Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. The league has hundreds of players, each of which are trying to do their teams and supporters proud and make a name for themselves as one of the best. But it's not an easy task getting to the top. In fact, only a few men have been able to do it since the sport's history. And we want to test just how well you know them today.
We aren't going to ask you their names because that would just be too easy. But we are going to ask you which positions they played on the court. Only hardcore fans will be able to pass this quiz because some of these men haven't been on the court in years. It'll be even more complicated because some of them played more than one position.
If you want to, you can go watch reruns of some of the most legendary matches to try to jog your memory. In fact, you should go do some studying by hitting the books as well. But if you think you know enough already and that you can tell us which position the legends played, let's start this quiz.
Jabbar is a world-renowned basketball player who played as a center for the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks, for a total of twenty seasons. Before retiring in 1989 when he was 42 years old, Jabbar had won the Most Valuable Player Awards and served as a member of six championship teams of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Nathaniel/ Nate Archibald, also known as "Tiny," is a retired basketball player who played as a guard for the Boston Celtics and Cincinnati Royals. This 6-foot-1 player's career spanned 14 years, during which he was known for his efforts to help troubled youth and the underprivileged.
Paul Arizin, also known as "Pitchin' Paul," began his career in 1950 and played as a small forward up until his retirement in 1965. He played for the Warriors and the Camden Bullets of the Eastern Basketball League. Paul Arizin passed away in 2006 at 78 years old.
Charles Barkley, also known as Sir Charles, is a basketballer who served as a leading power forward for the NBA, where he played for the Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns. Currently, he serves as an analyst on the television show, Inside the NBA.
Richard Francis Dennis Barry III, simply known as Rick Barry, was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors in 1965, and he played as a small forward for this team, as well as Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors. In 1996, the NBA listed him as one of the "50 greatest players," and he was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Baylor was part of the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers where he played as a small forward throughout his career with the NBA. He played for 14 seasons and 12 playoffs and was also deemed the Rookie of the Year in 1958-59.
Dave Bing was drafted into the Detroit Pistons in 1966, where he played as a point guard for this team until 1975. He has also played for the Washington Bullets and the Boston Celtics. Overall, he served in the NBA for 12 seasons. Sometime after his retirement, he ventured into governance and became the mayor of Detroit in 2009.
Soon after he was drafted in 1978, Larry Bird served as a forward with the Boston Celtics for the 13 seasons of his career. Bird was considered to be an all-rounder who could perform several tasks on the court and in 1996 he was deemed to be One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
Throughout his basketball career, Chamberlain played as a center for several teams such as the Philadelphia 76ers, the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers. This impressive athlete made his name as the only player in the NBA who scored 4,000 points in a season and the only one to 100 points in just one single game.
Though Cousy was drafted by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in 1950, he instead served as a point guard for the Boston Celtics from that year up until 1963. Afterward, he played for the Cincinnati Royals from 1969-70. He has played on six Championship Teams of the NBA (1956-63) and won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1957.
Dave Cowens is a retired player for the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, who played as a center and sometimes as a power forward. His career began in 1970 and that same year he was deemed Rookie of the Year and a mere three years later, he was voted as MVP by his peers. In 1991, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Cunningham enjoyed a long career that lasted 17 seasons, nine of which he played as a small or power forward with the Philadelphia 76ers and in the eight remaining he served as a coach. During this time, he was part of two championship teams for the NBA and was recognized by the American Basketball Association (ABA) as the MVP (1972-73), where he also scored 18 points in the ABA All-Star Game.
Dave DeBusschere was both a basketball and baseball player but started his professional basketball career in 1962 where he played for the Detroit Pistons up until 1969. He also played for the New York Nicks from 1968-74 and was called to the All Star Game eight times. DeBusschere died of a heart attack in 2003 at 62 years old.
Clyde Drexler is a professional basketball player who began his career in 1983 as a guard/forward and retired in 1998. He was a member of 1992 United States Men's Olympic Basketball Team, also known as the "Dream Team" and he won an Olympic Gold Medal for his efforts.
Julius Erving, also called Dr. J, is regarded as one of the best dunkers in basketball and is credited as being one who made a particular move popular—soaring over the rim on the court, which is known as "slam dunk." Dr. J played as a forward/guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Throughout the majority of his 18-year career, Patrick Ewing played for the New York Knicks as a center/forward, and he was called to the All-Star Game 11 times and on seven occasions, he was listed on All-Star NBA Games. He did brief stints as a player with Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic and currently coaches the Georgetown University men's basketball team.
Walt Frazier played as a point guard for the New York Knicks from 1967-77 during which he led the team to two championships. Frazier was called to a total of seven All-Star NBA Games and list on the NBA All-Defensive First Teams seven times. In 1987, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was selected as part of the 50th Anniversary All-Time Team of the NBA in 1996.
George Gervin was also known as "The Iceman" because he could play for long periods without sweating significantly. Gervin played as a guard/forward for the San Antonio Spurs from 1976 -85 and for the Chicago Bulls from just one year: 1985-86. He was part of the NBA's All-Star Game in 1977 for nine consecutive times and in 1996 he was deemed to be One of 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
John Havlicek is an accomplished player; he played as a forward/guard for 16 seasons, and during his initial four seasons he won a total of eight NBA championships with the Boston Celtics. He was part of the All-Star Game 13 consecutive times from 1966 and selected as part of the All-Defensive First Team on five occasions.
Elvin Hayes began playing professional basketball with the San Diego Rockets in 1968 and has played for several other teams during his 16 years as a forward/center. These include the Houston Rockets 1971-72 and again from 1981-1984. He was also an All-Star for every one of his first 12 seasons in the NBA and has recorded more points than any other NBA player except for the likes of Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and some others.
Magic Johnson played as a point guard/forward for the Los Angeles Lakers for a total of 13 seasons, during which he won five tournaments for his team in the 1980s. He retired in 1992, the same year in which he won an Olympic gold medal for his efforts in the United States Men's Olympic basketball team, which was also called The Dream Team.
Sam Jones was a shooting guard and forward for the Boston Celtics, a career which he began in 1957 and ended in 1969 after 12 years on the court. He was selected into five All-Star games and the All NBA second team from 1964-1967. He is noted for his 1965 performance, when he led the Celtics to their seventh consecutive championship against the Philadelphia 76ers with an average of 28.6 points.
After his 1984 recruitment into the NBA, Michael Jordan played as a shooting guard/small forward for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards for a total of 15 seasons. He is regarded as one of the world's greatest basketball players and has won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. He is known for Air Jordan, a brand of footwear created in his honor in 1984.
Hal Greer was one of the best players of his time, so much so that the 76ers retired his number when he left the league. His career lasted between 1958 and 1973.
During his NBA career, Jerry Lucas played as a forward/center for the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks up until his retirement in 1974 after 12 years of service. He was named Rookie of the Year 1963-64, a part of the All-NBA Team on three occasions and an NBA All-Star seven times.
Karl Anthony Malone was drafted by the Utah Jazz in 1985, and he played for this team for 18 years up until 2003, where he then played for the Los Angeles Lakers until 2004. He was twice selected as the NBA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) and was named for the All-Star Game 14 times, during which he played twelve. He was also on the All-NBA First Team 11 times.
Moses Malone played as a center throughout his professional basketball career, where he played for several teams including the Buffalo Braves, Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks. His accolades include being named NBA's MVP in three instances and being called to the All-Star Game 12 times. Malone died of heart-related causes in 2015 when he was only 60 years old.
Pete Maravich was drafted in 1970 by the Atlanta Hawks, where he played as a guard until 1974 when he moved onto the New Orleans Jazz. He has also played for the Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics from 1979 to 1980. Maravich made the All-Rookie First Team in 1970-1971 and named for the All-Star Game five times, during which he played four times.
Kevin McHale played as a forward/center for the Boston Celtics throughout his career of 13 years, which began in 1980. He is regarded as one of the greatest power forwards. Upon his retirement in 1993, he was the fourth highest scorer and ranked at #6 for best rebounders for the Boston Celtics. In the 1980s, he also led his team to three NBA Championships.
George Mikan played as a center for the Minneapolis Lakers—during which time he led his team to five championships in six different seasons—from the year 1949 until 1954. He was called to the All-Star Game four times and became the MVP on one occasion. Mikan died in 2005 at 80 years old after suffering from various ailments for some time.
Earl Monroe was known as "Earl the Pearl" and "Black Jesus" for his smooth moves on the court, which he brought to the NBA in 1967 when he was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets. As a guard, he played for this team throughout his career, as well as the New York Knicks, and was known as "the ultimate playground player" by the New York Post.
Hakeem Olajuwon is a Nigerian national and a retired player who made strides in basketball history after he was drafted into the NBA in 1984. In 1993-1994, he became the first player to be honored as an MVP in the NBA, and he also held the title of NBA Finals MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year all within the same season. Olajuwon served 18 years in the NBA as a center.
Shaquille O'Neal's career in basketball spanned 19 years, during which he played as a center for six different teams: Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. This world-renowned player stands at 7-feet-1-inch tall and at one point weighed more than 320 pounds, making him one of the heaviest players in the game.
Robert Parish, also known as The Chief, was recruited in 1976 by the Golden State Warriors, and he was the eighth pick overall. Throughout his 21 years in the NBA, he played as a center for the Warriors, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, and he was called to the All-Star Game nine times.
Bob Pettit played as a forward/center for the Milwaukee and St. Louis Hawks for the duration of his career of 11 years. He was called to the All-Star Game 11 times, four of which he was named as the Most Valuable Player. In 1970, Pettit was enlisted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Scottie Pippen played 17 seasons with the NBA and won a total of six titles with his team, the Chicago Bulls. Pippen or "Pip" as he is called, was a small forward/guard who, from 1993-1996, was named as part of the All-NBA First Team and from 1991-1999, he made the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
Ever since he was drafted in 1964, Willis Reed played for the New York Knicks as a center/forward throughout his ten-year career. Though he no longer played professional basketball, Reed remained in the field as the general manager of the New York Nets, and just three years later, he became the senior vice president of basketball operations.
Oscar Robertson played as a point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Cincinnati Royals, the latter which recruited him in 1960. Robertson has many accolades, including being part of the All-NBA First Team nine seasons in a row, and from 1960-61, he was regarded as the NBA Rookie of the Year.
This former basketballer began in 1987 as a center with the San Antonio Spurs, a team which he remained with for the duration of his career, up until his retirement in 2003. Robinson established himself as a formidable player from early on; in his initial six seasons of the NBA, he won the title of Rookie of the Year and has also won Defensive Player of the Year awards.
William Felton Russell, also known as Bill Russell, is a well-respected athlete whose career spanned 13 seasons, during which he played as a center for the Boston Celtics, from 1956 to 1969. Also during these 13 seasons, he won 11 championships, and in 1957-58, he was chosen as the Most Valuable Player.