Establishing the order of this list was harder than any other position ranked list I’ve ever done. You could make a legitimate case for at least five of the players on this list taking the number one spot and each were so similar in skill that I almost felt bad putting one over the other.
These rankings are sure to create lots of conversation about who should be put where but without further ado here are the greatest power forwards ever according to yours truly.
10. Bob Pettit
Career Stats: 26.4 PPG 16.2 REB
Accomplishments: 1x Champion 2x MVP 11x All-Star 11x All-NBA 2x Scoring Champ
Before there was Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, and Anthony Davis there was Bob Pettit. The original double double machine at the power forward position who doubled as the first great power forward.
9. Anthony Davis
Career Stats: 23.4 PPG 10.3 REB 2.4 BLK
Accomplishments: 5x All-Star 3x All-NBA Team 3x All-Defensive Team 3x Blocks Leader
Anthony Davis has the potential to be the greatest power forward who ever lived, and i mean that wholeheartedly. He’s just as skilled as any power forward whose ever graced the hardwood and in six short years he’s already led the league in blocks three times, has made three All-NBA teams, and three All Defensive teams.
That’s a remarkable resume for a guy that’s only 25 years old and is just getting started.
8. Dennis Rodman
Career Stats: 7.3 PPG 13.1 REB
Accomplishments: 5x NBA Champion 2x DPOY 8x All-Defensive Team 7x Rebounding Champ
Dennis Rodman is the greatest rebounder in the history of the NBA. A 6’7 power forward who led the league in rebounding a record seven times in his career and is also arguably the greatest defender in the history of the league as well.
Rodman was extremely weird, extremely unconventional, but also extremely good as well and a guy who would have a place on every single team in the league during his era and the modern era.
7. Kevin McHale
Career Stats: 17.9 PPG 7.3 REB 1.7 BLK
Accomplishments: 3x Champion 7x All-Star 6x All-Defensive Teams 2x 6MOTY
Charles Barkley once said that McHale is the toughest player he’s ever had to play against. That’s high praise from another all time great. McHale was just as important to the success of the 80’s Celtics as Bird was and before the emergence of players like Malone, Tim, and KG, was actually considered the greatest power forward who ever lived to that point.
6. Elvin Hayes
Career Stats: 21 PPG 12.5 REB 2.0 BLK
Accomplishments: 1x Champ 12x All-Star 6x All-NBA 1x Scoring Champ 2x REB Leader
Elvin Hayes is one of the most underrated legends in NBA history. You don’t usually hear his name brought up when you discuss some of the greatest players in league history but that’s a travesty cause he deserves to be in that conversation more often.
5. Charles Barkley
Career Stats: 22.1 PPG 11.7 REB
Accomplishments: 11x All-Star 11x All-NBA 1x MVP
The round mound of rebound was one of the most unique players the league has ever seen. A six foot four power forward who could rebound just as well as any seven footer and arguably better. Chuck will forever be known as “One of the greatest players to never win a title” and that’s a bit unfair as he should more so be known as one of the greatest players in league history.
4. Dirk Nowitzki
Career Stats: 21.2 PPG 7.7 REB 47 FG%
Accomplishments: 1x Champ 1x Finals MVP 9x All-NBA Team 13x All-Star
Dirk is arguably the greatest foreign born player ever. The first great stretch four in the NBA, I can’t imagine what his career would’ve looked like if he entered the league in this current era of spacing and three point shooting today.
3. Kevin Garnett
Career Stats: 17.8 PPG 10.0 REB .49 FG%
Accomplishments: 1x Champ 1x MVP 15x All-Star 9x All-NBA 12x All-Defense
KG stands with Tim Duncan as the greatest two way power forwards the league has ever seen. His intensity, passion, and love for the game are matched by none.
2. Karl Malone
Career Stats: 25.0 PPG 10.1 REB .51 FG%
Accomplishments: 2x MVP 14x All-Star 13x All-NBA 4x All-Defense
Karl Malone was the anchor for the great late 90’s Utah Jazz teams, it’s a shame they ran into the greatest athlete of all time in back to back seasons because we otherwise could’ve called Karl the greatest power forward who ever lived.
1. Tim Duncan
Career Stats: 19 PPG 10.8 REB 2.2 BLK
Accomplishments: 5x NBA Champ 3x Finals MVP 2x MVP 15x All-Star 15x All-NBA
Tim Duncan was coach Pop’s system for two straight decades. A 5x champ and 3x Finals MVP, Tim was the ultimate team player who never cared about his numbers or minutes and valued winning more than anything else. Truly an all time great.