Which two NBA players would you combine if you could?

The never-ending argument over who is the “greatest ever in [insert sport here]” needs to be addressed by Britannica, or at least one of their editors should. We’re not formally a sports website, despite the fact that this editor (hey!) has been passionately following sports for almost thirty years and arguing them with friends for nearly the same amount of time. It’s better not to take this list too seriously because it is, of course, extremely subjective. Unless you happen to think differently than I do, in which case this was my most thought-provoking piece to yet.

Abdul-Jabbar Kareem

Why is that? Why is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history only rated as the tenth best player overall? Yes, in fact. Kareem scored an amazing 38,387 points in his career as a player, but it’s hard to deny that he was regularly passed to by Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson, the two best point guards of all time. Furthermore, his career totals were boosted by his nearly 10,000 years of NBA participation. (Or twenty. Whatever.

 

Still, he was a formidable force that ruled the game for twenty years and developed the sky hook, one of the most exquisite shots in history. Moreover, he fought Bruce Lee in Game of Death and was hilarious in Airplane!, thus he has the highest cool factor of all the people on our list.

 

Larry Bird

Be not deceived by his modest background from a small college and his moniker as the “Hick from French Lick”; Larry Bird was one of the most competitive and savage orators in NBA history. The ultra-confident Bird frequently informed his defender that the shot was going in as soon as it left his hands. He possessed what is likely the fastest release of any basketball player in history.

 

In a 13-year career cut short by injuries, he amassed three championship rings and 12 All-Star appearances. Furthermore, in the 1980s, he developed a rivalry with Magic Johnson (who, spoiler alert, you’ll see a little later in this list) that propelled basketball to a never-before-seen degree of national prominence.

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