I'm not sure if any other position could be as contentious. Picking the top 3 was a breeze, after that, well... things got hairy.
10. Allen Iverson - I tried hard not to put Iverson in this list at all. Very hard. Such is my dislike for the guy. I looked at the likes of Sam Jones, Joe Dumars and Dwyane Wade. But there's no denying that Iverson deserves a position on this list, as I discovered. Perhaps the toughest to ever play the game, Iverson's will was indomitable... the only problem was he took that warrior's mentality, that "me-against-the-world" attitude, off the court. On (court), it worked wonders. Off it? He eventually fought himself out of the NBA.
9. Earl Monroe - If I had to choose an adjective to describe Earl Monroe playing basketball, it'd be "smooth". The guy made everything look soooo effortless. Black Jesus, the guy's game waxed lyrically, singing sweet songs of hoop rhythms.
8. Ray Allen - Does anyone in the NBA - past or present - have a sweeter shot than Shuttlesworth?
7. Reggie Miller - "IT'S MILLER TIME!!!" Almost as much a marksman with his mouth as with the ball, Reggie Miller had some incredible match-ups. None more so than with Knick superfan, Spike Lee... But for Jordan's Bulls, Miller's Pacers might have been known as one of the better teams of their era.
6. Pete Maravich - Pistol Pete seemed to be able to do the nigh on impossible with a basketball. Hailed by opponent John Havlicek as being "the best ballhandler ever to have played the game", Maravich was just able to pull up and shoot from way, way outside (before their was a 3pt line). Guy could hit from just about any where.
5. Clyde Drexler - Clyde the Glide, electrifying on the fast break. A pure scorer, Drexler was an amazing athlete - his ability to finish had no parallels. He got his title when transferred to Houston to play with long time friend Hakeem Olujawon, winning in 1995. No Jordan that year.
4. George Gervin - From anywhere. That's where the Iceman could score from. And oh-so-often, did just that. Gervin metamorphized the position, forever changing the way the shooting guard position was viewed. Averaging a mean 25+ points per, his finger-roll is one of basketball's signature moves. George Gervin wasn't cool... George Gervin was cold.
3. Jerry West - An amazing scorer, most don't realise that West was also a phenomenal defender. Mr Clutch made 9 Finals appearances, but only won one... continually running headfirst into the buzzsaw that was Bill Russell's Celtics. The only man to ever win a Finals MVP from the losing side.
2. Kobe Bryant - Blessed with a veritable arsenal of scoring moves, Kobe forever strives to better his game - as age removes something, he seems to have the ability to add something else. No player, now or before, has remained as relevant 15 years into their career as Kobe Bryant is now. Both to his team, and to the game.
1. Michael Jordan - His Airness. The man transcended basketball, and for a very long time was perhaps the most recognizable human being on the planet. No more arguments, no more dissension. There's only one Jordan.