In the top 6 most influential players in NBA history, Steph Curry suddenly only ranked 4th, behind these 4 people: Is this accurate?

In the top 6 most influential players in NBA history,

Steph Curry suddenly only ranked 4th, behind these 4 people:

Is this accurate?

Steph Curry's unexpected response when Bob Myers asked about the Draymond  Green vs Jordan Poole fight | Marca

Thousands of players have come through the NBA over the course of its history, but a handful have been able to leave an indelible mark on the minds of basketball fans.

Some have changed the way fans watch the game and talk about the game and culture of basketball.

They have made important contributions on and off the court, and even though some have left us, their spirit still lives in the minds of fans and players.

6 Most Influential Players in NBA History, From Steph Curry to Michael Jordan

Stephen Curry and Michael Jordan transformed the NBA. Photos by Jack Arent/NBAE and Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

The NBA celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2022 and named the top 75 NBA players of all time. The most influential players in NBA history made the list and Sports Brief looks at some of them.

Top 6 most influential NBA players

Honorable mentions: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Julius Erving, Larry Bird, Jerry West, Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal.

6. Wilt Chamberlain – Lakers, Warriors, 76ers

Chamberlain set almost unbreakable records over the course of his career. He had a 100-point game that no one has ever breached, a 55-rebound game, and even averaged 50 points in a season. He was so dominant that the NBA had to change some rules.

The league widened the lane, introduced offensive goaltending, and adjusted rules regarding inbounding the ball and free throws. He won two championship rings in his career.

5. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers

Bryant was inspired by Michael Jordan and His Airness heavily influenced Bryant’s game, but the Lakers icon forged his own path. He was clutch and won five NBA titles in his career.

The Black Mamba persona is still being talked about to this day. This inspired millions of people all over the world, not only with his game but, most importantly, with his personality.

The Lakers icon tragically passed away in January 2020 following a helicopter crash that also took away his daughter, Gianna and seven others.

4. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

The ‘Baby-faced Assassin’ has tormented defenses for the last decade and continues to do so at 35. He is the greatest shooter of all time. No player has made more three-pointers than the four-time NBA champion. He could be the most influential player in NBA history from a pure on-court perspective.

The Warriors legend transformed how the game is played with his spectacular range. He changed how bigs play on a team and individual level. He completely revolutionized how basketball is played and has influenced millions of kids all over the world.

3. Magic Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers

Most fans and even ex-NBA stars like Isiah Thomas said Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson saved the NBA in the 1980s. He was a 6-foot-9 point guard and made the game so fun to watch. He won five NBA titles with the Lakers, three regular season MVPs, and three Finals MVPs

He played a key part in the introduction of the ‘triple-double’ in NBA discourse. His no-look passes, flashy alley-oops, and his game intelligence made the ‘Showtime’ Lakers must-see TV.

2. LeBron James – Cavaliers, Heat, Lakers

James is playing in his 21st NBA season, and his influence on and off the court is almost unprecedented. On the court, he has scored the most points in NBA history. His stats are incredible and are a testament to his longevity.

Nowadays, you always hear ‘the next LeBron’ but his versatility makes it hard for anyone to be compared to him. He is one of the reasons why positionless basketball exists and played a part in introducing small ball lineups.

Off the court, he started the era of player empowerment when he announced his move to the Miami Heat, per ESPN. Now, many players take control of revealing their next career moves and reasons for doing so.

1. Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls, Wizards

Jordan retired over 20 years ago, and his name has never left the mouths of basketball and non-basketball fans. That’s how you know his influence will be felt for decades to come, even when he’s gone. He helped transform the NBA into a global product.

Before him, the NBA wasn’t as big beyond the US borders, but Jordan helped bring fans and players from every corner of the globe. He inspired the likes of Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and many other NBA stars.

What can we say about the Jordan brand? Millions of people all over the world wear Air Jordans, arguably the most popular shoe/clothing brand named after an athlete.

The Chicago Bulls have not won an NBA title since Jordan left, and by acclamation, he is considered the NBA GOAT.


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