Top 15 Famous Basketball Players

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“But that’s the thing about basketball, you don’t play games on paper”. Today we are going to talk about the famous basketball players in the world who earned a lot of fame. Well, the game was invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. Its idea came to his mind when he wanted to keep his class busy and healthy active during rain and winter. Now it has become one of the world’s most popular and widely viewed sports. People idealized some teams die-hard and are obsessed with them. There are many players who inspired billions towards the game. Although there is a saying. 

One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.

But there are players who are fundamental to the games. They are the face of basketball and they are the cherry on the cake. Let’s take a quick look at their ravishing career of famous basketball players who entertained us with their smooth moves.

1. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan famous basketball players

Michael Jeffrey Jordan popularly known by MJ is the face of Basketball. Probably, he is one of the most famous Basketball players on the planet. He is a former American professional basketball player. Jordan participated in 15 seasons of the NBA and won it six times for Chicago Bulls. He was born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1968. He got admission to Emsley A. Laney High School Wilmington where he polished sportsmen inside him by playing football, basketball, baseball. He tried to get a slot in the varsity team but that time his height was not that high. But he kept practicing hard and became the top player for Laney’s junior varsity team.

During his high school career, he averaged more than 25 ppg (points per game) for his final two seasons. Jordan participated in McDonald’s All-American Game and rocked the season by scoring 30 points averaging 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. Jordan’s best performance in his college career earned him a basketball scholarship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he got his master’s degree in cultural geography. Jordan is a six-time NBA Finals MVP of the years (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998). He is a 10-time NBA scoring leader (1987-1993, 1996-1998). Also holds the record of Nine-time NBA ALL-Defensive First Team in 1988-1993, 1996-1998.

2. Lebron James

Lebron James famous basketball player

Lebron Raymone James Sr is an American professional basketball player and undoubtedly one of the greatest players of NBA history. He was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. Moreover, James was raised by his single mother Gloria Marie James, who worked hard to meet ends.  James started playing basketball on the encouragement of local youth football coach Frank Walker. Minding his future mother permitted him to move with the family of the coach. James practiced hard and started playing organized basketball at a very young age.

Further, he participated in the Amateur Athletic Union and the team got on the track of success. Here James found his permanent friends and team members. The group gained popularity as “Fab Four”. Besties goes to attend St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. While his performance in high school as a freshman led him to feature in an American basketball magazine “Slam” as “The best high school basketball player in America right now”. He is a three-time NBA champion of 2012, 2013, 2016, and also three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player of 2012, 2013, 2016. The highlight of James’ career is being 16 times NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.

3. Kareem Abdul- Jabbar

Kareem Abdul- Jabbar Famous basketball player

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American former professional basketball player and considered one of the 50 greatest Players in NBA History. He was born on April 16, 1947, in Manhattan, New York. Originally named as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr was born in a middle-class family and was noticeably tall from an early age. He caught attention during his high school career when his team Power Memorial Academy won New York City Catholic championships three times. Also, he got the title of “The tower from power”. Later, he accepted Islam as a religion in 1971 and was named after Hamas Abdul Khalis.

Further, he won the rookie of the Year award in 1970 and six-time NBA champion of (1971,1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988).In 1985 Sports Illustrated magazine named him “Sportsman of the Year”. Jabbar is the first player in NBA history to play 20 seasons. Tributing his services to the NBA on November 16, 2012, a statue of Abdul-Jabbar was unveiled in front of Staples Center on Chick Hearn Court, in Los Angeles. In 1972 Bruce Lee’s film “Game of Death” Jabbar debuted the film career that led him to play roles in films like Troop Beverly Hills, Forget Paris, and Fletch. He has appeared in many television series like Living single, Full House, Amen, Martin. Undoubtedly, his numbers makes him one of the most famous Basketball players.

4. Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille Rashaun “Shaq” O’Neal is a former American professional basketball player. He was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, and is one of the most famous Basketball players. O’Neal’s father Joy Tony was a drug addict who got jail over the stuff possession. He was practically raised by his stepfather Philip A. Harrison. He moved to Texas with his stepfather and attended Robert G. Cole High School San Antonio Texas. He started his ravishing career here and led his team to win the state championship. The Los Angeles Times has identified him Muslim but he said “I’m Muslim”, I’m Jewish, I’m Buddhist, I’m everybody ‘cause’ I’m a people person”. He is a 4 time NBA champion (2000-2002,2006). The highlight of his career is being 15 times NBA All-Star (1993-1998,2000-2007,2009).

Moreover, Shaq won NBA Rookie of the Year for the year 1993. Also, O’Neal got selection as an Associated Press Player of the Year in 1991. He also won the title of the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 1994. It’s been often when players become successful or gain popularity they leave education unfulfilled. But I found it very amazing that O’neal promised his mother to complete his education. In 2000, he got his B. A degree in general studies and earned his online MBA degree from the University of Phoenix in 2005.

5. Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan famous basketball player

Timothy Theodore Duncan is an American professional basketball player. I guess the only player who spends the whole span of his career 19-years with the Spurs. Even after his retirement, working with them as an assistant coach. He was born on April 25, 1976, Saint Croix, U.S Virgin Islands and comes from a sports-loving person. Her sisters were expert swimmers and initially, Tim also wanted to become a swimmer. He participated in 50, 100, 400 meters freestyle and was preparing to participate in the 1992 Olympic Games. Hurricane Hugo of 1989 has caused many distractions and also ruined the only one Olympic-sized swimming pool on the island.

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Duncan was left to practice in the ocean but deeply he was extremely scared of sharks. So his dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer remains unfulfilled. On his 14th birthday, her mother lost her life with the battle of breast cancer. Duncan opted for basketball for a way to release his pain and frustration. Tim earned fame as the greatest power forward of all time in the gaming history of basketball. In the year of 2003, he got a nomination as USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year and was also Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. Tim won the thrice title of NABC Defensive Player of the year (1995-1997). So, all these stats make him one of the famous Basketball player.

6. Larry Bird

Larry Bird famous player

Larry Joe Bird more known by “Larry Legend ” or “The Hick from French Lick” is an American former professional basketball player. He was born on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana, and is one of the famous basketball players. He comes from a poor hard-working family with four brothers and one sister. His parents separated and his father committed suicide. Larry found basketball a way out of his depressing world. He becomes the schools’ basketball star by averaging 31 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 assists. In 1979 he scored his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical education.

Moreover, in the year of 1980, he was named NBA Rookie of the Year and also was the NBA All-Rookie Team. Larry holds the record of being nine times All-NBA First Team (1980-1988). He was unstoppable as a coach too and earned many awards like NBA Coach of the Year and NBA All-Star Game head coach in 1998. The bird was NBA Executive of the year so far the only person in NBA history to win the NBA MVP, Coach of the year, and executive of the year in 2012. The bird is considered one of the greatest basketball players in history as he received an NBA Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 NBA Awards which he shared with Magic Johnson.

7. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson famous basketball players

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr is an American former professional basketball player. He was born on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan. Magic comes from a middle-class hard-working family with six siblings. He was bullied by other children because of the profession of his father’s janitorial work. The passion for basketball runs in the family and he was familiar instantly with the game. He wanted to go to Sexton High School and play for their basketball team that was considered to be the best team of that time. But that never happened and he went to Everett High School. Where the ratio of bullied incidents against a black child was too much to write Even his team members show racism against him did not pass the ball to him.

Also, Johnson accepted the situation and fought against it. Moreover, he got his nickname “Magic” when he was 15 years old and playing for Everett High School. Johnson recorded a triple-double of 36 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists. He was awarded 12 times NBA All-Star (1980, 1982-1992). Further, he was four times the NBA assists leader (1983, 1984, 1986, 1987). In 1992 Johnson won the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Moreover, he won the NBA Championship for the fifth time (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988). Therefore, Jonson is a prominent name in the famous Basketball players.

8. Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain famous basketball player

Wilt Norman Chamberlain was an American professional basketball player. He was born on August 21, 1936, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died on October 12, 1999, in Bel Air, California. He earned many nicknames like Goliath and Wilt the Stilt but he really likes The Big Dipper. His family was not very well-off and had nine children. Wilt was a very weak child suffering from pneumonia. The craze of basketball was very high in Philadelphia and it also affected the Wilt. He attended Overbrook High School and joined its basketball team. He won NBA Rebounding Champion for 11 times (1960-1963, 1966-1969, 1971-1973) and seven times NBA Scoring Champion (1960-1963).

Wilt was the one and the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game. His career contains the honors of winning two NBA Championships, four regular-season Most Valuable Player Awards, Rookie of the Year, and NBA Finals MVP Award. He was the first mega earner of basketball as he earned $100,000 a year and $1.5 million during his Lakers years. Wilt never got married but was notorious for being a womanizer. Even he claimed to have a sexual relationship with almost 20,000 women. And very interesting to quote that he was a very shy and introverted person and never had a girlfriend in his teenage. At the time of his death in 1999, his state holds a value of $25 million. So, these stats make him one of the famous Basketball players.

9. Oscar Robertson

Oscar Robertson

Oscar Palmer Robertson is a retired American professional player. He was born on November 24, 1938, in Charlotte, Tennessee. Moreover, he comes from a poor family and started playing basketball with the tennis ball and rags bound with rubber bands into a peach basket. And this invention gives us The Great O of the gaming history of basketball. Robert’s childhood was not very pleased as it involves poverty and racism. Further, his game got an improvement when he went to Crispus Attucks High School and underwent the coaching of Ray Crowe. He continues playing with different teams which improved his gaming skills. His performance in high school won him the title of “Indiana Mr. Basketball” in 1956.

Moreover, Robert has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Cincinnati for his philanthropic and entrepreneurial services. Oscar has been awarded twelve times NBA All-Star (1961-1972) and was also nine times All-NBA First Team (1961-1969). Also, Robert was the important member of the team who won the NBA Championship in 1971 and was the NBA Most Valuable Player of 1964. In 1961 Oscar was the NBA Rookie of the Year. Three times he was the NCAA session scoring leader from 1958 to 1960 and was six times NBA assists leader (1961,1962, 1964-1966,1969).

10. Bill Russell

William Felton Russell is a retired American professional basketball player and is one of the famous Basketball players. He led the U.S national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics and ended the journey by winning the gold medal. Like many NBA players, Russel also spends his childhood in poverty and racism. Well, many American basketball players are black and they brought more honor to the country compared to Whites. Even basketball was considered a Poor People’s Game as it required a very short amount of money. But during his career, he was one of the highest earners of basketball gaming history.

In the year of 1965, Russell demanded $100,001 to the comparison of Wilt Chamberlain’s $100,1000 salary. In his college career, his performance was better than anyone but he was ignored for final selection. He worked hard on his game and took basketball his last chance from the life of poverty and racism. Also, he won the NBA Championship 11 times in 1957,1959-1966,1968,1969 and 12 times was NBA All-Star (1958-1969). He won NCAA Championship two times in 1955 and 1956 and the same year was Helms player of the Year. Russell was named UPI College Player of the Year and WCC Player of the Year in 1956. Russell won an NBA Championship two times as a coach in 1968 and 1969.

11. Stephen Curry

Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry II is an American professional basketball player. He is one of the best shooters in the gaming history of basketball as well as one of the famous Basketball players. He was born on March 14, 1988, in Akron, Ohio. Curry’s father Dull Curry remained a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and was one of the best basketball players. Curry and his brother Seth grow up by watching their father playing basketball. So the game was an ultimate passion for Stephen. He goes to Charlotte Christian School and continues his passionate game. Then he went to Davidson College and at the end of it, he selected for the USA team to appear in the 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Moreover, Stephen is often considered as “The Michael Jordan of the three-point era”. He won the NBA Championship three times in 2015, 2017, 2018, and six times was NBA All-Star 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. He was the NBA scoring leader in 2016 and All-Rookie First Team in 2010. Curry won NBA Three-Point Contest Champion in 2015 and also NBA Skills Challenge Champion in 2011. He was named NBA Sportsmanship award in 2011 and won the NBA Community Assist Award in 2014. Curry won the Jefferson Award for outstanding Public Service in Professional sports in 2011.

12. Kevin Durant

Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player. He was born on September 29, 1988, in Washington, D.C, and is one of the famous Basketball players. He was raised by his grandmother and always was tall to his age. Durant starts playing basketball with Toronto Raptors. His college record was impressive as he was Naismith College Player of the Year in 2007 and in the same year was AP Player. The best thing about his personality is being so down to Earth often called “Nicest Guy in the NBA”. One of his famous quotes is “being kind is not a sign of weakness”. Durant won NBA Champion of 2017 and 2018 was also the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player of 2017 and 2018.

Durant was also selected as NBA Most Valuable player of 2014 and ten times he was NBA All-Star 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Also, he was selected as NBA Rookie of the Year of 2008 and the same year was NBA All-Rookie First Team.  In 2009 he won NBA Rookie Challenge MVP and was a member of the team who won the Olympic Gold medal in 2012 and 2016. Now he has made his name in tv production and creating some fabulous stuff as a producer.

13. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant famous basketball players

Kobe Bean Bryant is an American professional basketball player who was born on August 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We can say he belongs to a basketball-playing family as his father was a former NBA player so was his maternal uncle John Chubby Cox. Bryant started playing cricket at the mere age of three. After the retirement of his father, the family moved to Italy and Bryant learned Italian here. While during his stay in Reggio Emilia he took basketball seriously and decided to be an NBA player like his father. He won NBA Champion five times (2000-2002, 2009, 2010) and was the most valuable player in 2008. And 18 times NBA All-Star (1998,2000-2016) and was four times NBA All-Star game MVP (2002, 2007,2009,2011). He married Vanessa Laine on April 18, 2001, at St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point California.

At first, his parents and sisters were against the wedding for so many reasons. Eventually when the couple blessed their first child family put their differences back. Bryant faced a sexual assault case that demolished his image badly many brands terminated his services as the brand ambassador. He admitted this encounter but said it was consensual but the case was dropped by prosecutors after the girl decided not to testify at the trial. On 26 January 2020 at 9:45 am Cobe’s helicopter smashed into the side of a mountain in Calabasas. Which caused the death of Bryant, his daughter, and the other seven occupants leaving the entire basketball shocked to grieve. The death of one of the famous Basketball players was an irrapairable loss.

14. James Harden

James Edward Harden Jr is an American professional basketball player who was born on August 26, 1989, in Los Angeles, California. His beard may have a trendy and fashionable style but it was grown due to his laziness. He goes to Artesia High School in Lakewood, California, and started his basketball career. In college, he played for the Arizona State Sun Devils where he won Pac-10 Player of the Year 2009. His career kick-started when he was picked up by Oklahoma City Thunder in the third overall pick of the 2009 NBA draft.

Harden is one of the highest-paid athletes when it comes to doing endorsement. The sports apparel company Adidas gave him an endorsement agreement to him worth $200 million over the next 13 years. In 2018 he won NBA Most Valuable Player and was 8 times NBA All-Star (2013-2020). He was a member of the All-NBA First Team five times (2014, 2015, 2017-2019). He got an award of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2012. Three-time he was NBA Scoring Champion from 2018 to 2020. Harden is considered as one of the top and famous Basketball players.

15. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard famous Basketball players

Kawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player. He was born on June 29, 1991, in Los Angeles, California. He comes to a middle-class family and his father runs a Campton Car wash. On January 18, 2008, his father got killed at his workplace. Leo had a game the next day and he actually went to play it. This shows his courage and passion for the game. Leonard lives a very low key life and is happy with that. Initially, he was admitted to Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California but he was transferred to Martin Luther King High School.

Moreover, in his high school, he got a nomination as California Mr. Basketball in 2009 and then secured his slot in Martin Luther king Hall of Fame (Class of 2018). As per his college career record, he was also Consensus second-team All-American 2011 and NBAZ ALL-American Third team (2011). He was a member of the First-team All-mountain West two times in 2010 and 2011. Further, in 2010 he was nominated as Mountain West Tournament MVP (2010) and the same year he was Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Leonard won NBA Champion two times in 2014 and 2019 was selected as NBA All-Star for the years of 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020. Also, he was named as NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. Leonard was the NBA ALL-Rookie First Team in 2012.

Conclusion

The list of top 15 famous Basketball players might have given you a clear idea about the greats of this game. Moreover, games are very essential to keep people healthy and such celebrities can inspire and motivate others. While the platers who devoted their time and play games with full dedication can also earn fame as well as money.