The 75 greatest players in NBA history, ranked by Player Efficiency Rating (PER)

The 75 greatest NBA players of all-time, ranked by PER

Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant
Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant / Harry How/GettyImages
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21.    Hakeem Olajuwon-23.59

Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon is generally considered to be one of the best centers ever, thanks to his smooth offense and incredible defensive ability. Olajuwon averaged at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks for each of the first 12 seasons of his career.

In fact, he led the NBA in rebounds twice and blocks three times and he holds the record for most blocks in league history. Olajuwon's dominance on both ends of the floor allowed him to stuff the stat sheet and secure his place in the top-25 in PER all-time.

That is probably much lower than where most fans of the NBA would have him but he wasn't nearly as efficient as other big men on this list. To his credit, he is one of the few players on this list to have far superior advanced stats in the playoffs than in the regular season.

That helps explain how he led the Rockets to back-to-back championships, including doing so as a sixth seed in the West. Based on that, it's hard to fault PER for having him at 21, given that he was a better postseason player.