Without any single kind of doubt, Michael Jordan is the ultimate and greatest basketball player in the history of this sport, and most people even consider him to be the best athlete ever.
As a matter of fact, the league owes most of it’s current popularity to Michael Jordan, and his legacy can’t be denied or discussed, as he’s unanimously considered as the best player in the history of the NBA.
Jordan was so dominant on both ends of the court that he actually stopped most of the greatest players in basketball history from winning a championship, in an era where the league saw their best competitors and probably most talented players go at it against Jordan and the Bulls.
But, after Jordan decided to hang’em up and call it a career, great ballers surged to finally take the league for assault and make the most of the chance to succeed without Jordan completely demolishing their hopes and dreams. So today, we’ll list the top 16 players of the post-Jordan era.
Honorable Mention: Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Tony Parker, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard
16. Jason Kidd
Kidd finally won his first and only NBA ring with the Dallas Mavericks alongside Dirk Nowitzki and against Miami’s big three after constantly failing to do so as the go-to-guy for the Brooklyn Nets, sealing an incredible career as one of the most prolific point guards ever.
The current Bucks boss was a 10-time All-Star and 9-time All-Defensive teamer, as well as winning the 94-95 ROY due to his outstanding playmaking ability and great defensive skills, leaving career averages of 12.6 points, 6.3 boards and 8.7 dimes to go along with 1.9 steals per game.
15. Chris Paul
Some people are dumb enough to question’s Paul impact in the league due to his lack of success come playoff time, but nobody can deny the fact that this guy is a top 5 point guard in NBA history on both ends of the court.
Paul’s a fierce competitor and one of the best passers in the history of the game, leading the league in dimes in 4 different seasons and in steals in 6, making 8 All-Defensive teams and 9 All-Star teams, also winning the ROY and averaging 18.7 points and 9.9 assists per game.
14. Ray Allen
Allen was probably amongst top 5 best shooting guards of the post-Jordan Era. He had 10 seasons with 20+ points per game, but he never won a Championship with Milwaukee Bucks and Seattle Supersonics. After he joined a super team in the Boston, he finally won an NBA Championship.
He is one of the best shooters in NBA history and we will always remember Game 6 of the NBA Finals when he saved LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh against the San Antonio Spurs.
With 2,973 three-pointers, he is still the king of the downtown.
13. Stephen Curry
Steph Curry was something of a late bloomer if you may say, struggling with injuries and inconsistency during his first seasons in the Association before flourishing as the best shooter the league has ever seen.
Now, a two-time NBA champion and Most Valuable Player, the ultimate three-point shooter sits at the top of basketball elite as the ball handler of one of the most dominant squads in league history, averaging 22.8 points and 6.8 helpers per game through 7 years in the NBA.
12. Paul Pierce
Pierce finally decided to retire after 18 seasons in the NBA as one of the best players in Boston Celtics history despite only winning one ring for the most successful franchise, being known as a fierce competitor and a very clutch shooter that wouldn’t back down from anybody.
So, with 10 All-Star appearances and an NBA Finals MVP under his belt, Pierce will go down as one of the best shooters of this generation of ballers, leaving career marks of 19.7 points, 5.6 boards, and 3.5 helpers with over 150 Win Shares.
11. Kevin Durant
The 2nd overall pick of the 2007 NBA draft was recently able to finally shut the mouth of all his doubters as the ultimate leader of the Golden State Warriors during this past Finals, winning the Finals MVP honors for his outstanding labor on both ends of the court.
After being an offensive beast and one of the most versatile scorers in the league, Durant kept improving his defense until he actually became an elite rim protector, constantly leading the league in scoring, winning the ROY and making it to 7 All-Star games in just 9 seasons in the league, and the sky seems to be the limit for a guy as tall as a center and as skilled as a point guard.
10. Chris Webber
C-Webb was yet another outstanding player that had to retire without a championship, but that doesn’t stop us from listing him as the 10th player of the post-Jordan era, as the former King was one of the most dominant big men in the league during his prime.
Being drafted 1st overall back in 1994, Webber won the ROY, led the league in rebounds in 1999 and made 5 All-Star appearances due to his averages of 20.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game on almost 50% from the court.
9. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk is without a question a top 5 foreign player in NBA history, recording over 30,000 career points and being the best player in Dallas Mavericks history, leading them to the ring in 2011 as underdogs against LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
The German power forward is just unguardable due to his signature move: the one-legged fadeaway, being one of the most reliable and consistent scorers in the last couple of decades, averaging 21.7 points and 7.8 rebounds on 47% from the court and 38% from beyond the arc, making it to 13 All-Star weekends and winning 1 MVP.
8. Steve Nash
And if we talk about consistent scorers, we definitely have to talk about Nash, someone who didn’t put a lot of points up on the scoreboard, but was quite reliable with his shots, averaging 14.3 points and 8.5 assists on 49% from the court, 42% from three point land and 90% from the charity stripe.
Besides, Nash won a couple of MVP awards and was a regular member of the 50-40-90 club as one of the league’s elite point guards, although he was never able to put the cherry on top of the sundae by winning an NBA championship.
7. Kevin Garnett
The Big Ticket spent 20 full seasons in the NBA before retiring, going down as the best player in Minnesota Timberwolves history and one of the most dominating big men the league has seen over the past two decades, finally winning the ring with the Boston Celtics alongside Pierce and Ray Allen.
The former Timberwolf, Celtic and Net was just a fierce player on both ends of the court, making it to 15 All-Star games, 9 All-NBA teams, 12 All-Defensive teams and winning the Defensive Player of the Year award as well as 1 MVP.
6. Allen Iverson
Jordan knows this guy pretty well, as he was the disrespectful rookie that was crazy enough to try and successfully cross him, becoming an instant hit as one of the most talented players in NBA history with his offensive versatility.
Sadly, his misconduct stalled his career and he was never able to win a championship, but after being a regular name in the league’s leading scorers and ball stealers, the Hall of Famer was able to keep Jordan’s flame on and make the league even more popular during his prime.
5. Dwyane Wade
Wade is actually considered to be a top 5 shooting guard in NBA history and it’s quite easy to know why. Despite his lack of three-point shooting, the Flash has always been a very consistent scorer in the modern NBA, being the second to-go-guy in all of Miami’s 3 championships as an underrated contributor.
So, after 13 years in the Association, Wade has managed to earn 12 All-Star selections, win 1 Finals MVP and even make it to 3 All-Defensive teams, averaging 23.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists on over 48% from the floor, as well as being an elite shot blocker at the shooting guard position.
4. Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan was the main reason why the San Antonio Spurs were such a successful team over the past couple of decades, leading the team as an elite scorer while also locking down the paint with his great rim protection.
The 97-98 ROY also made it to 15 All-Star weekends and 15 All-Defensive teams, as well as winning a couple of MVPs, 5 rings and 3 Finals MVPs, leaving career averages of 19 points, 10.8 boards and 3 assists to go along with 2.2 blocks as the best player in San Antonio Spurs history.
3. Shaquille O'Neal
As we finally reached the podium, we definitely have to go with Shaq, the most dominant guy in the paint that this league has ever seen. This physical specimen was completely unstoppable, being able to put 30 points while playing lockdown defense against the strongest men in the Association.
The Hall of Famer made 15 All-Star appearances, won 4 rings, made 3 All-Defensive teams and 14 All-NBA squads as well as winning the ROY, the MVP and 3 Finals MVPs, leaving career averages of 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.3 blocks on over 58% from the field.
2. LeBron James
The silver spot on the podium goes to LeBron James, one of the most dominant, smart, talented and physically gifted players in NBA history and probably the best small forward in the history of the game, completely dominating the Eastern Conference despite losing the NBA Finals 5 times.
Winner of 4 MVP awards, 3 Finals MVPs, 3 rings and the ROY award, James is an outstanding playmaker and defender, and who knows what he can still achieve despite being 32 years old, as he seems younger than ever and has a great supporting cast alongside him to try and make another championship run in Cleveland.
1. Kobe Bryant
And of course, the gold goes to Jordan’s successor himself, the second greatest shooting guard in basketball history: Kobe Bryant, one of the fiercest competitors in the history of the game and the best player in Los Angeles Lakers history as well.
The Black Mamba was a 5-time NBA champion, an 18-time All-Star, and even a 12-time All-Defensive team member, also winning 1 MVP and 2 Finals MVP awards, leaving career averages of 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game as the best player in the post-Michael Jordan era.