Although I’m a millenial, most of my favorite players are from the older NBA eras.
If I had to choose a current NBA player I’m a huge fan of – it would have to be Luka Doncic (yes it might surprise some of you that I’m not a Lebron fan, although I do defend him from irrational criticism a lot).
We are seeing an all time transcendent talent right here. Luka reminds me a little bit of a mix between Lebron and Larry Bird. He’s not as athletic as Lebron and he doesn’t shoot like Bird nor does he have the defensive abilities of those two but he has attributes of both. He’s a better ball handler than Lebron already. He’s got a complete offensive game. He’s got a fantastic jumper, can drive in any way, confuse defenders, post you up, and is also a great rebounder and great passer. His court vision is what reminds me of Lebron and Bird’s court vision. Last playoffs, he upset the 64 win Suns with his second best teammate being Jalen Brunson and this season so far he’s averaging 36/8/8. Yes those are ridiculous numbers. and on 52% FG% too. He’s dominant. And he’s going to end up as one of the greatest players ever barring an injury.
And for the older player’s here’s a few I’m a fan of:
Here’s my signed Magic jersey hanging in my frame. He’s my favorite Laker. Unselfish, entertaining, and does everything to help his team win. The greatest passer ever. How can anyone not like Magic?
Here’s my signed West jersey hanging from my frame. The most complete guard before Jordan. A great teammate, unselfish, a great shooter, an all time scorer, a great passer, a great defender. There’s a reason why he’s the Logo. He exemplifies the perfect NBA guard.
Here’s my signed Rick Barry jersey. I might be one of the few Rick Barry fans. When I went to the Warriors games back when I lived in San Francisco, I was the only one there wearing a Barry jersey. Barry is a very polarizing unlikable superstar. However, I personally never found anything I disagreed with him about listening to his podcasts and interviews, I found myself agreeing with Barry most of the time and he’s a great analyst, he’s got high basketball IQ and breaks down the game well. He’s a complete offensive player and nearly unstoppable scorer, and he’s got great court vision and was known for his great passing abilities later in his career as well.
I love that one handed jumper
I have his signed jersey as well. McGinnis is underrated historically because people don’t care about his ABA career and only remember him falling short in the 1977 playoffs. But McGinnis was dominant as a Pacer and pretty much carried that team once Daniels and Brown were older and aging. I want people to know that. I have McGinnis as my #10 PF all time. He was Lebron before Lebron. A 6′8 235lbs of muscle who could bring the ball up the court, super athletic, had the offensive moves and court vision and carry his team on offense.
Any player who could dominate on both ends of the court with sideburns like that and a fashion style like that gets to be on my favorite players list. Clyde was killer cool.
I love guys who hustle. Cowens could hustle. He could guard you, he could post you up, he WILL outrebound you (he averaged 13 rebounds a game as a 6′9 white dude!) and he could pass as well! (averaged almost 4 APG for his career as a center). Cowens was an all around player that probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves..
Once in an all time draft, my friend raised an eyebrow when I took Connie Hawkins at PF over Giannis. I explained to him that this dude was just as dominant as Giannis in his prime just most people didn’t get to see him play. Now, Giannis is of course a much better defender, but offense wise Hawkins had more moves. Hawkins not only was the first ABA MVP and Finals MVP in his rookie ABA year, but he also took the Wilt/West/Baylor Lakers to 7 games pretty much by himself in his rookie NBA year. He was a great great player that is very underrated. And plus – he looked cool too. New York playground cool. Dr J can tell you all about that.
Like I said, I love guys who can hustle. Moses hustled. He was the hardest worker in the business. Much like Cowens, he would outwork you, outhustle you, outrebound you, defend you hard, and just do all the dirty work. Wasn’t much of a talker but you saw his business on the court.. he dominated Kareem and everyone else in the 80s at his position.
again. another hard worker. Issel’s best attribute I think is – like Tim Duncan, Karl Malone and Elvin Hayes – his consistency and longevity. Issel could actually shoot better than those guys though and along with Bob McAdoo was an early example of a stretch big. Although he could play PF or C he reminds me the most of a prototype version of Dirk. Not much of a defender, but you leave him on the perimeter or the inside and he’s deadly.
For much the same reasons I love Jerry West, I also love Duncan. He’s the perfect NBA player. He has a complete offensive game, great defensively, and he’s a consummate team player. What else can you ask for? He really should be in the GOAT convo more (although I think Hakeem is probably even more shunned in the GOAT convo) but Duncan is amazing. As much as I praise Lebron if you asked me to start a franchise with either Lebron or Duncan it would actually be quite a tough choice for me. Duncan is just that good. Never missed the playoffs, and you don’t know when his prime started or ended!
So yes if I had to pick a modern favorite player it would be Luka, but I mostly like older players and my fav 10 are: Magic, West, Barry, McGinnis, Frazier, Hawkins, Issel, Moses, Cowens, Duncan.