8 Fastest NBA Players Ever

Who doesn’t like the NBA season? There’s nothing better than kicking back with a cold one while cheering for the home team. Everyone has their favorite teams and players. We’ve all had heated debates over who is the best player.

It would be best if you had more than a good shot to play professionally and compete against the best in the world. You also need energy, strength, muscle, alertness, stamina, and speed.

Many of the best players in history and the present are also among the fastest. These are the NBA’s quickest players throughout the league’s history.

8. Michael Jordan

Position: Shooting guard
Team: Washington Wizards (latest); Chicago Bulls (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 6 in
NBA Debut: October 26, 1984

Michael Jordanphoto source:  NBA

Born in Brooklyn in 1963, Michael Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player ever. In 1981, Jordan attended North Carolina on a basketball scholarship.

The Chicago Bulls picked Michael Jordan as the third overall choice in the 1984 NBA draft, following Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers). However, he withdrew from basketball in 1993 and sought a career in baseball.

In 1995, he returned to basketball. Jordan won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, including two triple-peats. He retired again in 1999 but returned with the Washington Wizards in 2001. He retired permanently in 2003 as one of the NBA’s finest players.

Jordan ranks fourth all-time in NBA scoring, behind only Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone, and Kobe Bryant. In addition, he has had the greatest scoring average during his career.

Did You Know:

As of 2022, it is anticipated that Jordan will have a net worth of $1.7 billion.

7. Kyrie Irving

Position: Shooting guard
Team: Brooklyn Nets (current); Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 2 in
NBA Debut: December 26, 2011

Kyrie Irvingphoto source:  NBC Sports

Melbourne-born Kyrie Irving was raised in West Orange, NJ. Irving played at Duke for one season, missed mainly due to injuries. Irving was picked first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers after one season at Duke.

As a shooter and defender, Kyrie ranked among the league’s elite throughout the subsequent seasons. During the 2014–2015 NBA season, he was named to both an All-NBA Team and an NBA All-Star Team for the first time. He and LeBron James created a good backcourt relationship that ultimately contributed to the Warriors’ first championship in over 52 years.

They overcame Steph’s Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, with Kyrie averaging 27.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and delivering superb defense. This would be his final game for the Cleveland Cavaliers before he was traded to the Boston Celtics. He was ultimately traded to the Brooklyn Nets at the start of the 2019 season.

Did You Know:

In addition to his athletic abilities, Kyrie is a talented musician, playing the baritone saxophone.

6. Dwyane Wade

Position: Shooting guard
Team: Miami Heat (latest); Cleveland Cavaliers; Chicago Bulls (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 4 in
NBA Debut: October 28, 2003

Dwyane Wadephoto source:  CNBC

Dwyane Wade, born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1982, excelled at Marquette University before joining the NBA’s Miami Heat in 2003. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA championship and was voted the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. In addition, Wade led the United States men’s basketball team in scoring at the 2008 Summer Olympics and helped them win the gold medal.

Wade, alongside LeBron James and Chris Bosh, led Miami to four straight NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, including back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. In 2016–2018, Wade played for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers before returning to Miami in 2019 to complete his playing career and retire with the Heat.

Did You Know:

Wade was recognized as one of the NBA’s all-time greats when he was selected for the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, which was announced in October 2021.

5. LeBron James

Position: Power forward/Small forward
Team: Los Angeles Lakers (current); Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 9 in
NBA Debut: October 30, 2003

LeBron Jamesphoto source: MARCA

Given the moniker “King James,” LeBron James is universally acknowledged as a legendary basketball player and frequently pitted against Michael Jordan in discussions about the sport’s finest ever. James has won four NBA titles, four MVP awards, four MVP honors in the NBA Finals, three All-Star MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals.

LeBron was picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he spent the first seven seasons of his career. Since he grew up nearby in Akron, Ohio, he was considered a hometown hero and maybe the biggest celebrity in Cleveland’s history.

At the end of 2010, LeBron James was a free agent. During his four-year tenure with the Miami Heat, LeBron guided the team to the NBA Finals each year and two championships.

LeBron moved back to Cleveland in 2014. Later that year, the Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals but lost when two of their key players, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving, were injured. In 2016, LeBron finally brought the NBA championship to Cleveland. However, in 2018, James decided to part ways with the Cavaliers and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers instead.

In 2020, he led the Lakers to the NBA title and collected his fourth Finals Most Valuable Player award.

Did You Know:

At 18, LeBron James was the youngest player ever picked by the NBA’s top team.

4. Allen Iverson

Position: Point guard/Shooting guard
Team: Philadelphia 76ers (last); Memphis Grizzlies, Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 0 in
NBA Debut: November 1, 1996

Allen Iversonphoto source:  Philadelphia Inquirer

Allen Iverson is noted for his explosive play on the floor and his involvement in controversy off the court. After two successful years at Georgetown University, Iverson proclaimed his eligibility for the 1996 NBA draft and was taken first overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.

During the 1996–97 NBA season, he was voted Rookie of the Year. Despite his relatively tiny frame, Iverson was among the most prolific scorers in NBA history. Iverson won the bronze medal for the United States in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets, the Detroit Pistons, and the Memphis Grizzlies before concluding his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2009–10 season. ESPN ranked him as the fifth-greatest shooting guard in NBA history in 2008. In 2011, he concluded his career in Turkey with Beşiktaş.

3. Derrick Rose

Position: Point guard
Team: New York Knicks (current); Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 3 in
NBA Debut: October 28, 2008

Derrick Rosephoto source:  Forbes

Derrick Rose, born on October 4, 1988, was drafted first overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2008 and remains one of the most coveted players on the basketball floor. He chose to attend the University of Memphis under coach John Calipari after being heavily sought after by institutions. Rose guided the Tigers to the most NCAA victories in history.

In June 2016, Rose was traded to the Knicks to conclude his contract. He signed a minimum-salary contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2017–18 season, but ankle issues led to his trade to and subsequent release by the Utah Jazz in February 2018.

A month later, he signed a rest-of-season deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves; he remained with the team into the next season.

The Detroit Pistons signed Rose to his first non-minimum salary deal since 2012 for the 2019–20 season, and he maintained his success off the bench. The next season, he was traded back to the Knicks and reunited with old coach Tom Thibodeau.

Did You Know:

Rose, the youngest NBA Most Valuable Player Award winner at age 22, continues to excite fans and teammates as a member of the New York Knicks.

2. John Wall

Position: Point guard
Team: Los Angeles Clippers (current); Houston Rockets, Washington Wizards (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 3 in
NBA Debut: October 29, 2008

John Wallphoto source:  Bleacher Report

Currently, John Wall plays for the Los Angeles Clippers. He played one season with the Houston Rockets and nine with the Washington Wizards. The Clippers signed him in 2022.

Wall committed to Kentucky on May 19, 2009, after being recruited by numerous major organizations. Wall then established the Kentucky Wildcats’ single-game assist record with 16 against Hartford on December 29, 2009.

He was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame after one of the most talented Kentucky Wildcats teams lost in the NCAA Tournament.

He entered the 2010 NBA Draft and was selected by the Washington Wizards as the first overall choice in the 2010 NBA Draft after playing one year of collegiate basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Wall, a point guard, was chosen to the All-NBA Team in 2017 and was a five-time NBA All-Star from 2014 to 2018. However, in 2019, he suffered severe injuries that forced him to miss almost two years of basketball, ultimately leading to his trade to the Houston Rockets in December 2020.

Did You Know:

During the 2016–17 season, Wall was named an All-Star for the fourth consecutive year, becoming the fourth player in team history to do so.

1. Russell Westbrook

Position: Point guard
Team: Los Angeles Lakers (current); Washington Wizards, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder (previous)
 Height: 6 ft 3 in
NBA Debut: October 28, 2010

Russell Westbrookphoto source:  Sporting News

According to ESPN’s “Sport Science,” Russell Westbrook travels from one baseline to another in under 3.36 seconds, making him the fastest NBA player ever. 

Russell Westbrook was born in Long Beach, California, on November 12, 1988, and was raised in South Central Los Angeles. His dad, a playground standout, taught Westbrook and his brother Raynard basketball techniques. Westbrook became an honor student thanks to Russell Sr. and Shannon Horton.

Westbrook was a third-team Pac-10 all-conference player at UCLA. In the 2008 NBA draft, he was picked fourth overall by the Seattle SuperSonics, who later moved to Oklahoma City. He played for the Houston Rockets for one year before moving to the Washington Wizards in 2020. In 2021, he joined the Lakers.

Did You Know:

Westbrook won gold medals in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics.

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