Top 9 Basketball Men of All Time

Among the other: Nate Thurmond, Kenny Smith, Billy Cunningham, Will Perdue, Marques Johnson, Bill Russell, Jordan Crawford, and Jason Kidd and of course Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan..

9. John G. Calipari

John Calipari

A decade before taking the Purdue job, Calipari became the coach of that team that, in 1967, became the first in NCAA history to win its tournament games by an average of 46 points. After his coaching career, he worked as a referee. He is an NBA official today.

8. Bernie Bickerstaff

Bernie Bickerstaff

Though he never won an NBA title, Bickerstaff coached teams that made the final in 10 of his 14 seasons (from 1988 to 2002) and in five of six seasons from 1994 to 2002. And during those latter years, he served as an assistant coach under Phil Jackson, though to criticize Bickerstaff for knowing Jackson well is wrong.

7. Earl Monroe

Earl Monroe

A three-time NBA all-star, Monroe also won five NCAA titles and was a four-time All-American. He also served two stints as an assistant coach, notably under Red Auerbach.

6. Auerbach Red

Auerbach Red

Auerbach coached the Boston Celtics to their first six NBA titles, but he also coached for two of them. He died on this day last year.

5. Clyde Drexler

Clyde Drexler

Drexler was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and NBA all-star and was arguably the second-best player in American history. He played for the Portland Trail Blazers for 14 seasons and led them to four NBA titles, winning NBA MVP twice.

4. Del Harris

Del Harris

Houston has played 19,007 games since 1947, the longest active streak in the NBA, and Harris played in 5,315 of them.

3. Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller

Like Drexler, Miller is the second-most prolific three-point shooter in NBA history. In his 15 seasons, he made 711 of 1,482 shots from three-point range.

2. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson

The greatest player in NBA history, Johnson won the Most Valuable Player award three times, three titles, and is the only player to win an MVP trophy as a rookie, a rookie of the year award, an MVP award, and a championship.

1. Isiah Thomas

Issiah Tomas

During his 17 seasons with the Detroit Pistons, Thomas won two titles and MVP trophies in one of those seasons.