Inspired by the post “Brazilian States all time XI and greatest football/soccer players”,  I’ve decided to write a similar one about American basketball. Thus, I will choose the greatest player ever (I will count only the pro part of the athlete’s career, both in the NBA and in the defunct ABA) of American States (the criteria will be the place of birth, regardless of where the players spent most of his life or career), the top 10 and the starting five of States that has had at least 47 players in NBA/ABA history.

It is important to say that “greatest” does not mean necessarily “better”. Unfortunately, some local excellent players won’t make the list, while others, perhaps not as skillful, will join it because of bigger career achievements (titles, playoff success, individual awards, All NBA and star selections, protagonism, among others).

Before I begin, it is worthy mentioning greatest basketballer from the States that don’t satisfy the above criteria (at least 47 players): Mario Chalmers, PG* (Alaska); Sean Elliot, SF (Arizona); Chauncey Billups, PG (Colorado); Calvin Murphy, PG/SG (Connecticut);  Walt Hazzard, PG/SG (Delaware), Cedrid Ceballos, SF (Hawaii); Luke Ridnour, PG (Idaho); Kirk Hinrich, PG (Iowa); Alvan Adams, PF/C (Kansas); Jeff Turner, SF/PF (Maine); Bill Laimbeer, C (Massachussetts); Kevin McHale, PF (Minnesota); Phil Jackson, PF (Montana); Bob Boozer, SF/PF (Nebraska); Ricky Davis, SG/SF (Nevada); Matt Bonner, PF/C (New Hampshire); Bill Bridges, PF (New Mexico); Mark Landsberger, PF/C (North Dakota); Blake Griffin, PF (Oklahoma); Terrell Brandon, PG (Oregon); Marvin Barnes, PF (Rhode Island); Kevin Garnett, SF/PF/C (South Carolina); Mike Miller, SG/SF (South Dakota); Tom Chambers, PF (Utah); Jerry West, PG/SG (West Virginia); e Kenny Sailors, PG (Wyoming).

*PG = point guard; SG = shooting guard; SF = small forward; PF = power forward; C = center.

Let’s begin (alphabetical order).

 

ALABAMA

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TOP 10 (alphabetical order, by first name, here and  in every other State)

Andrew Toney — SG

Ben Wallace — C

Charles Barkley — PF

DeMarcus Cousins — C

Derrick Coleman — PF

Eric Bledsoe — PG

Jeff Malone — SG

John Drew — SF

Larry Kenon — SF/PF

Robert Horry — SF

STARTING 5 (from PG to C here and in every other State)

Eric Bledsoe

Andrew Toney

Jeff Malone

Charles Barkley

Ben Wallace

Greatest Player: Charles Barkley.

 

ARKANSAS

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TOP 10

Antonio Davis PF/C

Archie Clark — PG/SG

Fat Lever — PG

Glen Rice — SF

Joe Barry Carroll — C

Joe Johnson — SG/SF

Mike Conley — PG

Paul Silas — SF/PF

Scottie Pippen — SF

Sidney Moncrief — SG

STARTING 5

Fat Lever

Sidney Moncrief

Scottie Pippen

Paul Silas

Joe Barry Carroll

Greatest Player: Scottie Pippen.

 

CALIFORNIA

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TOP 10

Bill Walton — C

Dennis Johnson — PG

Gail Goodrich — PG/SG

Gary Payton — PG

James Harden — SG

Jason Kidd — PG

Paul Pierce — SF

Ray Allen — SG

Reggie Miller — SG

Russell Westbrook — PG

STARTING 5

Jason Kidd

Reggie Miller

Ray Allen

Paul Pierce

Bill Walton

Greatest Player: Bill Walton.

 

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

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TOP 10

Adrian Dantley – SF

Austin Carr – SG

Dave Bing – PG/SG

Elgin Baylor – SF

Johnny Dawkins — PG

Kermit Washington – PF

Kevin Durant – SF

Sherman Douglas – PG

Theo Ratliff– C

Thurl Bailey – SF/PF

STARTING 5

Dave Bing

Adrian Dantley

Kevin Durant

Elgin Baylor

Theo Ratliff

Greatest Player: Elgin Baylor.

 

FLORIDA

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TOP 10

Amar’e Stoudemire — PF/C

Artis Gilmore — C

David Robinson — C

Eddie Jones — SG/SF

Gilbert Arenas — PG

Mitch Richmond — SG

Otis Birdsong — PG/SG

Tracy McGrady — SG/SF

Truck Robinson — PF

Vince Carter — SG/SF

STARTING 5

Gilbert Arenas

Tracy McGrady

Vince Carter

Amar’e Stoudemire

David Robinson

Greatest Player: David Robinson.

 

GEORGIA

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TOP 10

Dale Davis — PF/C

Dale Ellis — SG/SF

Derek Harper — PG

Dwight Howard — C

Horace Grant — PF/C

Mike Mitchell — SF

Norm Nixon — PG

Shareef Abdur-Rahim — SF/PF

Walt Frazier — PG

World B. Free — G

STARTING 5

Walt Frazier

World B. Free

Dale Ellis

Horace Grant

Dwight Howard

Greatest Player: Walt Frazier.

 

ILLINOIS

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TOP 10

Anthony Davis — PF/C

Dan Issel — PF/C

Derrick Rose — PG

Dwyane Wade — SG

George Mikan — C

Isiah Thomas — PG

Jack Sikma — C

Johnny “Red” Kerr — C

Mark Aguirre — SF

Tim Hardaway — PG

STARTING 5

Isiah Thomas

Dwyane Wade

Mark Aguirre

Anthony Davis

George Mikan

Greatest Player: Isiah Thomas.

 

INDIANA

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TOP 10

Clyde Lovellette — PF/C

Dick Barnett — SG/SF

Dick Van Arsdale — SG/SF

George McGinnis — PF/C

Glenn Robinson — SF

Larry Bird — SF

Louie Dampier — PG

Shawn Kemp — PF

Tom Van Arsdale — SG/SF

Zach Randolph — PF

STARTING 5

Louie Dampier

Dick Barnett

Larry Bird

Shawn Kemp

George McGninnis

Greatest Player: Larry Bird.

 

KENTUCKY

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TOP 10

Allan Houston — SG

Arnie Risen — C

Cliff Hagan — SF

Darel Carrier — SG

Darrell Griffith — SG

Dave Cowens — C

Frank Ramsey — SG/SF

Joe Fulks — PF

Rajon Rondo — PG

Wes Unseld — C

STARTING 5

Rajon Rondo

Allan Houston

Joe Fulks

Wes Unseld

Dave Cowens

Greatest Player: Dave Cowens.

 

LOUISIANA

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TOP 10

Bill Russell — C

Bob Love — SF/PF

Bob Pettit – PF/C

Clyde Drexler — SG/SF

Elvin Hayes — PF/C

Joe Dumars — PG/SG

Karl Malone — PF

Robert Parish — C

Willis Reed — C

STARTING 5

Joe Dumars

Clyde Drexler

Bob Love

Karl Malone

Bill Russell

Greatest Player: Bill Russell.

 

MARYLAND

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TOP 10

Gene Shue — PG/SG

Jeff Green — SF/PF

Marvin Webster — C

Muggsy Bogues – PG

Quintin Dailey — SG

Reggie Lewis — SG

Rudy Gay — SF

Sam Cassell — PG

Steve Francis — PG

Ty Lawson — PG

STARTING 5

Sam Cassell

Gene Shue

Reggie Lewis

Rudy Gay

Marvin Webster

Greatest Player: Gene Shue.

 

MICHIGAN

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TOP 10

Chris Webber — PF/C

Dan Majerle — SG/SF

Dan Roundfield — PF

Dave DeBusschere — SF/PF

Don Nelson — SF/PF

Draymond Green — PF

George Gervin — SG/SF

Magic Johnson — PG

Mel Daniels — C

Rudy Tomjanovich — SF/PF

STARTING 5

Magic Johnson

George Gervin

Dave DeBusschere

Chris Webber

Mel Daniels

Greatest Player: Magic Johnson.

 

MISSISSIPI

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TOP 10

Al Jefferson — PF/C

Antonio McDyess — PF

Chet Walker — SF/PF

Danny Manning — PF

John Johnson — SF

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf — PG

Mo Williams — PG

Monta Ellis — PG/SG

Purvis Short — SF

Spencer Haywood — C

STARTING 5

Mo Williams

Monta Ellis

Danny Manning

Chet Walker

Spencer Haywood

Greatest Player: Spencer Haywood.

 

MISSOURI

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TOP 10

Anthony Peeler — SG

Bill Bradley — SF

Bradley Beal — SG

David Lee — PF

Ed Macauley — PF

Gene Moore — C

Jo Jo White — PG

Larry Hughes — PG/SG

Les Selvage — PG

Steve Stipanovich — C

STARTING 5

Jo Jo White

Bradley Beal

Bill Bradley

Ed Macauley

David Lee

Greatest Player: Ed Macauley.

 

NEW JERSEY

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TOP 10

Andrew Bynum — C

Bob Verga – PG/SG

David West — PF

Dennis Rodman — PF

Karl-Anthony Towns C

Kelly Tripucka — SF

Mike Bibby — PG

Rick Barry — SF

Shaquille O’Neal — C

Tom Heinsohn — PF

STARTING 5

Mike Bibby

Bob Verga

Ricky Barry

Dennis Rodman

Shaquille O’neal

Greatest Player: Shaquille O’neal.

 

NEW YORK

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TOP 10

Bernard King — SF

Billy Cunningham — SF/PF

Bob Cousy — PG

Carmelo Anthony — SF

Chris Mullin — SF

Dolph Schayes — PF/C

Julius Erving — SF

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — C

Michael Jordan — SG/SF

Tiny Archibald — PG

STARTING 5

Bob Cousy

Michael Jordan

Julius Erving

Dolph Schayes

Kareem Abdul—Jabbar

Greatest Player: : Michael Jordan (Kareem could easily be here; he probably would be the greatest in every other State).

 

NORTH CAROLINA

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TOP 10

Bob McAdoo — PF/C

Brad Daugherty — C

Buck Williams — PF/C

Chris Paul — PG

David Thompson — SG/SF

James Worthy — SF

Lou Hudson — SG/SF

Sam Jones — SG

Walt Bellamy — C

Walter Davis — SG/SF

STARTING 5

Chris Paul

Sam Jones

James Worthy

Bob McAdoo

Walt Bellamy

Greatest Player: Bob McAdoo.

 

OHIO

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TOP 10

Alvin Robertson – SG

Gus Johnson — PF/C

Jerry Lucas — PF/C

John Havlicek — SG/SF

LeBron James — SG/SF/PF

Michael Redd — SG

Nate Thurmond — C

Neil Johnston — C

Stephen Curry — PG

Wayne Embry — C

STARTING 5

Stephen Curry

John Havlicek

Lebron James

Jerry Lucas

Nate Thurmond

Greatest Player: Lebron James.

 

PENNSYLVANIA

 

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TOP 10

Bob Davies — SG/SF

Earl Monroe — PG/SG

Guy Rodgers – PG

Jack Twyman – SG/SF

Kobe Bryant — SG/SF

Paul Arizin — SF

Pete Maravich — PG/SG

Rasheed Wallace — PF

Tom Gola — SG/SF

Wilt Chamberlain — C

STARTING 5

Pete Maravich

Kobe Bryant

Paul Arizin

Maurice Lucas

Wilt Chamberlain

Greatest Player: Wilt Chamberlain (Kobe would also be the greatest in most States).

 

TENNESSEE

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TOP 10

Bailey Howell — PF

Bingo Smith — SG/SF

Campy Russell — SF

Clyde Lee — C

Johnny Neumann — SG/SF

Lou Williams — PG/SG

Oscar Robertson — PG/SG

Penny Hardaway — PG/SG

Rich Jones — PF

Ron Mercer — SG/SF

STARTING 5

Oscar Robertson

Penny Hardaway

Campy Russell

Bailey Howell

Clyde Lee

Greatest Player: Oscar Robertson.

 

TEXAS

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TOP 10

Bill Sharman — SG

Chris Bosh — PF

Grant Hill — SF

Joe Caldwell SG/SF

LaMarcus Aldridge — PF

Larry Johnson — PF

Micheal Ray Richardson — PG/SG

Slater Martin — PG

Willie Naulls — PF/C

Zelmo Beaty — PF/C

STARTING 5

Slater Martin

Bill Sharman

Grant Hill

Chris Bosh

Zelmo Beaty

Greatest Player: Bill Sharman.

 

VIRGINIA

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TOP 10

Allen Iverson — PG/SG

Alonzo Mourning — C

Bob Dandridge — SG/SF

Dell Curry — SG

Jerome Kersey — SF

Jimmy Walker — SG

Joe Smith — PF

Moses Malone — C

Paul Pressey — SF

Ralph Sampson — C

STARTING 5

Allen Iverson

Jimmy Walker

Bob Dandridge

Alonzo Mourning

Moses Malone

Greatest Player: Moses Malone.

 

WASHINGTON

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TOP 10

Brandon Roy — SG

Byron Beck — PF/C

Doug Christie — SG/SF

Isaiah Thomas — PG

Jamal Crawford — PG/SG

James Edwards — C

Jason Terry — PG/SG

John Stockton — PG

Nate Robinson – PG

Rodney Stuckey — PG

STARTING 5

John Stockton

Brandon Roy

Doug Christie

Byron Beck

James Edwards

Greatest Player: John Stockton.

 

WISCONSIN

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TOP 10

Carl Landry — PF

Caron Butler — SF

Devin Harris — PG

Don Kojis — SF

Fred Brown — PG/SG

Jim Chones — PF/C

John Mengelt — SG

Latrell Sprewell — PG/SG/F

Nick Van Exel — PG/SG

Terry Porter — PG

STARTING 5

Terry Porter

Nick Van Exel

Latrell Sprewell

Caron Butler

Jim Chones

Greatest Player: Latrell Sprewell.

 

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