The NBA season will not begin for a least a month and I am more excited than ever to watch. But over the next five weeks, I will be looking back in time at all-time greats, as there is no better time to look than now. This series is in response to the debate on my podcast on the greatest NBA players ever at each position (which you can find here) Now there will be plenty of talented point guards that will be left off this list. There will be MVP’s left off this list, as well as NBA champions and perennial all-stars. Now these lists are completely my opinion, so I welcome lots of comments, even if you believe I am off my rocker. Unlike other articles, I am not going to be doing any honorable mentions for these articles, so if you think someone has been left off the list that deserves it, feel free to comment below.
5) Isaiah Thomas
Coming in at the fifth spot on this list is one of the smaller point guards of his generation, but Isaiah Thomas definitely had the heart of a lion. The 6-foot-1 from the University of Indiana was lightning quick and had a smooth jumper. He also leads one of the all-time villainous teams in sports, the Bad Boy Pistons, to back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990. Now while many viewed Thomas as a villain, his talent and toughness were undeniable. Thomas is the shortest player to ever win the NBA Finals MVP and averaged over 19 points and over 9 assists per game in his career. Thomas’s toughness was never more evident than his performance in Game 6 of the 1988 Finals, where he scored 43 points, including 25 in the 3rd quarter despite playing on a twisted ankle. Thomas individual accolades include being a 12-time All-star, 5 time All-NBA selection and is 7th all-time in assists. Isaiah may have been in Magic Johnson's shadow for most of his career, but no doubt Isaiah one of the best point guards to ever play the game of basketball. Dream Team or not Isaiah is legit.
4) Oscar Robertson
There was only room for one triple-double machine on this list and it isn’t 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook, it is instead the great Oscar Robertson at number four. Robertson was the ultimate stat filler and was far ahead of his time. Robertson averaged over 25 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds in his career, which is why he earned the nickname Mr. Triple Double when he averaged one for a whole season 1961-62. Robertson had the size and was lightning quick for a point guard in his era, which is why he was so feared by his opponents. Robertson played for 14 years in the NBA, collecting a title in 1971 with the Milwaukee Bucks. Robertson also won the MVP award in 1963-64 when he was a member of the Cincinnati Royals. When you look at Oscars numbers, he is currently 12 all-time in career points and 6th all-time in career assists. Ultimately, Oscar has the accolades, the stats, and a title to go along with it, which is why he comes in at number four on my all-time point guard list.
3) Stephen Curry
Now I may get shredded by current NBA fans for this selection at the three spot, but Stephen Curry to me is already the third best point guard of all time. The baby-faced assassin from Davidson was overlooked by six teams in the 2009 draft, as Curry was the 3rd point guard selected in that draft. You definitely won’t see Johnny Flynn or Ricky Rubio on this list, so safe to say the Timberwolves screwed up big time. Now Curry spent his first couple of seasons struggling with ankle injuries, but since 2014, no one has been a better point guard than
Steph. Steph is a three-time NBA champion, was the MVP of the league in 2015 and 2106, and won the scoring title in 2016. Curry is also being considered the greatest shooter ever already, as he is projected to smash the all-time 3 pointers made record held by Ray Allen. If Curry’s career ended today, he would not have the statistics per say to be number three, but the fact that he has changed the NBA with the way he shoots the basketball is uncanny. Steph has the rings and accolades to go with it as well which is why Stephen Curry is the 3rd best point guard ever already and could rise even further by the time he retires.
2) John Stockton
Some may be shocked that I have this guy so high on the list, but I have John Stockton as the second-best point guard ever. Stockton was drafted out of Gonzaga back in 1984 with the 16th selection by the Utah Jazz. Few gave Stockton a chance to be even a solid player in the league, and Stockton defied expectations to be one of the greats. Now on his career, Stockton only averaged 13 points per game, which may sound pretty underwhelming. But Stockton made up for his lack of scoring by making everyone around him better. Stockton averaged over 10 assists per game for his career and is by far the all-time leader in assists in NBA history. Stockton was also a beast on the defensive side of the ball. Stockton was All-Defensive 2nd team 5 times and is the all-time leader in steals, with 3265 steals. Stockton was an All-NBA selection 11 times in his career, and while he lacks the championship rings, he did make the finals twice, losing to Michael Jordan on both occasions. Stockton still comes in at number four despite no titles.
1) Magic Johnson
I feel as though many of you could have picked who my number one point guard ever is, as Magic Johnson is undoubtedly the best point guard ever. Magic came into the league from Michigan State with high expectations. He had just won the NCAA title over Larry Bird’s Indiana State and was on top of the world heading to the bright lights of Los Angeles. Magic certainly didn’t disappoint, as he won a title in his first year for LA and never looked back. Magic’s stats are undeniable, being 5th all-time in career assists and averaging 19 points and over 11 assists per game in his career. Magic was also an 85% career free throw shooter and averaged almost 2 steals per game as well. Magic was the leader of the Showtime Lakers, leading them to 5 titles in his career alongside Hall of Famers Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and James Worthy. Magic’s accolades also include 3 league MVP’s and 3 NBA Finals MVP’s. Magic’s impact on the game was undeniable, as he was the first really tall point guard at six foot 9 inches tall. Johnson was the total package and that is why Magic is far and away the best point guard to ever play the game of basketball.
Magic delivering one of his legendary bounce passes in transition (Photo: NBA.com)
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