and unmatched work ethic made him lead the Lakers to 5 NBA Championships and 7 trips to the NBA Finals. He was far more than just a scorer, as his playmaking and defense were also always on point in the postseason.
8. Manu Ginobili
Playoffs Wins: 135
Playoff Games Played: 218
Playoff win %: 61.93%
Manu Ginobili is the greatest SIxth Man in the history of basketball and it's not even close. The way he impacted the game on both ends of the floor went far beyond the stat sheet, as he was an extension of Gregg Popovich right there in the hardwood.
Manu was a floor general. He ran the point, guarded point guards, shooting guards, and small forwards. He could pull up from three, euro step his way into the lane, and always came huge down the stretch. He's one of the most intelligent players in the history of the game.
7. Scottie Pippen
Playoffs Wins: 136
Playoff Games Played: 208
Playoff win %: 65.38%
There would have never been a Chicago Bulls dynasty if it wasn't for Scottie Pippen. He embraced his role as the offense's Robin but then lived up to the challenge of guarding the best players in the world and locking them down for 48 minutes.
And, unlike Michael Jordan, Pippen kept playing and contending for Championships even after leaving the Chicago Bulls, and that's why he's here on this list and the GOAT isn't. Pippen just doesn't get enough credit for his two-way expertise.
6. Tony Parker
Playoffs Wins: 137
Playoff Games Played: 226
Playoff win %: 60.62%
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the finest organizations in all sports and Tony Parker has a lot to do with it. Once he took over as the team's starting point guard, his unique playing style was the blueprint of their slow-paced, efficient offense.
But more than that, Tony Parker was always one of the deadliest players in the hardwood come playoffs time. He always came huge down the stretch and had a feeling for knocking down incredibly clutch shots throughout his career.
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Playoffs Wins: 154
Playoff Games Played: 237
Playoff win %: 64.98%
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is perhaps the most durable player in NBA history so it's definitely not a surprise to see him crack the top-5 of our list. He was a born winner and competed at the highest level throughout his entire career, both in college and the pros.
Abdul-Jabbar redefined the offense for big men. His skyhook was the most unstoppable move in the league during his prime. His longevity and contributions on both ends of the floor led him to 6 NBA Championships with a couple of Finals MVPs.
4. Robert Horry
Playoffs Wins: 155
Playoff Games Played: 244
Playoff win %: 63.52%
Robert Horry may not go down as one of the best basketball players in the history of the game and his career averages of 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game are far from impressive. But make no mistake, this guy was made for the playoffs.
Horry was the ultimate 3-and-D player. Moreover, he was the go-to-guy down the stretch. I mean, they called him 'Big Shot Bob' for a reason. That's why he was always playing winning basketball and won 7 NBA Championships over 15 years.
3. Tim Duncan
Playoffs Wins: 157
Playoff Games Played: 251
Playoff win %: 62.55%
We've already talked about the San Antonio Spurs and their winning culture. Well, none of that would have been possible if it wasn't for their savior Tim Duncan, the best power forward of all time, and a born winner, especially in the playoffs.
Duncan has a résumé that could put him in the GOAT conversation. He won 5 NBA Championships in 6 tries, 2 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, 15 All-Star Teams, 15 All-NBA Teams, and 15 All-Defensive Teams. How is he not considered a top-5 player ever?
2. LeBron James
Playoffs Wins: 158
Playoff Games Played: 242
Playoff win %: 65.14%
LeBron James continues to climb the ladder in the all-time playoff wins list. He's already won 158 games and is just 3 wins shy of topping the list. He's definitely going to achieve that this season unless the Lakers are swept in the second round of the playoffs, which seems unlikely.
LeBron has turned every single team he's played into a Championship contender. He's made it to 9 NBA Finals (8 consecutive) and even though he's got a 3-6 record, you just can't deny the fact that he's one of the greatest playoff performers of all time.
1. Derek Fisher
Playoffs Wins: 161
Playoff Games Played: 259
Playoff win %: 62.16%
Perhaps this one may strike you as a surprise but yes, Derek Fisher is the NBA's all-time leader in playoff wins. He's won 161 out of 259 games, and contrary to what most young fans could think, he did play a huge part in his team's playoff success, especially earlier in his career.
Fisher was always surrounded by legends but he did what he was asked to, was a solid playmaker and tailor-made for the triangle offense, and knocked down bit shots over his career. He's earned his stripes so we should give credit where its due.