Ranking The Top 10 Power Forwards In NBA History

With Dirk Nowitzki going over 30,000 points for his career this week, we see where he ranks among the great power forwards in NBA history.

Dallas Maverick’s forward Dirk Nowitzki surpassed the 30,000 career point plateau Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Nowitzki becomes the sixth player become a member of the 30K point club, and the first international player to do so.

With all that, how does Dirk’s stellar career stack up against other players at his position? We rank the top 10 power forwards in NBA history and find out. Apologies to Derrick Coleman, Chris Webber, Shawn Kemp, Larry Johnson (my all-time favorite player), but they just weren’t dominant quite long enough. Here we go!


1. Tim Duncan


duncan

Duncan was the rare player that was so good, it was difficult to appreciate all he had to offer. Never flashy, often awkward, always effective…Duncan delivered for his team and individually when it matter most. In his prime, he was able to defend anyone on the court, score on any defender and be a coach on the floor from the four. He didn’t invent the bank shot, but he damn sure mastered it.

Nickname(s): “The Big Fundamental”

Honors
Two-time MVP (2001-02, 2002-03), three-time Finals MVP, 15-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA selection, 15-time All-D selection, Rookie of the Year (1997-98)

Championships
5 (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014)

Career stats
19.3 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.2 BPG, .506 FG%


2. Karl Malone


maloneThe most prolific scorer among all power forwards, Malone matured from an athlete to a highly-skilled ball player throughout his career. Early on, he generated most of his offense off most of the dimes John Stockton routinely dropped on the court. All the way into his mid-thirties, Malone was draining mid-range jumpers and turnarounds with perfection. The only knock on The Mailman is that he was part of a generation of NBA greats born at the wrong time, never being able to win a championship because of Michael Jordan.

Nickname(s): “The Mailman”

Teams
Utah Jazz (1985-2003), Los Angeles Lakers (2003-2004)

Honors
Two-time MVP (1996-97, 1998-99), 14-time All-Star, 14-time All-NBA selection, four-time All-D selection, Hall of Fame

Championships
None

Career stats
25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, .516 FG%


3. Kevin Garnett


garnettIn 1995, Garnett became the first player to be drafted directly out of high school in a decade. He lived up to every billing he was labeled with during his career. There are few players in the history of the game that can say they were the best player in the world, as well as the best defensive player in the world simultaneously. Garnett was that guy. Pulled down by bad rosters during his final three seasons in Minnesota, Garnett accepted a diminished offensive role to win a ring in Boston. He played wayyyyy past his prime, so the younger fans of today won’t remember just how dominant Kevin Garnett was during his career.

Nickname(s): “The Big Ticket”, “KG”

Teams
Minnesota Timberwolves (1995-2007, 2015-pres.) Boston Celtics (2007-2013), Brooklyn Nets (2013-2015)

Honors
MVP (2003-04), 15-time All-Star, 9-time All-NBA selection, Defensive Player of the Year (2007-08), 12-time All-D selection

Championships
1 (2008)

Career stats
17.9 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 1.4 BPG, .497 FG%


4. Dirk Nowitzki

dirkWithout question, the best European-born player in NBA history, Dirk broke the mold in so many categories. The original stretch-4, Nowitzki, was ahead of his time. Dirk is one of few superstar big men who lived the majority of their NBA life below the rim…or outside of the paint for that matter. With his patented one-legged step-back jumper, Nowitzki became an unstoppable offensive force and his still a valuable player at 38 years of age. He’d be higher on this list if he were a better defender during the peak of his career.

Nickname(s): “Diggler”

Teams
Dallas Mavericks (1998-pres.)

Honors
MVP (2006-07), Finals MVP (2010-11), 13-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA selection

Championships
1 (2011)

Career stats
22.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.6 APG, .475 FG%


5. Charles Barkley


barkleySay what you will about Charles Barkley the media personality, Charles Barkley the basketball player was an absolute monster! Listed at 6-6, Barkley was actually closer to 6-4 in shoes. Pretty damn impressive when you consider that Barkley is one of best rebounders and low-post scorers in NBA history. Much of his dominance was wasted on some really bad Philadelphia teams. The ruler of the coast-to-coast rebound-to-bucket, Barkley was an anomaly.  He could do it all — run, jump, shoot, rebound — but too often decided not to at a high level. Another knock on Barkley is that he didn’t take care of his body and didn’t age well as a result.

Nickname(s): “Sir Charles”, “Round Mound of Rebound”

Teams
Philadelphia 76ers (1984-1992), Phoenix Suns (1992-1996), Houston Rockets (1996-2000)

Honors
MVP (1992-93), 11-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA selection, Hall of Fame

Championships
None

Career stats
22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 1.5 SPG, .541 FG%


6. Bob Pettit


pettitPettit played during an era where power forwards were primarily rebouders and defenders. The scoring was left to guards and centers. While Pettis excelled on the boards and defense, he was a prolific scorer as well. He played his entire 12-year career, never averaging less than 24.6 point per game or 12.4 rebounds per game in a season. Let that sink in! If Petit had not retired at age 32, he’d definitely be higher on this list.

Teams
Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks (1954-1965)

Honors
Two-time MVP (1955-56, 1958-59), 11-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA selection, Rookie of the Year (1954-55)

Championships
1 (1958)

Career stats
26.4 PPG, 16.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, .436 FG%


7. Kevin McHale


mchaleMcHale possessed some of the best post moves and sharpest elbows in NBA history. His footwork and head/ball fakes were second-to-none and still are. While he generally played second fiddle to Larry Bird, McHale is one of those players who becomes more appreciated as time passes. When guarding McHale, many defenders often referred to it as “The Torture Chamber”, as McHale would bruise and elbow his way into bucket after bucket. McHale was also an underrated defender himself.

Nickname(s): “The Black Hole”

Teams
Boston Celtics (1980-1993)

Honors
Seven-time All-Star, All-NBA selection (1986-87), two-time Sixth Man of the Year, six-time All-D selection, Hall of Fame

Championships
3 (1981, 1984, 1986)

Career stats
17.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG, .554 FG%


8. Elvin Hayes


hayesHayes was equipped with a lethal turnaround jumper and dominated on the glass. He was a Karl Malone prototype in the 60’s & 70’s. A 20/10 guy for each of the first 12 years of his career, Hayes never missed more than two games in a season. Hayes was a big-time athlete and scorer who was often overshadowed by Kareem and Wilt during his career.

Nickname(s): “The Big E”

Teams
San Diego/Houston Rockets (1968-1972, 1981-1984), Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets (1972-1981)

Honors
12-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA selection, two-time All-D selection, NBA scoring champion (1968-69)

Championships
1 (1978)

Career stats
21.0 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.0 BPG, .452 FG%


9. Dennis Rodman

rodmanRodman often gets overlooked because he wasn’t a big scorer and he was a wild personality. However, he’s arguably the best rebounder and offensive rebounder in league history. He was also a premier defender for the endurance of his career. Outside of his two-year stint in San Antonio, Rodman was the ultimate weapon for championship level squads. As much as people will say Rodman was a distraction, an overwhelming majority of his former teammates will openly say he was a joy to play with and they were glad to have “The Worm” on their side.

Nickname(s): “The Worm”

Teams
Detroit Pistons (1986-1993), San Antonio Spurs (1993-1995), Chicago Bulls (1995-1998), Los Angeles Lakers (1998-99), Dallas Mavericks (1999-2000)

Honors
Two-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA selection, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time All-D selection, Hall of Fame

Championships
5 (1989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 1998)

Career stats
7.3 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 1.8 APG .521 FG%


10. Chris Bosh


imagesWhat gets lost behind Bosh being the third option — and an easy target for jokes — in Miami is the fact that the man can flat out ball. He toiled on some mediocre  Toronto teams for years and took on a lesser role with the Hear for a legit shot to win a ring. Bosh’s all-around offensive game and defensive abilities were key in in Miami. When he maintained his aggression, he was s much more dangerous player.

Nickname(s): “CB4″

Teams
Toronto Raptors (2003-2010), Miami Heat (2011-2016)

Honors
11× NBA All-Star (2006–2016) All-NBA Second Team (2007) NBA All-Rookie First Team (2004) 3× NBA Shooting Stars champion (2013–2015)

Championships
2 (2012, 2013)

Career stats
19.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, .491 FG%

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