DAR Sports: Top 5 NBA Small Forwards of All Time

With sports, DAR always tries to give you a balance of reflection, current discussion, and top 5 lists. Well, today, we have yet another top 5 list as we talk one of the most pivotal positions in basketball: the Small Forward. Who are the top 5 Small Forwards of All Time? Let's get into it.

My list.... as follows.

1. LeBron James

-The greatest I've ever watched and definitely one of the greatest ever. King James tops this list easily.

2. Larry Bird

-One of the purest shooters to ever do it, and from what I have seen and read, he was ahead of his time in terms of being that tall with that kind of shooting touch.

3. Scottie Pippen

-Amazing defender and a player I do think isn't appreciated enough because of Jordan. That's just my opinion though. His awards speak for themselves however.

4. Julius Erving

-I've only read about Dr. J and watched videos of his play, but there's no denying that he is one of the greatest to slot in at the 3. The double clutch, under the basket, reverse layup, all while his head is level with the rim...now that's iconic.

5. Kevin Durant

-KD is really an unreal example of what most imagine to be the perfect player. 6'9 with long arms, great range and the handles and skills both in the post and out to beat any defence. In theory, there shouldn't be a sure way to stop Durant, but he still is waiting for that ring which I honestly think he and OKC deserve. Not too sure how they still don't have one.

Small Forward is a very unique position because it requires more than just scoring ability. Defense, rebounding, speed, stealing ability, and passing vision are all very valuable to the SF position.

Anyways, before I get started with the top 5 ever, shoutout to "The Truth", James Worthy, & "Human Highlight Film".
Alright, let's get to it. This is not in order.

*LeBron James

-One of the most dynamic players of our generation and is arguably the greatest SF ever and maybe the best player ever. I'll move on because it's self explanatory.

*Scottie Pippen

-Most versatile Small Forward ever. He could do it all. A scorer, rebounder, distributor, and a defensive machine, he was simply a great player.

*Julius Erving

-Amazing numbers and a very electrifying basketball player. They call him "Dr. J" for a reason.

*Elgin Baylor

-Laker legend. Fuck the Lakers, but he was an unstoppable force. An efficient, prolific scorer, he was very powerful. One season, he averaged almost 38 points a game. Incredible.

*Larry Bird 

Self explanatory. One of the best pure shooters ever despite his odd shooting form, and a good pass distributor as well. A Celtics legend.

Here are my top 5 Small Forwards in order.

*LeBron James

-Bron is the all around best player to me and does everything that the position entails offensively and defensively.

*Larry Bird

-He's the best shooting Small Forward of all time. Very aggressive yet a blue collar type of guy that was always about business.

*Elgin Baylor

-His stats speak for themselves, that's all I can say on that.

*Scottie Pippen

-Technically, he's the 2nd best to me in terms of mechanics and when needed he could show up as a leader.

*Julius Erving 

-Pioneer in the game and a trailblazer and definitely one of the greatest. One of the first to truly make dunks so popular. His impact is undeniable.

My list personally...

*LeBron James

-This guy is one of the best athletes to ever play the game. Lebron James is a monster in his own right. When it’s all said and done, his name will be mentioned among the greats. Earlierin his career, the argument among many spectators was that he didn’t have a ring. James took his talents to South Beach and joined the Miami Heat where he picked up two championships. In 2014, Lebron returned to his home team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in hopes to bring them the same dream. He possesses strength, speed, and size and utilizes them all perfectly. I’ve never seen an animal quite like him in my lifetime and I doubt I’ll see another like him.

*Scottie Pippen 

-He’s considered one of the best small forwards ever. Scottie Pippen was able to do it all. He’s got six championships under his belt with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen alongside Michael Jordan was a thing of beauty. He was a true team player and that’s a huge factor in determining greatness to me. The Hall of Famer is a seven-time All Star and it was validated by his scoring ability.

*Dominique Wilkins 

-As a Georgia girl, I’m a bit biased. Dominique Wilkins deserves this recognition though. Dominique Wilkins had nine All Star appearances and he stands as one of the NBA’s best dunkers. Once upon a time, the Atlanta Hawks were responsible for four consecutive seasons with 50 wins. Wilkins was very active for those accomplishments. In his career, he recorded almost 27,000 points and 7,169 rebounds. They don’t call him “The Human Highlight Film” without reason.

*Kawhi Leonard

-I like Kawhi Leonard’s style. He gets the job done. Two years ago, along with winning a championship with the San Antonio Spurs, he was named MVP of the finals. The following year, he was crowned defensive player of the year. Recently, Leonard’s fans voted him to his first All Star game. Kawhi and the Spurs succeed in silence, if that makes sense. They make the most noise in the finals and do so very well.

*Kevin Durant

-If there’s one player who deserves a ring, Kevin Durant is on that list. It’s seemingly the only award he hasn’t received. Rookie of the year, Olympic gold medalist, MVP, and multiple All Star appearances. He’s getting closer to the ultimate goal and the world knows it. He’s averaging 27.2 points and is on track to top the all-time scoring list. Durant is seemingly getting better and better and I can’t wait to see more from him.

This list to the average fan might be easy to construct based off just stats, but I'm looking at all mechanics within the game and that's how I constructed my list. Peace to Elgin Baylor, who is one of the greatest small forwards ever, but I have someone else I personally watched play on the top 5 for myself. Let's get into it.

5. James Worthy

-I can't say enough about Big Game James personally. I always respected his game and his ability as a well rounded player. He just cracks my top 5 over Baylor.

4. Julius Erving 

-I mean, Dr. J is one of the best players of his era and explosive with his offense. There's no denying his influence and impact. He deserves to be on this list.

3. Larry Bird

-Bird is one of the most fluid shooting Small forwards we have ever seen and he could easily be interchangeable in the top 3 and could be no. 1 honestly. Personally to me, he's no. 3 however.

2. Scottie Pippen 

-I think Pippen is the absolute most underrated player in history. I've seen him overshadowed in people's minds by the greatness of Jordan, but make no mistake Pippen is a legend in the game and his run speaks for itself. Regardless of Jordan being on the team or not, he was a pillar of consistency.

1. LeBron James

-I mean.... this man is one of the greatest ever and a possible top 5 all time player. He's still the best player in the world all around and he's had a reign of dominance in the East, making the last 5 straight Finals. He's the greatest SF ever and he's still going.

What are your top 5? Post them below in our comments section.



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