Throughout the history of the NBA, the NBA has seen some really common names and some very uncommon names. Combine that with the influx of talent from overseas and it isn’t unusual for NBA players to have some very unique names. For example, we have only seen one Kobe, one LeBron, one Yao, one Dirk, one Dikembe and the list could go on and on. In fact, it is quite possible that we may never see players with these first names ever again, unless of course, parents who are fans of these players decide to name their children after them, and they are lucky enough to be a part of the 1% that can actually make it into the NBA.
Having said all this, there are some first names that have been fairly common throughout the history of the NBA. For example, “Michael” is as common as any name out there. And you could easily construct a competitive team with players that have the first name Mike, such as Michael Jordan, Michael Finley, Michael Carter-Williams, Mike Conley, Mychal Thompson and Michael Redd. But all of these players, with the exception of Mychal Thompson, are guards.
Another example are the “Shawn’s,” where you have Sean Elliot, Shawn Marion, Shawn Kemp and Shawn Bradley. However, there is no dominant point guard with the name Shawn, which means that the “Shawn’s” would struggle against some of the other teams with dominant point guards.
Constructing a competitive starting unit with players of the same name and different positions is actually more difficult than you might think. So, put on your thinking caps and see what players with the same first name’s can challenge this top five list of all-time.
5 The Bob’s
The Bob’s feature three Hall of Famers and a total of 18 NBA Championships between them. All of these Bob’s are winners and NBA Champions.
Point Guard - Bob Cousy
Bob Cousy made the All-NBA First Team ten times, All-Star Team thirteen times, and won six NBA Championships. He is a Hall of Famer and was voted as one of the Top 50 Greatest of All-Time.
Shooting Guard - Bob Dandridge
Bob Dandridge made the All-Defensive Team in 1979, was a four-time All-Star and won two NBA Championships.
Small Forward - Robert Horry
Robert Horry may not have been an All-Star or MVP, but he was a winner. Big Shot Bob’s seven NBA Championships speak for themselves and he will forever go down as one of the most clutch players in NBA History.
Power Forward - Bob McAdoo
Bob McAdoo was Rookie of the Year, a five-time All-Star, two-time NBA Champion, three-time scoring champion, MVP and a Hall of Famer.
Center - Bob Pettit
Bob Pettit was Rookie of the Year, a two-time scoring champ, an eleven-time All Star, a two-time MVP, a NBA Champion, a Top 50 Great of All-Time and a Hall of Famer.
4 The Chris’s
The Chris’s feature two players that are still currently playing, but they will easily enter the Hall of Fame by the time they finish their careers. What’s so dangerous about this team is that they can all shoot from downtown, but they suffer a little bit in the athletic department.
Point Guard - Chris Paul
At just 28 years of age, CP3 has already been Rookie of the Year, a seven-time All-Star, a three-time member of the All-Defensive Team and a three-time member of the All NBA Team. He has also won two gold medals in Beijing and London in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.
Shooting Guard - Chris Duhon
Chris Duhon is the weak spot on this team, but he was a solid role player for ten years in the NBA. He is a high IQ player and although he does not have a lot of strengths, he does not have a lot of weakness either.
Small Forward - Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin was a five-time All Star and one of the deadliest shooters in NBA history. Mullin was on the prestigious ’92 Dream Team and was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Power Forward - Chris Webber
Web was Rookie of the Year and a five-time NBA All-Star. He was one of the most versatile big men that the NBA has ever seen. From his post-up moves to his adept passing, Webber was an assassin on offense. And it is only a matter of time before he enters the Hall of Fame.
Center - Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh has already been a nine-time All Star and has won two consecutive NBA Championships. The scary part is that he has expanded his range to the 3-point line and he is still in the prime of his career.
3 The Bill’s
The Bill’s feature four Hall of Famers and a total of twenty NBA Championships. The Bill’s would easily dominate the paint if all of these teams matched up, by cleaning up every rebound that was missed. The defensive tenacity of the Bill’s would make them tough to score on in the paint and you can pretty much guarantee that every game played against the Bill’s would be somewhere in the low 80’s.
Point Guard - Bill Sharman
Bill Sharman’s playing career was as decorated as his coaching career. Sharman was on the All-NBA First Team four times, an All-Star eight times and was a four-time NBA Champion. He was on the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time list and a Hall of Famer as a player and a coach.
Shooting Guard - Bill Bradley
The former Senator of New Jersey was a leader on and off the court. Bradley was a NBA All-Star, a two-time NBA Champion, a Hall of Famer and won a gold medal in the 1964 Olympics.
Small Forward - Bill Cunningham
Bill Cunningham was an ABA MVP prior to the merger with the NBA. He was on the All-NBA team three times, was a four-time All Star and won a NBA Championship. He was selected as one of the Top 50 Greatest and selected into the Hall of Fame.
Power Forward - Bill Laimbeer
Despite being drafted 65th overall, Bill Laimbeer went on to have a successful NBA career. He was the rebounding champ in ’86, a four-time All-Star and won two NBA Championships. Most of all, he brings toughness and an underrated three-pointer to his game.
Center - Bill Russell
Bill Russell is easily the most decorated player out of everyone on this list. He is a four-time rebounding champ, a three-time member of the All NBA Team, a twelve-time All-Star, a five-time MVP and an eleven-time NBA Champion.
2 The Kevin’s
The Kevin’s have the perfect balance of size, athleticism, IQ, and defense. Three of these players are still currently playing, but Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett will easily be first ballot Hall of Famers when all is said and done.
Point Guard - Kevin Johnson
Interestingly enough, KJ is not the only person on this list to be a politician. Johnson was the Most Improved Player in ’89 and a three-time NBA All-Star. If he were playing today, he would easily be a top 3 point guard.
Shooting Guard - Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin has averaged as many as 24.6 points per game, but his greatest strength is getting to the free throw line. Not only does Martin get to the free throw line frequently, but during one season he averaged 92% from the charity stripe.
Small Forward - Kevin Durant
When all is said and done, KD will go down as one of the best players in NBA history. At just 25 years of age, Durant has already been Rookie of the Year, a three-time scoring champ, a five-time All-Star, a four-time All-NBA member and even won a gold medal in the London Olympics.
Power Forward - Kevin McHale
Kevin McHale was never known for his athleticism, but he had some of the best footwork and post-moves out of all the big men in NBA history. He was Sixth Man of the Year twice, on the All-Defensive Team three times, an All-Star seven times, a NBA Champion three times and a Hall of Famer.
Center - Kevin Garnett
Now that KG is at the tail end of his career, it becomes easier to reflect back on his long list of accolades and know for certain what type of player he was. KG was a fifteen-time All-Star, four-time member of the All-NBA Team, Defensive Player of the Year, nine-time member of the All-Defensive Team, four-time rebounding champ, MVP in 2004, NBA Champion in 2008 and won a gold medal in the Sydney Olympics.
1 The Dave’s
Only the Dave’s have a starting unit where all five starters were Hall of Famers. Additionally, four of them were named on the Top 50 Greatest of All-Time list. That alone should be reason enough that the Dave’s are the greatest first name lineup of all-time.
Point Guard - Dave Bing
Dave Bing was Rookie of the Year in 1967, a seven-time All Star and the scoring champ in 1968. Bing was selected as one of the top 50 Greatest Players of All-Time and made the Hall of Fame.
Shooting Guard - Dave DeBusschere
Dave DeBusschere was a defensive nightmare for his opponents. He made the All-Defensive First Team six times from 1969-1974. He was an eight-time All-Star, won two NBA Championships, was one of the Top 50 Greatest of All-Time and made the Hall of Fame.
Small Forward - David Thompson
Before Michael Jordan was, there was David “Skywalker” Thompson. Thompson was a four-time All Star, made the All-NBA First Team two times and made the Hall of Fame. He brings an impressive amount of firepower and athleticism to the David’s.
Power Forward - Dave Cowens
Dave was Rookie of the Year in 1971, a seven-time All-Star, a two-time NBA Champion, MVP in 1973, was one of the Top 50 Greatest of All-Time and a Hall of Famer.
Center - David Robinson
The Admiral was Rookie of the Year, a ten-time All-Star, Defensive Player of the Year, Scoring Champ, MVP, and a two-time NBA Champion. He was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest of All-Time and selected as a Hall of Famer. He is also one of the elite players that has scored over 70 points in a single game.