Last week we discussed the best player from each Eastern Central division team. This week we will tackle the Eastern Conference Atlantic division.
The Atlantic division has five teams. The five teams are, the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks and the Toronto Raptors.
Boston Celtics: Larry Bird
While some may argue that Bill Russell is the best Celtic of all time he was not feared like Larry Bird was. Bird was a 12 time NBA All Star and a two time NBA finals MVP. Larry Bird is also the only forward in league history to win three consecutive MVP awards from 1984-1986.
Bird has three rings to show off from his playing days and as mentioned before he was named Finals MVP in two of them.
On another note, Bird was also a master trash talker. When Bulls Player Craig Hodges said this regarding Bird “He Knows where to find me”. That basically means that Hodges was challenging Bird after winning the All-Star three-point contest, something that Bird was notoriously good at but sat out of it the year Hodges won.
After being told this Bird responded with this “Yeah I know where to find him, at the end of the Bulls bench. This proves that Larry Bird was a savage on and off the court.
Brooklyn Nets: Jason Kidd
Unlike the Celtics, the Nets don’t have many other players to choose from. Kidd was a no-brainer pretty much.
Kidd led the Nets to back to back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003, unfortunately for them they lost both. Kidd was basically a walking triple double, averaging 15 points, seven rebounds and nine assists in seven seasons with the Nets.
Kidd also leads the Nets in all time assists and steals.
New York Knicks: Patrick Ewing
Some may argue that the best New York Knick is Walt Frazier because he has the hardware. However, Ewing beats out Frazier career longevity and career numbers.
Ewing played for the Knicks from 1985-2000 and in those 15 seasons Ewing found a way to lead the Knicks all time in two pointers, defensive rebounds and minutes played.
In his Finals debut in 1994 against Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets Ewing averaged a triple double in pretty much every game. Ewing and the Knicks took the Rockets to the brink but unfortunately lost in seven games.
Philadelphia 76ers: Julius Erving
Julius Erving is unique because he is the only player on this list that has played in the NBA and the ABA. The majority of Erving’s career was played in the NBA and the 76ers.
In his 11 seasons with Philadelphia from 1976-1987 Erving won the league MVP award in 1981 and was an all star in all 11 seasons. Throughout his career Erving averaged over 35 minutes per game and played in over 85% of games in every season.
Toronto Raptors: Vince Carter
Vince Carter was drafted by the expansion team Toronto Raptors in 1998 and took off from there. Carter was known for his insane dunks.
Carter won the dunk contest in 2000 after leaving for two years. Even though Carter only played for the Raptors for a short amount of time from 1998-2005 he left a lasting impression on the city of Toronto and its basketball team.