The 10 Best NBA Players of the 1990s

The 1990s was an amazing era for the NBA, full of unforgettable moments. We watched the Chicago Bulls win two trebles, the face of the NBA who retired to play baseball and then came back in epic fashion, we watched the Houston Rockets win two straight championships and we witnessed the first of five titles for Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs.

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Best of all, there was too much talent on the court this decade, veterans, superstars, rookies, centers, point guards, forwards, there was talent for everyone. There have been several phenomenal players in that time, so it’s very difficult to make a list of just 10 names, but here we go. These are the 10 best NBA players of the 1990s.


10 Reggie Miller

Certainly Reggie Miller wasn’t a phenomenal passer and he didn’t get many rebounds, but he did score a lot, especially from distance. Reggie Miller is one of the best three point shooters of all time, top three hands down.

Miller was way ahead of his time, making threes with impressive ease. During the decade, Miller had a .622 true shooting percentage, led the league for two years, had a 39.8 VORP and averaged 20.6 points per game.

9 Patrick Ewing

During the 1990s, Patrick Ewing averaged 24.1 points, 11 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game, had several impressive performances, and was one of the most consistent players in the league.

Ewing didn’t win any collective or individual awards during the decade, but he did finish in the top five in MVP voting five times and led the New York Knicks to the playoffs every year.

8th Scottie Pippen

Of course, Michael Jordan gets all the credit and spotlight, but let’s not forget his trusty squire, Scottie Pippen. During the decade, Pippen averaged 19.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game, for a 48.2 over the reserve.

Pippen made seven All-Star Game appearances and was a first-team all-defensive eight times. Pippen has undoubtedly been very important in the Bulls’ six championships.

7 Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley was a real killer on the pitch, and he was undoubtedly one of the best players of the 1990s, even if he had a noticeable decline in the last third of the decade.

During that 10-year span, Sir Charles recorded 22.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game, with a player efficiency of 24.6 and 43.5 VORP, becoming the MVP of the 1992 season -93 and made seven All-Star game appearances.

6 Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal was the first overall pick in the 1992 draft, and he didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, one could say that he exceeded expectations. Shaq was Rookie of the Year and quickly established himself as an unstoppable force, one of the most dominant players in the league.

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During the 1990s, O’Neal averaged 27.1 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He was the top scorer in the 1994-95 season and was selected for the All-Star Game six times.

5 Karl Malon

Karl Malone is one of the greatest NBA players to never win a championship ring, but he was still one of the greatest players of the 1990s. The Utah Jazz’s power forward was a beast, one of the most intense players of the era.

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In 703 games during the 1990s, Malone averaged 26.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.9 blocks per game with a VORP of 57.9. The mailman was a two-time MVP and nine-time All-Star in those 10 years.

4 John Stockton

Like Karl Malone, John Stockton never won a championship ring, which is odd considering the two formed one of the deadliest duos of all time.

During the 1990s, Stockton was the league’s top passer for six straight seasons, averaging 11.6 assists per game, along with 14.7 points and 2.2 steals with 57 VORP. During the decade, John Stockton made eight All-Star Game appearances and was named All-Star Game MVP in 1993.

3 David Robinson

David Robinson was an exceptional player, a pleasure to watch. During the 1990s, Robinson averaged 24.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals per game.

He was 1994-95 Season MVP, 1991-92 Defensive Player of the Year, 1989-90 Rookie of the Year, 1989-90 Scoring Champion and Block Champion, 1998-99 NBA Champion, and had eight All-Star game appearances. Obviously, David Robinson was one of the top NBA players of the 1990s, and he has a well-deserved place in the Hall of Fame.

2 Hakeem Olajuwon

The first overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft met and perhaps exceeded expectations. Hakeem Olajuwon had a fantastic career and was at the top of his game in the 1990s.

During that decade, Olajuwon averaged 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game and was a three-time blocking champion, six-time All-Star, 1993-94 season MVP, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and two-time Finals MVP. The Dream was arguably the most dominant player of the 1990s.

1 Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan was undoubtedly the best NBA player of the 1990s. His airness dominated for virtually the entire decade, and the years that he didn’t dominate were because he was retired, which is absolutely mind-blowing. Jordan won six championship rings, was a six-time Finals MVP, and was a four-time MVP.

During the decade, Mike averaged 30.3 points per game with a 62.3 rating as a substitute in the regular season and averaged 32.9 points per game in the playoffs with a player efficiency of 28.5. Michael Jordan was the only one.

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