32. George Mikan
Nicknamed Mr. Basketball, the 6 ft 10 in 245 lb. Mikan is seen as one of the pioneers of professional basketball, redefining it as a game of so-called big men with his prolific rebounding, shot blocking and his talent to shoot over smaller defenders with his ambidextrous hook shot, a result of his own Mikan Drill.
Mikan had a successful player career, winning seven NBL, BAA and NBA championships, an All-Star MVP trophy, three scoring titles and being member of the first four NBA All-Star and the first six All-BAA and All-NBA Teams.
Mikan was so dominant that he caused several rule changes in the NBA, among them widening the foul lane—known as the “Mikan Rule”—and introducing the shot clock.
31. Dave Cowens
During his NBA career, Cowens averaged 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, was selected to seven All-Star Games, was named to the All-NBA Second Team three times, and was named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team in 1976 and All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 1973 and 1980.
He was a member of the Celtics’ 1974 and 1976 NBA Championship teams. Cowens’ playing credo was all-out intensity at both ends of the court, a style that never wavered during his 11-year NBA career.
As a testament to his all-around ability, Cowens is one of only four players (Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James are the others) to lead his team in all five major statistical categories for a season: points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals. He accomplished the feat in the 1977-78 season.