Famous 20th Century Basketball Players

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century Basketball Players, including Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Allen Iverson

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Basketball Players

 1 Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain.
11
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: August 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: October 12, 1999
One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Wilt Chamberlain created numerous records and won two championships during his fourteen years career. The legendary player, first drafted by Philadelphia Warriors, later played for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers. After retirement, he ventured into business, played volleyball, appeared in commercials and movie and even published his autobiography.

 2 Larry Bird

Larry Bird.
6
Famous As: Former Basketball Star
Birthdate: December 7, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: West Baden Springs, Indiana, United States

Considered one of the greatest basketball players ever, Larry Bird was part of the Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics. A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Bird helped his team Boston Celtics win three NBA championships. In 2018, MSN Sports named him the greatest Boston Celtics player ever.

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 3 Vince Carter

Vince Carter.
6
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: January 26, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States

Widely regarded as the greatest dunker ever in basketball history, Vince Carter is an American former basketball player. His leaping ability during his playing career often entertained crowds, earning him nicknames like Half Man, Half Amazing and Vinsanity. Also a philanthropist, Carter set up the Embassy of Hope Foundation, which helps children in places like New Jersey, Florida, and Ontario.

 4 Bill Russell

Bill Russell.
8
Famous As: American basketball player
Birthdate: February 12, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Monroe, Louisiana

Bill Russell is a former professional basketball player. Widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players ever, Russell led the US national basketball team to victory and helped his team win Olympic gold at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Also known for his accomplishments in the civil rights movement, Russell was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

 5 Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan.
8
Birthdate: April 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Christiansted, Saint Croix

Tim Duncan is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the NBA and the best power forward of all time. A five-time NBA champion, Duncan also helped his national team win Olympic bronze medal in 2004. Also a humanitarian, Duncan established the Tim Duncan Foundation to fund youth sports programs and education.

 6 Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett.
8
Famous As: NBA Star
Birthdate: May 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mauldin
Former NBA power forward/center Kevin Garnett was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves out of high school. After a 12-year term with the Timberwolves, he joined the Boston Celtics. His accolades include the MVP, the Defensive Player of the Year award, and 15 All-Star games. He also starred in Uncut Gems.

 7 Hakeem Olajuwon

Hakeem Olajuwon.
4
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: January 21, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lagos

Hakeem Olajuwon is a former basketball player. Nicknamed The Dream, because of his dream-like ability to dunk effortlessly, Olajuwon is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketballers of all time. Apart from leading the Houston Rockets to two back-to-back NBA championships, Hakeem Olajuwon also helped the US national team win the Olympic gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

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 8 Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol.
5
Famous As: Basketball Player, Actor
Birthdate: July 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
Four-time All-Star NBA power-forward/center Pau Gasol left medical school to join FC Barcelona. He won two NBA championships with the LA Lakers. The Spanish footballer and the 2002 NBA Rookie of the Year is an all-time EuroBasket top-scorer, reads historical novels, is a polyglot, and loves concerts and operas. 

 9 Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas
4
Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach, Consultant
Birthdate: April 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chicago

 10 Patrick Ewing

Patrick Ewing
6
Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach
Birthdate: August 5, 1962
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston

 11 Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd
5
Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach
Birthdate: March 23, 1973
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco

 12 Jerry West

Jerry West
6
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: May 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chelyan, West Virginia, United States

 13 Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce.
4
Famous As: NBA small forward
Birthdate: October 13, 1977
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oakland

Former Boston Celtics basketball player Paul Pierce led his team to two NBA Finals and won one NBA championship. He later also played for teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers. The 10-time NBA All-Star was also named the NBA Finals MVP in 2008. Shaquille O'Neal named him “The Truth.”

 14 Pete Maravich

Pete Maravich.
4
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
Died: January 5, 1988
Pete Maravich, or Pistol Pete, played for three NBA teams till injuries ended his career. He initially played under his father, head coach Press Maravich, for the LSU Tigers. He also became the NCAA Division I top scorer of all time, with 3,667 points and 44.2 points per game.

 15 Julius Erving

Julius Erving
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: February 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: East Meadow, New York, United States

 16 Clyde Drexler

Clyde Drexler
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: June 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

 17 Oscar Robertson

Oscar Robertson
5
Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach
Birthdate: November 24, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charlotte

 18 Moses Malone

Moses Malone
9
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: March 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Petersburg, Virginia, United States
Died: September 13, 2015

 19 Karl Malone

Karl Malone
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Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach, Actor
Birthdate: July 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Summerfield

 20 Gary Payton

Gary Payton
12
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: July 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oakland

 21 Robert Parish

Robert Parish.
3
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: August 30, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana

 22 Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr.
5
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: September 27, 1965
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beirut

Professional basketball coach and former player, Steve Kerr, is currently the head coach of the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. He has won five NBA titles as a player and three as a head coach. He has been immensely successful as a coach, helping his team break the record for the most wins in an NBA season.

 23 Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson.
4
Famous As: Former Basketball Player, Executive & Coach
Birthdate: September 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Deer Lodge

Phil Jackson is a former professional basketball player who played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association and won the NBA championships in 1970 and 1973 when he was with New York Knicks. Later, he coached the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers and led them both to numerous championships and league titles and is considered one of the greatest basketball coaches ever.

 24 Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony.
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Birthdate: May 29, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York

A star basketball player currently with Portland Trail Blazers, Carmelo Anthony was first drafted by Denver Nuggets and played eight seasons with them. Amongst the most prolific scorer in NBA history, he played another seven season with New York Knicks. At the Olympics, Anthony was part of the teams that won bronze medal in 2004 and gold-medal in 2008, 2012, and 2016.

 25 DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: August 13, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mobile

 26 George Mikan

George Mikan
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Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: June 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States
Died: June 1, 2005

 27 Chuck Connors

Chuck Connors.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 10, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City
Died: November 10, 1992

Chuck Connors was an American actor, professional baseball and basketball player. Connors is one of 13 athletes to have played in both National Basketball Association and the Major League Baseball. As an actor, he contributed to the success of the popular Western television program The Rifleman. Also known for his charity work, Connors helped found the Chuck Connors Charitable Foundation.

 28 Nate Robinson

Nate Robinson
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Famous As: Basketball player, American football player, Businessperson, Restaurateur
Birthdate: May 31, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Seattle

 29 Sue Bird

Sue Bird.
4
Famous As: Basketball Player
Birthdate: October 16, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Syosset, Nassau County, New York, United States
Sue Bird has won four WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm, four Olympic gold medals, two NCAA Championships with UConn, and four FIBA World Cups, thus becoming one of 11 women to win all four honors. Sue was voted one of the Top 15 Players of All Time by WNBA.

 30 Rick Fox

Rick Fox
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Famous As: Actor, Basketball player
Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto

 31 Chris Webber

Chris Webber
4
Famous As: Basketball player, Businessperson
Birthdate: March 1, 1973
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Detroit

 32 Metta World Peace

Metta World Peace
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Famous As: Basketball player, Rapper, Actor
Birthdate: November 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Queensbridge

 33 Jason Williams

Jason Williams
4
Famous As: Basketball player, screenwriter
Birthdate: November 18, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belle

 34 Al Horford

Al Horford
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: June 3, 1986
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Puerto Plata

 35 Bernard King

Bernard King
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Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: December 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 36 Romeo Miller

Romeo Miller.
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Famous As: Rapper, Model, Actor
Birthdate: August 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States[

Romeo Miller soared to fame with the single My Baby and his Billboard 200-charting album Lil' Romeo. He also worked on the soundtrack of the movie God's Gift. In 2007, he accepted a basketball scholarship from the USC Trojans. He had his own show and has starred in films, too.

 37 Toni Kukoč

Toni Kukoč
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Split, Croatia

 38 Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Billups
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 25, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Denver

 39 Elvin Hayes

Elvin Hayes
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: November 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rayville, Louisiana, United States

 40 Jabari Parker

Jabari Parker
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Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: March 15, 1995
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 41 Bob Lanier

Bob Lanier
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

 42 Rasheed Wallace

Rasheed Wallace
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 17, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 43 Dave Cowens

Dave Cowens
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: October 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newport, Kentucky, United States

 44 Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady
4
Famous As: Basketball player, Baseball player
Birthdate: May 24, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Auburndale

 45 Patty Mills

Patty Mills
3
Famous As: Baseball player, Basketball player
Birthdate: August 11, 1988
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Canberra

 46 Matthew Dellavedova

Matthew Dellavedova
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: September 8, 1990
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Maryborough

 47 Baron Davis

Baron Davis
4
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: April 13, 1979
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Compton

 48 John Wooden

John Wooden
4
Famous As: Basketball coach
Birthdate: October 14, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hall, Indiana, United States
Died: June 4, 2010

 49 Ron Harper

Ron Harper
3
Famous As: Basketball player, Basketball coach
Birthdate: January 20, 1964
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dayton

 50 Dion Waiters

Dion Waiters
3
Famous As: Basketball player
Birthdate: December 10, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Philadelphia