The 25 Best Point Guards I’ve Ever Seen.

This is the first of many pieces about the greats of the NBA.  I love looking back at the kind of players I have seen play since I started following the game of basketball.  Some were dominant for only a short period of time while others seemed to play forever.  The point guard position is very hard to calculate because there are so many different styles of players at the one spot.  Some guys just want to score while others just want to create.  You have some guys who only play offense and guys who can’t shoot to save their lives.  I tried to quantify everything altogether to come up with the best 25 point guards I have ever seen.   I had the last 2 spots narrowed down to 9 guys.  All had or are having really good NBA careers, but since this is a top 25 five I had to cut it down.  The guys who just missed are Michael Adams, Derek Harper, Andre Miller, Nick Van Exel, Terry Porter, Mark Jackson and Terrell Brandon. As for Steph Curry (who is also absent), he is an amazing player who will be very high on this list one day (if his ankles hold up) however he hasn’t shown enough yet to warrant making the cut.

25. Mookie Blaylock- Blaylock was a good scorer and passer but the reason he made the list is his defense. He was a great on ball defender who is 11th all-time in steals.  He was named to the all-defensive 1st or 2nd team 6 times.

24. Rod Strickland- Rod averaged over 7 assists a game for 10 straight years.  He also could fill it up when called upon. His best season statistically came in Washington when he averaged almost 18 points, 10.5 assists and over 5 rebounds a night in 1997-98.  That year he made all-NBA 2nd team.

23. Baron Davis- Davis showed flashes of greatness early on in his NBA career making the all-star team in only his third year in the league.  His best year came two seasons later when he averaged just under 23 points, 7.5 assists and a league leading 2.4 steals a game.  After being traded to the warriors the next season Baron had three more great years averaging 20 points, 8 assists and 2 steals a night during that stretch.

22. Sam Cassell- Cassell had a fantastic all-around game but the thing he did best was win.  From the time when he was a rookie with the Rockets until the final season of his career in Boston all Sam did was make his teams better.  He was a key cog on three championship teams who had a flair for the dramatic.  Once Cassell became a full time starter he also put up monster numbers, averaging over 18 points and 7 assists in a six year period.

21. Steve Francis- Francis was a ridiculous athlete who could do it all.  Although he didn’t have a long career Steve was very productive when he was on the floor.  In his 9 years in the league he average 18 points, 6 assists, 5.6 rebounds 1.5 steals a game while making 3 all-star teams.

20. Stephon Marbury- Marbury made 2 all-star games and was 3rd team all-NBA 2 times as well.  He had a 7 year stretch where he averaged at least 20 points and 7 assists a night.  For his efforts Steph ranks 16th all-time in assists per game.

19. Rajon Rondo- Rondo has only been in the league for 7 years but has already made the all-star game 4 times.  He is 11th all-time in assists per game and was the starting point for a championship team.  Rajon has also been all defensive 1st or 2nd team 4 times in his young career.

18. Derrick Rose- Rose is one of the most explosive point guards in the history of the game.  He has only played 4 seasons in the NBA due to injury but has already left his mark as a three time all-star and league MVP.  Derrick won that honor in 2010-11 as he averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds a night.

17. Russell Westbrook- Westbrook is in the same class athletically as Derrick Rose.  His speed and quickness are off the charts.  Russell can get to the rim in the blink of an eye and routinely finishes with thunderous dunks.  He’s not just all flash though.  For his career Westbrook has averaged just under 20 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds while making all NBA 2nd team 3 times.  Not bad when you consider he’s only 24.

16. Gilbert Arenas- Arenas fell off the map rather quickly with injury and gun troubles but when he was at his best few could compare.  During his two best seasons Gil averaged almost 29 points and 6 assists a night. He was also a three time all-star who made the all NBA 1st team one year and also made 3rd team twice.

15. Chauncey Billups- even as I write this Chauncey feels like he is too high on this list. But what he has done on the floor in unmistakable.  Billups is a 5 time all-star who has made all NBA 2nd or 3rd team 3 times.  With the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” you know his saves his best for big spots.  He was the finals MVP after leading the Pistons to the NBA Title in 2004.

14. Mark Price- Price was a great passer and floor general while playing most of his career in Cleveland.  He was a 4 time all-star and made all NBA 4 times.  He was even named 1st team in 1992-93.

13. Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway- Early in his career I thought Penny would finish his career as one of the game’s all-time greats but a knee injury changed all that.  He still lands at 13 for what he did before the injury.  He started in 4 straight all-star games and made 1st team all NBA in back to back seasons.

12. Deron Williams- Williams has averaged almost 18 points and 9 assists throughout his entire career. The 3 time all-star and 2 time 2nd team all NBA selection also averaged over 10 assists a game in 4 straight years while playing for the Utah Jazz.

11. Kevin Johnson- Johnson was one of a handful of great lead guards in the early 90’s.  During the best stretch of his career Kevin average a 20/10 for 3 straight seasons.  Johnson made 3 all-star games and was 2nd team all NBA 4 times.  He is 6th all-time in assists per game.

10. Tim Hardaway- Hardaway is best known for his “Killer Crossover” which was his go to move.  Tim was a 5 time all-star and all NBA selection while playing most of his career for the Warriors and the Heat.  His best season came in 1991-92 when he averaged 23.4 points, 10 assists 3.8 rebounds and 2 steals a night.

9. Tony Parker- Parker’s numbers don’t blow you away at first glance but when you look deeper, you see the consummate lead guard.  He has made 5 all-star games and is playing in his 4 finals right now, having won the first 3.  Tony has made all NBA 3 times and was the finals MVP in 2007.

8. Chris Paul- Paul is a throwback point guard who looks to pass first.  He is a 6 time all-star who has led the NBA in steals 5 of the last 6 years.  Chris has made the all NBA and all defensive teams 5 times each.  At just 27 years old Paul is sure to move up this list before his career is over.

7. Allen Iverson- Iverson was an unstoppable scorer and a lock down defender.  Most don’t think of Iverson as a great passer but he managed to average over 6 assists a night to go along with his almost 27 points per game.  Allen was named all NBA 7 times and was the league’s MVP in 2000-01. A.I. was also an 11 time all-star while playing for the Sixers and Nuggets.

6. Steve Nash- If Nash could play any defense whatsoever he would be much higher on this list.  It took into his 5th year before Nash truly found his groove as a NBA player.  From that point on he made 8 all-star teams and lead the league in assists 6 times.  Steve was the league’s MVP in back to back seasons while playing for the Phoenix Suns.  He made all NBA 7 times and is 4th all time in assists.

5. Gary Payton- the “Glove” was one off the best on ball defenders I have ever seen.  He was all defensive 1st team 9 times in his illustrious career.  Payton was named all NBA 9 times as well as finishing his career 4th all-time in steals and 8th in assists.

4. Jason Kidd- when Kidd came into the league he was an absolutely terrible shooter.  But like everything else in his game he was able to make it an asset.  One of the best pure passers the game has ever seen, Kidd finished his career 2nd all time in assists.  He was also a good defender and team leader.  Jason helped lead the Dallas Mavericks (along with Dirk Nowitzki) to an NBA title.  He was named all NBA 6 times and 9 times to the all-defensive team.

3. John Stockton- All that needs to be said about Stockton is that he is the all-time leader in the history of the NBA in both assists and steals. He is a 10 time all-star who was named all NBA 11 times.  John was also named to the all-defensive team 5 times and led the Jazz to 2 NBA finals.

2. Isiah Thomas- the choice between Thomas and Stockton was a difficult one for me to make.  Thomas landed at 2 because he was NBA 1st team one more season than Stockton and he led the Pistons to 2 NBA titles.  He was even named finals MVP in 1990 as well as being a 12 time all-star in his 13 year career.  Isiah retired from the NBA at 32 years of age.

1. Earvin “Magic” Johnson- This was the easiest decision to make on the whole list.  Magic’s resume is absolutely staggering.  He was a 12 time all-star and League MVP 3 times.  He was all NBA 1st team 9 straight years while leading the Lakers to 5 titles.  He was the finals MVP for 3 of those title teams.  Johnson was a great passer as shown by the fact that he the NBA’s all-time leader in assists per game.

One thought on “The 25 Best Point Guards I’ve Ever Seen.

  1. How did Mark Jackson not make this list!? That’s the only thing I disagree with. Maybe the order a tad, but I think this is mostly spot on. I guess it is hard to say who you’d take out for Jackson, but 3rd all-time in assists? Sure he shot 44% over his career and only 77% from the stripe, but he was a solid floor general. Keep this ish going, baby!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s