Over the weekend, the younger set of the NBA released the new rankings of the all-time 50 greatest players in league history. Most of the top three are still active, with Karl Malone right behind Michael Jordan at No. 2.

Other notable names included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at No. 4, Patrick Ewing at No. 5, Steve Nash at No. 6, Shaquille O'Neal at No. 7, Isiah Thomas at No. 8, Magic Johnson at No. 9, Tim Duncan at No. 10, Karl Malone at No. 11, Kobe Bryant at No. 12, Elgin Baylor at No. 13, Oscar Robertson at No. 14, Dirk Nowitzki at No. 15, Jerry West at No. 16, Robert Parish at No. 17, James Worthy at No. 18, Hakeem Olajuwon at No. 19, Hakeem Olajuwon at No. 20, Wilt Chamberlain at No. 21, Larry Bird at No. 22, and LeBron James at No. 23.

After beating the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs are the current dominant team in the NBA and they’re certainly in the conversation as possibly the best basketball team ever. But many of the players consider the rival Lakers to be the most dominant team ever. (That includes the team that LeBron James will be playing for next season).

Many young players are led by Kobe Bryant. And you can pretty much count on those players not only to continue to be NBA stars, but to be successful in college and the WNBA.

Here’s what Leonard told John Schuhmann of the San Diego Union-Tribune after the Spurs dispatched the Lakers, 102-86, on Sunday night.

“They were already successful.”

Then Leonard added, “We got to step up in that respect. We're the next generation. That's what we have to do.”

Leonard was clearly referring to the young Knicks (Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis) and the young Sixers (Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid) with whom he played at the start of the season.


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