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College Basketround National AnalystAugust 2, 2020 CommentsComment Bubble Icon


Tright here are hotbeds for basketsphere talent, and then there"s New York City.

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Nearly on one-tenth of all players inducted right into the Naismith Memorial Basketround Hevery one of Fame played high institution sphere in the higher NYC location, plus around a dozen others who each spent at leastern a dozen years in the NBA.

We only ranked the optimal eight, yet also a guy prefer Kenny Anderson—one of just 58 players in NBA history through at least 10,000 points and also 5,000 assists in his career—probably does not crack the peak 25. That"s how loaded New York City has actually been over the years.

Apologies in breakthrough if we include someone you think shouldn"t be or vice versa. Interpretations of both "from" and "New York City" can vary from one perchild to another. But as a general rule of thumb, we"re trying to find guys who played multiple years of high school basketball in one of the five NYC boroughs.

Two notable exceptions/omissions: Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, however the family members moved to North Carolina once he was a toddler. Similarly, Carmelo Anthony was born in Brooklyn, yet his family moved to Maryland also once he was eight. Neither one counts for this list, as neither one attended high school in NYC.

Beyond that, players were ranked in ascfinishing order of supremacy in the NBA. It"s not necessarily a ranking of career win shares, yet that Basketsphere Reference statistic was the one mostly thought about.


Elton Brand

Despite battling plenty of injuries, Brand had actually an impressively lengthy career, lasting 17 seasons in the NBA. The 2000 Rookie of the Year ended up through more than 9,000 rebounds, nearly 17,000 points and also 109.6 win shares. Based on that latter metric, he"s a peak 100 all-time player.

Connie Hawkins

A point-shaving scandal derailed The Hawk"s career before he ever before obtained a chance to play a varsity game in college, yet he invested several years through the Harlem Globetrotters, conquered in the ABA for 2 years and also was an All-Star in each of his initially four seasons in the NBA through the Phoenix Suns. Between the late begin and the early on finish (Hawkins reexhausted at 33), he was left out in favor of men that had longer careers. But as much as raw talent goes, this was a tough guy to omit. 

Other Streetball Legends

Hawkins and also a couple of other players in our peak 5 "graduated" from Rucker Park and also had a fine career in the NBA, yet tbelow are also dozens of sensational talents that never made that change. Joe Hammond, Earl Manigault, "Pee Wee" Kirkland, James Williams and also a number of other streetsphere phenoms would certainly have been fine candidates for this list if we weren"t mainly concentrated on worth added in the NBA/ABA.

Mark Jackson

Mama, tright here goes that male. Action Jackboy was Rookie of the Year in 1987-88 and was schosen to the All-Star Video Game the complying with seaboy. He wasn"t a lot of a scorer, but he is among just 5 players in NBA history through at least 10,000 assists.

Stephon Marbury and Anthony Mason

Both Starbury and also Mase acquire a little bonus consideration in NYC lore bereason they each had a couple of good years through the Knicks. Neither one had actually anypoint close to a Hevery one of Fame career, though.

Rod Strickland

Hot Rod was never schosen to an All-Star Game, yet he compiled 85.8 win shares in his 17-year career. That"s even more than Kevin Love (82.0) has actually in 12 periods, so Strickland certainly at least warrants stating.

Kemba Walker

Cardiac Kemba is still young sufficient that he most likely has at least 5 quality years left in the tank. By the time he retires, he may well belong on this list. It would certainly be irresponsible to put him ahead of someone choose Chris Mullin or Bernard King, though, let alone the males in our peak five.


Lenny Wilkens played even more than 1,000 games in the NBA and coached almost 2,500, however no one can have actually guessed that from the means points began out in high institution. At Boys High School in Brooklyn, he barely made the team as a freshmale and didn"t even attempt out as a sophoeven more or junior. He only played for fifty percent of his senior seachild, as well.

But he started to prosper at Providence, earning consensus second-team All-America honors during a senior seaboy in which he led the Friars to the 1960 NIT championship game.

The St. Louis Hawks took Wilkens with the 6th pick in the 1960 draft, and he progressively developed right into one of the ideal allude guards in the Association. In his age-30 with age-35 periods, Wilkens averaged 19.8 points and 8.8 assists per game and also was the assists champ in 1969-70. He was schosen to nine All-Star groups on his journey to a spot in the Hall of Fame.

A lot of NBA fans more than likely only know Wilkens as a coach, though. He invested 32 seasons on the sideline, racking up 1,332 wins in his career. When he reworn down in 2005, he was No. 1 on that list (Don Nelson stuck about simply long enough to end up his career three ahead of Wilkens).


Chris Mullin was from Brooklyn and also began his high college career at Power Memorial Academy—a small over a decade after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated tbelow. He ultimately transferred to Xaverian High School, leading that team to the New York Class A state championship as a senior in 1981.

While many of NYC"s top talents went to college far from home, Mullin merely resituated to a various bostormy to play for Lou Carnesecca at St. John"s. He was called Big East Player of the Year 3 times and also won the Wooden Award as a senior, guiding the Johnnies to a 31-4 record and also a trip to the Final Four.

Mullin was schosen by the Golden State Warriors via the seventh pick of the 1985 draft, wright here he became an ebullient pressure by his fourth year in the league. Alengthy through Tim Hardamethod and also Mitch Richmond, Mullin was one-3rd of "Run TMC", averaging at leastern 25 points per game in five consecutive seasons before his body started to break down.

Regardless of battling seemingly consistent injury over the latter half of his career, Mullin racked up nearly 18,000 career points and also was excellent enough at his five-year top to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Hevery one of Fame.


Born and also raised in Brooklyn, Bernard King dominated at Ft Hamilton High School in the at an early stage 1970s. He was first-team All-City the year prior to joining Ernie Grunfeld at the University of Tennescheck out, developing the "Ernie and also Bernie Sexactly how."

In 3 seasons with the Volunteers, King averaged 25.8 points and also 13.2 rebounds per game. He was called SEC Player of the Year in all 3 years and also was a two-time consensus All-American before embarking on a tumultuous career in the NBA.

King averaged 24.2 points and also 9.5 rebounds per game as a rookie with the New Jersey Nets and also seemed favor a guy destined to overcome for many years. However before, he combated alcohol abusage early on in his career and later missed more than 2 full years while rehabbing a torn ACL endured in the time of a seakid in which he led the NBA at 32.9 points per game.

He was All-NBA 4 times in his Hevery one of Fame career, but comparable to Grant Hill, King was an impeccable organic talent who might have actually been one of the 25 greatest players of all time if he had actually been able to stay on the court. One can easily argue he belongs in the optimal 3 on this list despite a career win shares tally (75.2) nowhere close to the optimal three.

Nate Archibald"s journey to NBA stardom darn near ended in high school before it ever before had a possibility to start.

"Tiny"—whose NBA dimensions were simply 6"1" and 150 lbs—attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. He was reduced from the varsity team throughout his sophoeven more year. He consequently practically dropped out of institution and had actually negative grades. But with the help of some mentors, he obtained earlier into the classroom and also fine-tuned his game on the court, earning All-City honors his senior year.

After spfinishing a year at Arizona Western Community College, Archibald transferred to Texas Western (later renamed UTEP) to play for Don Haskins. Assists weren"t taped at the collegiate level at that time (1968-70), yet Archibald averaged 20.0 points per game in his 3 seasons.

In his 3rd season in the NBA (1972-73), Archibald led the league in both points (34.0) and assists (11.4) per game. To this day, he"s still the only player to ever claim both of those titles in the same seaboy. He just finiburned 3rd in the MVP vote, though, largely bereason his Kansas City Kings went 36-46 while 3 various other groups won at leastern 60 games each.

Archibald would certainly inevitably acquire to play for a winner. Larry Bird, Robert Parish and also Cedric Maxwell were the bigger stars, however Archibald was the veteran leader of the 1980-81 NBA champion Boston Celtics.

Bob Cousy attfinished Anattracted Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, yet it took a couple of years and also what turned out to be a fortuitous injury before he started to thrive.

Cousy was reduced from the JV team in each of his initially two years of trying out before falling out of a tree and also breaking his leading appropriate arm. This required him to learn to dribble and pass left-handed, which consequently made him an ambidextrous (and also dominant) point guard.

He just played one-and-a-fifty percent years of high college basketsphere, yet he quickly became among the greatest stars in NYC in the time of that time. From there, Cousy was a three-time All-Amerihave the right to at Holy Cross, wbelow he played for the 1947 nationwide champion Crusaders.

After refusing to report to the Tri-Cities Blackhawks as soon as they schosen him No. 3 in its entirety in the 1950 NBA draft, Cousy landed via the near-to-Divine Cross Boston Celtics. He started his NBA career via 13 consecutive All-Star Video Game selections, led the league in assists eight consecutive years (1953-60), ran the offense for 6 NBA champions and also was named the NBA MVP for the 1956-57 seachild.

Dolph Schayes was born and also raised in the Bronx, playing his early days of basketround at Creston Junior High School and DeWitt Clinton High School. And he didn"t undertaking much from house for college, attending New York College just around 15 miles down the road.

After four periods at NYU, Schayes was taken through the fourth all at once pick in the BAA Draft and also was additionally selected in the NBL Draft. He made a decision the NBL and played for the Syracusage Nationals, wbelow he was called Rookie of the Year for the 1948-49 seaboy.

The complying with summer, the BAA took in the NBL to become the NBA, and Schayes offered as a pioneer of that new league.

The two-handed set shooter got All-NBA honors (6 first-team, 6 second-team) in each of his initially 12 periods in Syracuse. Had there been NBA MVP awards before the 1955-56 season, Schayes perhaps would have actually won at leastern one in his career. Instead, he finished height eight in the vote in each of its initially six years of existence.

Long prior to famously dunking from the free-throw line during the 1976 ABA Slam Dunk Contest, Julius Erving got his begin at Roosevelt High School in Long Island also.

Dr. J was one of the the majority of significant players in the storied history of this sport. It probably wouldn"t be fair to say Erving developed the art of playing above the rim, but via his lethal combination of dunks and also finger rolls, he was among the first to truly understand it.

In two periods at the University of Massachusetts, Erving averaged 26.3 points and also 20.2 rebounds. At the moment (1971), the NBA didn"t allow groups to draft players unmuch less they were at least four years rerelocated from high school. Instead, Erving ended up being one of the initially players to leave college early on for the Amerihave the right to Basketround Association—which quickly came to be his own personal playground.

Erving averaged 27.3 points and also 15.7 rebounds as a rookie with the Virginia Squires and also won 3 ABA MVP awards within his first 5 periods. When the ABA folded in 1976, Erving was among the few players that made a seammuch less change to the NBA, prospering through the Philadelphia 76ers for over a decade. Dr. J played 16 professional seasons and was an All-Star in each of them.

Between conquering for the UCLA Bdamages and also the Los Angeles Lakers, the large majority of basketball fans more than likely think Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born and increased in Los Angeles. However, prior to he changed his name, Lew Alcindor"s sensational career actually began 3,000 miles ameans from the bappropriate lights of Hollylumber.

He led Power Memorial Academy to a 71-game winning streak and also to 3 consecutive New York City Catholic championships. No matter wbelow he saw college, he would certainly have grew. Spfinishing a few years through the legendary John Wooden at UCLA only made him that a lot greater.

There"s a great opportunity LeBron James is going to pass him in the following couple of years, but Abdul-Jabbar is currently still No. 1 in the NBA document publications with 38,387 points scored. He"s also height five in career rebounds (17,440) and also was schosen to a document 19 NBA All-Star Gamings.

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Even on a stacked list of all-time greats, there"s no question that Abdul-Jabbar was the best player to ever before come out of New York City. And his patented skies hook is still the prettiest, many unguardable swarm of all time.