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Greatest Players From Each NBA Franchise

        Each franchise has at least one great player (Bobcats....ehhh...kind of...). Some are obvious. Some might be surprising. However, I compiled the best list I could make, and I believe these are the greatest players from each franchise:

Atlanta Hawks: Bob Pettit


        Some people consider Pettit as one of the 20 greatest players of all time. He was the first player to reach 20,000 points and he averaged a double-double for his career (26.4 PPG and 16.2 TRB). He was selected to be an all-star every year of his career and he won the MVP twice. Pettit was part of one of the two teams that dethroned Bill Russell Celtics in the NBA Finals (Pettit and the Hawks beat the Celtics in 1958). I chose him over Dominique Wilkins for a couple of reasons, but none more important than Championships: I believe he was a better overall player and he was able to win a championship.


Boston Celtics: Bill Russell

     Bill Russell is considered to be the greatest player of all time. He is one of the greatest winners in all of team sports of all time, as Russell won 11 championships in 13 years. It took the St. Louis Cardinals 131 years to win 11 championships, while it took Russell 13! Russell is also considered the greatest defender of all time. If only the NBA kept track of blocks back then.....It was difficult to choose Russell over Bird, but in the end, I stick with my opinion of Bill Russell being the greatest Celitc of all time. 


Brooklyn Nets: Julius Erving

       Julius actually played with the New York Nets, but I will count this as the Nets franchise. Julius brought the Nets 2 ABA championships and was crowned MVP 3 times in the 3 seasons he played on the Nets. He led the league in scoring twice and averaged a double-double for the 3 years on the Nets. 


Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Wallace

       The Bobcats have few great players so this was very limited. He played seven years with them and made the all-star team once and all-defensive team once. Gerald had a lot of eye popping dunks and played very good defense. He is now with the Nets and I am looking for him to raise his game to another level. One could argue Kemba Walker is the greatest Bobcat of all time, but for now, I'm sticking with Gerald Wallace. 


Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan

*No explanation needed*

Cleveland Cavaliers: Lebron James



        Lebron led the Cavs to a Finals appearance and was great on both sides of the court. He averaged 28 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds when he was on the Cavs, and was practically unstoppable. He also was the 3rd player in NBA history to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in his rookie season. He currently owns the record for being the youngest player to ever win the rookie of the year award, and was great right from his rookie year. His last two years with Cavaliers, he won back to back MVP awards, and led the Cavs to an NBA Finals appearance. 


Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki


       Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks to their only two finals appearances and won the NBA Finals in 2011. He has never played with another NBA franchise and honestly I hope he doesn't. I can't see him in another uniform other than the Mavs. Other than the NBA Finals, he won the MVP award and averaged 22.7 points per game, 2.6 assists per game, and 8 rebounds a game for his career. 


Denver Nuggets: Alex English


           Alex English was one of the greatest scorers of all time. He led the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals in 1985 and won the scoring title in 1983. I am going to get straight into why I picked him over Carmelo because it was extremely close in picking one over the other. They both had some-what talented teammates (Carmelo: Iverson, JR Smith, Chauncey Billups. Alex English: Fat Lever, Calvin Natt, Dan Issel). They both made the playoffs every year when they were on the Nuggets. (Except when English was traded too late in the season to the Nuggets for them to make the playoffs) Carmelo lost 6 times in the first round of the playoffs and made it past there once (Made it to Conference Finals). English lost 5 times in the first round of the playoffs and made it past there 4 times (Made it to Conference Finals and Conference Semi's three times). After Carmelo left the Nuggets, the Nuggets made it to the playoffs two times in a row (Currently is 33-21 this year). After English left, the Nuggets didn't make the playoffs three straight years. English definitely had a bigger effect on the Nuggets.


Detroit Pistons: Isiah Thomas


         Isiah Thomas was one of the quickest and toughest players of all time. He was the leader of the Bad Boy Pistons and could dribble, drive, or shoot with anyone. He won back-to-championships in 1989 and 1990 and gave the Blazers and Lakers extreme backcourt problems. He averaged 19 points per game and 9 assists per game for his career, and made 12 all-star appearances and 5 All-NBA selections.


Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers: Wilt Chamberlain


       Wilt Chamberlain is the greatest player from two franchises. He was possibly the greatest scorer and rebounder of all time. Although Wilt was focused on stats a lot, his statistics can't be ignored. His rookie year he averaged 37.6 points per game and 27 rebounds per game. That rookie season he won rookie of the year and MVP. 2 years later, he averaged 50 points per game! That same year that he averaged 50 points (1962), he scored 100 points in one game! That record might never be broken. The only accusation you point out is he couldn't win. Still, he was able to win just as many championships as Julius Erving (1 NBA Championship) and Rick Barry (1 championship). 

Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon

          His abilities and credits are amazing. Hakeem Olajuwon was a point guard who was stuck in a big man's body. He had one of the quickest feet a big man has ever had. This all came from playing soccer at a young age. He won an MVP in 1994 and probably should've won again in 1995. In his MVP year and should've been MVP year, he won back-to-back championships. In those two years, he proved his dominance over Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, and all centers.Overall, Olajuwon is the greatest Houston Rockets athlete of all time. 


Indiana Pacers: Reggie Miller

           BOOM BABY! If you watched Reggie Miller play you would hear this more than just a couple of time. The greatness from the Pacers was usually from Reggie Miller. Reggie is the second in all time 3 pointers made and made the Eastern Conference Finals 3 times in 3 straight years (Made NBA Finals in 2000). From 1988-2005 he proved to the World that he might be the greatest shooter of all time. Reggie is easily the greatest Pacer of all time. 


Los Angeles Clippers: Bob McAdoo


         Bob McAdoo played for the Buffalo Braves, which later became the Los Angeles Clippers. Bob was a scoring machine. He was a 3 time scoring champion; he averaged 28 points per game while on the clippers, and won an MVP along the road. He was a 4 time all-star and 2 time all-NBA selection. Bob led the Clippers/Braves to their first playoff appearances (led to playoffs 3 times). After Bob left, the Clippers/Braves went on a 14 year drought. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are very good arguments for this spot, but for now Bob McAdoo is the greatest Clipper of all time. 

Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks: Kareem Abdul Jabbar

           Kareem won the MVP 6 times and has the longest span of Finals MVP from any player (Won Finals MVP in 1971 and 1985). He is also one of the iron men of the NBA, playing 20 seasons. His scoring was great (24.6 PPG for career and lead the league in scoring twice), his defense was great (made 11 all-defensive teams and lead the league in blocks three times), and he was a winner (6 time champion). His sky-hook was unstoppable and was also, possibly, the greatest all-around player of all time.


Memphis Grizzlies: Pau Gasol


       Pau Gasol is currently on the Lakers. However, a lot of people don't remember he played on the Grizzlies from 2001-2008. In that span on the Grizzlies, he averaged 18.8 points per game, 8.6 TRB, 3.1 APG, and 2 BPG. Pau Gasol was also one of the 3 Grizzlies to ever make an all-star game. In his rookie season, he averaged 18 points per game and 9 rebounds a game and also in that season, won the Rookie of the Year. 


Miami Heat: Lebron James


        A lot of people would pick Dwyane Wade here, but Lebron is the greatest player to ever come through the Miami Heat Franchise. Lebron is slowly climbing his way to the GOAT (Which is currently held by Jordan), but he still has a lot to do. Anyways, he is an 11 time all-star, a 4 time MVP, a 7 time all-nba first team selection, a 2 time all-nba second team selection, and won a Rookie of the Year award. So far, he has averaged 27 PPG, 8 TRB, 7 APG, and 2 BPG while on the Heat. These statistics are better than Wade's any day of the week.


Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Garnett


        This was a relatively easy pick. The Wolves have not had the greatest success as a franchise. This might be their only great player in their franchise (Besides Kevin Love who is becoming the greatest Wolves player of all time). While on the Wolves, Garnett averaged a double-double (20 PPG and 11.5 TRB). He also was a supreme passer averaging 5 or more assists 6 times on the Wolves. The best part of his game, however, is his defense. He has been on the all-nba defensive team 12 times in his career, and 8 times on the Wolves. His 15 all-star appearances can't be overlooked too. 


New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul


        Chris Paul is known for being a leader. He's one of those guys who is the loudest and peskiest on the court. David Lee once said, "everyone knows he is on the court when he is on the court". He also has great stats to prove he is a great player. While on the Hornets, he averaged 19 PPG, 9.9 APG, 5 TRB, and 2.5 SPG. His defense was also great. He made 3 all-nba defense teams on the Hornets and led the league in steals 3 times. 


 New York Knicks: Patrick Ewing


      Patrick Ewing was an all-around great player. He was a very good scorer (23 PPG while on Knicks), a very good defender (3 all-nba defensive teams, while going against Hakeem, David Robinson, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, etc), and very good rebounder (10 TRB while on Knicks), and a good leader (led the Knicks to a game 7 of the NBA Finals). The only knock you can have, is he didn't win a championship. However, if John Starks didn't go 2-18 in game 7 of the NBA finals he would probably have a championship.


Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant


        Kevin Durant will most likely be voted the MVP this 2014 NBA season - the first in OKC/Seattle history. He is an unbelievable scorer and is still improving on defense. Durant has averaged 27 PPG, 6 APG, and 6 TRB for his total OKC career. All in all, Durant is easily the greatest OKC athlete of all time. 


Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard


        Dwight is still one of the greatest defenders of today's players. This is shown by his 3 Defensive Player of the Year Awards with the Orlando Magic. He also led the league in blocks 3 times, and his scoring is also very good. Dwight averaged around 20 PPG for his career with the Magic, but dropped a little with the Lakers and Rockets. When it comes to rebounding, he is a monster. Dwight led the league in rebounding 4 times. Let's also not forget when he led the Magic to an NBA Finals appearance in 2009. 


Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley

         Most people would put Nash here, but I believe Barkley did more for the Suns franchise and he was a better player. Charles was a better scorer and rebounder first of all. He led the Suns to a Western Conference Finals championship and was a pretty good passer himself (averaged 4.5 APG while on the Suns). Barkley can play with anyone too and can lead a team to a championship (If it wasn't for Jordan, he would have one). Anyways, Barkley averaged 23 PPG while on the Suns, 11.5 TRB while on the Suns, 4.5 APG while on the Suns, and won an MVP.


Portland Trail Blazers: Clyde Drexler

          Clyde the Glide Drexler was a great player. Clyde would fill the fast-break and use his athleticism to finish at the rim. He led Portland to 2 championship appearances before losing to the Bad Boy Pistons and Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Clyde was elected to 10 all-star games and averaged 20 PPG, 6 TRB, and 6 APG for his Trail Blazer career. It's quite a debate between Clyde and Bill Walton, but overall, I believe Clyde was the greater player.


Sacramento Kings: Oscar Robertson


         Oscar is the greatest King and point guard of all time. He was a great all-around player (Showed by him averaging a triple-double once and missing a triple-double by less than an assist/rebound 4 times) and he has the statistics to prove it. Obviously there was his triple-double. Other than that is his 29.3 PPG, 10.3 APG, and 8.5 TRB stat-line while playing for the Kings is quite an argument. Oscar also made 12 all-star games, won the MVP Trophy over Wilt, Russell, and West, and was elected to 11 all-nba teams (9 first teams and 2 second teams).


San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan

     Tim was an obvious pick (That tells you something since the Spurs had David Robinson, George Gervin, and Tony Parker play for them). He has the been the Spurs defensive and offensive anchor since his rookie season (Duncan: 21 PPG and all-defensive team...Robinson: 20 PPG and all-defensive team). He has made 14 all-star appearances, 13 all-nba selections (9 first team selections, 3 second team selections, and 1 third team selection), 2 time MVP, Rookie of the Year, 13 all defensive teams (8 first team selections, 5 second team selections), and averaged a double-double for 13 straight seasons. 


Toronto Raptors: Vince Carter


         Vinsanity was spectacular on the Raptors. His high-flying dunks, his amazing athleticism, etc. were just amazing. His defense wasn't anything to brag about, but his scoring and rebounding were great for his position. While on the Raptors, he averaged 24 PPG, 5 TRB, and 4 APG. Over Carter's career, he made 8 all-star games, won Rookie of the Year, and almost averaged 28 PPG in 2001. 


Utah Jazz: Karl Malone


           This one is another obvious pick. Karl was a great scorer, rebounder, and eventually developed into a pretty good defender. His stats can back me up on this: 25 PPG, 10TRB, and 4 APG for Jazz career, 14 all-star appearances, 2 MVP awards, 14 all-nba teams, and he averaged a double-double 10 times in his career. If it wasn't for Jordan, he would have 2 championships and 3-5 MVP's. 


Washington Wizards: Wes Unseld

     
       When you look at his stats you immediately think, how come he only scored in double figures 6 times in his 13 year career? How did he win the MVP in his rookie season and only average 13 PPG? That's because Unseld did the little things. He set the greatest screens of all time (producing tons of points), is the leader in assists and blocks in Wizards franchise history, and he was a great rebounder. Facing greats like Jabbar, Wills Reed, Wilt, etc. he averaged 14 rebounds per game for his career. He knew how to win and his teammates enjoyed his presence. 


End:

Atlanta Hawks: Bob Pettit

Boston Celtics: Bill Russell

Brooklyn Nets: Julius Erving

Charlotte Bobcats: Gerald Wallace

Chicago Bulls: Michael Jordan

Cleveland Cavaliers: Lebron James

Dallas Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki

Denver Nuggets: Alex English

Detroit Pistons: Isiah Thomas

Golden State Warriors: Wilt Chamberlain

Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon

Indiana Pacers: Reggie Miller

Los Angeles Clippers: Bob McAdoo

Los Angeles Lakers: Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Memphis Grizzlies: Pau Gasol

Miami Heat: Lebron James

Milwaukee Bucks: Kareem Abdul Jabbar/Lew Alcindor

Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin Garnett

New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul

New York Knicks: Patrick Ewing

Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant

Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard

Philadelphia 76ers: Wilt Chamberlain

Phoenix Suns: Charles Barkley

Portland Trail Blazers: Clyde Drexler

Sacramento Kings: Oscar Robertson

San Antonio Spurs: Tim Duncan

Toronto Raptors: Vince Carter

Utah Jazz: Karl Malone

Washington Wizards: Wes Unseld

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