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Schayes played when most shots were taken within 15 feet of the basket, and even though Schayes was a big man, he thrived when shooting the ball from the outside. I guess in the 50s, Schayes would be considered an anomaly. First to surpass the 15,000-point mark was the league leader in games played with 996 — and a league record of 706 consecutive games played, and was the free-throw king with 6,712 free-throw made. He also led the NBA in free-throw percentage thrice in 1958 (90.4%), 1960 (89.2%), and 1962 (89.6%).
Lucas was one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history as he averaged almost 16 rebounds per game during his career. His career stat line of 17.0 points, 15.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 49.9% FG, 78.3% FT is pretty remarkable, especially when you realize he made half the shots he ever took.
Barkley was undersized for the Power Forward but still had an amazing career. He won an MVP award in 1993 and led the Suns to the NBA Finals in that same year. His career averages were 22.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, 55% FG%, 73.5% FT. His intensity and love of the game were infectious for teammates and fans alike. Barkley was just the second player in NBA history after Wilt Chamberlain to amass 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists in his career.
McHale, with his long wing-span, was almost unstoppable in the post. His career numbers are hurt because a large part of his early career was hurt because of lack of playing time as he was the Celtics sixth-man. In 1985 that all changed as starter Cedric Maxwell was traded, making McHale the starter. As a full-time starter, McHale averaged 22.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.8 blocks over the rest of his career. His best season came in 1987 when he finished fourth in MVP voting behind Larry, Michael, and Magic. In that 1987 season, McHale was the first player in league history to finish a season shooting north of 60% from the field (60.4%) and 80% from the foul line (83.6%).
Hayes won the scoring title as a rookie with 28.4 points per game; the Big E would participate in 12 consecutive All-Star Games. Hayes never won an MVP, which is a joke and why MVP is more of a popularity contest. Hayes tended to rub everybody around him the wrong way, which hurt him in the end.
Pettite was the first man to win the MVP in the history of the NBA, and he won it again later in his career. If you have never heard of him and wonder why he is on this list, take a look at his career stat line 26.4 points, 16.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 43.6% FG, 76.1% FT.
Malone could have been number one, but let’s stay. He had his shortcomings in the clutch, mainly the NBA Finals, which knocked him down this list a bit, plus the guys ahead of him were more versatile as players. Make no mistake, Malone was a beast at his best, as you can tell from his career averages of 25.0 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 51.6% FG, 74.2% FT.
Very few Power forwards in NBA history can match this man’s versatility. Garnett holds the rare distinction of being one of only four players in NBA history to have won both the MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Awards, which is a testament to just how complete of a player Garnett was.
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Nowitzki modernized the Power forward from being a bruiser to becoming a complete player. His Career Averages of 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 47.1% FG, 38% 3pt, 87.9% FT, are, to say the least impressive, and his ability to make everybody on the team a better player was fantastic.
The ultimate franchise player for years, the Spurs just changed out the parts around Duncan, and the results were always the same, and that result was that they would still win. His achievements include Two-time MVP (2001-02, 2002-03), three-time Finals MVP, 15-time All-Star, 15-time All-NBA selection, 15-time All-D selection, Rookie of the Year (1997-98). No doubt about who the greatest Power Forward of all time is.
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