NBA: Top Five Power Forwards of All Time
There are many NBA debates that are always discussed. Who is the best shooting guard of all time? Who is the best small forward of all time, and, of course, who is the GOAT (greatest of all time)? However, there is one debate that seems to always be overshadowed. That being who the greatest power forward of all time is in NBA history. Well, that is what we are discussing for this list. We will be taking into account personal accolades, team success, and individual stats and there impact throughout the player’s career. Without further adieu, here are the top five greatest power forwards of all-time.
NBA: Top Five Power Forwards of All Time
Power Forward #5: Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett was an absolute bully on the court. He brought the intensity night in and night out. The Big Ticket was a force on both ends of the floor and helped the Minnesota Timberwolves find a lot of success in the early 2000s. He was eventually traded to the Boston Celtics where he joined forces with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and would eventually earn his first championship ring. For his career, Garnett averaged 17.8 points per game to go along with 10 rebounds per game.
This means he averaged a double-double for his career. Not to mention, he also blocked 1.4 shots per game coupled with an impressive defensive rating of 99. Garnett also has an impressive resume. He was a 15-time All-Star, one time NBA champ, nine-time All-NBA Team member, a four-time rebounding champion, and was a 12-time All-Defensive Team member. Garnett was a force to be reckoned with during his prime and is bound for the Hall of Fame in the future.
Power Forward #4: Charles Barkley
Say what you want to say about Charles Barkley as an analyst, but he was great in his prime. What is funny is that he now seems to be underrated and somewhat forgotten in some ways as a player, partly due to his colorful TV personality. If the Phoenix Suns did not run into a Chicago Bulls team led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, then Barkley may have some NBA jewelry to this day. However, he still had an impressive resume for his career.
Barkley made the All-Star Team 11 times and also made the All-NBA Team 11 times as well. Barkley is also a former MVP to go along with the 1990-91 All-Star Game MVP. Barkley’s numbers are also impressive. Throughout his career, he averaged 22.1 points per game coupled with 11.7 rebounds per game. Barkley was also deceptively adept at ball-hawking. He averaged 1.5 steals per game for his career and finished with a career defensive rating of 105.
Power Forward #3: Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale helped form one of the first deadly “big threes,” in NBA history with the Boston Celtics. The trio of him, Larry Bird, and Robert Parish were the winningest trio for a long time. McHale was one of the craftiest low-post players in NBA history. As a result, he averaged 17.9 points per game. Not to mention, he also tallied 7.3 total rebounds per game to go along with an offensive rating of 118. McHale is also overlooked as a defender. He nearly averaged two blocks per game (1.7) and also finished with a career defensive rating of 106.
McHale possesses a great resume being a member of the Celtics in the 1980s. Much of his accomplishments were due to his ability as a player. He is a three-time champ, but he also made the All-Star Team seven times to go along with making the All-Defensive Team six times throughout his career. Not to mention, he is a two-time Sixth Man of the Year winner. McHale was not just one of the best power forwards, he is also one of the best low-post players in NBA history.
Power Forward #2: Karl Malone
Karl Malone’s resume speaks for itself. The Mail Man was part of a deadly duo with the legendary John Stockton. It seemed like no one could stop the pick and roll chemistry Malone had with Stockton. The end result? Being top five in points scored in NBA history along with being considered one of the greatest power forwards of all time. Malone averaged 25 points per game for his career (the best scoring average out of everyone on this list) and even tallied 10.1 rebounds per game.
Not to mention, Malone averaged 1.4 steals per game which included a season where he had almost two steals per game. He finished his career with a defensive rating of 101. He even tallied an impressive defensive rating of 98 in his last year in the league. Of course, we cannot forget his accomplishments either. Malone is a two-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, made the All-Defensive Team four times, and also made the All-NBA Team an impressive 14 times in his career. Malone truly has a strong argument for being the great power forward of all time, but there is one player who does surpass him by a bit.
The GOAT of Power Forwards: Tim Duncan
Tim Duncan, also known as the Big Fundamental, was one of the most fun players in NBA history to watch. Especially if you truly love the game and love fundamentals. No one has scored on more bank shots than Duncan and the man helped make the Spurs relevant again. He helped the great David Robinson get over the hump in terms of getting a ring and also was a great mentor to young players. Honestly, how can anyone hate this man? Duncan is as humble and classy as they come. In his prime, Duncan was a monster on both ends of the floor. He averaged 19 points per game for his career on 50.6 percent shooting.
Duncan also possesses a total rebounding average of 10.8 per game coupled with a block average of 2.2 per game. Duncan would finish with a career defensive rating of 96! An extremely impressive rating in this department. Of course, we cannot bring up Tim Duncan without talking about the myriad of accolades. He is a five-time champion, 15-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA Team member, and a two-time MVP. On top of this, Duncan has also has won the Finals MVP three times, been the MVP of the All-Star Game, and won the Rookie of the Year Award. When you take into account all of this, it is easy to see why the great Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward of all time.