Known as the “Round Mound of Rebound,” the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Barkley had exceptional agility given his build. Barkley — not Michael Jordan — was the leading scorer on the USA’s Olympic “Dream Team” that won gold in 1992. Barkley was the league MVP in 1993 and the All-Star Game MVP in 1991. He led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 1993 and averaged 27.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.5 assists against the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds in his career. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Jordan dominated the 1990s like few players dominated any decade in any sport. He won six NBA titles, with two three-peats, and was Finals MVP every time. He won four league MVP awards and seven scoring titles in the decade, despite retiring twice. His 1995-96 Bulls set a then-league record with 72 wins. He won his final MVP award at age 35, playing every game that season on his way to another NBA title. Though best known for his high-flying dunks, wagging tongue, baggy shorts and Air Jordan shoes, he was an All-Defensive first-team selection six times in the ’90s. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
The man nicknamed “The Mailman,” delivered for nearly two decades in Utah with help from point guard John Stockton. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound power forward had the strength of a bruising center and the agility of a wing player. He was a two-time league MVP who twice led the Jazz to the NBA Finals. He was a first-team All-NBA selection every year of the decade. In addition to his scoring prowess, he was a first-team all-defense selection three times. He shared the All-Star Game MVP award with Stockton in 1993. He remains the NBA’s No. 2 all-time scorer with 36,928 points, and he’s seventh in rebounds. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
The 7-foot Nigerian center is one of the league’s all-time best two-way players. He led the Houston Rockets to NBA titles in 1994 and 1995, earning Finals MVP honors both times. He was the league MVP in 1994, when he averaged 27.3 points, 11.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocks. He was NBA defensive player of the year in 1993 and 1994. He is the NBA’s all-time leader in blocks, and he led the league in the category in 1990, 1991 and 1993. As an offensive player, his “Dream Shake” move and his exceptional footwork helped him shoot 51% from the field for his career. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
The Stockton-to-Malone duo was nearly unstoppable. Stockton is the all-time assists leader, with many of those passes going to Malone for dunks in their feared pick-and-roll. Stockton also is the all-time steals leader and was one of the best defensive guards of his era. Undersized at just 6-foot-1, Stockton made up for it with toughness, smarts and skill. He averaged a double-double for 10 consecutive years in one stretch, leading the league in assists nine of them. He played his entire 19-year career in Utah, and the Jazz made the playoffs every time. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
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