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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Power Forwards in NBA History

Top 10 Power Forwards in NBA History

The greatest Power Forwards in NBA history!
Publish Date: 07/17/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
SAN ANTONIO, UNITED STATES: Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs takes off upcourt after grabbing a rebound in first half of NBA action versus the Sacramento Kings at SBC Center in San Antonio, Texas, 08 December 2002. AFP PHOTO/Paul BUCK (Photo credit should read PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images)

Active players are not eligible for this list.

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10) Dolph Schayes

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 โ€” 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%).

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9) Jerry Lucas

Lucas was one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, averaging almost 16 rebounds per game. 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.

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8) Charles Barkley

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.

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7) Kevin McHale

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%).

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6) Elvin Hayes

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.

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5) Bob Pettit

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.

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4) Karl Malone

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.

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3) Kevin Garnett

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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2) Dirk Nowitzki

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.

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1) Tim Duncan

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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