THE 25 BEST NBA PLAYERS OF THE 1980’s

8/14/19

 

Jay C. Brandriet

 

The 1980’s was when I began watching and loving the NBA. Many people believe this decade was the golden era. It certainly gave pro basketball life in the mainstream.

 

I’m trying to rate these player’s based on the following.

The amount of time they played in this decade.

Stats and accomplishments.

Winning.

How good were they?

 

I’M ONLY FACTORING IN WHAT THEY DID IN THE 1980’S.

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Micheal Ray Richardson

Patrick Ewing

Karl Malone

Terry Cummings

Marques Johnson

 

 

#25- BILL LAIMBEER (Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons)

Four time All-Star. Rebounding machine. Long distance shooter. Most noteworthy villain of my lifetime.

 

#24- BUCK WILLIAMS (New Jersey Nets)

Hard hat star. Had five, 1,000 rebound efforts in his first six years. The season he came up short, he had 986.

To go up against Buck, you better be in the mood to work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#23- MAURICE CHEEKS (Philadelphia 76ers)

Tough, silent type. Hall of Famer.

 

 

#22- MARK AGUIRRE (Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons)

Mark could fill it up. He took a lesser role in Detroit, and proved immediately he could fit anywhere.

 

#21- JACK SIKMA (Seattle Supersonics)

Sikma shot .922, and .905 from the foul line in 1988, and 1989. He was a center.

 

#20- BERNARD KING (Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Washington Bullets)

His movements were explosive and smooth. King poured in 60 points on Christmas day 1984. He did not attempt a three.

 

 

#19- CLYDE DREXLER (Portland Trailblazers)

“The Glide” was building momentum. Drexler was top five in steals, from 1986 through 89.

 

#18- GEORGE GERVIN (San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls)

“Iceman” opened up the decade scoring a whopping 33.1 points a night.

 

#17- DENNIS JOHNSON (Seattle Supersonics, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics)

The first line I read in a book years ago. “If your life was on the line, you’d want Dennis Johnson on your team.”

 

#16- CHARLES BARKLEY (Philadelphia 76ers)

This freight train had young legs. Chuck shot a stunning .577 from the field in the eighties.

 

 

Nique’s dunking skills elevated the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#15- DOMINIQUE WILKINS (Atlanta Hawks)

Spectacular athlete! Dominique was runner up for league MVP in 1985-86.

 

#14- ROBERT PARISH (Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics)

These were the best days for “the chief.” He averaged 18 and 10, and was named an All-Star seven times.

 

#13- SIDNEY MONCRIEF (Milwaukee Bucks)

Mr. do it all. Moncrief was Defensive Player of the Year, two years in a row.

 

#12- JAMES WORTHY (Los Angeles Lakers)

Game 7, 1988 NBA Finals…facing the “Bad Boy” Pistons.

FG 15/22    PTS 36   REB 16    AST 10    VICTORY!

A.D. had a four year scoring run that looked like this. 30.7, 30.3, 30.7, and 30.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11- ADRIAN DANTLEY (Utah Jazz, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks)

In the post at 6’5″, A.D. would slowly operate against the trees. He lived at the foul line.

 

#10- HAKEEM OLAJUWON (Houston Rockets)

This legend was having a nice warm up for what he was about to do to the 1990’s.

 

#9- ALEX ENGLISH (Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets)

In 1989 Hubie Brown said, “Alex is the quietest scorer in our league.” English quietly led the 1980’s in total points.

 

#8- KEVIN MCHALE (Boston Celtics)

Kevin’s grit, back to the basket moves, and defense were a huge part of Boston’s three championships.

 

#7- ISIAH THOMAS (Detroit Pistons)

Ball handling, showtime wizard. Isiah once scored 16 points in 94 seconds.

 

#6- JULIUS ERVING (Philadelphia 76ers)

Dr. J was a combination of cool and class. He had enough quality ball left in him to make four All-NBA teams.

 

#5- MICHAEL JORDAN (Chicago Bulls)

The 1987, 88, and 89 versions of Jordan was a better player than anyone on this list. To rule a decade, you must win in June.

 

 

#4- MOSES MALONE (Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks)

The most fierce offensive rebounder I’ve seen, Moses was an All-Star each of the ten seasons. Finals MVP in 1983.

 

#3- KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR (Los Angeles Lakers)

His peak was in the 1970’s. He spent his time here winning five titles.

 

#2- LARRY BIRD (Boston Celtics)

On individual dominance, Bird was the best player of the decade. Competitive killer!

Magic smiled while he embarrassed people. He and Bird saved the NBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1- EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON (Los Angeles Lakers)

The ultimate conductor. Magic had the most productive resume of the 1980’s.

 

Jay C. Brandriet

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