Kobe "The Black Mamba" Bryant defined the 2000s. His rookie contract with the Lakers was for $3.5 million. He played in the NBA for 20 years, winning 5 championships along the way, including 3 in a row.
Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon is regarded as one of the NBA's best defensive players. Throughout his career, he averaged 21.1 points per game. During his NBA career, he won two titles and was the Finals MVP in both of them.
Russell also achieved success on a national level, capturing the NCAA championship in 1955 and 1956. In the 1956 Summer Olympics, he also won a gold medal for the United States. Russell is one of just seven players in history to win an NCAA title, an NBA title, and an Olympic gold medal.
He is still ranked third all-time in defensive efficiency in the NBA. He was a 15-time All-Defensive selection and a 2-time MVP despite never winning Defensive Player of the Year. Duncan was able to play a solid, fundamental form of basketball.
During the 1980s, Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. was a pillar of the NBA. In the 1979 NBA draught, the Los Angeles Lakers selected him first overall. Magic defeated Bird in the Final Four, claiming the award for Most Outstanding Player.
Bird was the sixth draft overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1978 NBA Draft. He began his entire 13-year career as a Celtics small forward and power forward. He also won three consecutive three-point shoot competitions.
Shaq dominated the court both offensively and defensively. He also won 13,099 rebounds, which put him in the highest 15th place ever. He also defensively blocked 2,732 shots and was ranked 8th in history in that category.
Kareem has been the dominant basketball player since he set foot on the court. In high school, Kareem won 71 games in a row. He played for six seasons in Milwaukee before retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Jordan is the highest scorer in the history of the game. He won the league's scoring title 10 times during his career, which was added to the victory. He also has two separate 3 pete championship runs and a perfect 6-0 final record.
Lebron did something that no other player could do before him. He brought the tattered 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers team to the finals alone. He also brought the championship to Cleveland after a 52-year championship drought.