The 5 Greatest #1 Overall Picks in NBA History
By: Luca Scott
- Tim Duncan
Spurs were lucky to draft Tim Duncan as the David Robinson got injured which allowed them to draft #1 overall the following season. As a franchise the team saw no championship success prior to his appearance. By the end of his career in 2016, Duncan had given the Spurs 5 championships, 2 MVP’s, 3 Finals MVP’s, 15 All-Star Selections and a boatload of other accolades. He and Gregg Popovich are the cornerstones for the Spurs foundation and being recognized as a first-class organization.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Drafted in 1969, Kareem won an MVP and led the Milwaukee Bucks to their one and only NBA championship in just his second year. After playing 20 NBA seasons, Kareem finished with the most points all time with 38, 387, had 6 MVP’s, 6 Finals MVP’s and has the record for most All-Star appearances with 19. Kareem was an unstoppable force and had the most unstoppable move in NBA history, the skyhook.
- Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq coming out of LSU was one of the most heavily touted prospects because of his size and talent. He led a young Orlando Magic team to the finals beating Michael Jordan’s Bulls on the way there. Although they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon’s Rockets, Shaq continued to strive making 8 All-NBA first teams, 3 All-NBA defensive teams, 15 all-star teams and winning 4 championships along the way. Shaq was also a member of the 50 greatest players of all time list made in 1996, only 3 years into the league.
- Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson came into the league with extremely high expectations especially because of the fact that his counterpart Larry Bird was drafted the same time as him and was seen as the great white hope. Despite all of that Magic became one of the 5 greatest players of all time. Magic led the league in assists 4 times, led the league in steals 2 times and has the highest assists per game average of all time at 11.2. In his only 13 years in the league Magic went to the finals 9 times and won 5 rings.
- Lebron James
The chosen one. Lebron had the most hype surrounding him coming into the league then any other player in NBA history. Somehow someway he surpassed all expectations. He is the second greatest player of all time only trailing Michael Jordan. By the end of his career he will go down as the only player in the NBA to ever be top 10 in points, top 10 in rebounds and top 10 in assists. To top it all off he led the only team in NBA finals history back from a 3-1 deficit. He is without a doubt the greatest #1 overall pick of all time.