Decades ago, the NBA was pretty much an all-white league due to racist prejudices and just the way society was, but after black men entered the league they practically took over the game, making it into an almost entirely black league and revindicating the rights of black men.
Nowadays, the league even takes part in lots of social initiatives and takes a stand for equal rights, even celebrating Martin Luther King day and black history month, trying to build a better society without racism or discrimination whatsoever.
There’s no doubt about black people’s athleticism and there are even a lot of jokes that state that white folks can’t ball, can’t jump or can’t dunk, but that’s way out of line, as there have been a lot of excellent white ballers through history, and we’ll take a look at 10 of them now, the top 10 white players in NBA history.
Honorable mention: Manu Ginobili, Bob Pettit, Pau Gasol, Pete Maravich
Both Ginobili and Gasol are still active players and took the league for assault after playing in Europe, becoming key pieces in pretty much every single team they were a part of, and are now trying to help Kawhi Leonard win his second NBA ring as a part of the San Antonio Spurs.
As for Pistol Pete, we know how much of a fierce and unstoppable scorer he was, while Pettit really distinguished himself from the rest of the pack during his entire 11-year career and reinventing the power forward position, but his known racist agenda forces us to leave him outside of our top 10 list.
10. Bill Walton
Bill Walton, or “the Big Redhead” as he was known in his era, was one of the best players in UCLA history with his dominant presence in the paint, being drafted 1st overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1974, and also playing for the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics, where he retired in 1987.
Through 13 seasons, he averaged 13.3 points, 10.5 boards, 3.8 assists and 2.2 swats per game, winning a couple of NBA Championships, 1 MVP Award and 1 Finals MVP, while also winning the Sixth Man of the Year distinction in 1986.
9. Bob Cousy
Cousy was one of the best point guards of his era, being a key piece of a 6-time NBA Champions Boston Celtics, also winning an NBA MVP award and making it to 13 All-Star Games in the same number of seasons with the Celtics.
In his autobiography, he tells the story of how he was forced to practice with his other hand due to an injury, something that made him significantly improve his game. Besides, he still holds the record for most assists in a half, with 19, as well as the record for most made free throws in a game, with 30 out of 32.
8. Steve Nash
There’s not much that we can say about Nash that hasn’t been said before, as he’s known for being one of the best point guards in NBA history, with his prime coinciding alongside Amar’e Stoudemire and Mike D’Antoni in that fast-paced Phoenix Suns offense, winning a couple of MVP awards.
The sharpshooting and smart guard was never able to win an NBA Championship, but he’ll still go down as the best player in Canada’s history and one of the best to ever lace them up, being one of the few members of the 40-50-90 club, shooting 40 percent from downtown, 50 percent from the floor and 90 percent from the line through an entire season while also being one of the best passers the league has ever seen.
7. Rick Barry
Barry was one of the best of his era, being one of the fiercest and most versatile scorers of the late 60’s and early 70’s. He won the Rookie of the Year award and led the NBA and ABA in scoring in two different seasons while leading the league in free throw percentage in 9 different seasons.
On top of that, he made 8 All-Star appearances and won one All-Star MVP, as well as being the main influence for a basketball themed anime show called Slam Dunk. Through his entire career, he managed to put up impressive averages of 24.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.
6. John Havlicek
Through 15 years, Havlicek was one of the most versatile two-way players in the league, as the guard/forward was able to play lockdown defense on one side of the court while putting 20 + points on the other on a nightly basis.
The 13-time All-Star also was featured on 8 All-Defensive squads, while winning 8 NBA Champions and an NBA Finals MVP, averaging 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in almost 1300 NBA games.
5. Kevin McHale
Even if he wasn’t much of a good NBA coach, McHale was a complete beast during his time with the Boston Celtics as a player, dominating pretty much every single aspect of the game with his outstanding feet movement and post moves.
In just 12 years as a professional, he managed to win 3 NBA titles and make it to 7 All-Star Games while also making 6 All-Defensive appearances and winning 2 Sixth Man of the Year awards thanks to his lifetime averages of 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
4. Jerry West
West was the ultimate two-way player, with an outstanding scoring and rebounding ability and the skills to score from pretty much everywhere on the floor in an era where the 3 point line wasn’t featured yet.
“The Logo” was a key piece in Lakers history and was definitely the best shooting guard to ever wear Purple and Gold before the surge of Kobe Bryant. Through 13 seasons, he averaged 27 points, 5.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists, while leading the Lakers to a Championship, and being the lone player to ever win the Finals MVP despite being on the losing side.
3. John Stockton
Stockton should’ve been a 2-time NBA Champion, but he had to play against Jordan. From the very same day that he became a regular NBA starter, Stockton took the league for assault with his incredible passing ability, being considered by many as the best point guard in NBA history.
Playing alongside Karl Malone, Stockton was incredibly quick on both ends of the floor, constantly leading the league in assists while also being able to rack up a lot of steals on a nightly basis, averaging 13.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 10.1 assists for life with his pass-first mentality while also stealing 2.2 balls per game.
2. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk is the only active player to make it into our list, as the 19-year veteran has recently decided to come back for his 20th season as a member of the Dallas Mavericks after becoming just the 6th player in NBA history to surpass the 30 thousand point milestone.
Dirk made hundreds of players copy his signature one-legged fadeaway shot while being one of the league’s fiercest scorers despite lacking athleticism and jumping ability, being one of the most clutch players and definitely the best foreign player to be in the league. He’s a 1-time MVP and NBA Champion while having career averages of 21.7 points and 7.8 boards per game, something very impressive for a white guy who can’t jump, ha?
1. Larry Bird
And of course, the ultimate white player has to be Larry Bird, as “Larry Legend” is one of the best players to ever set foot on an NBA court and there’s no doubt about it, with his ability to score with both hands and put up impressive stat lines on a nightly basis, averaging 24.3 points and 10 boards through 12 seasons as a member of the Boston Celtics.
He was a 3-time MVP, a Rookie of the Year, 3-time All-Defensive, 3-time NBA Champion and made it to the All-Star Game in every single season, being one of the best players in Boston Celtics history and of course, the best white player in NBA history.