The pre-Jordan basketball protégé’s

Michael Jordan will be remembered as one of the most dominant forces in basketball history. Almost single-handedly, he changed the game and raised the ceiling for all those to come after him. His dominance however, tends to make us forget those who came before.

Today we’re taking a look at the basketball legends in the pre-Jordan era.

10. John Havlicek

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Much of the success in the history of the Boston Celtics can be placed on John Havlicek. As a guard/forward, he made such a huge impact on both ends of the court. Havlicek won his NBA Finals MVP and left with career averages of 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 dimes and 1.2 steals per match. As a Hall of Famer he also won 8 NBA Championships and made it to 11 All-Star games.

9. Jerry West

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Before Jordan, Jerry West was possibly the greatest shooting guard of all time. A testament to his skill stands in his immortalization as part of the NBA logo. Throughout his career, West averaged 27 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.7 dimes and 2.6 steals per game, making 5 All-Defensive teams, 14 All-Stars and he also lead the Lakers to 1 Championship.

8. Oscar Robertson

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“The Big O”, as he was nicknamed, dominated the game long before the likes of Russell Westbrook showed up. He was the first player to average a triple-double for a full season. His athleticism was unmatched and he led the Bucks to the Chip, won Rookie of the Year, led the league in dimes for 6 seasons, won 1 MVP and made it to 12 All-Stars.

7. Julius Erving

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Julius Erving was the basketballer all young kids aspired to be. He was an incredible dunker and scorer and is often considered to be the greatest small forward in the history of the game. He led the Philadelphia 76ers to the ring back in the 82-83 season. He averaged 24.2 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game, also winning a couple of ABA Championships, 4 MVPs, 1 All-Defensive squad and 16 All-Stars.

6. Moses Malone

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There have been few big men as offensively skilled as Moses Malone was back in the day. Big Mo was the perfect complement for Dr. J en route to the 1982-83 Championship, and he was able to post career averages of 20.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks per game, making it to 13 All-Stars, winning 3 MVPs and 1 Finals MVP, as well as to a couple of All-Defensive teams.

5. Wilt Chamberlain 

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Wilt Chamberlain was by far the most dominant player of his era, up to the point where he pretty much forced the league into changing game rules in order to make it fairer for anybody who had the bad luck to play against him.

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Wilt the Stilt still holds the record for scoring on a single game with his 100 point performance, winning the ROY, 4 MVPs, 2 NBA Championships, 1 Assist Title, 7 Scoring Titles, 11 Rebound Titles, 4 MVPs, 1 Finals MVP, 13 All-Stars and 2 All-Defensive teams, averaging 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds a game throughout his career.

4. Bill Russell

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If all we care about when talking about the GOAT is Championships, then Bill Russell has to be by far the greatest player in basketball history, completely dominating basketball early stages as a defensive standout. Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA Championship over a 13 season span, led the league in boards in 4 different seasons, won 5 MVPs, made it to 1 All-Defensive squad and to 12 All-Stars. Throughout his career, he averaged 15.1 points and 22.5 rebounds.

3. Larry Bird

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Larry Bird’s ability to shoot off balance from beyond the arc made him a Celtic fan favourite. Over his 13 year career, Larry Legend averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game, leading the Celtics to 3 NBA Championships, making it to 3 All-Defensive squads, winning the ROY, 3 MVPs and 2 Finals MVPs.

2. Magic Johnson

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Magic Johnson is by far the greatest point guard in the history of the NBA, even holding the All-Time record for assists per game average.

Being a triple-double machine, Johnson averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game to go along with 1.9 steals. Throughout his career, he won 5 NBA Championships, 3 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, led the league in steals twice and 4 times in assists, and also made it to 12 All-Star games.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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And the greatest player of the Pre-Michael Jordan era definitely has to be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who still owns the 1st spot in the All-Time scoring list, and one of the most offensively gifted and talented players to ever set foot on a basketball court ever since his UCLA years.

His signature skyhook carried him to 6 NBA Championships, 19 All-Star games, 11 All-Defensive teams, the Rookie of the Year, 6 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs, 1 Rebound title, 2 Scoring titles, 4 Block titles and the Hall of Fame, posting career averages of 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 blocks per game.

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Great players like these laid the groundwork for the exciting spectacle that modern basketball has become. Their hard work and determination has allowed the game to grow to such a point that we have athletes like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry showing unparalleled skill.

If you want to bet on everything that modern basketball has to offer, make sure to place a bet at Betway. With the NBA playoffs coming up, there’s no better time.

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Published: 01/30/2019