The Best NBA Players of the 90s


The Top NBA Players of the 90s


The 90s was a great decade for basketball the NBA was amazing then. Starting when the 1992 Dream Team was announced at the end of 1991. The team consisted of Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, John Stockton, Christian Laettner and Clyde Drexler. And a dream team they were. Basketball especially the NBA was at an all time high in the 90s.


There were many skilled players in the NBA in the 90s but the ones that I feel were the absolute tops were (in no particular order):


Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan
Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal
Hakeem Olajuwon
Hakeem Olajuwon
Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen
John Stockton
John Stockton
Karl Malone
Karl Malone
Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning
Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley
Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller
Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman
Dikembe Mutombo
Dikembe Mutombo
David Robinson
David Robinson
Grant Hill
Grant Hill
Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing
Dominique Wilkins
Dominique Wilkins
Larry Bird
Larry Bird
Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson
Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale
Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas
Clyde Drexler
Clyde Drexler
Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson
  • 1. Michael Jordan born February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York played for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards - No need to explain why because he revolutionized the game of basketball.

  • 2. Shaquille O'neal born March 6, 1972 in NewarkNew Jersey played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat and currently with the Phoenix Suns - Changed the position of center with his versatility and strength.

  • 3. Hakeem Olajuwon born on January 21, 1963 in Lagos, Nigeria played for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors - Dedication to defense and one of the best low post players.

  • 4. Scottie Pippen born September 25, 1965 in Hamburg, Arkansas played for the Chicago Bulls, the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trailblazers - The best two man in the game, he could accompany anyone.

  • 5. John Stockton born March 26, 1962 in Spokane, Washington played for the Utah Jazz - A floor leader, thought pass before shooting, the true essence of point guard.

  • 6. Karl Malone born July 24, 1963 in Summerfield, Louisiana played for the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers - Power, grace and speed with an incredible soft touch.

  • 7. Alonzo Morning born February 8, 1970, in Chesapeake, Virginia played for the Charlotte Hornets, the Miami Heat and the New Jersey Nets - Intimidation, played above his height.

  • 8. Charles Barkley born February 20, 1963 in Leeds, Alabama played for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets - An undersized overachiever a true warrior.

  • 9. Reggie Miller born August 24, 1965 in Riverside, California played for the Indiana Pacers - All about the 3's, clutch shooter.

  • 10. Dennis Rodman born May 13, 1961 in Trenton, New Jersey played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks - A workhorse and a great role player.

  • 11. Dikembe Mutombo born June 25, 1966 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo played for Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and currently for the Houston Rockets - Defensive specialist, dedicated to protecting the basket.

  • 12. David Robinson born August 6, 1965 in Key West, Florida played for the San Antonio Spurs - Strength, brilliant basketball mind, dedicated player and great leader.

  • 13. Grant Hill born October 5, 1972 in Dallas, Texas played for the Detroit Pistons and currently for the Orlando Magic - Finesse player, fundamentally sound, great on and off court personality.

  • 14. Patrick Ewing born August 5, 1962 in Kingston, Jamaica played for the New York Knicks, Seattle Supersonics and the Orlando Magic - Dominating big man, great shooter, great clutch player.

  • 15. Dominique Wilkins born January 12, 1960 in Paris, France played for the Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic - Incredible scorer, dunker, good defender.

  • 16. Larry Bird born December 7, 1956 in Lafayette, Indiana played for the Boston Celtics - Gladiator, great shooter, great leader, great fundamentals, redefined the position.

  • 17. Magic Johnson born August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan played for the Los Angeles Lakers - What can you say one of the greatest point guards to play the game, incredible court vision.

  • 18. Kevin McHale born December 19, 1957 in Hibbing, Minnesota played for the Boston Celtics - Low post giant, great footwork.

  • 19. Isaiah Thomas born April 30, 1961 in Chicago, Illinois played for the Detroit Pistons - Floor leader, great clutch shooter.

  • 20. Clyde Drexler born June 22, 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana, played for the Portland Trailblazers and the Houston Rockets - Good defender, great strength.

  • 21. Kevin Johnson March 4, 1966 in Sacramento California played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns - Fast, a true fighter and unselfish, great little man.

These players helped to revitalize the league and gave the world something to watch. The 90s were definitely a time for change in basketball specifically the NBA and these players were a huge part of the success of basketball during this time. There are so many other players that contributed to the NBA in the 90s and I am sure I have overlooked some. There were also a few good players that I just didn't feel comfortable putting on this list but who still deserve some honorable mention like; Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber, Mitch Richmond, John Starks and Penny Hardaway.


Honestly there were so many good players in the 90s its hard not to mention many. But it certainly makes me miss those days when the games was much more exciting because it focused on fun and athleticism instead of the all might dollar and contracts.

Magic Johnson

Larry Bird Highlights

Michael Jordan 10 Best Dunks

More by this Author


Comments 81 comments

Angela 8 years ago

I know you're a Laker-hater, but I'm totally taking issue with Magic only being #17 on your list. I'm going to tell myself that you did that because he didn't play for most of the '90s . . .


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 8 years ago from West Coast Author

Wait wait wait before you hate!! Yes I am a known Laker Hater but I have much much love for Magic. You might have missed the part in the blog that stated "There were many skilled players in the NBA in the 90s but the ones that I feel were the absolute tops were (in no particular order)" Which means that I did not put them in any particular order at all. Sorry if I offended any Laker fans or Magic Fans but this list is in no particular order at all.


how to increase vertical 7 years ago

I was still wondering at your info's ideas..Thanks for sharing the ideas..Its really a pertinent info..Thanks for the great Hub!Such a cool and nice to glance up this site


Cornell Jones 7 years ago

I don't agree that Kevin Johnson was one of the tpo players of the 90's. If I remember conrrectly he like Barkey did not win an NBA Championship. In my opinion he was an above average player. He was never the type player that carried a team. Each of the players I see pictured above were talented enough to carry a team all alone.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Cornell for your comments. I definitely have to disagree with you on the points that you made. First of all Kevin Johnson was one of the top 3 point guards in the NBA he consistently lead his team in stats and was top 3 in assists during this time period. He made the all star team 3 different years and although his team never won the championship they went to the playoffs every single year he played for year. To me this speaks volumes of his skills as an NBA player.


CoachCorn 7 years ago

Thank you for your insight Triplet Mom. But, I don't remember any signature moments in Kevin Johnson's career. Playoffs good, All star games fine, but you need signature moments to define greatest.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Coach - Thank you for your comments. I would have to disagree with you here. I think that there are plenty of great players that are quiet in their successes. KJ happens to be one of those people. His stats speak for him and put him in the greatness category.


Sportsrulz19 profile image

Sportsrulz19 7 years ago

Hey I like your hub on the 90's players. Would you check out my profile and maybe become a fan.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thanks sportsrulz!


Mr.Murph profile image

Mr.Murph 7 years ago from Sunny,florida

Bravo triplet mom i think u need not miss a beat with this hub.You included every great player from the 90's who was worth watcing.Good job


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you Mr. Murph I enjoyed watching every one of them too!!


TheHonestMan profile image

TheHonestMan 7 years ago from Inland Empire, California

This brings back old school memories of when the NBA was at an all time high. Greats like Jordan, Olajuwon, and Shaquille O'Neal helped to revolutionize the game and influence the younger players to come.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

The Honest Man - I actually miss those years that was basketball at its greatest. Hopefully it will come back around again!


hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 7 years ago from nyc

len bias


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Hinckles - its so unfortunate that Len Bias was never able to play in the NBA. That was one prospect that I was looking forward to seeing.


hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 7 years ago from nyc

i really think he could have been the greatest but that's another issue


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Hinckles - Unfortunately that is something we will never know.


hinckles koma profile image

hinckles koma 7 years ago from nyc

I like the way you organized everything the 90's were definitely a great b-ball era ps it feels good to see another girl involved in sports i did not want to write at all about sports until i read your hubs. I just wrote my first hub about sports keep em coming

thanks


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Hinkles - Thank you. I love sports. Basketball is my number one and Football is a close second. For years I have battled with men regarding my knowledge of sports. Sometimes you just have to assert yourself and trust me you will be questioned about your knowledge but just keep plugging away.


racquetsportatlas profile image

racquetsportatlas 7 years ago

What about Gary Payton or Shawn Kemp?


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp are two great players. Thanks Racquetsportatlas!


Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

im not much for Isiah thomas but im with you on the rest

Great Hub

Very indepth


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thanks for your comments Truth From Truth.


Gemineye profile image

Gemineye 7 years ago

I don't quite agree with numerous players on the list, they were from the 80's, which was the true golden era of the sport.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Gemineye - Well since you do not name specific players its hard to make a point. Most of the players that started in the late 80s and continued to play in the 90s were great in the 90s as well. Thanks for your comments.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

Terrific list, and hard to argue with the players you mentioned. It was a shame Grant Hill was injured for so much of his career, who knows how good this wonderful player might have been. If injuries hadn't taken their toll, Ralph Sampson and Danny Manning, two great college players who never lived up to expectations in the NBA, might have made this list.

Thanks for your post, it was a good read.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Mike - Thank you so much for your comments. I am in complete agreement with you. It really is too bad that injuries adversly affected these players. I am amazed that Grant Hill is still playing and well with all the injuries and surgeries he has had to deal with.


BoJackson 7 years ago

this is late as hell, but Kevin Johnson had two really famous dunks the one on Hakeem and the other on I think it was Brad Daugherty, those are often considered two of the best dunks of all time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvCifZcbb-s


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

Thanks BoJackson! I have much respect for KJ!


iiop 7 years ago

90's.. the best era... today's nba ain't even close


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast Author

iiop - I agree completely with you!


skullV27 profile image

skullV27 6 years ago

Not a bad list


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you skullv27!


Matt 6 years ago

Great list - the 90's was a great era for the NBA!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Thanks Matt I agree completely!


tony 6 years ago

This list is way off, theirs no way Shaq is number 2, not in the 90s


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Tony - At the beginning of the list I stated that these were given in no particular order. I was not saying that Shaq was number 2 in the 90s that would not be even close to the truth. What other problems do you have this list since you said it was "WAY" off?


Brian79 6 years ago from AR

Magic, bird, mchale ,isiah I think should be in the 80's and maybe wilkins and barkley too.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you for your input Brian79!


dario415 profile image

dario415 6 years ago from San Francisco

THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE YOU LEFT OFF THAT LIST..THAT MUST BE YOUR OWN LIST.BUT YOU COULDVE ADDED CHRIS MULLINS,MITCH RICHMOND,HORNACEK, SOME OF THE GRITTY PLAYERS THAT ARE NOT ALL LIGHTS AND GLAMORE. WE KNOW ABOUT THOSE PLAYERS THOSE WERE THE FACES OF THE LEAGUE.BUT ITS THE OTHER PLAYERS I LIKE.THE ONES THAT GRIND AND DO ALL THE LITTLE THINGS TO HELP THE OTHER TEAMMATE.THAT'S WHY I WISH THESE KIDS THESE DAYS WOULD GET A DOSE OF HOW REAL BASKETBALL WAS PLAYED BACK IN THE 80S.MY FAVORITE PLAYER IS CHARLES BARKLE. THE FIRST TIME I SAW HIM PLAY ON TV I WAS AMAZED.I SEEN ALL THE OTHER GUYS PLAY ON TV AS WELL BUT IT WAS SOMETHING ABOUT BARKLEY THAT I LOVED.HE HAD AND ALL AROUND GAME.SOME MIGHT NOT THINK SO, BUT HE DID.IF YOU REALLY WATCHED BARKLEY PLAY, HE DID IT ALL.PASSED,DRIBBLED REAL GOOD,3 POINT SHOT,PLAYS THE POST WITH FINESSE BUT PHYSICAL,SOFT HANDS,GOOD FREETHROW SHOOTER,GOOD DEFENSE.AND ALL THIS WAS FOR A BIG GUY THAT I SEEN RUN THE FLOOR LIKE HE HAD SKATES ON.I PLAY THE SAME WAY HE DOES.AND YOU WOULD PROBABLY SAY HOW YOU KNOW. CAUSE SINCE IVE BEEN PLAYING BASKETBALL IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE I PLAY. THEY SAY, YOU PLAY LIKE BARKLEY. AND I TAKE THAT TO HEART. I DO EVERYTHING THE SAME EXCEPT DUNK. BUT BARKLEY IS A COOL DUDE. BUT HIS GAME IS MEAN. THAT'S WHY WHEN HE TALKS BASKETBALL HE CAN SAY WHATEVER HE WANTS AND NOBODY IS GONNA SAY A THING ABOUT IT BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE GAME.SO THAT THERE SHOULD TELL YOU HOW MUCH RESPECT HE HAS. BUT MY TOP TEN ARE-1.MAGIC 2.BARKLEY 3.KOBE 4.BIRD 5.OLAWJUWON 6.MOURNING 7.MULLINS 8.WILKINS 9.ISIAH THOMAS 10.WORTHY.

THESE ARE THE TYPE OF PLAYERS I LIKE. THE ONES THAT ARE PHYSICAL WITH THEIR STYLE OF PLAY. I THINK BASKETBALL IS THE BEST SPORT IN THE GAME. YOU GOTTA LOVE IT..YOU GOT TOO


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Dario415 - Thank you for your thoughts and insight. I could have added a lot of people on this list. You have to stop somewhere. Just so you know, I do love basketball....it is my life. :)


dario415 profile image

dario415 6 years ago from San Francisco

lets get a one on one going. CHECK BALL.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

LMAO!! :)


JUSTDATGUY 6 years ago

Damn Penny Hardaway couldn't make the list? He was the man in the 90's


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Good call Justdatguy!! You are so right!


cjxalex profile image

cjxalex 6 years ago from Guzhen, Zhongshan City, Guangdong, China

Jordan is always the god of basketball.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

cjxalex - Agreed :)


Brendan 6 years ago

hmm, well I would add:

Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson, Chris Mullen, Penny, Tim Hardaway, Shaun Kemp, Gary Payton, Laettner, (for the white boys I gotta say Rick Smits and Detleff Schrempf), Mugsy Bogues, I mean the list goes on and on


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 6 years ago from West Coast Author

Brendan - I agree the list does go on and on there were so many talented players in the 90s! Thanks for your comments.


5 years ago

what about Penny Hardaway??


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Great player. Thanks for suggesting him t!


ramaznadsafaf 5 years ago

Very entertaining hub--especially the quotes from Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Shackleford. Can't wait to show them to my bball friends.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you ramaznadsafaf!!


racquetsportatlas profile image

racquetsportatlas 5 years ago

I was going to complain about Alonzo Mourning's position on your list... but I read one of the comments that said you put the list in no particular order! Good choices


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Thank you racquetsportalas!!


Insertnamehere 5 years ago

What about Julious Erving?


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Insertnamehere - Julius Erving is an incredible player but since is the Top NBA Players of the 90s he was not included. His career ended in the late 80s. Thanks for your comment.


tone2timez 5 years ago

Michael Jordan is by far the best player of all time everyone wanted to be like mike.Scottie Pippen was also a great player.Jordan couldn't get it done without Scottie.Basically what im saying is even the best players cant do it alone.Just like Kobe need shaq and Gasol,at the end of the day its a team game.U need role players that step up at big moments,like derrick fisher and Robert Horry for example.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Thanks for your comments tone2timez! Yes I agree no one player can do it alone, but there are some exceptional players that make it easier!


ctbrown7 5 years ago

Good hub. I think from about 1985 to 1995 was the greatest group of NBA basketbal players we've been blessed to watch. I misse the glory days.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

ctbrown - Thanks for your comments. I could not agree more. I do miss those days. It was exciting and FANtastic!!


Brian 5 years ago

Good list. However, I would add Glen Rice*, Tim Hardaway*, Letrell Sprewell*, Kevin Garnett*, Kobe Bryant, Chris Mullin, Anfernee Hardaway*, Larry Johnson, Shawn Kemp*, Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd*, Allen Iverson*, Arvidas Sabonis, Vince Carter, Vlade Divac, Ray Allen, Gary Payton*, Mark Price, Moses Malone, Mitch Richmond, Steve Smith, Allan Houston, Jalen Rose, and Chris Webber*. The one's I put a star next I thought were the best. I know a few of these people only had their first or last couple years in the 90s but I thought they were still noteworthy. I like your Kevin Johnson pick.


James 5 years ago

Two little guys- Spud Webb and Muggsy Bogues


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Brian - Awesome players on your list. They are all noteworthy in my opinion. I trie to stick to players who had the bulk of their careers in the 90s so that would weed out a few of those. But those names really make me miss 90s NBA!

James - Little guys with HUGE skills!


ctbrown7 5 years ago

Excellent hub. I miss the 90's.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

ctbrown - So do I!! Those were some great basketball years!


daskittlez69 profile image

daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

Those were the days. Players could actually be role models for the kids!


Terrance Burrs 5 years ago

I have to address the statement by Cornell Jones who doesn't feel that Kevin Johnson is a great player of the 90's and that he couldn't carry a team. Reading this statement it is apparent that he didn't grow up watching Kevin Johnson play basketball. Kevin Johnson's arrival to the Pheonix Suns made them a championship contender in the west every year. The Suns did not make the playoffs for three straight seasons prior to KJ's arrival in the 88-89 season. However, they made it to the Western Conference Finals his first two seasons there, and they were winning 53+ games every season since his arrival. If we look at his point per game his first four years in Pheonix prior to Charles Barkley's arrival in 93 they are: 20.4, 22.5, 22.2, and 19.7. His assists in those four years were: 12.2, 11.4, 10.1, and 10.7. He has a career average of 18 pts and 9 assists, and it is only that low because of his low averages in his final two seasons where he played a total of 18 games. If not for that, we are looking at a 20 and 10 guy for his career, who made a team an instant contender every year that prior to his arrival wasn't relevant. He put up these type of numbers as a 6'1 point guard. I think it is a sham that this guy is not one of the 50 greats and has not yet been inducted into the hall of fame.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 5 years ago from West Coast Author

Very well put Terrance! I have to agree that KJ was a strong presence in the NBA and I hope that he does get inducted very soon!


b-ball love 4 years ago

AMEN :)


JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

The 90s for me, was the best time to be a NBA fan. Although right now, I think we're heading for a new golden age, right now the Heat are the team to beat, been a little disappointed with the Knicks and Mavs so far, but the season is still young.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 4 years ago from West Coast Author

JKenny - I really hope you are right. I really need some good basketball.


BasKetBall 4 years ago

Charles Barkley Was Not Better than Larry Bird!!


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 4 years ago from West Coast Author

BasKetBall - The list is not in any particular order.


seigfried23 profile image

seigfried23 4 years ago

I swear people can't read - even when it's their language. The list was in NO PARTICULAR ORDER lol! I think it was probably in order starting with number one (ha I'm a Jordan fan) but then no order after that. Besides, I'd take Barkley over Larry Bird. But just barely.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 4 years ago from West Coast Author

Lol thank you for understanding seigfried23. I was getting a little frustrated with that. I think Jordan is in a class all by himself so of course I put him at the top of the list and then everyone else just falls behind him. Thanks for your comments!


Ltso 3 years ago

Lebron or Jordan? Skill wise


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 3 years ago from West Coast Author

Skill wise I am still going to have to go with Jordan. Lebron is still amazing.


Miller2232 profile image

Miller2232 3 years ago from Florida

You might disagree, but Rod Strickland should be on that list as well of NBA players of the 90's.


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 3 years ago from West Coast Author

I think Rod Strickland was an incredible player just not sure I would add him to this list but definitely an honorable mention.


Specialk 3 years ago

I agree with this entire list and the dream team was really something to behold!! I still miss the 90s and I really wish I could have seen how Kobe and Lebron could have played against these guys when they were in their primes!

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