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The Dominant Decade: Top 10 NBA Players of the 1960s

NBA Players of the 1960s

The 1960s was a revolutionary time in the NBA. The league underwent a massive expansion and the game grew in popularity, setting the stage for the modern era of basketball.

This period was also marked by the emergence of a core group of talented players who dominated the league and set the standard for the next generation of players. In this article, we will explore the top ten NBA players of the 1960s and some honorable mentions who made significant contributions to the sport.

Top 10

NBA Players of the 1960s

1.

Wilt Chamberlain Chamberlain was a dominant force in the league during the 1960s.

He was a 7-foot center who was an incredibly gifted scorer and rebounder. He led the league in scoring for seven consecutive seasons, averaging 30.1 points per game.

He also led the league in rebounds in 11 seasons, averaging 22.9 rebounds per game. Chamberlain was the NBA MVP four times and won two NBA championships.

He also won the Finals MVP in 1972. 2.

Oscar Robertson Robertson was a versatile guard who could score, rebound, and pass with equal ease. He was a 12-time All-Star and led the league in assists per game seven times.

Robertson was the NBA MVP in 1964 and won an NBA championship in 1971. 3.

Jerry West West was a shooting guard and played for the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire career. He was known for his ability to score from almost anywhere on the court and was a 14-time All-Star.

West led the Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times and won one NBA championship. He was the Finals MVP in 1969.

4. Bill Russell Russell was a legendary center who played for the Boston Celtics.

He was known for his defense and rebounding and helped lead the Celtics to 11 NBA championships. Russell was the NBA MVP five times and a 12-time All-Star.

5. Elgin Baylor Baylor was a small forward who played for the Lakers.

He was a gifted scorer who could drive to the basket or shoot from outside. He was a 10-time All-Star and led the league in scoring in 1961-62.

6. John Havlicek Havlicek was a versatile player who could score, rebound, and play defense.

He played for the Celtics and helped lead them to eight NBA championships. Havlicek was a 13-time All-Star and led the league in minutes played in three seasons.

7. Sam Jones Jones was a shooting guard who played for the Celtics.

He was known for his clutch shooting during important games and helped lead the Celtics to 10 NBA championships. Jones was a five-time All-Star and led the league in free-throw percentage in two seasons.

8. Hal Greer Greer was a shooting guard who played for the Philadelphia 76ers.

He was a gifted scorer and helped lead the 76ers to an NBA championship in 1967. Greer was a 10-time All-Star and led the league in free-throw percentage in two seasons.

9. Jerry Lucas Lucas was a power forward who played for the Cincinnati Royals.

He was a skilled rebounder and helped lead the Royals to the playoffs in three seasons. Lucas was a seven-time All-Star and led the league in rebounds per game in 1963-64.

10. Bailey Howell Howell was a power forward who played for the Pistons and the Celtics.

He was a versatile player who could score and rebound. Howell was a six-time All-Star and led the league in offensive rebounds in two seasons.

Honorable Mentions

Some other notable players who made significant contributions to the game during this period include Bob Boozer, Bob Cousy, Bob Pettit, Chet Walker, Cliff Hagan, Dick Barnett, Don Ohl, Guy Rodgers, Jack Twyman, Johnny Green, Lenny Wilkens, Nate Thurmond, Ray Scott, Richie Guerin, Rudy LaRusso, Tom Heinsohn, Walt Bellamy, Wayne Embry, Willis Reed, and Zelmo Beaty.

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain was one of the most dominant players in NBA history. He was a towering presence on the court and was known for his scoring ability and rebounding prowess.

In this section, we will explore his accomplishments and statistics as well as his career highlights.

Accomplishments and Statistics

Chamberlain was a prolific scorer throughout his career. He led the league in scoring for seven consecutive seasons and finished his career with an average of 30.1 points per game, the highest in NBA history.

He was also a dominant rebounder and led the league in rebounds in 11 seasons, averaging 22.9 rebounds per game. Chamberlain was the NBA MVP four times and won two NBA championships.

He also won the Finals MVP in 1972. Chamberlain’s scoring ability was truly remarkable and he set a number of records that still stand today.

In 1962, he scored 100 points in a single game, a feat that has never been matched. He also scored 50 or more points in a game 118 times, more than any other player in NBA history.

Chamberlain was also a skilled defender and led the league in blocks per game in 1973.

Career Highlights

Chamberlain’s career was marked by numerous accolades and achievements. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1960 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

He played for a number of teams throughout his career, including the Philadelphia Warriors, the San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Chamberlain led his teams to numerous victories and was a key player in several NBA championships.

He was the points leader seven times and the rebounds leader 11 times. He also recorded 78 triple-doubles during his career and had a number of impressive games where he recorded high numbers of assists as well.

Chamberlain’s overall impact on the game of basketball cannot be overstated. He helped usher in a new era of basketball with his incredible skill and physical dominance.

His legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history is secure and his impact on the sport will be felt for generations to come.

3) Oscar Robertson

Oscar Robertson is one of the greatest players in NBA history. He was a skilled and versatile player who excelled in every facet of the game.

In this section, we will explore his career accomplishments and statistics, as well as his significant contributions to the sport.

Career Accomplishments

Robertson’s career was marked by numerous achievements. He was the NBA MVP in 1964 and a 12-time All-Star.

He led the league in assists per game seven times and was second all-time in assists until he was surpassed by John Stockton in 1995. He was also a nine-time member of the All-NBA First Team and won the All-Star Game MVP award in 1961.

Robertson was one of the first players to record a triple-double and he did so 181 times in his career. In his first season, he averaged 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game, becoming the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season.

Despite his incredible numbers, the Cincinnati Royals finished just 33-46 that season. Robertson was later traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he helped lead them to their first and only NBA championship in 1971.

With the Bucks, he played alongside a young Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Statistics and Record

Robertson’s statistics are remarkable. He averaged 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game over the course of his career.

He was also an excellent free-throw shooter, averaging 83.8% from the line. His offensive contributions were valued highly by his teams, as he led the league in points per game in 1964-65.

Robertson was also a workhorse, consistently playing heavy minutes throughout his career. He averaged 42.2 minutes per game, the third-highest in NBA history.

Additionally, he was incredibly efficient on the offensive end of the court, recording an offensive win shares rating of 11.0 in 1963-64.

4) Jerry West

Jerry West is widely considered to be one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history. He was a prolific scorer who was known for his offensive ability and clutch performances.

In this section, we will explore his offensive ability and legacy as well as his career highlights.

Offensive Ability and Legacy

West was a gifted scorer who could score from almost anywhere on the court. He led the league in scoring in 1970-71 and was a 14-time All-Star.

He was also an excellent all-around player, making the All-NBA First Team 10 times and the All-Defensive Team four times. West was known for his incredible clutch performances, earning him the nickname “Mr. Clutch.” He was the Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team, the Lakers, losing to the Celtics in seven games.

West holds the record for most points per game in a playoff series with a minimum of five games, averaging an astonishing 46.3 points per game in the 1965 Western Division Finals against the Baltimore Bullets. West’s impact on the game is still being felt today.

He was instrumental in shaping the NBA into the modern league it is today, as he led the way in terms of the focus on scoring and offensive efficiency. Perhaps his greatest contribution to the sport is his likeness, which was used as the basis for the modern NBA logo.

The silhouette of West dribbling a basketball is one of the most recognizable images in the world of sports.

Career Highlights

West had a long and successful career, spending his entire career with the Lakers. He played in nine NBA Finals, winning one championship in 1972.

Despite his individual success, West was always focused on the team’s success. He was a consummate team player and was always willing to do whatever was necessary to help the Lakers win.

In addition to his championship in 1972, West had a number of other career highlights. He was a 14-time All-Star and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting 10 times.

He was also named to the All-NBA First Team 10 times and was a four-time member of the All-Defensive Team. West’s impact on the game of basketball is immeasurable.

He was one of the most talented players of his era and helped shape the modern game with his relentless focus on offensive efficiency and scoring. His legacy as one of the greatest players in NBA history is secure and his contributions to the sport will be felt for generations to come.

5) Bill Russell

Bill Russell is widely regarded as one of the greatest players and defenders in NBA history. He was a dominant force on the court who helped lead the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons.

In this section, we will explore his career success and his rebounding and defensive abilities.

Career Success

Russell was a force to be reckoned with from the moment he stepped onto the court. He was a five-time NBA MVP and a 12-time All-Star.

He led the league in rebounding four times and was the NBA rebounding champion 11 times. Additionally, he was a nine-time member of the All-NBA First Team and was named NBA All-Defensive First Team five times.

Russell played for the Celtics throughout his career and was instrumental in the team’s incredible run of success. He won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons and is one of the most successful players in NBA history.

Russell was also instrumental in elevating the Celtics defense to new heights and helped lead them to multiple championships with his dominant defensive play.

Rebounding and Defense

Russell was a master of the defensive side of the ball, and his impact on the Celtics’ defense cannot be overstated. He was a dominant rebounder and led the league in rebounding multiple times.

He was also an excellent shot blocker and was known for his ability to alter shots in the paint. Russell’s impact on the defensive end of the court can be seen in his statistical production as well.

He recorded 163.4 defensive win shares in his career, a rating that ranks third in NBA history. He was also a leader on the court, playing an average of 42.3 minutes per game and leading the league in minutes per game four times.

Russell’s accomplishments both as a player and as a team leader have cemented his place as one of the greatest players in NBA history. His dominance on the defensive end of the court has made him an icon to this day and has influenced generations of players who have followed him.

6) Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor was one of the greatest players to ever grace an NBA court. He was a gifted scorer and rebounder who consistently put up impressive numbers throughout his career.

In this section, we will explore his consistent scoring and rebounding as well as his career achievements.

Consistent Scoring and Rebounding

Baylor was a prolific scorer who could drive to the basket and score from outside. He was known for his ability to create his shots and was one of the most exciting players to watch during his prime.

Baylor was a 10-time member of the All-NBA First Team and was named to the All-Star Game 11 times. He finished in the top five in MVP voting eight times during his career.

Baylor was an excellent rebounder as well, averaging over 13 rebounds per game for his career. His rebounding prowess was even more impressive considering his 6’5″ height, making him one of the most dynamic players of his time.

He set his career high in rebounding during the 1960-61 season, grabbing 19.8 rebounds per game.

Career Achievements

Baylor had many achievements throughout his career. He played his entire career with the Los Angeles Lakers and helped lead the team to numerous playoff appearances during his tenure.

He was the first pick in the 1958 NBA draft and immediately made an impact in his rookie season, averaging 24.9 points and 15 rebounds per game. Baylor was instrumental in the Lakers’ success during the 1960s and 1970s, helping them reach the NBA Finals eight times.

Baylor’s impact on the NBA can still be felt today. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest small forwards in NBA history and helped pave the way for future generations of players.

His contributions to the sport are immense, and his legacy as one of the most dynamic and consistent players of his time is secure.

7) John Havlicek

John Havlicek was one of the most versatile players in NBA history. He was a skilled scorer and an excellent defender, known for his impressive perimeter defense and high-scoring numbers.

In this section, we will explore his ability to play both ends of the court and his career statistics.

Perimeter Defense and Sc

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