Name your Top 10 NBA players who changed the game of basketball?
1. Michael Jordan: The greatest ever. From his skill to his heart. He will probably be the barometer of NBA players for years to come. Dominated the league in - and off -court. Made it more difficult for fans of opposing teams to boo than to cheer.
2. Julius Erving - NBA and ABA merger. Set the tone for the new school with his afro and flamboyant style of play --- taking the game above the rim. Opened the horizon of our imagination.
3. Magic Johnson/Larry Bird - no one would be as great without the other. Gave a new meaning to the word, "rivalry". Probably the top 2 reasons for the rise of the league during the 80's.
Bird: Court Savvy
4. Bill Russell/ Wilt Chamberlain - see # 3, circa 1960's.
Russell: Eleven rings, ten fingers.. you do the math
The Stilt: 50+ points, 25+ rebounds assists; never fouling out in a game --- his stats are mythic... his game, legendary.
5. Allen Iverson: A lot would probably disagree with me on this one but as much as anyone of you discredits him for whatever reason, he changed the paradigm. Pound for pound, the best ever. Owns the biggest heart in the NBA. He was loved by fans for his game and accepted him whatever he is and not what he's trying to be. Without him, a lot of superstars right now wold probably act as if they were on a leash, follow every command of the corporate world and the basketball market.. oh, wait.. they're doing it now..
6. George Mikan: First dominant big man. You wouldn't be called "Mr. Basketball" if you hadn't have that much effect on the game.
7. Bob Cousy: The "Houdini"played ahead of his time. If he were playing right now, he'll probably receive more oohs and aahs from us than Nash, Kidd, or Paul --- combined.
8. Oscar Robertson: Most complete player of all time. Triple-doubles were never the same again.. as well as free agency...
9. Jerry West: How infulencial? He's on the logo for crying out loud. Never-say-die attitude.
10. Shaquille O' Neal: the word "dominance" will probably be always attached to his name.. forever and ever. The last true "Dominant Big Man" of our generation.