1. Michael Jordan, one of the main reasons I started watching basketball again after Magic Johnson left. Obviously the greatest ever.
2. Shaquille O'Neal, partly for his hilarious off-court interviews, mostly for his complete dominance of the league much of his career. It is an
embarassment that Tim Duncan won two MVPs before he did (I think he was passed up multiple times because he was too good and they thought it was
unfair to give it to him every year :-/...but then I argue....why did Michael Jordan get 6 MVPs??)
3. Magic Johnson, I only watched his last few years but they were sure fun to watch. I was disgusted with the way some players and the league reacted
to him having HIV, thus I stopped watching for a couple years
4. Karl Malone, THE power forward, seems superhuman to be playing so well now at 40 years. I wanted Utah to beat Chicago SO badly in the finals in
98'. How lucky for me he's with the Lakers now
5. Koby Bryant, who basically took it upon himself to become the next Michael Jordan. He's already failed, but has become an altogether different type
of player; he can take over games when he wants to scoring-wise(check out the 9 game stretch without Shaq last year where he got 40+ every game, or
the game against the Wizards where he scored 42 in the HALF), but he has responded well to critics the last few years, upping his assists (6 a game
last year) as well as turning into an excellent defender. His numbers are down this year, but his efficiency is actually higher (shooting 45% on 5
fewer shot attempts, yet still being among the leaders in scoring...and hes injured!). Theres no telling how much better he will get.
6. Reggie Miller, he can have a bad game but there's always a huge chance he'll string together a couple of tough 3-pointers in the last couple
7. Allen Iverson, so fast you can't blink, gives hope to all the little guys out there who want to play professionally
8. John Stockton, look up point guard in the basketball dictionary and his picture is probably there....he was so fundamental in the way he played, no
flashiness at all, just a great ball sharer, who pulled up for an occasional three-pointer on the break. I DID NOT want him to retire last year.
9. Gary Payton, a bit different than Stockton, much more of a scoring point guard. What I really like about him is his on-court antics, namely his
trash talking (which he generally backs up). He's also one of the most relentless and physical perimeter defender's i've ever seen. While his trash
talking has toned down the last few years he still has a fiery personality on court. Again, lucky me having him on the Lakers this year
10.Charles Barkeley. You can tell I love players with big personalities from reading my list
. This guy was just powerful, worked hard on court
,grabbing 11 rebounds a game if I remember correctly...an amazing feat for a guy thats 6-6 in a league of 6-10 to 7-0 forwards.