With its frantic play and vibrant uniforms in a big stadium, basketball is one of the most visually appealing sports on the planet. Basketball, like baseball, has a reputation for being a sport that rewards athleticism above all else and places a premium on players’ ability to score points whenever they please.
Basketball players of color are among the best in history because they are talented and productive. They needed to be exceptional in their own right and ground-breaking in terms of what they could accomplish on the court when compared to other white or minority players to be included on the list. When some of these legends or pioneers were active, a black man competing against whites on the same court was unthinkable.
1. Larry Bird
|Full Name||Larry Joe Bird|
|Date of Birth||December 7, 1956|
|Place of Birth||West Baden, Indiana, U.S.|
Larry Joe Bird is a former American professional basketball player, coach, and National Basketball Association (NBA) executive. He was born on December 7, 1956. Bird, also known as “Larry Legend” and “the Hick from French Lick,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players ever. Bird is the only player in NBA history to win Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, MVP of the Finals, MVP of the All-Star Game, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year awards.
For the 2012 season, he was named NBA Executive of the Year. In 2013, Bird took over as president of basketball operations for the Pacers, a position he held until 2017.
2. Dirk Nowitzki
|Full Name||Dirk Werner Nowitzki|
|Date of Birth||June 19, 1978|
|Place of Birth||Würzburg, West Germany|
Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a former German professional basketball player born June 19, 1978.
He is a special advisor for the Dallas Mavericks, a National Basketball Association (NBA) member. Dirk Werner Nowitzki is regarded as one of the greatest power forwards ever and the greatest European player ever. His height is 7.0 inches (2.13 meters). He was included on the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.
3. Luka Dončić
|Full Name||Luka Dončić|
|Date of Birth||February 28, 1999|
|Place of Birth||Ljubljana, Slovenia|
Slovenian basketball player Luka Dončić competes for the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks (NBA). He was born on February 28, 1999. Additionally, he plays for the Slovenian national team.
Dončić entered the NBA draft in 2018 and signed with the Dallas Mavericks. He was named Rookie of the Year for the 2018–19 season and was unanimously selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
He was named to the NBA All-Star and All-NBA First Team the following three seasons. Luka Dončić has the most triple-doubles in franchise history for the Mavericks.
4. John Stockton
|Full Name||John Houston Stockton|
|Date of Birth||March 26, 1962|
|Place of Birth||Spokane, Washington, U.S.|
John Houston Stockton is an American former professional basketball player. He was born on March 26, 1962. Stockton was regarded as one of the greatest players, point guards, and passers ever. He played for the Utah Jazz throughout his entire NBA career, from 1984 to 2003, and the team made the playoffs in his 19 seasons there. Stockton and his longtime teammate Karl Malone led the Jazz to their only two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998 when they lost to the Chicago Bulls.
5. Steve Nash
|Full Name||Stephen John Nash|
|Date of Birth||February 7, 1974|
|Place of Birth||Johannesburg, South Africa|
Stephen John Nash OC OBC, a Canadian professional basketball coach and former player born on February 7, 1974, most recently led the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as head coach.
Nash was an eight-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection during his 18-year NBA career. He won the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice when he was with the Phoenix Suns.
6. Jerry West
|Full Name||Jerome Alan West|
|Date of Birth||May 28, 1938|
|Place of Birth||Chelyan, West Virginia, U.S.|
Jerome Alan West is an American basketball executive and former player born on May 28, 1938. He was a professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Los Angeles Lakers. His ability to make big plays in crucial situations earned him the moniker “Mr. Clutch,” such as his famous 60-foot buzzer-beating shot that tied Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals; the Logo,” referring to the NBA logo’s incorporation of his silhouette; Mr. Outside,” referring to his work on the perimeter for the Los Angeles Lakers; and “Zeke from Cabin Creek,” named after the creek close to where he was born in Chelyan, West Virginia.
West excelled at the small forward position early in his career at East Bank High School and West Virginia University, where he led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game.
Despite the defeat, he was named the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. After that, he began a 14-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He served as a co-captain for the 1960 American Olympic team that won the gold medal. That group was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
7. Nikola Jokić
|Full Name||Nikola Jokić|
|Date of Birth||February 19, 1995|
|Place of Birth||Sombor, Serbia, FR Yugoslavia|
Nikola Jokić, a center for the National Basketball Association’s Denver Nuggets, is a Serbian professional basketball player (NBA). On February 19, 1995, he was born.
In addition to winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for the seasons 2020–21 and 2021–22, Nikola Jokić has been selected to the NBA All-Star team five times and made the All–NBA team four times, including three times to the first team. He is the representative of the Serbian team. He also took silver in the Summer Olympics in 2016.
8. Pete Maravich
|Full Name||Peter Press Maravich|
|Date of Birth||June 22, 1947|
|Died||January 5, 1988|
Pistol Pete, or Peter Press Maravich, was a professional basketball player from the United States. He was born on June 22, 1947, and died on January 5, 1988.
Maravich was raised in the Carolinas and was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.
Maravich excelled as a college basketball player for the Louisiana State University Tigers; The team’s head coach was his father, Press Maravich.
9. Kevin McHale
|Full Name||Kevin Edward McHale|
|Date of Birth||December 19, 1957|
|Place of Birth||Hibbing, Minnesota, U.S.|
Kevin Edward McHale is a former American professional basketball player, coach, and analyst born on December 19, 1957. McHale played for the Boston Celtics throughout his entire professional basketball career. He is regarded as among the greatest power forwards ever and has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
After retiring from the NBA in 1993, McHale began working for the Minnesota Timberwolves as a head coach, TV analyst, and general manager from 1993 to 2009. He was the Houston Rockets’ head coach from 2011 to 2015 when he was fired following a 4–7 start to the 2015–16 season. McHale is employed as an on-air analyst for NBA TV and Turner Sports’ well-known NBA on TNT studio show.
10. Rick Barry
|Full Name||Francis Richard Dennis Barry III|
|Date of Birth||March 28, 1944|
|Place of Birth||Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.|
American retired professional basketball player Francis Richard Dennis Barry III competed at the highest levels in the NCAA, ABA, and NBA. He was born on March 28, 1944. Barry is one of the best scorers and all-around basketball players ever.
In a season, he is the only player to lead the NBA, ABA, and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in points per game. In both leagues, he is one of only four players to have been on a championship team.
11. John Havlicek
|Full Name||John Joseph Havlicek|
|Date of Birth||April 8, 1940|
|Place of Birth||April 25, 2019|
American basketball player John Joseph Havlicek was born on April 8, 1940, and died on April 25, 2019. He played for the NBA Boston Celtics throughout his entire career, winning eight NBA championships, starting with his first four seasons with the team.
Only teammates Sam Jones and Bill Russell have won more. Havlicek is one of only four players to win eight NBA Finals games and one of only three with an unrivaled 8–0 record. John Havlicek was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. Many people consider John Havlicek one of the greatest basketball players in history.
12. Bill Walton
|Full Name||William Theodore Walton III|
|Date of Birth||November 5, 1952|
|Place of Birth||La Mesa, California, U.S.|
William Theodore Walton III is an American television sportscaster and former professional basketball player born November 5, 1952. He won three national college player of the year awards between 1972 and 1974 while playing for coach John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins. He also led UCLA to NCAA championships in 1972 and 1973 and an 88-game winning streak. Walton led the Portland Trail Blazers to an NBA championship in 1977, winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award after being selected first overall in the draft.
In 1986, while playing for the Boston Celtics, he won a second NBA championship. In 1993, Walton was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was included on NBA teams celebrating their 50th and 75th birthdays.
13. Chris Mullin
|Full Name||Christopher Paul Mullin|
|Date of Birth||July 30, 1963|
|Place of Birth||New York City, U.S.|
Christopher Paul Mullin is a former American professional basketball player, executive, and coach born on July 30, 1963. He has won the gold medal in two Olympics and was a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee: once as a member of the United States men’s Olympic basketball team known as “The Dream Team” in 2010 and again for his career in 2011. From 2015 to 2019, Mullin was the Red Storm men’s basketball team’s head coach.
14. Bob Cousy
|Full Name||Robert Joseph Cousy|
|Date of Birth||August 9, 1928|
|Place of Birth||New York City, U.S.|
|Playing career||1950–1963, 1969–1970|
Robert Joseph Cousy is an American former professional basketball player. He was born on August 9, 1928. From 1950 to 1963, Cousy was a point guard for the Boston Celtics. Cousy also briefly played for the Cincinnati Royals during the 1969–70 NBA season. He was a key part of the Celtics’ early half of the dynasty, winning six NBA championships during his 13 years with the Celtics. He was an All-Star in the NBA 13 times and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the 1957 NBA season.
Cousy, better known as “The Houdini of the Hardwood,” led the NBA in assists for eight straight seasons and introduced a novel combination of passing and handling of the ball skills to the NBA. He is considered the NBA’s first great point guard.
15. Pau Gasol
|Full Name||Pau Gasol Sáez|
|Date of Birth||July 6, 1980|
|Place of Birth||Barcelona, Spain|
Pau Gasol Sáez is a former professional basketball player from Spain. He was born on July 6, 1980. He was selected for four All-NBA teams, two times each on the second and third teams, and is a six-time NBA All-Star.
In 2009 and 2010, Gasol led the Los Angeles Lakers to back-to-back NBA championships. With the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002, he became the first non-American player to win NBA Rookie of the Year.
In addition to being regarded as one of the greatest European players ever, Pau Gasol is also considered among the best power forwards ever. He is Marc Gasol’s older brother and a former NBA player.
16. Peja Stojaković
|Full Name||Predrag Stojaković|
|Date of Birth||June 9, 1977|
|Place of Birth||Slavonska Požega, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia|
Peja, or Predrag Stojaković, is a Serbian professional basketball executive and former player born on June 9, 1977.
He most recently served as the assistant general manager and director of player personnel and development for the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings (NBA). In 2022, he was elected to the Greek Basketball Hall of Fame.
17. Bob Pettit
|Full Name||Robert Lee Pettit Jr.|
|Date of Birth||December 12, 1932|
|Place of Birth||Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.|
Robert Lee Pettit Jr. is a former American professional basketball player born on December 12, 1932. He won the NBA’s Most Valuable Player Award for the first time in 1956 and again in 1959.
Additionally, he has won the NBA All-Star Game MVP four times. In 1970, Pettit was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as the first NBA player to surpass 20,000 points in scoring. He was selected to all four NBA anniversary teams, making him one of four players. Pettit is widely regarded as one of the greatest power forwards ever.
18. Jason Williams
|Full Name||Jason Chandler Williams|
|Date of Birth||November 18, 1975|
|Place of Birth||Belle, West Virginia, U.S.|
Jason Chandler Williams is a former American professional basketball player born on November 18, 1975. He played point guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 12 seasons between the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Williams was the Miami Heat’s starting point guard when they won the NBA championship in 2006. He was dubbed “White Chocolate” due to the way he played.
Williams, born in West Virginia, played basketball for Marshall University and the University of Florida in college. The Sacramento Kings selected him in the 1998 NBA draft in the first round. Throughout his career, he also played for the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and Memphis Grizzlies. In 2007, the Heat ranked Williams among their top 25 all-time players.
19. George Mikan
|Full Name||George Lawrence Mikan Jr.|
|Date of Birth||June 18, 1924|
|Place of Birth||June 1, 2005|
|Playing career||1946–1954, 1956|
American professional basketball player George Lawrence Mikan Jr., also known as “Mr. Basketball,” played for the NBA’s (National Basketball Association) Minneapolis Lakers and the NBL’s Chicago American Gears (NBA). He was born on June 18, 1924, and died on June 1, 2005.
Mikan was a pioneer in professional basketball, standing 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 meters) tall and weighing 245 pounds (111 kilograms). He always played with thick, round glasses. He redefined it as a sport dominated by “big men” at the time through his size and play. The Mikan Drill, developed with his coach at DePaul University (where Mikan was a three-time All-American), Ray Meyer, and his ability to shoot over smaller defenders with his ambidextrous hook shot all contributed to the game’s transformation. Additionally, he utilized the underhanded free-throw shooting technique long before Rick Barry made it his signature move.
20. Arvydas Sabonis
|Full Name||Arvydas Romas Sabonis|
|Date of Birth||December 19, 1964|
|Place of Birth||Kaunas, Lithuania|
Arvydas Romas Sabonis is a businessman and former professional basketball player from Lithuania. He was born on December 19, 1964.
Sabonis won the Euroscar six times and the Mr. Europa Award twice, making him one of the greatest European players ever. Sabonis played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for seven seasons and participated in various leagues, including the Spanish ACB League.
21. Marc Gasol
|Full Name||Marc Gasol Sáez|
|Date of Birth||January 29, 1985|
|Place of Birth||Kaunas, Lithuania|
Spanish professional basketball player Marc Gasol Sáez competes for Bàsquet Girona in the Liga ACB. His birthday is January 29, 1985.
The center has been selected to the All-NBA Team twice and was an NBA All-Star three times. Marc Gasol won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013 while he was a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. He won an NBA title in 2019 while playing for the Toronto Raptors.
22. Kevin Love
|Full Name||Kevin Wesley Love|
|Date of Birth||September 7, 1988|
|Place of Birth||Santa Monica, California, U.S.|
Kevin Wesley Love is an American basketball player who plays for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). September 7, 1988 saw the birth of love.
Kevin Love has been selected five times for the NBA All-Star team and twice for the NBA Second Team. He guided the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA title in 2016. He also competed for the American national team, which won gold at the Summer Olympics in 2012 and the FIBA World Championship in 2010. Love won the NBA Most Improved Player Award in 2011 and ranked first in the NBA in rebounds.
23. Mark Price
|Full Name||William Mark Price|
|Date of Birth||February 15, 1964|
|Place of Birth||Bartlesville, Oklahoma, U.S.|
William Mark Price is a former American basketball player and coach born on February 15, 1964. He most recently led the Charlotte 49ers as their head coach.
From 1986 to 1998, he participated in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 12 seasons. His last three seasons included one each with the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, and Orlando Magic, despite spending most of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
24. Gail Goodrich
|Full Name||Gail Charles Goodrich Jr.|
|Date of Birth||April 23, 1943|
|Place of Birth||Bartlesville, Oklahoma, U.S.|
American former NBA player Gail Charles Goodrich Jr. played basketball professionally. On April 23, 1943, he was born.
His most notable accomplishments include setting a record with 42 points against Michigan for UCLA in the 1965 NCAA championship game and helping the Los Angeles Lakers win the 1971–1972 season. In 1996, 17 years after he retired from professional basketball, Goodrich was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
25. Tom Chambers
|Full Name||Thomas Doane Chambers|
|Date of Birth||June 21, 1959|
|Place of Birth||Ogden, Utah, U.S.|
Thomas Doane Chambers is a former American professional basketball player born on June 21, 1959. Chambers played professionally in basketball from 1981 to 1997. Chambers played power forward in the NBA and was selected to four All-Star teams.
Additionally, he was a member of the NBA Second Team twice in his career. Chambers was nominated in December 2021 for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame but was not chosen as a finalist.
26. Jerry Lucas
|Full Name||Jerry Ray Lucas|
|Date of Birth||March 30, 1940|
|Place of Birth||Middletown, Ohio, U.S.|
Jerry Ray Lucas is a former American basketball player born on March 30, 1940. Before becoming a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA), he was a high school star, a national college star at Ohio State, an Olympian who won a gold medal in 1960, and an international player.
Lucas received numerous accolades during his professional career, including being named to the All-NBA First Team three times, the All-NBA Second Team twice, being named an NBA All-Star seven times (including six years in a row), being named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1964, and being named the Most Valuable Player of the 1965 NBA All-Star Game. In 1980, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
27. Jeff Hornacek
|Full Name||Jeffrey John Hornacek|
|Date of Birth||May 3, 1963|
|Place of Birth||Elmhurst, Illinois, U.S.|
Jeffrey John Hornacek, an American professional basketball coach and former player, was born on May 3, 1963. Hornacek is a coaching consultant for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Hornacek was the head coach of the New York Knicks from 2016 to 2018 and the Phoenix Suns from 2013 to 2016. He also worked for the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach.
From 1986 to 2000, Hornacek played shooting guard in the NBA, and he also played at Iowa State University.
28. Detlef Schrempf
|Full Name||Detlef Schrempf|
|Date of Birth||January 21, 1963|
|Place of Birth||Leverkusen, West Germany|
Detlef Schrempf is a former German-American professional basketball player born on January 21, 1963.
With the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 1985 NBA draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected him to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In 1995, Schrempf was named to the All-NBA Third Team, won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year twice, was the first European player to do so, and was a three-time NBA All-Star. He led the SuperSonics to the NBA Finals in 1996. In 2021, Schrempf was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame.
29. Dave DeBusschere
|Full Name||David Albert DeBusschere|
|Date of Birth||October 16, 1940|
|Died||May 14, 2003|
David Albert DeBusschere was an American professional basketball player, coach, and Major League Baseball (MLB) player. He was born on October 16, 1940, and died on May 14, 2003.
In 1983, DeBusschere was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. DeBusschere was selected as one of the 50 greatest NBA players in 1996. DeBusschere was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in October 2021, once more recognizing him as one of the league’s greatest players.
30. Kristaps Porzingis
|Full Name||Kristaps Porziis|
|Date of Birth||August 2, 1995|
|Place of Birth||Liepāja, Latvia|
Kristaps Porziis is a professional basketball player from Latvia who competes for the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards (NBA). His birthday is August 2, 1995.
At 7 feet 3 inches, he is one of the NBA’s tallest players at the moment and plays center and power forward (2.21 meters).
In New York, Porziis was thought of as one of the Knicks’ potential pillar players. In 2018, he was selected as an All-Star.
He was, however, dealt with the Dallas Mavericks in 2019 due to issues with the front office. After experiencing injuries and inconsistent play during his time in Dallas, Porziis was traded to the Washington Wizards in 2022.
31. Danny Ainge
|Full Name||Daniel Ray Ainge|
|Date of Birth||March 17, 1959|
|Place of Birth||Eugene, Oregon, U.S.|
Daniel Ray Ainge is a former professional baseball player, coach, and basketball player from the United States who now manages the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He excelled in all three high school sports, winning football, basketball, and baseball All-America accolades. Then, in the NBA draft, the Celtics chose him. Ainge spent his entire 14-year NBA career playing shooting guard, primarily for the Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns.
Ainge was the president of basketball operations for the Celtics from 2003 until his retirement in 2021, at which point he hired Brad Stevens, the team’s current head coach.
32. Bill Laimbeer
|Full Name||William J. Laimbeer Jr.|
|Date of Birth||May 19, 1957|
|Place of Birth||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
William J. Laimbeer Jr. is an American professional basketball coach and former player born on May 19, 1957, and played for the Detroit Pistons most of his career. He helped the Pistons earn the nickname “Bad Boys” in the middle of the 1980s and helped them win back-to-back NBA championships. He was known for his rough and violent play.
From 2002 to 2009, Laimbeer led the Detroit Shock in the WNBA as head coach and general manager, leading the team to three league championships in 2003, 2006, and 2008. From 2013 to 2017, he was the head coach of the New York Liberty; from 2018 to 2021, he was the head coach of the Las Vegas Aces. He has been awarded the WNBA Coach of the Year title twice.
33. Vlade Divac
|Full Name||Vlade Divac|
|Date of Birth||February 3, 1968|
|Place of Birth||Prijepolje, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia|
Born on February 3, 1968, Vlade Divac is a professional basketball executive and former player from Serbia. Vlade Divac most recently served as the Sacramento Kings’ general manager and vice president of basketball operations in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Divac is a humanitarian who assists children in Serbia and Africa. He was appointed government adviser for humanitarian issues in Serbia in October 2008. Vlade Divac was elected President of the Serbian Olympic Committee for four years in February 2009 and was re-elected in November 2012. Divac was honored by the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame in 2013.
34. Gordon Hayward
|Full Name||Gordon Daniel Hayward|
|Date of Birth||March 23, 1990|
|Place of Birth||Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.|
Gordon Daniel Hayward, an American professional basketball player, represents the Charlotte Hornets in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was born on March 23, 1990. Hayward has previously appeared for the Boston Celtics and the Utah Jazz.
Hayward led the Butler Bulldogs to the 2010 NCAA tournament championship game in college basketball. The Utah Jazz selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft. After playing for the Jazz for seven seasons, he was selected for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.
Hayward signed with the Celtics as a free agent in the offseason of 2017, but he was out for the rest of the 2017–18 season after breaking his tibia and dislocating his ankle in the team’s first game.
35. Kyle Korver
|Full Name||Kyle Elliot Korver|
|Date of Birth||March 17, 1981|
|Place of Birth||Paramount, California, U.S.|
Kyle Elliot Korver is a former American professional basketball player who serves as the Atlanta Hawks’ Assistant General Manager in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was born on March 17, 1981. He was a Creighton Bluejays basketball player in college.
Korver ranks fifth all-time in made 3-pointers and tenth all-time in 3-point percentage, making him one of the NBA’s most prolific 3-point shooters. He is the only player in the NBA to have a four-time lead in three-point shooting percentage.
36. J. J. Redick
|Full Name||Jonathan Clay Redick|
|Date of Birth||June 24, 1984|
|Place of Birth||Cookeville, Tennessee, U.S.|
Jonathan Clay “JJ” Redick is an American former professional basketball player who is now a podcaster and ESPN sports analyst. He was born on June 24, 1984.
In the 2006 NBA draft, the Orlando Magic selected him 11th overall. He was a Duke Blue Devil basketball player in college.
Redick became the second active professional athlete and the first player in the NBA to host a podcast during the regular season.
37. Billy Cunningham
|Full Name||William John Cunningham|
|Date of Birth||June 3, 1943|
|Place of Birth||Cookeville, Tennessee, U.S.|
William John Cunningham is a former American professional basketball player and coach born on June 3, 1943. Because of his ability to leap and set rebounding records, he was referred to as the “Kangaroo Kid.” He played nine of the Philadelphia 76ers’ 17 NBA seasons as a player and eight as a coach. He also played as a player in two of the Carolina Cougars’ ABA seasons.
Cunningham, regarded as one of the greatest players in basketball history, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and named to the ABA All-Time Team and the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams. Cunningham was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men’s basketball team, which honored the fifty best players in Atlantic Coast Conference history, after being named All-ACC, ACC Player of the Year, and All-American in college.
38. Dan Majerle
|Full Name||Daniel Lewis Majerle|
|Date of Birth||September 9, 1965|
|Place of Birth||Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.|
Basketball coach for the Grand Canyon Antelopes and former professional basketball player Daniel Lewis Majerle, also known as “Thunder Dan,” is an American. He was born on September 9, 1965. He spent 14 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, and Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Majerle won a gold medal at the 1994 FIBA World Championship and a bronze medal with the U.S. national team at the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988.
39. Steve Kerr
|Full Name||Stephen Douglas Kerr|
|Date of Birth||September 27, 1965|
|Place of Birth||Beirut, Lebanon|
American professional basketball coach and former player Stephen Douglas Kerr is the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors (NBA). Kerr was born on September 27, 1965. He has won the NBA nine times, five as a player (three with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs) and four as a head coach with the Warriors.
Kerr is the only NBA player since 1969 to win four titles. Kerr’s career three-point field goal percentage is the highest of any player in NBA history who has made at least 250 three-pointers (45.4%). Until Kyle Korver broke the record in 2010, Kerr also held the NBA record for the highest three-point percentage in a season with 52.4%. Kerr is one of the best three-point shooters ever and the best NBA coach.
40. Dave Cowens
|Full Name||David William Cowens|
|Date of Birth||October 25, 1948|
|Place of Birth||Newport, Kentucky, U.S.|
David William Cowens is an American former NBA head coach and professional basketball player born on October 25, 1948. He was tall, 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 meters), and played center and power forward occasionally. Cowens played for the Boston Celtics for most of his career.
David William won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1971 and the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 1973. In 1974 and 1976, Cowens led the Celtics to NBA championships. In 1991, he joined the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Additionally, Cowens has coached in the NBA, CBA, and WNBA.
41. Jack Sikma
|Full Name||Jack Wayne Sikma|
|Date of Birth||November 14, 1955|
|Place of Birth||Kankakee, Illinois, U.S.|
A former American professional basketball center named Jack Wayne Sikma was born on November 14, 1955. He was an NBA All-Star seven times while playing for the Seattle SuperSonics, who picked him eighth overall in the 1977 NBA Draft.
In the NBA, he captured a title in 1979 while playing for Seattle. Sikma’s playing days with the Milwaukee Bucks came to an end. He was put forward for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
His signature blond hair, which he first wore in a pageboy style early in his career before wearing it curly later, and his “Sikma move,” which involves a reverse pivot and step back behind the head jump, made him famous. Sikma participated in 17,287 games in the NBA.
42. Andrei Kirilenko
|Full Name||Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko|
|Date of Birth||February 18, 1981|
|Place of Birth||Izhevsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union|
On February 18, 1981, Andrei Gennadyevich Kirilenko, an American-Russian basketball executive, was born. He was a professional basketball player and currently serves as the Russian Basketball Federation’s commissioner.
Kirilenko was chosen for the NBA All-Rookie First Team after his rookie season, was chosen three times for the NBA All-Defensive Team, and took part in the 2004 All-Star Game.
CSKA Moscow reached the EuroLeague Final in 2012 thanks to Kirilenko, who remained with the team for an additional year during the NBA lockout in 2011. He was named the competition’s Most Valuable Player that same year, as well as Best Defender of the EuroLeague and First Team of the All-EuroLeague.
43. Goran Dragić
|Full Name||Goran Dragić|
|Date of Birth||6 May 1986|
|Place of Birth||Ljubljana, SR Slovenia, Yugoslavia|
Goran Dragić, a professional basketball player from Slovenia who was born on May 6, 1986, most recently played for the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls (NBA).
He earned the “the Dragon” moniker while playing professional basketball in Slovenia and Spain before signing on with the NBA in 2008. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets, and Phoenix Suns are just a few more teams Dragi has acted as an agent for. He won the NBA Most Improved Player award and was chosen for the 2014 NBA Third Team while playing for the Suns. He received his first NBA All-Star honor with Miami in 2018.
The senior Slovenian team won its first FIBA EuroBasket championship behind him in 2017, earning him the title of the competition’s Most Valuable Player.
44. Steven Adams
|Full Name||Steven Funaki Adams|
|Date of Birth||20 July 1993|
|Place of Birth||Rotorua, New Zealand|
|Playing career||2011; 2013–present|
A professional basketball player from New Zealand named Steven Funaki Adams plays for the Memphis Grizzlies in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born on July 20, 1993, Adams. Before moving to the United States in 2012 to play college basketball for Pittsburgh, Adams spent one season playing for his hometown team, the Wellington Saints.
The Oklahoma City Thunder chose Adams as the No. 12 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He spent six consecutive seasons as the Thunder’s main starting center. In November 2020, Adams was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans after spending seven years in Oklahoma City. In August 2021, he was exchanged for the Memphis Grizzlies.
45. Bobby Jones
|Full Name||Robert Clyde Jones|
|Date of Birth||December 18, 1951|
|Place of Birth||Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.|
Robert Clyde Jones is a former American professional basketball player born on December 18, 1951. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Denver Nuggets in the American Basketball Association (ABA).
Robert Clyde Jones won an NBA championship with the 76ers in 1983, earned the nickname “the Secretary of Defense,” was a four-time NBA All-Star, an eight-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team, and received the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 1983.
46. Domantas Sabonis
|Full Name||Domantas Sabonis|
|Date of Birth||May 3, 1996|
|Place of Birth||Portland, Oregon, U.S.|
Domantas Sabonis, a professional basketball player of Lithuanian and American descent, was born on May 3, 1996.
He competes for the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association and the Lithuanian national team (NBA). Arvydas Sabonis’ son, Sabonis, is a three-time NBA All-Star and a member of the Hall of Fame.
47. Rick Smits
|Full Name||Rik Smits|
|Date of Birth||23 August 1966|
|Place of Birth||Eindhoven, Netherlands|
Rik Smits, born on August 23, 1966, is a former professional basketball player from the Netherlands known as “the Dunking Dutchman.” He played for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) throughout his career.
The Pacers selected the 7-foot-4, 2.24-meter center from Marist College with the second overall pick in the 1988 NBA draft. Smits made the NBA Finals in 2000 after making the All-Star team in 1998.
48. Dan Issel
|Full Name||Daniel Paul Issel|
|Date of Birth||October 25, 1948|
|Place of Birth||Batavia, Illinois, U.S.|
Daniel Paul Issel is an American, former professional basketball player, and current basketball coach. Oct 25, 1948, marked his birth.
In addition to one NBA All-Star game and six ABA All-Star games, he won the American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year award in 1971.
Issel is a prolific scorer who currently holds the title of a second-leading scorer in both the American Basketball Association and the NBA, as well as an all-time leader in scoring for the University of Kentucky and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted Issel in 1993.
49. Kiki Vandeweghe
|Full Name||Ernest Maurice “Kiki” VanDeWeghe III|
|Date of Birth||August 1, 1958|
|Place of Birth||Wiesbaden, West Germany|
Ernest Maurice “Kiki” VanDeWeghe III is an American former professional basketball player, coach, and executive serving as an NBA advisor. He was born on August 1, 1958. He was a two-time NBA All-Star player.
VanDeWeghe joined the NBA’s executive team in 2013 and held the position of executive vice president of basketball operations for eight years until 2021 when he changed roles and became an advisor to Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner Byron Spruell, the president of the league operations.
50. Jerry Sloan
|Full Name||Gerald Eugene Sloan|
|Date of Birth||March 28, 1942|
|Place of Birth||McLeansboro, Illinois, U.S.|
Gerald Eugene Sloan, an American basketball coach, and professional player, was born on March 28, 1942, and died on May 22, 2020. He played in the NBA for 11 seasons before starting a 30-year coaching career, 23 of which he spent as the head coach of the Utah Jazz (1988–2011).
Sloan was one of the “greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history,” according to NBA commissioner David Stern. In 2009, he received his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.