The only man to score 100 points in an NBA game (March 2, 1962) and the league's alltime rebounding leader; he won two NBA championships and four MVP awards and holds career records for 50-plus-point games (118) and single-season scoring average (50.4 in '61-62).
"Chamberlain is no Fancy Dan, though it appears he could be if he chose because he has speed, grace and spring in abundance. He simply takes the ball in the pivot, jumps and turns, stretches out an elastic frame and unbelievably long arms in midair and dunks it."
—JEREMIAH TAX SI, Dec. 17, 1956
He won three NBA titles, three consecutive league MVP awards (1984-86)—and the unanimous respect of his peers.
"There has never been a basketball player quite like the Celtics' Larry Joe Bird, in whom talent and tenacity rage a daily wire-to-wire battle for supremacy."
—JACK McCALLUM SI, March 3, 1986
He won five championships and three league MVP awards from 1980 to '90, and in every year he played, he had the league's most valuable personality.
"In person, Magic may have a YMCA shot, herky-jerky and one-handed, but it still has gone in 53% of the time in his career. He has always taken those mincing steps, as though his legs were not quite hinged in the middle, yet he can outjuke a wolf to a sirloin. He seems to dribble with the flat of his hand, as though holding a two-by-four, but if you had to cross a minefield behind a dribbling NBA player, whom else would you choose?"
—RICK REILLY SI, Dec. 18, 1989