Basketball Players are a varied bunch. Each player must not only be a talented and well-conditioned athlete, but also be a good team player.
Ralph Sampson won National Player of the Year honors three straight years, but enjoyed only brief success in the NBA. He was recruited heavily but suffered several knee problems.
Dolph Schayes played 706 consecutive games from 1952-1961. Only three players in NBA history have had longer skeins. Going pro the year before the founding of the NBA, Schayes finally retired in 1964.
Bill Sharman was the first NBA player to make 50 consecutive free throws. Not only that -- he played pro baseball for five years, too. Read more about Bill Sharman and his basketball career.
Willis Reed was the first player named MVP of the regular season All-Star Game and NBA Finals in the same season (1970). He retired in 1974 and went on to coach the Knicks and Nets. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1981. Read more about Willis Reed.
Oscar Robertson's best season was 1963-1964, when he averaged 31.4 points and won the NBA MVP Award. Many consider him the best all-around player the sport has ever seen. Read more about Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
David Robinson is one of four players in history to score 70 points in an NBA game. What's even more unbelievable is that 'The Admiral' was mainly a defensive player. Learn more about David Robinson's career highs, awards and titles.
Bill Russell was named 'the Greatest Player in the History of the NBA' in 1980. His scoring record may have been lacking, but he was an amazing defensive player who could dominate a game. Learn more about this basketball legend.
Robert Parish played more games than any player in history and won four championship rings. His career ended with the Chicago Bulls, who ironically were torn over whether or not to draft him 20 years earlier.
Bob Pettit, the first player to surpass 20,000 points in his career, was named first-team All-NBA 10 consecutive seasons. He retired due to injuries in 1965 and was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1970. Read more about Bob Pettit.
Scottie Pippen ranked with the best all-around players in basketball, dominating in defense, rebounds and passing. He was an integral member of the Chicago Bulls during their title run in the 1990s. Read about this great NBA Forward.
Shaquille O'Neal, one of the most dominant figures in NBA history, earns millions a year as a movie/rap star. O'Neal ranks with Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell as one of the best centers to ever play the game.
Kevin McHale may have been the best low-post scorer in basketball history. He retired in 1993 and later went on to become the vice-president of basketball operations in Minnesota. Learn more about this Celtics forward and his career averages.
In 1950 the Associated Press honored George Mikan as the best basketball player of the first half of the 20th century. He was known as a fierce competitor who often muscled his way to the basket for easy shots.
Cheryl Miller was the first woman basketball player to dunk in organized play. She was the first woman to be nominated for the Sullivan Award, which is given to the nation's top amateur athlete. Read more about Cheryl Miller and her road to the Hall of Fame.
Earl Monroe was 1968 NBA Rookie of the Year and an integral part of the New York Knicks' 1973 championship team. He retired due to bad knees and age in 1980 and was later elected to the Hall of Fame in 1989. Read about Earl 'the Pearl' Monroe.
Hakeem Olajuwon averaged at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in his first 12 seasons with the Houston Rockets. He retired in 2002 and is considered one of the five best centers in NBA history. Read about Hakeem Olajuwon's averages.
Bob Lanier played in eight All-Star Games, winning MVP honors at the 1974 renewal. He retired after having his eighth knee surgery in 1984. He entered the NBA Hall of Fame in 1991. Get details about Bob Lanier and his career totals.
Meadowlark Lemon joined the Harlem Globetrotters in 1954 and played several thousand games over the next 25 years. The highlights of his act included amazing ball-handling and hook-shots from half court.
Renowned for his mental dexterity, "Luke" had a sixth sense for rebounding. Offensively, he ranks with the best long-range shooters in NBA history. He was maniacal, once saying he'd rather rebound than eat.
Nancy Lieberman won an Olympic silver medal at 18 and was the first woman to play in a men's professional league. She entered the Hall of Fame in 1996 and is one of the most respected women's basketball commentators.
Karl Malone's average points and rebounds made him the only NBA player in the top five in both categories. He holds the record for the most free throws attempted and made, and is second in all-time scoring. Read about Karl Malone's totals and honors.
Moses Malone played 21 seasons, won three NBA MVPs and set a record for most career offensive rebounds. He holds the record for going 1212 games without a disqualification.
When Pete Maravich was at the top of his game he was smoking out an outrageous 50-points a night. He retired in 1980 and completely withdrew from the public spotlight. He died at the age of 40 in 1988. Read more about the rise and fall of Pete Maravich.
George McGinnis played the greatest statistical game in ABA history -- 52 points and 37 rebounds. He won back-to-back championships with the Indiana Pacers in 1972 and 1973. McGinnis retired in 1982. Find out more about George McGinnis' 11 pro seasons.
Dominique Wilkins was an NBA star with nine All-Star Game selections and two Slam Dunk titles. He was also known as the "Human Highlight Film" for his explosive point bursts on the court. Learn more about Dominique Wilkins's 13-year career.
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