Throughout the eloquent and amazing history of the National Basket Association (NBA), there has been an inflow of players who have come like a lightning bolt that makes everyone beyond the on-court spectators’ stand on their feet with an appealing gesture to share a memory of they either watch through TV or have the opportunity of watching live in the arena.
In fact, some basketball players have had the knack to stand their opponent and fans all over the country in an awe of domination since their college days while transitioning their college potency onto the big stage in the NBA – though, some fade away quietly and quickly while some rose to stardom and maintaining their tendency to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game in NBA.
But with some crunch differences about the college basketball lines in relation to the efficiency and reality of the NBA has body checked many players into having to find their foot in transitioning their talent from the college basketball game to the limelight of NBA by the presumptive pressure of this bigger stage in the league.
However, there are some players who stood their ground, continue their pace, dominate their team like wildfire and let loose of their inner feisty and abundant talent on their opponent to ensure that their name is remembered not only in college basketball fame but in the NBA history. Below are some players that transcend their college basketball star games into NBA immortality.
Michael Jordan (North Carolina)
Basketball Royal Majesty, the revolutionary and a true legend of the game. Though he did not have much success in his college days like his NBA days the legendary basketball player still managed to win one NCAA Championship, one Consensus National College Player of the Year, one ACC Player of the Year, two Consensus First Team All-American, two First-Team All-ACC and many more awards.
However, Michael Jordan would go down in the history not as the NBA best player in history but as the basketball greatest player with his scintillating gameplay that revolutionizes the modern basketball game in all and with him, NBA quickly gains more popularity all over the world while it accrued more fan for the league and garnered even more for himself.
But he would retire from the NBA with sizzling awards and records with 6 NBA Championship victory, six NBA Final’s Most Valuable Player, 5 NBA Most Valuable Player of the year, fourteen NBA All-star appearances, Ten All-NBA, and many more awards to his NBA fascinating career, while his NBA Hall of Fame, Basketball Hall of Fame and FIBA Hall of Fame as a player summed up a glittering career he had.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Michigan State Spartans)
Five times NBA Championship winner, three times NBA Final’s most valuable player, three times NBA most valuable player of the year, twelve NBA All-Star presence, two NBA All-Star game most valuable player, nine All-NBA first team while he also records many more records and dignified laurels in his name to establish his massive dominance in the league throughout his twenty NBA seasons.
The affluent winner and celebrated superstar was a grace to watch but it was not a story that begins in the NBA, rather it began in High school when the 15-year-old Johnson was dubbed magic due to his alertness, attentive, physicality, and pace he brought to his team that ensures their dominance over others. However, the story was made to his audience in his college days while representing Michigan State Spartans.
Though the school understood what they are getting with so many records he left in his high school day while he was big, quick, could handle the ball well, could make jaw-dropping plays, particularly in transition, and he elite just as much he was elegant in all 5 positions.
Magic Johnson was a joy to behold on his days and on his average performances, he could drop so many points that dragged his college to NCAA championship victory in 1979, but his college games was summed with NCAA final four most outstanding player, Consensus First Team All-American, Second Team All-American, and Third Team All-American.
Larry Bird (Indiana)
Nicknamed “the legend” or “the hicks from French lick” is definitely considered as one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA if not in basketball altogether. Though he did not win the NCAA championship, his influence on taking Sycamore on his back is beyond any other player in college basketball games.
Larry Bird was the augmenting factor that potentiates Sycamore to their only NCAA championship tourney in 1979 – though Sycamore lost to the firing Michigan in the final the influence of the talented Bird where the Sycamore ran riot with 33-0 records in the process, however, Larry Bird ran away with the prestigious National college player of the year and his time with Sycamore produce 2 Consensus First-team All-American 2 MVC player of the year among many other awards he garnered while representing Sycamore.
But his story of not winning the highest championship price soon change when he was drafted by the Celtics – though it never materials on time but the Sycamore graduate eventually won 3 NBA championships with Boston Celtics despite winning the rookie of the year award in his first NBA season but he further laid his authority in the league with 2 NBA final most valuable player, 3 NBA Most Valuable Player, 12 NBA All-Star, 9 All-NBA first team among many laurels to his name.
He might not have won too many like others but his authority and the way he carries his team to succeed will always be remembered by many fans who shared their time in his era. A true legend of the game and a big influence which enables Indiana State Sycamore to retire his number 33 since then while he is recognized by the NBA with his Hall of Fame.
Bill Russel (San Fransisco)
A cognitive defenseman, a lynchpin in era-defining and a reason while NCAA widened the free throw lane to twelve feet – allegedly to reduce his defensive domination of the game. However, the beauty of the African-American domineering in college basketball is way too bright for his peer – despite his late understanding of the game.
Moreover, his defensive nuance helps the University of San Fransisco to dominate college basketball while he became the star man of the team winning 2 NCAA championships, NCAA tournament player of the year, WCC player of the year, 2 Consensus First Team All-American, 2 Helms Player of the year and many more awards to summarize his college basketball influence he impacted during his time representing USF.
In fact, the fascinating tendencies of Russel to do great in basketball despite having fling affairs with track and field further acclaim his supremacy in the game.
Although there are many winners of different award-winning players in the college basketball and NBA, Bill Russel is one hell of a player that redefined basketball defensive mentality – he, however, went ahead to win do great things with Boston Celtic after been drafted by St. Louis Hawk as a player to aid Celtic dominance with 11 NBA Championship while he took 5 NBA most valuable player, 12 NBA All-Star, 3 All-NBA Stars and many more awards and recognitions to his name in his just thirteen years of professional basketball career in NBA.
In fact, the eulogy in his name as one of the greatest college basketball players and one f the greatest defensive player NBA saw is not in doubt – but to ascertain his dominance, there is a reason while Boston Celtics retire his number 6 jersey till date. More so, he is Hall of Famer a basketball player, and coach. FIBA Hall of Fame and College Basketball Hall of Fame for the former University of San Francisco player.
Lewis Alcindor (UCLA)
For a player like Lewis, their millions of things to talk about his career or personality. In fact, there is not much to say about the authority he commands in his herald basketball days.
Alcindor path to basket greatness did not just reflect in his NBA days but it was a ray that is obvious to many that Alcindor is destined for basketball greatness, even before his college days, right at his high school time at Parochial Memorial, when he guided his team to 71 consecutive victories and was immediately recruited by the UCLA assistant coach, Jerry Norman.
In his college basketball career, Alcindor was a force that moves the tide, and he was the factor that ensures UCLA dominance on their route to 47 games winning streak which was ended by e Houston I 1968 due to the eye problem of Lewis – he however exerts his revenge by defeating the same Houston with greater margin in the semifinal of the tournament.
However, his college career spanned 3 national players of the year, 3 all-American selections, 3 most outstanding players of the year, and many other laurels couple with 3 NCAA champions in his three years said it all about his college basketball.
More so, his telepathic understanding of the game quickly transcends into the big stage in NBA from his college day while he immediately won the 1970 rookie of the year award in his first NBA season while he further dominated NBA with six NBA champions, two NBA Final MVP, six most valuable player, nineteen NBA All-Stars, ten All-NBA first team, college basketball hall of fame, NBA Hall of Fame and more laurels to his name.
With all these accolades and dominant personality he roofer in the college and NBA, it is no doubt that he is the greatest college player that star in NBA despite the league recording thousands of players that have been drafted. Alcindor is well weaved in quickness, intelligence, alertness, positioning, and size – no wonder he is regarded by some coaches and players as the greatest basketball player of all time.