Recently, the argument of the Jordan era as the best in basketball surfaced, and it is hard to argue with anyone who agrees with that. The Jordan era revitalized the NBA and made it more stable and fun to watch. If you think of the best twenty players in the history of the game, they probably played in the Jordan era (with a few exceptions, of course).
However, the NBA hasn’t been left for dead since the retirement of Michael Jordan. In fact, I am positive that I can name ten players in the post-Jordan era that can be held in just as high praise as the players from that particular time.
When putting together this list, I took into consideration a lot of factors. The first is value to the team. I also considered statistics, longevity, winning, and, of course, playoff performance. Take a look at the list:
10. Chris Webber
Most people don’t remember how good Chris Webber was before the micro-fracture surgery. Chris Webber was destined to win that elusive title in Sacramento but he was usually derailed by the Lakers. Many times, the Lakers were aided by the officials. Chris Webber outplayed Shaq on several occasions, and he made his supporting cast of Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Vlade Divac, and Bobby Jackson look like contenders and, many times, even stars. Webber was a walking 20-10-5 machine.
9. Steve Nash
Steve Nash was the best player and point guard in the league for two seasons. He carried the Suns to more wins than they could ever imagine. He would be a little higher on the list if he would have won a title. Many people question whether or not he should have won those MVPs over Kobe Bryant. I don’t question it, because the man was doing things with players that most of us wouldn’t pick up on our fantasy team if they were available in free agency.
8. LeBron James
He might not be the most well-liked player in the league, and it’s been well documented that he’s yet to win an NBA title. That doesn’t change the fact that Lebron James is an absolutely fantastic basketball player with plenty of time to become even better.
If you needed to make a big shot to win a game tonight, you probably wouldn’t pick LeBron, but you might not have picked Kobe at the age of 27 either.
7. Paul Pierce
Pierce’s career is probably the most underrated as a professional player that I can remember. He has flourished in a market that calls and demands greatness. He is often criticized for being soft and, often times, he is hated by the fans, but the reality of the matter is that Pierce has been one of the best players in the NBA for many years. He scores, he defends, and he passes the ball.
6. Dirk Nowitzki
It took Dirk about two years to hit his stride, and then he ran off 11 consecutive seasons in which he averaged over 20 points per game. Dirk won the 2006-2007 NBA MVP award when he averaged almost 25 ppg and nine boards per game. I remember telling people when he first started in the league that he would be the best European player that ever played in the NBA. He is a seven-foot power forward with shooting guard abilities.
He’s a four-time first-team all-NBA player, and last year, he hoisted the Dallas Mavericks on his shoulders and led them to their first NBA title.