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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5. Shaquille O'Neal: 26.43

NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal is widely regarded as one of the most dominant players in league history. That was certainly the case, with teams trying as hard as they could to stop him but often came up short. Few players of his size possessed the strength and athleticism as well as the skill that Shaq had, and he was an imposing force in his Hall of Fame career. 

Over his first fourteen seasons in the NBA, Shaq posted 26.3 average points per game on an outrageous 58% shooting from the field, as well as 11.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.5 blocks. Even with him failing to hit his free throws, he still had a stellar 58.4% true shooting percentage, above-average even by today's standards.

During that span, he had an incredible 27.8 PER, which is MVP level, yet he won just one of those awards. Considering that he was still very productive in the twilight of his career, even over his time with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics, it's no wonder that he ranks fifth in PER all-time.