The Ten Greatest NBA Point Guards of All-Time

Steve KinsmanStarred Page By Steve Kinsman, 29th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1_2e_5_j/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Sports>Basketball

There have been so many outstanding point guards who have played in the NBA that it is extremely difficult to name the ten best, but we'll try regardless.

#10 - Bob Cousy

Bob Cousy played his entire career with the Boston Celtics before television had propelled NBA basketball to our second most popular national sport. Since I am over three quarters of a century old, I had the privilege of watching him play, and I can categorically state that he did things with the basketball that nobody else has done before or since.

Nicknamed "the Houdini of the Hardwood," Cousy led the league in assists during eight of his thirteen seasons playing for the Celtics. He won the league's Most Valuable Player award in 1957, was voted to the NBA All Star team every year in his career, and played on six Celtic NBA Championship teams. Over the course of his career he averaged 18.4 points per game and 7.5 assists per game. He was voted to the first team on the NBA's 25th Anniversary Team, 35th Anniversary Team and 50th Anniversary Team.

As one who saw him play regularly, I can tell you that his feats of the basketball court were unforgettable.

#9 - George Gervin

The Iceman cometh. George Gervin was as cool as a cucumber, as cool as anyone who ever played the game. Watching George Gervin drive the lane, elevate and finger-roll the ball into the basket was a thing of incomparable beauty.. Between 1972 and 1986, Gervin averaged 25 points per game, leading the NBA in scoring four times between 1978 and 1982. During his best season he led the league by posting an average of 33 points a game.

#8 - Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd came into the NBA a great playmaker but a mediocre shooter with no jump shot. It hardly mattered, for Kidd could dominate a game without scoring a point, given his remarkable passing ability and his penchant for making timely steals. Like Magic Johnson, Kidd made everyone around him better. In time, Kidd would improve his shooting skills to the point where he became a consistently good three-point shooter.

In the span of a nineteen-year career, Kidd made ten All-Star Game appearances, won an NBA championship, garnered two Olympic Gold Medals, made 1,988 three-point conversions, 12,091 assists (second all time) and 2,684 steals (second all time).

#7 - Pete Maravich

"Pistol" Pete Maravich brought an off-the-streets playground game to the NBA which was pure entertainment to all who had the privilege of watching him play. If Pete wanted to score, he would always find a way, and his slick ball handling abilities and showmanship were unparalleled. Over his eleven-year career, Pete lit up the scoreboard, averaging 24 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists per game. His best season was 1976-77, when he led the NBA in scoring, posting an average of 31 points per game for his New Orleans Jazz team.

The video below is a compendium of Pete's magic.

#6 - Allen Iverson

"A.I.," as he was called, was - outside of perhaps only Tiny Archibald - the toughest hombre pound for pound ever to play the game in the NBA. At six feet tall and 160 pounds, he was a midget by NBA standards, but he attacked the basket with an unparalleled ferocity, soaring over defenders a foot taller, always finding some miraculous, acrobatic way to put the ball in the hoop.

Allen Iverson
led the league in scoring four times and finished his career with a 27 point per game average.

#5 - Ray Allen

Over the span of a nineteen-year career in Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston and Miami, Ray Allen set the all-time record for three point field goals (2,973), but his capacity to knock down the needed basket in the clutch made him stand apart from the crowd. Ray's ability to move without the ball drove his defenders to distraction, as he was consistently able to free himself to get wide open shots, which - far more often than not - he would bury.

#4 - Oscar Robertson

Arguably, the Big O could be number one on this list, given his utter domination of the NBA statistics in the 1960s. For all fourteen of his years in the league he was ranked as a single season leader in points, assists, free throw attempts, free throws made, free throw percentage and minutes played. His excellence in the all-around game is reflected by his record 181 triple doubles, and in 1962 he averaged an astounding 31 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists per game.

For much of his career he played for a moribund Cincinnati Royals team, but after being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1970, he teamed with a young Lew Alcindor to win a championship in a 4-0 sweep of the Baltimore Bullets.

#3 - Stephan Curry

Stephan Curry's basketball playing feats, in his thus-far short career, are as revolutionary to the game of basketball as were Cousy's moves over fifty years earlier - perhaps more so. There are a few legends of the game who had the habit of taking bad shots - Gervin and Maravich for example - but Curry surpasses them all. He'll unload from beyond thirty-five feet, and make them more often than not. He has moves no one has ever seen before, which give him a unique ability to separate himself freom his defenders in order to get himself an open shot.

By the time Steph Curry's career wraps up, he could very likely end up number one on a list like this, the best point guard ever to play the game.

Watch Steph's magic in the video below:

#2 - Magic Johnson

Earvin "Magic" Johnson was the only player in NBA history, that could play all five positions on the floor at an exceedingly skilled level.. Who would ever forget his taking over at the center position for an injured Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the sixth game of the 1980 Finals, when the then rookie scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out 7 assists?

Magic was one of those rare players who was capable of making everyone around him better.

All told, the Magic Man rolled up a total of 10,141 assists (now fifth all time) and led the Laskers to five NBA titles.

#1A - LeBron James

In truth, my top ten list, as you can see, contains eleven names. LeBron James is today's best basketball player on the planet, as he will readily tell you. LeBron, like Magic, makes everyone around him a better player. Averaging 27.1 points per game over his career, that number jumps to over 33 points per 48 minutes played.

Teaming with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, LeBron and company shredded the league to win three straight NBA Championships.

Michael Jordan

There were absolutely no weaknesses in Michael Jordan's game. Larry Legend (a.k.a. Bird) even compared him to God, because mere mortals could not hope to contain him. Jordan may have been the most competitive basketball player to ever set foot on a floor. On any given night he could score fifty at will.

For three straight seasons beginning in 1986 he averaged over forty points a game. His career total with the Chicago Bulls was 38.2 points a game, and when he came out of retirement at age 39 to join the Washington Wizards after a four year hiatus to experiment with playing baseball, MJ averaged 36.1 points per game.

To this day, Michael is hands down the best player ever to play the game.

The greats not on the list

In a way, an accounting such as posted here is unfair to all of the other great point guards who just as easily could have been named to this list. There are many indeed. Steve Nash could be on this list. So could Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier, Dave Bing, John Havlicek, John Stockton, Kobe Bryant, Earl Monroe, Clyde Drexler, Kevin Johnson, Reggie Miller, James Hardin, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. It is point guards like those mentioned in this article that contribute mightily to making basketball the exquisite, dance-like ballet that it is.

Links: The Ten Greatest Basketball Players of All-Time
The Life and Times of Muhammed Ali, as Seen through the Lens of Astrology
The Ten Greatest Baseball Players of All Time
The Ten Greatest Golfers of All Time

All photos from wikipedia commons
Videos from YouTube

Tags

Allen Iverson, Bob Cousy, George Gervin, John Havelichek, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, National Basketball Association, Pete Maracvitch, Point Guards Nba, Stephan Curry, Steve Kinsman

Meet the author

author avatar Steve Kinsman
I live in California with my wife Carol, where I have been practicing professional astrology for 35 years. I write articles on astrology, but I enjoy writing on a variety of other subjects as well..

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
30th Nov 2015 (#)

My wife and I did not really follow sports, but I just wanted to say when I saw this come up in the moderation que I was quite surprised to see that it was you who wrote it. Well done.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
30th Nov 2015 (#)

Thanks Mark, I appreciate that. I've written a bunch of these types of articles, as you can see from the links I posted above.

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author avatar Retired
30th Nov 2015 (#)

Basketball - yet another boring American game in which the same thing happens over and over again, interrupted by committee meetings!

It's OK as a gym game for schoolkids, but a major spectator sport? No way!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
30th Nov 2015 (#)

No, John, it's football that is interrupted by committee meetings.

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author avatar Retired
30th Nov 2015 (#)

I thought the "time out" was common to all sports of American origin!

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author avatar Carol Roach
30th Nov 2015 (#)

I am not into basketball but my son is. He grew up with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson.

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author avatar brendamarie
30th Nov 2015 (#)

I was a huge basketball fan when I was younger.

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author avatar Retired
30th Nov 2015 (#)

I follow NBA matches on TV. It's great article, I must say. Thanks Steve.

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author avatar Shamarie
30th Nov 2015 (#)

Great article, Steve! I always felt that LeBron should play the point guard position... Steph Curry is my favorite player in the NBA right now. He is revolutionizing the game with his skills!!!

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
30th Nov 2015 (#)

I love basketball and I see some of my favorite players on your list. I wait every year for basketball season. To me it's beyond fun to watch. Thanks for sharing your article Steve. Great writing and congratulations on the shiny gold star. You so deserve it for this article. Basketball makes me happy!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
30th Nov 2015 (#)

Basketball makes me happy too. Thanks Nancy.

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
1st Dec 2015 (#)

Steve this s a revelation and a refreshing article comng frm you. Dunno if i missed most of your prolifc outputs but I know this is not your regular cup of tea yet superbly written!

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
1st Dec 2015 (#)

The list was so tight to really give justice to others who made their marks even to the record books. By the way, about Lebron , i believe he has 3straight appearance with Miami heat but failed to have it done against Mavericks thus he only have 2 champinship rings not 3 as you mentioned it would be correct though if it was 4 straight Eastern conference titles wth Miami team 2011-2015 and 5 including this year with Cavaliers team.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
1st Dec 2015 (#)

You are correct, Saigon. That was my mistake to credit LeBron with three championships. Thanks for setting me straight.

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
2nd Dec 2015 (#)

My mistake too..lebron had 4 straight Finals apparance stopped by Dallas on first canto and San Antonio in 2014

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author avatar jak2010
2nd Dec 2015 (#)

Good reading for me. Michael Jordan is an inspiration for many in the world. My part of the world we are into Rugby League.

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