The small forwards list is all about versatility and it goes back several decades into the history of the beautiful game

The 5 best small forwards in NBA history

One of the definitions for the small forward position states the following: “a versatile forward who is effective outside the key as well as near the net.” We would also like to add that these players are two-way specialists who can dominate on both ends of the court.

So, first of all, there is absolutely no need to focus on the word small and think about it in terms of a player’s height. Instead, it is the versatility that was our guiding light in listing the greatest small forwards of all time in the history of the NBA. As usual, there will be those who disagree so make sure to give us your opinion!

5. Scottie Pippen

Out of all the legendary players on this list, the Chicago Bulls icon is definitely the one who is most frequently described as being a complete all-around player. Many will agree that Michael Jordan is the GOAT, but it is doubtful if he would be as successful if Pip wasn’t his number 2.

Golden State Warriors head coach and former teammate Steve Kerr knows a thing or two about amazing players so this is why his quote about Scottie is very special:

“Scottie would score four points and dominate the game. That’s what made him one of the best to ever play the game.”

4. Kevin Durant

Yes, he could be the most polarizing figure on this list since so many people are not fans of the fact that he switched teams so many times – under circumstances that were always strained and generally not positive.

Well, our focus today is not on that, but on the fact that many consider him to be one of the best/purest scorers of all time. Let’s just take a quick look at some of his most important career achievements:

  • 2× NBA champion
  • 2× NBA Finals MVP
  • NBA Most Valuable Player
  • 13× NBA All-Star
  • 4× NBA scoring champion
  • 50–40–90 club
  • NBA 75th Anniversary Team
  • 3 Olympic gold medals

If all of this is not convincing enough for you, then definitely don’t sleep on the KD signature basketball shoe line that is consistently one of the best sellers at Grosbasket stores!

3. Julius Erving

Dr. J, The Doctor, J.W., The Claw, Black Moses, Houdini, Little Hawk, Doc, Julie, Super Julius…yes these are ll the known nicknames of a true baller who was one the game’s biggest stars even before he made it to the NBA.

First, he became an NCAA legend by being one of just 6 players to average more than 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. Next, he moved on the ABA league where he won two championship titles and also won the first ever slam dunk contest! We wrote more about that here.

Julius continued to dominate when he eventually made to the NBA where he was the MVP and a champion, two time All-star game MVP, while it is also worth noting that he had impressive skills on defense as well. This is why he even made it to the ABA All-Defensive First Team.

2. Larry Bird

Some of his countless accomplishments with the Boston Celtics will probably never be matched, but there is one aspect of Larry Legend that other players keep talking about and admiring even to this day. Of course, it’s his savage trash talking and the fact that he always delivered on it:

  • before winning his second consecutive three-point contest title, Larry walked into the locker and asked the other contestants “who’s coming in second?”
  • he once played and dominated with 47 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists against the Portland Trailblazers using his left hand to save and rest his dominant arm for the Lakers the next day
  • Larry would regularly tell defenders ahead of time how he would score a crucial basket and then would simply do it
  • one of his favorite moves was talking to stars from other teams about assigning a weak defender on him…he would say: “is THIS who’s guarding me??”

1. LeBron James

The King is in year 20, not slowing down, and we are all witnesses! If you follow basketball at all, you know there is no need to explain why he is number one on this list. Make sure to check out our collection and grab something from as it will definitely have historical value!

Now, with only the power forward and center top 5 lists remaining, things could get even more interesting as we had to make some tough choices for them!