Michael Jordan is obviously the best Chicago Bull ever, and arguably the best basketball player to ever lace up his sneakers.


The Best of the Best 

A debate will always exist about who is the best NBA player of all time.

Some say Michael Jordan.

Some say Bill Russell.

Some say LeBron James.

But who are the best players to play for a particular franchise?

Even that list can spark hostile debate amongst hoop fans.

Nevertheless, RegalMag.com wants to jump into that argument by picking the best player from each franchise.

The only stipulation is that the player had to have played for the franchise for a minimum of four seasons.

Unfortunately, that little condition might make coming up with this list that much harder.

But we will try anyway.

To make matters easier for RegalMag.com, or harder depending on how a person looks at it, Regal will also list a runner-up for each NBA franchise.

As always, let RegalMag.com know what it got wrong and what it got correct.

*Players cannot represent more than one team. The number of championships a player won taken into account.

*PPG is for points per game. RPG is for rebounds per game. And APG is for assists per game.

Los Angeles Lakers (Minneapolis Lakers)—Earvin “Magic” Johnson (guard); runner-up, Kobe Bryant (guard)

*During Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s career with the Lakers, he averaged 19.5 PPG, 7.2 RBG and 11.2 APG from 1979-1991; 1995-1996. During Kobe Bryant’s career with the Lakers from 1996-2016, he averaged 25.0 PPG 5.2 RBG and 4.7 APG

Golden State Warriors (Philadelphia Warriors/San Francisco Warriors)—Stephen Curry (guard); runner-up, Rick Barry (forward)

*Thus far (2010-present), Stephen Curry has career averages of 23.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 6.8 APG for the Golden State Warriors. Throughout his NBA and ABA career with the San Francisco Warriors/Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Oakland Oaks/Washington Caps and New York Nets, Barry averaged 24.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 4.9 APG

San Antonio Spurs (Dallas Chaparrals/Texas Chaparrals)—Tim Duncan (forward); runner-up, David Robinson (center)

*From 1997-2016 with the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan averaged 19.0 RPG, 10.8 RPG and 3.0 APG. David Robinson played his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs from 1989-2003. He had career averages of 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG and 2.5 APG

Boston Celtics—Bill Russell (center); runner-up, Larry Bird (forward)

*Bill Russell played for the Boston Celtics from 1956-1969. He averaged 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RBG and 4.3 APG. Larry Bird played for the Boston Celtics from 1979-1992. Bird had career averages of 24.3 PPG, 10 RBG and 6.3 APG

Toronto Raptors—Vince Carter (guard); runner-up, Tracy McGrady (forward)

*Vince Carter has played in the NBA since 1998. He currently plays for the Atlanta Hawks. He has also played for the Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings. Carter has career averages of 17.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 3.2 APG. Tracy McGrady had career averages of 19.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 4.4 APG. McGrady played for the Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs.

Cleveland Cavaliers—LeBron James (forward); runner-up, Mark Price (guard)
*LeBron James has career averages of 27.2 PPG, 7.4 RPG and 7.2 APG. James has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers. Mark Price has career averages of 15.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG and 6.7 APG. Price played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors and Orlando Magic.

Houston Rockets (San Diego Rockets)—Hakeem Olajuwon (center); runner-up, Moses Malone (center)

*Hakeem Olajuwon played for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. Olajuwon had career averages of 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RBG and 2.5 APG. Moses Malone played professionally from 1974-1995. He played for the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis and Utah Stars. He also played for the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Buffalo Braves, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs. Malone had career averages of 20.3 PPG, 12.3 RPG and 1.3 APG.

New York Knicks—Walt Frazier (guard); runner-up, Willis Reed (center)

*Walt Frazier had career averages of 18.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 6.1 APG for the New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers. Willis Reed had career averages of 18.7 PPG, 12.9 RPG and 1.8 APG for the New York Knicks from 1964-1974.

Oklahoma City Thunder (Seattle SuperSonics)—Russell Westbrook (guard); runner-up, Kevin Durant (forward)

*Russell Westbrook has played his entire career for the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2008-present. He has career averages of 23 PPG, 6.6 RPG and 8.2 APG. Kevin Durant has career averages of 27.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 4 APG for the Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors.

Philadelphia 76ers (Syracuse Nationals)—Wilt Chamberlain (center); runner-up, Julius Erving (forward)

*Wilt Chamberlain had career averages of 30.1 PPG, 22.9 RPG and 4.4 APG. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. Erving had career averages of 24.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 4.2 APG for the ABA’s Virginia Squires and New York Nets and the 76ers (NBA).

Chicago Bulls—Michael Jordan (guard); runner-up, Scottie Pippen (forward)

*Michael Jordan had career averages of 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 5.3 APG. Jordan played for the Bulls and Washington Wizards. Scottie Pippen averaged 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 5.2 APG for his career. Pippen played for the Bulls, Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers.

Dallas Mavericks—Dirk Nowitzki (forward); runner-up, Mark Aguirre (forward)

*Nowitzki has played his entire career with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 21.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG and 2.5 APG. Aguirre had career averages of 20 PPG, 5 RPG and 3.1 APG for the Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers.

Miami Heat—Dwayne Wade (guard); runner-up, Alonzo Mourning (center)

*Wade has career averages of 22.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG and 5.5 APG playing for the Heat and Chicago Bulls. Mourning had career averages of 17.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 1.1 APG for the Heat, Charlotte Hornets and New Jersey Nets.

Phoenix Suns—Steve Nash (guard); runner-up, Charles Barkley (forward)

*Nash had career averages of 14.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 8.5 APG for the Suns, Mavericks and Lakers. Charles Barkley had career averages of 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG and 3.9 APG. Barkley played for the 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets.

Milwaukee Bucks—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (center); runner-up, Ray Allen (guard)

*Abdul-Jabbar had career averages of 24.6 PPG, 11.2 RPG and 3.6 APG for the Bucks and Lakers. Allen had career averages of 18.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.4 APG for the Bucks, SuperSonics, Celtics and Heat.

Denver Nuggets (Denver Rockets)—David Thompson (guard); runner-up, Alex English (forward)

*Thompson had career averages of 22.7 PPG, 4.1 RPG and 3.3 APG for the Nuggets and SuperSonics. English had career averages of 21.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 3.6 APG for the Nuggets, Bucks, Pacers and Mavericks.

Detroit Pistons (Fort Wayne Pistons/Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons)—Isiah Thomas (guard); runner-up, Dave Bing (guard)

*Thomas had career averages of 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 9.3 APG for the Pistons. Bing had career averages of 20.3 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 6.0 APG for the Pistons, Bullets and Celtics.

Minnesota Timberwolves—Kevin Garnett (forward); runner-up, Kevin Love (forward)

*Garnett had career averages of 17.8 PPG, 10 RPG and 3.7 APG for the Timberwolves, Celtics and Nets. Love has career averages of 18.3 PPG, 11.3 PPG and 2.3 APG for the Timberwolves and Cavaliers.

Los Angeles Clippers (Buffalo Braves/San Diego Clippers)—Chris Paul (guard); runner-up, Bon McAdoo (forward)

*Paul has averages of 18.7 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 9.7 APG for the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, Clippers and Rockets. McAdoo had career averages of 22.1 PPG, 9.4 RPG and 2.3 APG for the Braves, Knicks, Celtics, Pistons, Mets, Lakers and 75ers.

Utah Jazz (New Orleans Jazz)—Karl Malone (forward); runner-up, John Stockton (guard)

*Malone had career averages of 25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG and 3.6 APG for the Jazz and Lakers. Stockton had career averages of 13.1 PPG and 10.5 APG.

New Orleans Pelicans (Charlotte Hornets)—Anthony Davis (center); runner-up, Larry Johnson (forward)

*Davis has career averages of 23.5 PPG and 10.4 RBG for the Pelicans. Johnson had averages of 16.2 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 3.3 APG for the Hornets and Knicks.

Washington Wizards (Baltimore Bullets/Washington Bullets/Chicago Packers/Chicago Zephyrs/Capitol Bullets)—Earl Monroe (guard); runner-up, Elvin Hayes (forward)

Monroe had career averages of 18.8 PPG, 3 RPG and 3.9 APG for the Baltimore Bullets and Knicks. Hayes averaged 21 PPG and 12.5 RPG for the San Diego/Houston Rockets and Baltimore/Capitol/Washington Bullets.

Brooklyn Nets (New York Nets/New Jersey Nets/New Jersey Americans)—Jason Kidd (guard); runner-up, Michael Ray Richardson (guard)

*Kidd had career averages of 12.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 8.7 APG for the Nets, Mavericks, Suns, and Knicks. Richardson had career averages of 14.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG and 7 APG for the Knicks, Nets and Warriors. 

Portland Trailblazers—Bill Walton (center); runner-up, Clyde Drexler (guard)

*Walton had career averages of 13.3 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 3.4 APG for the Trailblazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers and Celtics. Drexler averaged 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 5.6 APG for the Trailblazers and Rockets.

Atlanta Hawks (St. Louis Hawks/Buffalo Bisons/Tri-Cities Blackhawks/Milwaukee Hawks)—Dominique Wilkins (forward); runner-up, Pete Maravich (guard)

*Wilkins averaged 24.8 PPG and 6.7 RPG for the Hawks, Clippers, Celtics, Spurs and Magic. Maravich averaged 24.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 5.4 APG for the Hawks, New Orleans/Utah Jazz and Celtics.

Charlotte Hornets (Charlotte Bobcats)—Kemba Walker (guard); runner-up, Emeka Okafor (forward/center)

*Walker has averages of 19.1 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 5.4 APG for the Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets. Okafor averaged 12 PPG and 9.7 RPG for the Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans and Wizards.

Indiana Pacers—Reggie Miller (guard); runner-up, George McGinnis (forward)

*Miller averaged 18.2 PPG for the Pacers. McGinnis averaged 20.2 PPG and 11 RPG for the Pacers (ABA/NBA), 76ers and Nuggets

Sacramento Kings (Kansas City Kings/Kansas City-Omaha Kings/Cincinnati Royals/Rochester Royals/Rochester Seagrams/Rochester Eber Seagrams/Rochester Pros)—Oscar Robertson (guard); runner-up, Chris Webber (forward)

*Robertson had career averages of 25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 9.5 APG for the Cincinnati Royals and Bucks. Webber averaged 20.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG and 4.2 APG for the Warriors, Bullets, Kings, Pistons and 76ers.

Memphis Grizzlies (Vancouver Grizzlies)—Pau Gasol (forward); runner-up, Zach Randolph (forward)

*Gasol has career averages of 17.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG and 3.2 APG for the Grizzlies, Lakers, Bulls and Spurs. Randolph had career averages of 16.6 PPG and 9.1 RPG for the Trailblazers, Grizzlies, Knicks, Clippers and Kings.

Orlando Magic—Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway (guard); runner-up, Shaquille O’Neal (center)


*Hardaway had career averages of 15.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 5 APG for the Magic, Suns, Knicks and Heat. O’Neal had career averages of 23.7 PPG and 10.9 RPG for the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns, Cavaliers and Celtics.

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