NBA History: Best NBA player born in each state
Some states have provided the NBA with more players than others, but who is the best player from each of the states in the USA?
The NBA has created a rich history of players for itself since being established back in 1949. Since then, the league has grown from 17 teams to 30 teams across the United States and is still growing. With so many teams now, the amount of players has also grown, creating quite the influx of pipelines throughout the 50 states.
The state of New York has been the biggest hotbed for the league, with over 350 players and counting born in the state coming of age. Right behind New York is the state of Pennsylvania, with over 200 players and counting, given Philadelphia’s rich history on the hardwood and beyond.
With recent developmental changes in the works, the NBA’s G League has become the latest venture into creating a farm league for organizations. It’s not a bad idea, given the players that have made names for themselves in the NBA across the states.
The NBA has created over 178 Hall of Famers and counting, beginning with George Mikan. Mikan was enshrined back in 1959 as a member of the Minneapolis Lakers. He won five titles with the Minneapolis club and led the league in scoring for the first three seasons. Since Mikan, the list of players has grown and as a result, it’s created quite the variety of talent across the 50 states. Here’s a look at the 50 best NBA players from each state.
Best NBA player born in Alabama: Charles Barkley
Forward Charles Barkley was born in Leeds, Alabama on Feb. 20, 1963, and was one of those rare basketball cases of his day. Instead of going away from home for college, he decided to stay in-state, attending Auburn University. While there, he led the SEC in rebounding for three seasons despite his lack of size.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Barkley also utilized his 252-pound frame, giving opponents fits in the paint for much of his career. Barkley was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the fifth overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. He was an 11-time All-Star, earning the honor with the Sixers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets during his 16-year career.
Barkley could be considered the modern-day Draymond Green (sans championship rings) of his era, as he prided himself in averaging a double-double and doing the dirty work on both ends throughout his career. He led the league in rebounds during his third year in the NBA with 14.6 per game.
For his career, he averaged 22.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game through 1,073 games. He finished up his career with the Rockets in the 1999-00 season before calling it quits thereafter and retiring. He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers and his No. 34 jersey was retired by Philadelphia on Jan. 5, 2001.