8 Best NBA Players From New York

Who are the 8 best NBA players from New York? When it comes to basketball, New York is a state that definitely knows how to produce some of the best players in the game. From …

best nba players from new york

Who are the 8 best NBA players from New York? When it comes to basketball, New York is a state that definitely knows how to produce some of the best players in the game. From small towns to big cities, the Empire State has always had a rich history when it comes to putting out top-tier NBA talent.

And while there have been many greats to come out of NY over the years, here are 8 of the best players the state has ever produced.

1. Carmelo Anthony

One of the best players to ever come out of New York, Carmelo Anthony is a nine-time All-Star who has played for some of the best teams in the NBA. After being drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2003, Anthony quickly became one of the best scorers in the league and helped lead the team to the playoffs multiple times. He was eventually traded to the New York Knicks in 2011 and spent six seasons with the team, becoming one of the most popular players in franchise history.

Teams Played For

  • Denver Nuggets
  • New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Houston Rockets

Awards Won

  1. NBA All-Star (10)
  2. All-NBA Second Team (1)
  3. NBA Scoring Champion (1)

2. Patrick Ewing

A true New York City legend, Patrick Ewing is one of the best players in Knicks history. Drafted first overall by the team in 1985, Ewing spent 15 years with the Knicks and is still the franchise leader in multiple statistical categories. He was a nine-time All-Star and helped lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994, where they ultimately lost to the Houston Rockets. After retiring from the NBA in 2002, Ewing went on to have a successful coaching career, most recently serving as an assistant coach for the Charlotte Hornets.

Teams Played For

  • New York Knicks
  • Seattle SuperSonics

Awards Won

  1. NBA All-Star (11)
  2. All-NBA First Team (1)
  3. NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1)

3. Julius Erving

Better known as “Dr. J”, is widely considered one of the best players in basketball history. He was a trailblazer for the game, popularizing the now-famous slam dunk with his incredible athleticism and acrobatic play. Erving began his professional career in the now-defunct American Basketball Association (ABA) before eventually joining the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in 1976. He spent 11 seasons with the Sixers, winning an NBA championship in 1983 and being named Finals MVP. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 and his number 6 jersey was retired by the Sixers in 2003.

Teams Played For

  • Virginia Squires
  • New York Nets
  • Philadelphia 76ers

Awards Won

  1. ABA Most Valuable Player (2)
  2. NBA Most Valuable Player (1)
  3. NBA Finals MVP (1)

4. Bernard King

One of the best pure scorers the game has ever seen, Bernard King was a force to be reckoned with during his playing days. A New York City native, King began his NBA career with the New Jersey Nets in 1977 but truly broke out while playing for the Knicks from 1982 to 1987. During that stretch, he averaged over 26 points per game and was named an All-Star four times. His best season came in 1985-1986 when he averaged a staggering 32.9 points per game, becoming the only player in Knicks history to win the NBA scoring title.

Teams Played For

  • New Jersey Nets
  • Utah Jazz
  • Golden State Warriors
  • New York Knicks

Awards Won

  1. NBA All-Star (4)
  2. All-NBA First Team (2)
  3. NBA Scoring Champion (1)

5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

One of the greatest players of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 career points. He was a member of the famed “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers teams of the 1980s and won five NBA championships during his 20-year career. Prior to joining the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar spent six seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and was named MVP three times. He is also a six-time NBA Finals MVP and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Teams Played For

  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • Los Angeles Lakers

Awards Won

  1. NBA Most Valuable Player (6)
  2. NBA Finals MVP (6)
  3. NBA Champion (5)

6. Walt Frazier

One of the best point guards in basketball history, Walt Frazier was a seven-time All-Star during his 16-year career. He played an integral role on the Knicks teams that won NBA championships in 1970 and 1973 and was named Finals MVP in the latter year. Frazier still holds several Knicks franchise records, including most assists in a career and most steals in a season. His number 10 jersey was retired by the team in 1979 and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

Teams Played For

  • New York Knicks
  • Cleveland Cavaliers

Awards Won

  1. NBA All-Star (7)
  2. NBA Champion (2)
  3. NBA Finals MVP (1)

7. Earl Monroe

“Earl the Pearl” was one of the most electrifying players of his generation and is widely considered one of the best point guards in basketball history. A talented scorer and playmaker, Monroe began his career with the Baltimore Bullets before being traded to the Knicks in 1971. He went on to spend six seasons with New York, becoming a fan favorite thanks to his exciting style of play. His number 15 jersey was retired by the Knicks in 1986 and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.

Teams Played For

  • Baltimore Bullets
  • New York Knicks

Awards Won

  1. NBA Rookie of the Year (1)
  2. NBA All-Star (4)

8. Willis Reed

The captain and heart-and-soul of the Knicks teams that won NBA championships in 1970 and 1973, Willis Reed is one of the most iconic players in franchise history. The 7-foot center was a five-time All-Star and two-time NBA MVP during his 10 years with the Knicks. He was named Finals MVP in both championship seasons and his number 19 jersey has been retired by the team. Reed was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Teams Played For

  • New York Knicks

Awards Won

  1. NBA Most Valuable Player (2)
  2. NBA Champion (2)
  3. NBA Finals MVP (2)

Conclusion

These are just eight of the best NBA players from New York. There have been many other greats who have come from the city and gone on to have successful careers in the league. With such a rich basketball history, it’s no wonder that New York is considered the Mecca of basketball.

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