During the NBA’s 50th season in 1996 a panel of media, executives, coaches and former players voted and established the “50 Greatest Players in NBA History.” The list was compiled and released in no particular ranking and included players from as early as 1959 (George Mikan). Names like Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Wilt Chamberlain accented the prestigious catalogue.
At halftime of the 1997 All Star Game in Cleveland, 47 of the 50 players were introduced to highlight a year of celebration for the NBA’s marquee season.
So with NBA TV’s Open Court debuting their “NBA 50 Greatest & The Next 10” last Tuesday evening, I humbly present to you my personal “Next 10” best players to ever play the game.
10. Reggie Miller
While reviewing the original version of the Greatest 50 I was shocked when I discovered that Reggie Miller was left off of this immaculate list. While Miller may have been just halfway through his lengthy tenure with the Indiana Pacers at the time this list was compiled, it’s without question that his NBA resume is stacked.
A first round pick of the Pacers in the 1987 draft, Reggie averaged an impressive 18.2 points per game over an 18 year career. The Knick Killer is 16th all-time in points (25, 279) and second in made 3’s (2,560), and maintained a ridiculous 88.8 free-throw %. One of his pinnacle performances was when he scored eight points in 8.9 seconds during the closing moments of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. Miller used two steals, two 3’s and two free-throws to give the Pacers a 1-0 series lead.
Even though Miller never won an NBA championship you’d be hard pressed not to pick him in a re-draft of NBA’s 50 Greatest. He’s definitely a part of my Next 10.