Top 10 Power Forwards in NBA History
When we are talking about the top 10 players of a position in the NBA, we have to take many things under notice. It’s not enough for a player to record one of two good seasons in order to make it to the list. Having one strength in one aspect of the game won’t help either. The power forward spot, the one we will examine today, has changed over the years. Some years or decades ago, the power forwards, much like the centers were players who playing close to the hoop, into the paint. They were bulky and sized players, who had great rebounding and defensive skills. If we had to pinpoint one more difference from today’s power forwards, that would be the limitation in their range. Some power forwards have evolved to sized shooting guards nowadays, with Kevin Love and Chris Bosh being just two of the many examples. Let’s break down our list with the top 10 power forwards of all time in the NBA.
No.3: Elvin Hayes
No.1: Tim Duncan
Oh yes, I am sure some of you would have guess that Tim Duncan would be sitting at the top of our list. It’s really amazing how Duncan, aged 37, has managed to be not just one of the best power forwards in the NBA since he entered the league, but he is also one of the best players to ever play the game. Duncan has earned four NBA titles, all with the San Antonio Spurs and he is also a 14 – time All-Star. Amongst his bunch of awards and trophies, we find two NBA MVP and three NBA Finals MVP awards.
No.2: Kevin Garnett
Isn’t it great that the two best power forwards of all time in the NBA are currently active and that we all have the chance to enjoy them play? KG, “The Big Ticket” is one of the most versatile players currently in the NBA but also one of the best defensive power forwards to ever pass from the courts of the NBA. In fact, some of you might remember NBA commentators and analysts talking about the “KG defense” from time to time. Garnett is also passionate about basketball and apart from his professionalism, he also lives for the game and the team he is playing for.
If there is one underrated power forward in the history of the NBA, that’s definitely Elvin Hayes. He averaged 21 points, 12.5 rebounds and two blocks per contest for his career. One other significant fact about him is that he was one of the most durable players of his era. Throughout his entire career in the league he missed just nine games while he played no less than 80 games per season every season.
No.4: Bob Pettit
The NBA was radically different back during the era when Bob Pettit played, during the 60’s. However, he is still considered as one of the most dominant big men to ever appear in the NBA. His career numbers show why, 26.4 points to go along with 16.2 rebounds and 43.6 percent shooting from the field. He earned his All-Star selection 11 times and he also won the NBA Championship with the St. Louis Hawks.
No.6: Kevin McHale
No.5: Karl Malone
If we were talking solely about offensive production, Karl Malone would have certainly been at the top of our list. After all, he still is the second leader in total points in the history of the NBA, trailing just Karee Abdul-Jabbar. His career averages are also impressive, 25 points per contest to go along with 10.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists. Malone has won several awards through his career but unfortunately, he didn’t manage to add a championship ring in his collection. Still, he is a top 5 power forward in the history of the NBA.
Kevin McHale is currently the Head Coach of the Houston Rockets but he once was one of the best power forwards of his era. He is also included in our list of the top 10 power forwards in the NBA, thanks to his great contributions and the success he found with the Boston Celtics. With 18 points, 7.3 boards and 1.7 blocks for his career, McHale was a big factor in the Celtics team which won three championships back in the 80’s.
No.7: Dave Debusschere
Another great power forward who played several decades ago is Dave Debusshere. He averaged 16.1 points per game and also 11 rebounds and 43.2 percent shooting from the floor for his 12 – year career. He also earned his participation to the NBA All-Star game eight times. Debusschere won two rings as a member of the Knicks.
No.8: Charles Barkley
Barkley is one of the most powerful players but also the greatest rebounder to ever player the game. He was the long – time leader of the Phoenix Suns, but he never managed to win a ring, although he made it to the NBA Finals. Barkley is an 11 – time NBA All-Star and he also won the NBA MVP award once in his career.
No.9: Dirk Nowitzki
ReDirkoulous as he is also known is the best European player to ever pass from the courts of the NBA and one of the best power forwards, too. Point guard-like ball handling, shooting guard-like shooting skills and the body of a center all combine to form a masterpiece – player, who finally found success and got a ring, almost three years ago with the Dallas Mavericks. Together with Larry Bird, Dirk can be considered as the greatest shooters in the history of the league.
No.10: Dennis Rodman
One of the most eccentric players to ever play the game but also one of the best rebounders was Dennis Rodman. He averaged 13.1 rebounds and 7.3 points per game for his career and he was a vital contributor in the Chicago Bulls’ three championships back in the 90’s.
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About The Author:
Ron Leyba is a fantasy basketball fan and blogger. For more of his write-ups and fantasy basketball updates, follow @NBAFantasyInfo on Twitter or like his blog on Facebook.