I don't think it's that hard to pinpoint the players that made unique contributions to he game, while standing out as legends in their own time.
LX - was this directed to me?
If so, I completely agree that the legends of yesteryears leave a mark throughout the generations, but if that's the case, why has no one mention the likes of george mikan? i think we could all agree that his impact to the game was quite huge, probably larger than what bill russell's was. how do you compare his contributions to the wilt/russell generation, let alone todays? i just find it endless.
we will never know what kobe would do in a bulls uniform, just like we'd never know how jordan would react to having a ball dominant center to play with. at the end of the day, i really believe that anyone would have a hard time convincing me that john stockton was a better point guard than jason kidd.