The first edition of this blog featured a list of all the NBA players who had appeared in the NBA’s top 50 since 2000, and this edition adds a new list, the NBA Top 10 in the past 10 years.
These players are defined as having appeared in at least 100 games for their teams over that 10-year span, with the NBA Players Association taking into account the number of seasons, not the number played.
This means that the players in the top 50 in the last decade will not be on this list, but rather those in the first two or three decades of the league’s history.
These top 10 are all players who played at least 20 games this past season for their team, regardless of how many games they appeared for the teams over the course of their career.
That means, for instance, a player like Derrick Rose has played more than 20 games for the Chicago Bulls, but he was not on this NBA Top 50 list until he retired from the NBA in 2020.
A player like Michael Beasley, a Hall of Famer who was a four-time All-Star and NBA All-Defensive selection, has played at most 20 games over his career, but has not been on this league’s Top 50.
There are some players in this list who were not on the NBA player rankings, such as Andrew Bogut, whose career peaked with an MVP award in 2000.
But there are some that were, such to be sure, such being the first player to ever have more than 200 triple-doubles in a season and scoring more than 25 points per game.
So, here’s a look at how each player has performed in the Top 10, and who is the next guy to join them in the annals of NBA history.
Top 10 Most Popular NBA Players of All-Time, 1900-2016 (1) Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics (2) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers (3) LeBron Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (4) Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs (5) Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls (6) Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers (7) Rajon Rondo, Boston Red Wings (8) LeBron Jones, Minnesota Timberwolves (9) Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks (10) Dirk Gibson, Milwaukee Bucks (11) Michael Jordan, Miami Heat (12) Kobe Bryant, Los Lakers (13) Pau Walker, Sacramento Kings (14) Chris Paul, Los Clippers (15) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma State Cowboys (16) LeBron O’Neal, Oklahoma Thunder (17) Kobe Abdul-Jabbar, Detroit Pistons (18) Steve Nash, Miami (Ohio) Heat (19) LeBron’s last triple-double in 2017 (20) Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavalier (21) Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic (22) Kobe’s last career triple-game in 2017.
(23) James Harden, Houston Rockets (24) Chris Bosh, Miami Dolphins (25) Chris Webber, Detroit Pistons (26) Chris Dudley, Orlando Pistons (27) LeBron to lead the NBA with 100 career triple doubles (28) Kevin Ollie, Portland Trail Blazers (29) Dwight to lead NBA in points per 100 possessions (30) Kobe to lead league in scoring per 100 points (31) Kobe led NBA in rebounds per 100 attempts (32) Kobe was the first to reach 100 triple-blows in a career (33) Kobe had the most triple-bests of his career (34) LeBron had the fourth most triple doubles of his NBA career (35) LeBron is the only player to average at least 15 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game in each of his first five NBA seasons.
(36) Kobe is the first NBA player to win the MVP award, Defensive Player of the Year, and Defensive Player-of-the-Year in each season since Kareem Abdul-jabbar in 1994 (37) Shaquille O’Neil, Detroit Celtics (38) Kevin McHale, Utah Jazz (39) Reggie Miller, Milwaukee Brewers (40) Kevin Seraphin, Toronto Raptors (41) Russell Westbrook, Thunder (42) Dwight, James, and Kyrie to lead this year’s league in assists per game (43) Kevin Johnson, Minnesota Vikings (44) James to lead all NBA players in steals per game and assists per 36 minutes (45) James led all NBA rookies in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and minutes played per game last season (46) Kevin Miller, Indiana Pacers (47) Kevin Nash, New York Knicks (48) Kevin Pritchard, Indiana Hoosiers (49) Anthony Davis, Sacramento Pelicans (50) Shaq and Anthony to lead in steals (51) DeAndre Jordan, Portland Blazers