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The NBA's Top Ten Point Guards of All-Time
By Clayton Ruley
 

There have been so many great lead guards in the game of pro basketball and each with their own skill-set. While many will say that Magic Johnson was the best of all-time there are many that say it's the "Big O" Oscar Robertson! After that it gets kind of hazy! With that said here is my top ten point guards of all-time in the NBA. I'm a young cat so excuse me if I play favorites but I believe the 1980s was the best decade for ball anyway! Send me you feedback on those I've listed and those you though should have been on the list (or higher/lower)!

Earvin "Magic" Johnson

1. Earvin "Magic" Johnson - He's so good he can only be known by one name: Magic. Magic brought fastbreak basketball to it's pinnacle and at 6-9 revolutionized the game. Won 5 titles in 13 years including back to back 'chips in the 86-87 and 87-88 seasons. Won titles in high school, college and pros. Stepped up and played center for an injured Kareem Abdul Jabbar in game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals and dropped 42 points, 15 rebounds 3 steals and 7 assists. Did I forget to mention that he was a rookie! Magic was a 12 time NBA All-Star, a two-time All-Star game MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP and a three-time MVP.

Magic had career averages of 19.5 points 11.2 assists and 7.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Magic retired due to contracting the HIV virus. Magic won the Olympic Gold medal the summer after retirement with the only "Dream Team" in 1992.

Oscar "The Big O" Robertson

2. Oscar Robinson - Another great point who won in high school, college and the pros. This player at 6-5 revolutionized the game in his time because he was a one man show who could bring the ball up, score it and also grab the rebound and go down the court. Averaged a triple double for a season and also missed averaging a triple double in two other season by mere percentage points. Won a title late in his career with the Milwaukee Bucks alongside Lew Alcindor (know known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) but was know for his exploits with the Cincinnati Royals.There were complaints that he was a ballhog but his numbers suggest that he was the teams best player at everything and had little help so how can you argue with him wanting to be the main man at all times.

Robertson won the 1961 NBA Rookie of the Year was a 12 time NBA All-Star, a All-Star game MVP three-times, and a MVP of the league once. Robertson had career averages of 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists per game.

3. Isiah Thomas - Yet another point who won in high school, college and the pros this player is the best little man to ever play! Won two titles in the titles starved 1980s (only the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons won titles besides the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics).Could have easily averaged 30 points a game if that was his focus but instead allowed players like Joe Dumars, Vinnie Johnson and Mark Aguirre to shine also and was rewarded. Played on badly sprained ankle during NBA Finals in 1988 and dropped 25 points in the fourth quarter before the team lost in game seven.

Isiah was a 12 time NBA All-Star, two-time All-Star game MVP, a one-time NBA Finals MVP. Thomas had career averages of 19.2 points, 9.3 assists, 1.9 steals and 3.9 rebounds per game.

4. John Stockton - A player who did more with one counterpart, forward Karl Malone (his pick and roll partner), than anyone else! Stockton was a pass first guy who could also always be counted on for a game winning shot (38% career from three-point land) or a key steal when he was left open. Another countless victim of playing in Michael Jordan's prime, Stockton captained the Jazz to back to back NBA Finals appearances in the late 1990s. Stockton was known to be a tough guy who would throw a nice pic and stir up peoples emotions.

Stockton was a 10 time NBA All-Star and had career averages of 13.1 points, 10.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds. Stockton is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

5. Bob Cousy - "The Houdini of the Hardwood" was the original showman of the NBA and helped to create the Boston Celtic mystique we all know. Cousy won six titles with the Celtics and had an definite effect on how point guards manipulated the ball and played the game. The behind the back, the over the head pass...that was Cousy to a tee and he did it and won regularly!

Cousy was a 13 time NBA All-Star with two All-Star MVP awards, one regular MVP award (1957) and had career averages of 18.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game.

6. Jason Kidd - A throwback of sorts, Kidd came into the league dropping triple doubles and has been doing it ever since! Kidd is third all-time in triple doubles to Magic and Oscar and led the New Jersey Nets to back to back NBA Finals appearances in the early 2000s. Kidd was also a great defender, using his 6-4 frame to cause problems in the passing lanes. Rebounding led to automatic runouts on the break and Kidd was often his own best friend on offense eliminating his needing to get the ball and grabbing it for himself.

Kidd is a 1995 co-rookie of the year, a nine-time NBA All-Star, a nine-time defensive team selection and has career averages of 14.2 points, 9.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 6.7 rebounds. Kidd is also a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist.

Nate "Tiny" Archibald

7. Nate Archibald - "Tiny" as he is affectionately known, was the only point guard to lead the league in scoring and assists when he played for the Kansas City Kings. A New York City guard like Cousy, "Tiny" brought a flair to the game while still possessing the smarts to truely lead a team. Like his fellow former Royal/King Oscar Robertson, Archibald won a title with another team rather than the one he is most known to play for as he lifted the trophy with the Boston Celtics in the early 1980s.

Archibald was a six-time All-Star, a All-Star game MVP and had career averages of 18.8 points, 7.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 2,3 rebounds per game in a 13-year career.

8. Steve Nash - Really crazy to think that Phoenix (his original draftee) had him, Kidd and Kevin Johnson (number 10 on this list) on the team in the mid-1990s! This player was made out to be the next coming of Cousy when he came out of Santa Clara in the 1990s but didn't show much for his first years and was traded to Dallas. It was in Dallas that he began to show his gifts and establish himself as one of the league's stars working with players like Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki to return the rundown Dallas Mavericks to some sense of prominence. Signed as free agent by his original team, Phoenix, Nash has showed the ability to drop 20 points and 15 assists on any given night and has won back to back MVP awards.

Nash has career averages of 14.9 points, 7.9 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

9. Walt Frazier - The smooth criminal was known for his flashy wear off the court and flashy hands on the court! Led the title New York Knicks to the title two times in the 1970s both against the LA Lakers with the super trio of Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West (alongside Gail Goodrich). Could be counted on to make a tough lay-up and also understood that he had to make players like Jerry Lucas, Bill Bradley and Willis Reed stars to win himself.

Frazier was a seven-time NBA All-Star, a one-time NBA All-Star MVP and had career averages of 18.9 points , 6.1 assists, 1.9 steals and 4.2 rebounds per game.


Kevin Johnson

10. Kevin Johnson - The man who is running (at the time I'm writing this) for mayor of his hometown Sacramento was once a great point man Johnson helped Charles Barkley get the NBA Finals in 1993 and who can forget his crushing dunk on Hakeem Olajuwon! Johnson was quick and smart, could score when necessary and also dish the rock. Johnson averaged 20 points and 10 assists four straight seasons and had career averages of 17.1 points, 9.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game. Johnson is one of only three players in NBA history (Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson are the others) to average at least 20.0 points and 12.0 assists in a season.

Johnson is one of only three players in NBA history (Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas are the others) to have averaged at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists in three consecutive seasons.Johnson is one of only four players in NBA history to have averaged at least 20.0 points and 10.0 assists per game in three different seasons. Johnson was a three-time NBA All-Star.

Honorable Mention - Dennis Johnson, Bob Davies, Maurice Cheeks, Gary Payton and Tim Hardaway

 

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at clayton@geoclan.com.

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