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John Salley lists his top players in every decade: “Am I saying ghetto enough Ja Morant!”

Former NBA player John Salley listed his top players in every decade during a recent episode of the Shay Shay podcast. The Shay Shay podcast is hosted by NFL great Shannon Sharpe. Salley noted that Ja Morant is the most dominant player of this decade.

Salley had some interesting names and ones that some might not agree with. According to Salley, the following players were the best of their decades.

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Best NBA player in the 60s - Oscar Robertson

The Big O. The greatest point guard of all time, as many like to say. Oscar Robertson was a force on both ends of the court, posting triple-doubles left and right. In the 1960s, he spent every season with the Kings. During those years, he played 45-plus minutes per night, averaging over 30 points per game.

What he was able to do as a scorer and facilitator was something that the NBA has hardly ever seen again. The latest that has ever been comparable in terms of facilitating and scoring has been Russell Westbrook. Westbrook broke his trouble-double record, which many believed was unbreakable.


Best NBA player in the 70s - Jerry West

There were some outstanding players in the 1970s, but according to John Salley, none were better than Jerry West. The NBA logo, as some refer to him, propelled the Los Angeles Lakers franchise to new heights. During the 1970s, he averaged well over 20 points per game and shot nearly 50% from the field on a consistent basis.

West has received numerous accolades. He was a 14-time NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, 10x All-NBA First Team selection, NBA Champion, 4x NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, NBA scoring champion, and a member of the NBA's 35th, 50th, and 75th-anniversary teams.

It would be tough to argue that any player in the 1970s was better, despite the other impressive players in the league at the time.

Best NBA player in the 80s - Magic Johnson


Magic Johnson was an incredible talent in the 80s. Many believe that he might be the best point guard to ever play the game. The 5x NBA Champion, 3x MVP, and 12x All-Star averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 11.2 assists per game. He was a walking double-double and deserves the crown that many want to give him as the top point guard in NBA history.

Outside of his success on the court, Magic is an even better person.

Best player in the 2020s - Ja Morant

Salley talked about the 1990s and 2000s, saying Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jordan were the two best during that time. It would be tough to argue between the two guys considering the career accolades and stats they put up.

In terms of current players, Salley says that he thinks Ja Morant will be the most dominant player in the NBA during this decade. The 6'2" Morant will have a tough time getting that nod with players like Giannis, Luka, and others. However, he's shown that he can play at a high level.

In his young career, he's averaged 21.6 points and is shooting 47.5% from the field.

Edited by
Krutik Jain
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