VA
DunkOrThree > Your Basketball Blog > 5 Best NBA Players Who Wear the Jersey Number 1

5 Best NBA Players Who Wear the Jersey Number 1

Publish Date: 09.04.2024
Fact checked by: Emily Carter

For professional athletes, jerseys can hold a lot of importance. Everyone gets a specific number when they enter the league, and those numbers can become a part of their playing identity. Jordan is linked to 23, and every fan thinks of 8 and 24 when someone mentions Kobe.

However, as memorable as many numbers are, few are as iconic as the number 1. That’s why so many great athletes have chosen it over the years. The following guide breaks down the best to ever wear it, and covers how they compare to who wears number 1 in today’s NBA.

1. Penny Hardaway

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway is one of the most iconic players to ever wear number 1. The shifty point guard had an incredibly strong career, and while it was cut short due to injuries, he still took the league by storm.

He earned all-rookie honors during his first year in the NBA and excelled as part of a strong Magic team. Paired with a young Shaquille O’Neal, Hardaway led the group to the Finals in his second year and only continued to get better with time.

He donned the number 1 during his entire career from 1993 to 2007. During those 14 seasons, he made 4 different all-star teams, two All-NBA First Teams, and put up more than 10,000 points.

2. Amar’e Stoudemire

Most players who wear number 1 are guards or outside players. That was not the case with Amar’e Stoudemire. Though the all-star forward wore number 32 during his first 4 years in the league, he switched to 1 in 2006 and wore it for 10 seasons until 2015.

During that stretch he put together an incredibly impressive resume that included 2003 Rookie of the Year, 6 all-star teams, and the All-NBA First Team (2007). He also put up strong stats each year, which led the Suns to retire his jersey.

While his play, averaging 18.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks, wasn’t quite enough to get him into the hall of fame, his career remained strong during his time in the league.

3. Devin Booker

Devin Booker is one of the best players in the current NBA. He’s a dynamic scorer, team leader, and amazing defender who plays both sides of the ball extremely well. He also happens to wear the number 1, and has done so for 9 years since coming into the league in 2015.

The number means a lot to Booker, who wore it while breaking numerous records like being the youngest player to ever score 60 points and the youngest player to score 50 points in three consecutive games.

Not only that, but the Suns guard has made 4 all-star games, the All NBA First Team in 2022, and the NBA All-Rookie First Team. He’s also been completely dominant, averaging 27.4 points and 6.9 assists per game, and will likely go down as one of the greats.

4. Oscar Robertston

Most of the best players who wore number 1 did so for a long time and played in the modern era. Neither is true of Oscar Robertson. Even so, the point guard makes it near the top of this list due to his incredible play and connection to the NBA.

After playing 10 seasons with the number 14 as part of the Cincinnati Royals, Robertson switched over to number 1 for his 4 seasons with the Bucks. The years 1970 to 1974 were his last ones in the NBA, but they were iconic enough to get his number retired in Milwaukee.

That’s because the hall of famer brought home a championship in 1971, made 12 all-star games, 9 All-NBA First Teams, and won rookie of the year.

5. Tracy McGrady

There have been many great players to wear number 1 in their career, but only Roberston comes close to Tracy McGrady. The shooting guard did it all, making 2 All-NBA First Teams, 7 all-star teams, 3 All-NBA second teams, and winning the shooting title 2 times (2003, 2004).

He did almost all of that wearing number 1, which he had on for 12 straight seasons from 1997 to 2009 before switching to number 3 in 2009/2010. He then went back to number 1 for the last 3 seasons of his career (2010 to 2013).

Though his number isn’t retired like some of the above players, Mcgrady is in the hall of fame due to his high level play and unmatched scoring ability.

Conclusion

When looking at who wears number 1 in the NBA, few compare to the above 5. Penny Hardaway redefined the point guard position, while Amar’e Stoudamire is one of the most consistent forwards in history.

Devin Booker is one of the best scoring guards in the league and a true team leader. Oscar Robertson was one of the first true stars to come into the league, and few players have been able to string together the peak that Tracy McGrady had.

All five of the above athletes stood out in various ways, and strung together incredibly impressive careers that almost no one could match

Read Also
Iconic NBA Players: Renowned Basketball Players & Their Achievements
The NBA is, and has always been, a star dominated league. Though ...
Can NBA Players Wear Jewelry During Games?
The NBA is a strict league with a set of rigid, clearly ...
BetMGM Promo
Why Do Basketball Players Wear Tape on Their Fingers? An Insight Into Sports Safety
Basketball, for all of its pros, is a dangerous sport. There are ...
15 Best European NBA Players of This Season
While the majority of the best NBA players have come from the ...
What Are NBA Jersey Number Rules
When you watch an NBA game, the last thing you are probably ...
Top Betting Sites
Top Betting Bonuses
Bet365
Bet365
Bet365 Review
4.7/5
BetMGM
BetMGM
BetMGM Review
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel
FanDuel Review
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars
Caesars Review
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings
DraftKings Review
4.5/5
Bet365
Bet365 Bonus
First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 OR Bet $5 and Get $150
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
At bet365 we don't do ordinary, that's why if you sign up now you'll get the choice of two great New Customer Offers, the First Bet Safety Net up to $1000 or Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets. Deposit required. Bonus Bets wager excluded from returns. T&Cs, time limits and exclusions apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
BetMGM
BetMGM Bonus
Up To $1500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if your First Bet Does Not Win
T&Cs apply
4.7/5
FanDuel
FanDuel Bonus
Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins
T&Cs apply
4.6/5
Caesars
Caesars Bonus
100% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5
DraftKings
DraftKings Bonus
20% up to $1000
T&Cs apply
4.5/5

21+ and present in VA. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.

×
Your Promo Code:
The bonus offer of was already opened in an additional window. If not, you can open it also by clicking the following link:
Play now