The NBA GOAT Series 2022 List

The GOAT series is back for year three and there was a lot of movement from 2021 to 2022.

The fun thing about this list is that there are many active players who are still moving up the list and those who are exiting their prime years and sliding down.

The list is based on a formula you can find on the Methodology page. You will also see that I changed the weight of some awards based on how far the game has come and I had to decide who would have received some awards in the early years of the league before things like MVP and All-Defense teams existed. You can find those details on the Added Awards and Adjustments pages.

You may have some questions about where certain players landed and I’ve tried to anticipate those so check the section after the table to see if your question is already answered.

Bold = Active Player

RankPlayer NameGOAT PointsMovement
1Michael Jordan1300.3
2Lebron James1243.14
3Kareem Abdul-Jabbar1136.65
4Bill Russell986.4
5Julius Erving847.2
6Wilt Chamberlain812.5
7Larry Bird711.4
8George Mikan703.8
9Tim Duncan686.44
10Magic Johnson679.5
11Kobe Bryant670.24
12Karl Malone647.57
13Shaquille O’Neal636.18
14Bob Pettit585.4
15Kevin Durant584.5
16Hakeem Olajuwon562.01
17Stephen Curry534.87Up 1
18Moses Malone489.1Down 1
19Giannis Antetokounmpo472.9Up 1
20Jerry West443.2Down 1
21Bob Cousy421
22Dirk Nowitzki416.71
23Neil Johnston411.9
24Oscar Robertson404.3
25Allen Iverson396.47
26Elgin Baylor371.1
27Rick Barry369
28Nikola Jokic344.1Up 17
29Charles Barkley342.87Down 1
30James Harden336.37Down 1
31Mel Daniels323
32Artis Gilmore321.75
33Russell Westbrook321.24Down 3
34Steve Nash316.74Down 1
35Kevin Garnett301.84Down 1
36George Gervin295.4Down 1
37David Robinson276.58Down 1
38Paul Arizin274.7Down 1
39John Havlicek264.4Down 1
40Dolph Schayes254.8Down 1
41Bob Feerick254.5Down 1
42Connie Hawkins248Down 1
43Kawhi Leonard233.5Down 1
44Willis Reed231.8Down 1
45Dwyane Wade221.81Down 1
46Dwight Howard217.24
47Chris Paul215.84Up 5
48George McGinnis211.6Down 1
49Anthony Davis208.6Down 1
50Spencer Haywood204.5Down 1
51Jason Kidd203.1Down 1
52Billy Cunningham199.8Down 1
53Dominique Wilkins195.24
54Elvin Hayes179.9
55Damian Lillard179.27
56John Stockton166.81
57Bill Walton166.1
58Bob McAdoo161.8
59Dave Cowens158.2
60Luka Doncic158*New*
61Isiah Thomas155.7Down 1
62Gary Payton152.24Down 1
63Wes Unseld146.5Down 1
64Joe Fulks139Down 1
65Scottie Pippen136.84
66Devin Booker135.7*New*
67Bernard King135.27Down 3
68Derrick Rose130Down 2
69Walt Frazier128.5Down 2
70Ben Wallace122.84Down 2
71Clyde Drexler117.94Down 1
72Dan Issel113Down 1
73David Thompson112Down 1
74Bill Sharman111.5Down 1
75Carmelo Anthony110.08Down 6
76Tony Parker106.67Down 1
77Chauncey Billups104.84
78Alex English104.2Down 4
79Patrick Ewing104.1Down 3
80Hal Greer103.7Down 2
81Sidney Moncrief103.5
82Paul Pierce103.11Down 3
83Dennis Johnson103Down 3
84Pete Maravich101Down 1
85James Worthy100.84Down 1
86Dikembe Mutombo99.84Down 1
87Tracy McGrady97.34Down 5
88Rudy Gobert97.21
89Tiny Archibald93.6Down 3
90Bob Davies93Down 3
91Donovan Mitchell88Down 2
92Joe Dumars86.84Down 2
93Joel Embiid85.5Up 5
94Jerry Lucas84.7Down 2
95Tom Heinsohn84.5Down 2
96Adrian Dantley84.2Down 5
97Max Zaslofsky83Down 3
98Dennis Rodman80.24Down 2
99Sam Jones80Down 2
100Kyrie Irving78.94Down 5

Players you probably have questions about

Steph Curry: Steph is an interesting case. For one, most think he should have an additional Finals MVP and if he did win that award, he would have 50 additional points and be 1 spot ahead of Kevin Durant. Since we can’t undo history, there are other ways for him to catch KD.

Many don’t realize this, but Steph isn’t a top 50 All-Time scorer yet. That should change this season. He currently sits at 51 with 20,064 points. He has not played 70 games since 2017 with a 5-game and 51-game season mixed in but we will assume he plays around 65 games this season. He scored 1600 points last season so if he repeats that number he could jump as high as 42nd.

The Warriors are also in a great position to repeat which would put him in line for a potential MVP and/or Finals MVP. Let’s say he has a perfect season winning both of those awards, he’d be All-NBA 1st team as well. A season like this would put him around 7th All-Time in next year’s update.

Nikola Jokic: The man has two MVP awards. That’s going to boost him tremendously based on the way the formula is set up. In a future iteration, I may weight MVP by the percentage of 1st-place votes but for now, all MVPs are created equally.

Luka Doncic and Devin Booker: Both jumped into the list after reaching the minimum playoff games played threshold for their playoff averages to matter. You can always look at this ranking as a projection for the younger guys. For example, Donovan Mitchell fell in the rankings.

The Robins of Dynasties: The formula is designed to find the Batmans. While many Robins are on the list if you were not THEE guy on any of those teams it was going to be difficult for you to break the top 50.

Closing

I linked to a few of the articles that give you more information about the top players on this list and in the future, each player will have their own dedicated page.

So sound off! Which rankings do you hate? Which ones do you love? Who do you think will make the biggest leap going into next season?

Stay tuned for the WNBA GOAT Series coming before the start of the next WNBA season!

-Bibs

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