The NBA Playoffs have been an environment in which the game’s best have defined their legacies. The major reason why we remember guys like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Bill Russell has nothing to do with their regular season numbers; we revere them because on the biggest stage possible, these guys played huge games that delivered their teams championships. When it mattered most, they were ready.
Figuring out the best 25 of all-time requires looking at both the rings and also the individual stats to understand how each player contributed to the team’s success in all rounds of the playoffs. Guys like Karl Malone and John Stockton certainly put up tremendous numbers, but their inability to get a ring irreparably damages their case. Ditto for Allen Iverson. A relative lack of experience hurt others (Chris Paul, Kevin Durant), although those players are certainly on their way to joining the ranks of the best ever. With all those factors considered, here are the 25 Greatest Playoff Performers in NBA History.