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Number one overall pick Paolo Banchero reveals his top five NBA players of all time

Many were quick to notice the heavy presence of the Los Angeles Lakers on Banchero’s list, and it immediately started speculation from Laker Nation. The kid hasn't played a single second for the Magic and Laker fans are already seeing him in Purple and Gold.
Orlando Magic first overall draft pick Paolo Banchero

Paolo Banchero

The 2022 NBA Draft was quite an exciting start to the '22/'23 NBA season. Tons of new players entered the league, and unlike in years past, there was some suspense among the top few picks this time around. For much of the pre-draft buildup, it seemed like the Orlando Magic had settled in on Jabari Smith Jr. as the top overall pick, but they changed course once they were on the clock and ended up selecting Paolo Banchero with the first pick instead.

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Paolo Banchero discusses who he thinks the top players in NBA history are

As is customary, Banchero has been subject to tons of media coverage ever since he was selected first in the 2022 draft. Everyone wants to learn more about one of the league’s newest stars. One of the first things everyone likes to know is how these new players feel about the history of the game they are now becoming a part of, and Banchero was quickly asked to list off his top five NBA players of all time.

Before providing his list, Banchero looked to avoid controversy by saying he didn’t have a particular order for his top five. He then reeled off Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Magic Johnson as his top five players of all time. At first glance, that’s a pretty good list if you ask me.

Breaking down Paolo Banchero’s top five players of all time

Right off the bat, it’s notable that Banchero selected three guards in his top five. While he may not have necessarily listed it off as his starting five, the backcourt may be crowded with Bryant, Jordan, and Johnson if these five were to take the floor together. You could probably have Johnson play as a forward alongside LeBron, so it isn’t a huge issue, especially as we venture more and more towards the positionless basketball era.

One thing many folks were quick to point out was the number of Los Angeles Lakers players on this list. Jordan is the only guy who never played for the Lakers on this list, leading many to declare Banchero a future Laker already. Banchero will be a part of Orlando for the foreseeable future, but maybe that’s something worth paying attention to down the line.

Overall this is an excellent top five list from Banchero. He has tons of winning pedigree, as everyone on the list has won multiple championships, and individually, these guys are all among the best players of all time. LeBron is still playing too, so this list could get even better if he continues to add to his already established legacy. Of course, some people will probably have a bone to pick with this list, but this is a pretty solid list from Banchero, and this five-man group would win many basketball games together. 

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