Top 15 Point Guards In NBA History
The 15 Best Point Guards in NBA History
When it comes to important positions in the world of sports, point guard is near the top of the list. PG is the equivalent to quarterback in that without the position, basketball teams would be a mess. Call them whatever you want - ball handlers, facilitators, court generals, but PGs make the basketball world go-round.
So what makes a good one?
First and foremost, it's an understanding of the game. PGs need to have a high basketball IQ and a good sense for when to call certain plays. Secondly, they need to display strong leadership. PGs often act as a coach on the court or at minimum will relay the plays from the coach to the team. It's safe to say, PGs have a lot on their plate each night they step on the hardwood.
In today's NBA, if you don't have a good PG, odds are that you don't have an elite team. There have been teams in the past that have gotten by without at top notch PG and made it to the mountain top, but having an elite '1' is a no doubt a huge advantage.
Most of the players on this list were solid all around players, but all of them were especially good in the assists department. That's the hallmark of any good PG, the ability to dish it out and make the team better as a whole.
With all that in mind, let's take a look at the top 15 point guards in NBA history:
Jackson doesn't get enough credit for his efforts as a PG. He played 17 seasons and made nearly every team he played on better. For his career he averaged 9.6 PPG and 8.0 APG. In 1996-97, he fell just short of averaging a double-double (11.4 APG, 9.9 PPG).
You don't earn the name 'Mr. Big Shot' by being just another PG. That's all some people thought Billups was at the start of his career, but he hit his stride in the mid-2000's as the court general for the Pistons. He led Detroit to back-to-back Finals in 2004-2005 and firmly established himself as one of the greatest to ever play the PG position.
KJ was a tremendous PG from 1987-2000. He played most of his career in Phoenix and led the Suns to lots of success. He was a rare talent that could score and dish at an extremely high level. He could even thrown it down with some authority. For his career he nearly averaged a double-double (17.9 PPG, 9.1 APG).
CP3's career is still going at a torrid pace and he could be in for his best season ever in 2013-14. There's no doubt when it's all said and done that he'll be mentioned with the greatest to ever play, but he's still missing that elusive championship ring.
Parker answered any doubts in 2012-13 that he had fallen off. He led the Spurs back to the Finals once again and showed that he belongs in the best ever conversation. In total, Parker has won three championships, one Finals MVP award and been voted to the ASG five times.
Nate "Tiny" Archibald
Archibald is no doubt one the greatest point guards in NBA history. He earned the nickname 'Tiny' because he only weighed 150 pounds, despite being 6-1. He's a Hall-of-Famer and the only player in league history to lead the league in assists and scoring in the same season (1972-73).
The Glove is simply an all-time great any way you slice it. He's known for his tenacious defense, but Payton could also score (16.3 PPG) and dish (6.7 APG). He fell short of a title with the SuperSonics in the 1990's, but was finally able to climb the mountain top as a role player with the Heat in 2006.
Walt "Clyde" Frazier
Frazier spent the first 10 years of his career with the Knicks. During his time there he helped lead the Knicks to their only two championships in franchise history. In total, he averaged 18.9 PPG and 6.1 APG during his career.
When you talk about all-time great PGs, Steve Nash has to be included. He's a two-time MVP winner and an eight-time All-Star. In his prime, you can make a case that no one ever ran an offense like Nash with the Suns. He's fourth on the all-time assists leaders list and still racking them up with each passing game.
Cousy was the point guard for six of the legendary Celtics teams back in the 50's and 60's. All you have to do is take one look at the highlights below to see that he's one of the greatest point guards ever and that he was also way ahead of his time.
This legendary PG just hung up his sneakers for his first ever coaching gig. Many wanted to see him keep going, because there's no doubt he could have kept playing. But now that his playing career is in the books, it's clear that Kidd stacks up with the best. His total of 12,091 assists is good for second all time.
Zeke was a baller back in the 1980's and early 1990's. He led the Pistons to back-to-back titles and was a 12-time All-Star. His 9,061 career assists are good for seventh all time.
Oscar Robertson could do it all. During his career from 1960-1974, Roberston averaged 25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 9.5 APG. That's nearly a career triple-double. In 1961-62, he manged to average one for an entire season, which is a feat that will likely never duplicated.
Stockton was part of the greatest pick-and-roll combo in NBA history with Karl Malone. The two carried the Utah Jazz to relevancy and probably would have won a couple titles if it wasn't for Michael Jordan. However, there's still no disputing that Stockton is one of the best PGs ever. Not only is he the all-time leader in assists (15,806), he's also the all-time leader in steals (3,265).
The greatest point guard to ever live is Magic Johnson. You don't earn the nickname 'Magic' without being a truly special player. Johnson led the Showtime Lakers to five NBA titles in the 1980's and did it in a way that only he could. At 6-9, he was able to do more than anyone else who's every played the position. His court vision and sixth-sense are second to none. There will never be another Magic Johnson, that's for sure.