Picking the best NBA player from each state

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Apr 10, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of the American Flag being displayed prior to the game between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

From Maine to California, Minnesota to Mississippi, America is rife with basketball history. Some states’ roots run much deeper, however, which makes picking the the best player from each state a lot tougher than it sounds.


The NBA has been in existence since June 6, 1946. Since then, over 3,000 players have logged time on the world’s most prestigious hardwoods. While the game of basketball looks, sounds, and feels (much) different today than it did 70 years ago, that doesn’t change the fact that players have come from far and wide to participate at the highest level of the sports.

Today, we attempt to pinpoint the best NBA player from all 50 states. Yes, many of the top players in the association have actually come from outside the United States of America — especially in recent years. And yes, limiting our sleuthing to one player per states invariably means that many all-time greats will be left off the list. But that only makes the resulting list all the more unpredictable. And unpredictable means fun, right?

Right? Right.

From Michael Jordan to Wilt Chamberlain and Larry Bird, the unquestioned greats of the NBA will be undoubtedly included, but not every state can boast a surefire Hall of Fame inclusion. That makes for some interesting debate, so feel free to (vehemently) disagree with our findings in the comments section. Or, you know, tell us how much you like this list. Whatever suits your fancy, really.

Let’s get right to it, coming at you alphabetically and beginning with the great state of Alabama.

Note: Players must be BORN in the state to be eligible for consideration.

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