Ranking the top 74 NBA players of all time: Nos. 74-41

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LeBron James or Michael Jordan? Bill Russell or Wilt Chamberlain? Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant? Old school or new school?

These debates rage on endlessly in every corner of NBA fandom, and our experts have done their best to answer them, ranking the greatest players in the league's 74-year history.

ESPN's NBA expert panel voted on thousands of head-to-head matchups, taking into consideration both total career value and peak performance.

It is always nice to be nominated, but there can be only a select few who make the cut. Our list begins with Nos. 74 through 41.

74. Artis Gilmore

The 7-foot-2 Gilmore was a force in the ABA, averaging 22.3 points and 17.1 rebounds in five seasons before his NBA career began. He remained a force during his NBA career: He's one of just four players to lead the league in field goal percentage for at least four straight seasons (Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O'Neal and DeAndre Jordan). During that four-year stretch from 1980-81 to 1983-84, Gilmore shot 64.6% overall. -- Andrew Lopez

73. Dikembe Mutombo

Mutombo knew how to celebrate, from his unforgettable moment of pure joy when he lay on his back, holding the basketball out after helping Denver stun top-seeded Seattle in 1994, to his trademark finger wag following many of his 3,289 rejections -- second only to Hakeem Olajuwon. Mount Mutombo led the league in blocks from 1993-94 to 1995-96 and was Defensive Player of the Year four times. He averaged 11 or more rebounds in his first 10 seasons and three or more blocks in eight of his first nine seasons. -- Ohm Youngmisuk

72. Damian Lillard

Not many players are talented enough to end a team's season with a 37-foot buzzer-beater and bye-bye wave to the crowd, and then go drop a fire hip-hop track in the studio with the same swagger. Lillard is making a strong case to become the greatest player in Blazers history, with many years seemingly ahead of him. The Oakland, California, native already has a Rookie of the Year trophy, a first-team All-NBA selection and five All-Star appearances among his career accomplishments. -- Eric Woodyard

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71. Bob Lanier

An injury in the Elite Eight in 1970 while playing for St. Bonaventure led to the first of Lanier's eight knee surgeries during his career, and it sapped him of some of the athleticism that made him the No. 1 pick in the 1970 NBA draft. But he still managed to make eight All-Star appearances -- seven of which came with a Pistons team that mostly toiled in obscurity in the '70s -- before winning five straight division titles with the Bucks in the early 1980s. -- Tim Bontemps

70. Tony Parker

Parker was a relatively small point guard who did a lot of his damage in the paint, using his quickness to penetrate and his pretty, feathery, teardrop floater to finish over the trees. The Spurs tried to replace Parker by wooing Jason Kidd in free agency after the Frenchman started for a title team in his second season. He persevered and became a pillar for a franchise that won three more rings. -- Tim MacMahon

69. Bernard King

  • 1977-79, 1993 New Jersey Nets; 1979-80 Utah Jazz; 1980-82 Golden State Warriors; 1982-87 New York Knicks; 1987-93 Washington Bullets

  • 22.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 3.3 APG

A knee injury ended King's best campaign in 1985-86, when the prolific scorer was averaging a league-best 32.9 points per game with the Knicks. After missing nearly the next two seasons, King tried to revive his career in Washington. During his age-34 season in 1990-91, King averaged 28.4 points for the Bullets -- the second most in a player's age-34 season or beyond, trailing only Michael Jordan in 1997-98 (28.7), per ESPN Stats & Information. -- Lopez

68. Pete Maravich

  • 1970-74 Atlanta Hawks; 1974-79 New Orleans Jazz; 1979-80 Utah Jazz; 1980 Boston Celtics

  • 24.2 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5.4 APG

With his fancy passing and ballhandling, as well as his willingness to shoot from anywhere on the court, Maravich's style of play would have seemingly fit perfectly in today's NBA. Maravich averaged 24.2 points per game during his 10-year career and only had the 3-point line for his final season, when he shot 10-for-15 from deep in limited action for Utah and Boston. -- Lopez

67. Alex English

English racked up a league-high 20,916 points in the 1980s as a part of the Nuggets' high-scoring attack. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the only players since English to score 20,000 points in a single decade were Karl Malone in the 1990s and Kobe Bryant in the 2000s. English was named to the All-NBA second team three times during that stretch, including during the 1982-83 season when he lead the league in scoring. -- Lopez

66. Dave Cowens

  • 1970-80 Boston Celtics; 1982-83 Milwaukee Bucks

  • 17.6 PPG, 13.6 RPG, 3.8 APG

One of just 11 players to have won both MVP and All-Star MVP in the same season, Cowens led the 1972-73 Boston Celtics to a franchise-record 68 wins before they were edged out by the Knicks in a thrilling, seven-game East finals. Despite winning 12 fewer games, the Celtics would break through as champions the following season and add another title in 1976. Undersized for a center at 6-foot-9, Cowens became a fan favorite in Boston by compensating with skill, quickness and hustle. -- Kevin Pelton

65. Pau Gasol

The Spanish big man became one of the most productive offensive threats of his era, earning two NBA titles as a member of the Lakers while becoming a force down in the paint. Gasol's ability to score underneath the rim and protect the key provided exactly the kind of counterpunch Kobe Bryant needed to help deliver Los Angeles another set of titles. A six-time All-Star and one of the game's most respected global ambassadors, Gasol is a virtual lock to head into the Hall of Fame whenever his career officially ends. -- Nick Friedell

64. Earl Monroe

  • 1967-71 Baltimore Bullets; 1971-80 New York Knicks

  • 18.8 PPG, 3.9 APG

After four years as the leading scorer on Bullets teams whose accomplishments have been forgotten by history, "Black Jesus" was traded to the rival Knicks months after the Bullets upset them en route to the Finals. Defying doubts about his ability to share the ball with Walt Frazier as part of the so-called "Rolls-Royce backcourt," Monroe sacrificed scoring for team success and helped the Knicks to back-to-back Finals his first two seasons, culminating in the 1973 title. -- Pelton

63. Alonzo Mourning

  • 1992-95 Charlotte Hornets; 1995-2003, 2005-08 Miami Heat; 2003-04 New Jersey Nets

  • 17.1 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.8 BPG

Playing with a perennial scowl and ferocious intensity, Mourning followed Mutombo and Patrick Ewing in the lineage of intimidating Georgetown big men. Mourning was twice named Defensive Player of the Year in his first eight seasons, and he averaged 21.1 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.8 blocks at the peak of his game from 1998-2000, his only two All-NBA seasons. He later missed almost two seasons, requiring a life-saving kidney transplant in 2003. Still, the seven-time All-Star played six more seasons, winning a championship with the Heat in 2006. -- Youngmisuk

62. Dennis Rodman

  • 1986-93 Detroit Pistons; 1993-95 San Antonio Spurs; 1995-98 Chicago Bulls; 1999 Los Angeles Lakers; 2000 Dallas Mavericks

  • 7.3 PPG, 13.1 RPG

Rodman might be remembered by many for the bright hair colors, who he dated and the endless tattoos, antics and controversies. But "The Worm" was a Hall of Fame rebounder, defender and agitator. Rodman won five NBA championships playing an integral role for two of the greatest teams in NBA history (the Pistons and Bulls). The two-time Defensive Player of the Year made rebounding an art, leading the NBA for seven consecutive seasons from 1991-92 to 1997-98. -- Youngmisuk

61. Robert Parish

  • 1976-80 Golden State Warriors; 1980-94 Boston Celtics; 1994-96 Charlotte Hornets; 1996-97 Chicago Bulls

  • 14.5 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG

No one in NBA history has played in more games than "The Chief," who was the first to play 21 seasons. He played at least 72 games in each of his first 20 seasons. He was a key figure on three title teams for the Celtics and he added another title in his final season while playing for the Bulls. He remains the oldest player to dunk in a game and the oldest player to score in double digits in a game in NBA history. -- Lopez

60. Willis Reed

  • 1964-74 New York Knicks

  • 18.7 PPG, 12.9 RPG

Reed was the central figure in one of the most memorable moments in NBA history: He limped out of the locker room for the start of Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals and played on a torn thigh muscle, helping the Knicks win their first championship. Reed swept that season's MVP awards, winning honors for the regular season, Finals and All-Star Game. He was a seven-time All-Star who still ranks second in Knicks history in total rebounds. -- Bontemps

59. Bob McAdoo

  • 1972-76 Buffalo Braves; 1976-79 New York Knicks; 1979 Boston Celtics; 1979-81 Detroit Pistons; 1981 New Jersey Nets; 1981-85 Los Angeles Lakers; 1986 Philadelphia 76ers

  • 22.1 PPG, 9.4 RPG

Over the three-year stretch from 1973-74 through 1975-76, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was more valuable than McAdoo, who averaged 32.1 PPG and 13.8 RPG, was the 1974-75 MVP and finished second to Abdul-Jabbar the other two seasons. Though McAdoo wasn't able to maintain that level after an ill-fated trade from the Buffalo Braves to the Knicks, he would later reinvent himself as an elite sixth man on a pair of Lakers championship teams in the 1980s. -- Pelton

58. Manu Ginobili

  • 2002-18 San Antonio Spurs

  • 13.3 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.3 Steals PG, 1.4 3s PG

Ginobili is one of the most creative players to ever step onto a basketball court. A winner of four championships with the Spurs, the Argentine also won a gold medal for his country at the 2004 Summer Olympics -- the only time the United States hasn't won gold since NBA players began participating in 1992. Ginobili popularized the Eurostep in the NBA, and his willingness to come off the bench for the Spurs played a big part in both the longevity of his career and San Antonio's longevity as a championship contender. -- Bontemps

57. Clyde Drexler

  • 1983-95 Portland Trail Blazers; 1995-98 Houston Rockets

  • 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.0 Steals PG

Drexler had the misfortune of being compared to his contemporary Michael Jordan, most famously in the 1992 Finals. Still, Drexler's career stands out in its own right. The star player on Blazers teams that averaged 60 wins and made Finals appearances in 1990 and 1992, Drexler was an All-NBA first team pick in '92 and a 10-time All-Star. He won a long-awaited championship after rejoining college teammate Hakeem Olajuwon with the Rockets in 1995. -- Pelton

56. Ray Allen

  • 1996-2003 Milwaukee Bucks, 2003-07 Seattle SuperSonics; 2007-12 Boston Celtics; 2012-14 Miami Heat

  • 18.9 PGG, 4.1 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.1 Steals PG, 2.3 3s PG

Allen sits atop the NBA's career 3-point field goals list with 2,973. Allen was a part of the Big Three that led the Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008 and he added a second title with the Heat five years later. Also a prolific scorer all-around, Allen is one of five Celtics with a 50-point playoff game and was the last Sonic to score 50 before the team moved to Oklahoma City. -- Lopez

55. Vince Carter

Twenty-two seasons, spanning four decades. Carter will likely be remembered for two things in his NBA career: his dunks early on and his longevity late. Carter is the only player in NBA history with at least 2,000 3-pointers and 800 blocks in his career. When it became apparent his days as a starter were done, Carter seamlessly shifted into second gear with his career and became a coveted veteran bench presence. -- Lopez

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54. Paul Pierce

"The Truth" may not have looked flashy doing it, but he was one of the most durable and smooth scorers of this century. He also proved to be arguably the greatest foil of LeBron James' career, besting him in both the 2008 and 2010 NBA playoffs -- eventually winning a title in '08 and falling one game short of doing so in '10 -- alongside Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. -- Bontemps

53. Gary Payton

  • 1990-2003 Seattle SuperSonics; 2003 Milwaukee Bucks; 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers; 2004-05 Boston Celtics; 2005-07 Miami Heat

  • 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.8 Steals PG

Few players in NBA history have played with as much swagger as Payton, who talked trash to Jordan as a rookie and later helped contain Jordan in the NBA Finals with the Sonics at his Defensive Player of the Year peak. "The Glove" first came into his own as a defender before developing into an elite scorer to round out his game. Payton made nine All-NBA appearances and peaked at third in MVP voting in 1997-98, capping his career with a championship as a reserve for the 2005-06 Heat. -- Pelton

52. Tracy McGrady

  • 1997-2000 Toronto Raptors; 2000-04 Orlando Magic; 2004-10 Houston Rockets; 2010 New York Knicks; 2010-11 Detroit Pistons; 2011-12 Atlanta Hawks; 2013 San Antonio Spurs

  • 19.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 Steals PG, 1.2 3s PG

The Hall of Fame swingman became one of the most accomplished scorers of his generation, averaging almost 20 points a night over a 15-year career that started with a jump to the league straight from high school. McGrady earned seven trips to the All-Star Game and won two scoring championships while striking fear into the hearts of opponents each night with his explosive ability. -- Friedell

51. James Worthy

  • 1982-94 Los Angeles Lakers

  • 17.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.1 Steals PG

"Big Game James" cemented his moniker with one of the all-time great Game 7 performances in league history -- 36 points on 15-for-22 shooting, 16 rebounds and 10 assists -- to cap the 1988 Finals and earn Finals MVP. It was one of three championships he won as the Lakers' versatile complement to Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The seven-time All-Star was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. -- Dave McMenamin

50. Wes Unseld

  • 1968-73 Baltimore Bullets, 1973-74 Capital Bullets, 1974-81 Washington Bullets

  • 10.8 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 3.9 APG

Despite his 6-7 stature, Unseld was as immovable as one of the many D.C. monuments. Unseld made his impact felt immediately, winning MVP and Rookie of the Year after averaging 13.8 points and 18.2 rebounds in 1968-69. The five-time All-Star averaged 14 rebounds for his career and captained the Bullets during the franchise's greatest era. He led the Bullets to four NBA Finals appearances, delivering the only NBA championship to the nation's capital after he was Finals MVP in 1978. -- Youngmisuk

49. Reggie Miller

  • 1987-2005 Indiana Pacers

  • 18.2 PPG, 3.0 APG, 1.1 Steals PG, 1.8 3s PG

The greatest shooter of his era, Miller became the NBA's career leader in 3-pointers during the 1997-98 season and held the record more than a decade, even as 3-point volume increased. The focus on Miller's longevity -- he was still a key starter for a competitive Pacers team before retiring at age 39 -- may have overshadowed his peak performance. Miller led the league in true shooting percentage twice and saved his biggest games for the playoffs, particularly at Madison Square Garden against the rival Knicks with Spike Lee courtside, engaging Miller in trash talk. -- Pelton

48. Bill Walton

  • 1974-79 Portland Trail Blazers; 1979-84 San Diego Clippers, 1984-85 LA Clippers; 1985-87 Boston Celtics

  • 13.3 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 2.2 BPG

Despite being named to this list, Walton's career is one of the ultimate NBA "what-ifs." He was the hub of one of the iconic teams in NBA history, the 1977 champion Trail Blazers, and he won an MVP award the following season, but a series of foot injuries robbed him of a chance to be one of the truly all-time great players. The stretches when he was able to stay on the court -- both early in his career with Portland, and then later with the Celtics, with whom he won the 1986 title -- were enough to merit inclusion here. -- Bontemps

47. George Gervin

  • 1972-74 Virginia Squires (ABA); 1974-76 (ABA), 1976-85 San Antonio Spurs; 1985-86 Chicago Bulls

  • 25.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG

One thing "The Iceman" could do was finger roll, but that iconic shot was just one trick in his deep repertoire. Gervin managed to make the unorthodox look so smooth, scoring prolifically and efficiently on a shot diet that consisted primarily of off-dribble jumpers launched from all kinds of creative angles, funky floaters and, of course, finger rolls flipped over the outstretched arms of would-be shot-blockers. He won four scoring titles and shot 50.4% from the floor over his ABA and NBA career. -- MacMahon

46. Dominique Wilkins

  • 1982-94 Atlanta Hawks; 1994 LA Clippers; 1994-95 Boston Celtics; 1996-97 San Antonio Spurs; 1999 Orlando Magic

  • 24.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.3 Steals PG

More than just a dunker, the "Human Highlight Film" was one of the top scorers of his era. He led the lead in scoring in 1985-86, when he finished second in MVP voting. It was the same season he earned his only All-NBA first-team honor. Wilkins' Hawks didn't advance far in the playoffs; they kept running into the Celtics, Pistons and Bucks in the 1980s. But fans won't forget his duel with Larry Bird in Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference semifinals. -- Lopez

45. Anthony Davis

  • 2012-13 New Orleans Hornets, 2013-19 New Orleans Pelicans; 2019-20 Los Angeles Lakers

  • 24.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG, 1.4 Steals PG, 2.4 BPG

Davis, 27, makes this list off the promise of what's to come -- not that his career averages through his first eight seasons aren't already significant. The 6-10 big man flourished in his first season with the L.A. Lakers, making a strong Defensive Player of the Year case for the league's third-ranked defense in terms of efficiency. -- McMenamin

44. Elvin Hayes

  • 1968-71 San Diego Rockets, 1971-72, 1981-84 Houston Rockets; 1972-73 Baltimore Bullets, 1973-74 Capital Bullets, 1974-81 Washington Bullets

  • 21.0 PPG, 12.5 RPG

After Hayes helped halt Lew Alcindor and UCLA's 47-game winning streak while at the University of Houston, "The Big E" entered the league in 1968 and promptly led it in scoring with 28.4 points per game. In each of his first four seasons, Hayes averaged no less than 25.2 points and 14.6 rebounds. The 12-time All-Star eventually joined forces with Wes Unseld to form a Hall of Fame frontcourt for the Bullets, who reached three NBA Finals and won the championship in 1978. -- Youngmisuk

43. Rick Barry

  • 1965-67 San Francisco Warriors; 1968-69 Oakland Oaks (ABA); 1969-70 Washington Capitols (ABA); 1970-72 New York Nets (ABA); 1972-78 Golden State Warriors; 1978-80 Houston Rockets

  • 24.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 4.9 APG

Known for his underhand free throw approach, the Hall of Fame sharpshooter led the Warriors to a title in 1974-75 and was one of the most consistent scorers in the game. Barry earned the 1965-66 Rookie of the Year award and became the league scoring champ a year later, averaging 35.6 points. Barry earned 12 All-Star selections and the 1974-75 Finals MVP award. -- Friedell

42. Russell Westbrook

  • 2008-19 Oklahoma City Thunder; 2019-20 Houston Rockets

  • 23.2 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 8.3 APG, 1.8 Steals PG, 1.1 3s PG

In a purely statistical vacuum, Westbrook is as impactful a player as the league has ever seen. The debate over whether that stubborn single-mindedness helped or actually hurt his team will be part of NBA chatter forever. But his résumé is stacked with jaw-dropping achievements, the greatest of which is intangible: He made the triple-double not only seem normal, but to some dissenters, no longer a worthwhile achievement. Ten years ago, that seemed unthinkable. With three consecutive seasons averaging a triple-double -- and an MVP award in 2016-17 -- all Westbrook is missing to elevate into the top 25 discussion is that one, shiny thing. -- Royce Young

41. Bob Cousy

  • 1950-63 Boston Celtics; 1969-70 Cincinnati Royals

  • 18.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 7.5 APG

"The Cooz" helped usher in a new era of ball handlers with his slick dribbling and fancy passing, unheard of in the NBA at the time. Starting in his third year, Cousy led the NBA in assists per game every season from 1952-53 through 1959-60, while also ranking as one of the league's leading scorers over this period and winning MVP in 1956-57. An All-Star in all 13 of his full seasons, Cousy later paired with Bill Russell to help the Celtics win the first six of their 11 championships in the Russell era. -- Pelton