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The Best NBA Players of All Time - Power Forwards

As we continue our series on the Best NBA Players of all time, we turn our attention to the power forwards. In this article, we rank the top 10 PF of all-time.
Published on January 4, 2024

The Best NBA Players of All Time - Power Forwards
Tim Duncan

As we continue our series on the Best NBA Players of all time, we turn our attention to the power forwards. The power forward position is one of the most versatile and important roles in basketball, as it requires a combination of size, skill, and athleticism. In this article, we will rank the top 10 power forwards in NBA history, based on their achievements, statistics, and impact.

Best NBA Players of All Time – Power Forwards

  • Bob Pettit (792 GP, 26.4 ppg, 3.0 apg, 16.2 rpg)
    Bob Pettit played for the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks for 11 seasons. He won the NBA MVP Award twice (1956 and 1959) and the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award four times. He is still the only player to win the regular season MVP award for the Hawks. Pettit scored 20,000 points, becoming the first NBA player to do so, and the Hall of Fame inducted him in 1970.
  • Charles Barkley (1073 GP, 22.1 ppg, 3.9 apg, 11.7 rpg)
    Barkley played 16 NBA seasons for three teams. He was an 11-time NBA All-Star, 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, and the 1993 NBA MVP. The NBA named him to both their 50th and 75th-anniversary teams. In 2000, he retired as the fourth player in NBA history to achieve 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists.
  • Dennis Rodman (911 GP, 7.3 ppg, 1.8 apg, 13.1 rpg)
    Rodman earned NBA All-Defensive First Team honors seven times and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award twice. He also led the NBA in rebounds per game for a record seven consecutive years and won five NBA championships. In 2011, they inducted him into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Additionally, the NBA named Rodman one of its 75 greatest players during the league’s 75th anniversary in October 2021.
  • Dirk Nowitzki (1522 GP, 20.7 ppg, 2.4 apg, 7.5 rpg)
    Dirk Nowitzki revolutionized the power forward position with his unique combination of size and range. He stretched the floor with his three-point shooting and created space for his teammates. Nowitzki’s signature fadeaway jumper made him famous among fans. Additionally, he is the sixth highest scorer in NBA history.
  • Elvin Hayes (1303 GP, 21.0 ppg, 1.8 apg, 12.5 rpg)
    Elvin Hayes was a dominant power forward who played for 16 seasons in the NBA, mostly for the Washington Bullets from 1972 to 1981. He was a 12-time All-Star, a two-time rebounding champion, and a proud member of the 1978 NBA championship team. Additionally, Hayes is one of the NBA’s all-time leaders in points and rebounds.

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Best NBA Players of All Time – Power Forwards

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (1303 GP, 21.0 ppg, 1.8 apg, 12.5 rpg) *
    Giannis Antetokounmpo won two consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Awards before turning 26, putting him in the company of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James. He also won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2020, making him only the third player in NBA history to win both awards in the same season after Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. He achieved the feat of leading the Milwaukee Bucks to their first NBA championship since 1971, named Finals MVP, and selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.
  • Karl Malone (1476 GP, 25.0 ppg, 3.6 apg, 10.1 rpg)
    Karl Malone played 19 seasons in the NBA, 18 with the Utah Jazz. He formed a legendary duo with John Stockton, leading the Jazz to the NBA Finals twice, but lost both times to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
  • At the time of his retirement, Malone was the second all-time leading scorer in NBA history, grabbed more defensive rebounds and attempted more free throws than any other player.
  • Kevin Garnett (1462 GP, 17.8 ppg, 3.7 apg, 10.0 rpg)
    Kevin Garnett had a remarkable NBA career. He was selected to 15 All-Star Games and received the All-Star MVP award in 2003. Garnett was also named to the All-NBA Team nine times and the NBA All-Defensive Team 12 times. Additionally, he holds several franchise records for the Timberwolves.
  • Kevin McHale (971 GP, 17.9 ppg, 1.7 apg, 7.3 rpg)
    Kevin McHale won three NBA championships with the Boston Celtics in 1981, 1984, and 1986. He played in seven All-Star games and was named to the all-NBA Defensive Team six times. He retired after the 1992-1993 season due to injuries and was later named to both the NBA’s 50th and 75th anniversary teams.
  • Tim Duncan (1392 GP, 19.0 ppg, 3.0 apg, 10.8 rpg)
    Duncan was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1997. He played primarily as a power forward and won five NBA championships. He is a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, and a 15-time NBA All-Star. Additionally, Duncan is the only player selected for the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for 13 consecutive seasons.