Small forwards have been essential pieces for their teams throughout NBA history. Many small forwards have led their franchises, as the position has often been filled with superstars, who can excel at almost every aspect of the game.
NBA Rankings: Top 10 small forwards in the history of the league
In this edition of our NBA Rankings, we will take a look at the Top 10 small forwards in the history of the league.
#10 James Worthy
This one was definitely a close call between James Worthy and Adrian Dantley, with Big Game James getting a slide edge, probably due to reason he got his nickname, and his NBA Finals MVP from 1988.
Worthy was a seven-time NBA All-star who was a big part of three NBA titles won by the 'Showtime' LA Lakers during the 1980s. Although he wasn't a leader in a team that included Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Worthy was selected twice to All-NBA teams during his tenure.
Worthy managed to average 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists in his career on 52% shooting. In the NBA Playoffs, Worthy averaged 21 points per game. His greatest performance in the playoffs came in 1988, when he averaged 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block per game.
He was named the 1988 NBA Finals MVP after scoring 28 and 36 points in games six and seven of the Finals, with the Lakers down 3-2 to the 'Bad Boys' Detroit Pistons. In game seven, Worthy had 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.
#9 Scottie Pippen
Second-best player on arguably the greatest team of all time, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen was revolutionary for the small forward position. Pippen could score, pass, rebound, and play defense at an elite level.
Pippen's career will always be linked to Michael Jordan, which will always color his illustrious achievements, depending on how much credit you give to Jordan or Pippen.
Regardless, Pippen unarguably deserves his spot on this list. His career averages were fantastic. In his 17 seasons in the NBA, Pippen averaged 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists per game. He won six titles with the Bulls, was named 10 times to the NBA's All-Defensive teams, and had seven All-NBA selections.