At the close of the most uniquely challenging season in NBA history that saw LeBron James win his fourth NBA title in his 10th Finals appearance, and a few months after ESPN aired a vastly popular documentary on Michael Jordan's last year in Chicago, the great debate has been thrust upon us once again: who is the greatest NBA player of all-time?

This felt like a good foray back into sports writing and an opportunity to list who I think are the 10 best to ever step on the court. The criteria most important to me in making these rankings are:

Overall Talent: Must have a multi-faceted skillset and played at an elite level on both ends of the floor.

Dominance of Their Era: How well the player competed against their contemporaries in the regular season and postseason, as well as the longevity of their ability to compete at the highest level.

Strength of Competition: How much the player's overall competition, or lack thereof, reflected upon their dominance.

Impact on the Game: How the player influenced the game of basketball both during and after their career.

A balancing test of these four factors, I think, is most determinative of who is the greatest player.

For example, Bill Russell is a staple on most top 10 lists due to his postseason dominance, winning a whopping 11 championships in 13 seasons. However, he just misses the cut here for three reasons: one, the Celtics' unmatched talent along with the lack of salary cap restrictions and no free agency in a then eight-team NBA gave Boston virtually no competition; two, though Russell is generally considered the best defender in league history, his offensive game was incredibly pedestrian; and three, the players listed below were simply the most talented overall.

Marcus Ferro's 10 Greatest NBA Players of All Time

Marcus Ferro is the host of The Marcus Ferro Show airing Saturdays on 1420 WBSM from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Contact him at The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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