Ranking the Top 25 Point Guards of All Time
The point guard position in the NBA has been run by a number of the best players to ever play the game. Part coach, part quarterback, part maestro – point guards make their teams go. And often do it in style.
So let’s rank the top 25 of all time. Note: players who are classified as playing point guard for the majority of their careers are considered for the list (sorry, Allen Iverson fans, who is shooting guard eligible).
25. Rod Strickland
Strickland might be the must underrated on the list. He played 17 years in the NBA. His best season came in 1997-98 when, while playing for the Wizards, he led the league in assists with 10.5 per game. Strickland finished his career 12th in assists with 7,987.
16. Kyrie Irving
Now out of LeBron’s shadow, expect Kyrie to climb the list as he continues to become even more of a force than he is right now for the Celtics.
15. Mark Jackson
Jackson led a number of different teams to the playoffs, including the Clippers in the early 90s when the Clippers were the laughingstock of the NBA. He later had six solid years with the Pacers and teamed up with Reggie Miller and others to make Indy perennial contenders in the East. He’s one of just five players to have over 10,000 career assists.
14. Chris Paul
Paul had a great run with the Clippers and now he could be on to even bigger things alongside James Harden in Houston.
13. Russell Westbrook
Remember last season when he averaged a triple double? Yeah, that was awesome.
12. Gary Payton
“The Glove” could do it all on both ends of the floor… and let people know about it while he was doing it. While he fell short to Jordan’s Bulls in the NBA Finals, he was able to win a gold medal.
11. Nate “Tiny” Archibald
Tiny was named to the All-NBA First Team three different times during his Hall of Fame career and won a title with the Celtics in 1981.
10. Walt “Clyde” Frazier
Frazier led the Knicks to their only two NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. A 7-time pick for the NBA All-Defensive First Team, a 4-time pick for the All-NBA First Team… yeah, Clyde could do it all, and look good doing it.
9. Isiah Thomas
The Pistons legend was the man who led the “Bad Boys” in the 1980s to a pair of titles. He liked to put on a show for the fans, too. And who can forget that time he put up a NBA-Finals-best 25 points in the third quarter in Game 6 of the 1988 Finals.
8. Steve Nash
Nash was twice named NBA MVP during his stellar career and was a seven-time All-NBA selection. Not bad for a dude who played his college ball at Santa Clara.
7. Jason Kidd
Check out these accolades: Ten-time NBA All-Star. Five-time All-NBA First Team member. Nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team. Kidd entered the NBA with all sorts of hype and boy did he live up to it.
24. Maurice Cheeks
One of the best defenders to play the position, Cheeks helped lead Dr. J. and Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA title in 1982-83. He was named to five all-defensive NBA teams, thanks in large part to his fast hands and ability to create a ton turnovers.
6. Bob Cousy
The Celtics’ legend changed the way the position was played, using tricky ball-handling skills and passing to be nicknamed “The Houdini of the Hardwood.” He once owned the record for assists in a game (28) and still holds the record for most assists in a half (19).
5. Steph Curry
Deadly 3-point shooter. Able to set up his teammates for easy buckets. Two-time NBA MVP. Yup, he deserves to be this high up on the list.
4. Jerry West
“The Logo” was an All-Star every year of his career. Every year! He also led the Lakers to the Finals nine times and scored over 20,000 career points.
3. John Stockton
The Utah Jazz great still has over 3,800 more assists than any other player in NBA history. A lot of those went to Karl Malone on a their classic pick and rolls.
2. Oscar Robertson
“The Big O” was a 12-time all-star, 11-time member of the All-NBA Team, an NBA MVP, and an NBA champion with the Bucks in 1971. In 1962 he became the first player to ever average a triple double for the entire season.
1. Magic Johnson
At 6-foot-9, Magic was unlike any point guard that came before him. He made the “Showtime Lakers” the “Showtime Lakers” and led them two five NBA titles. Magic was named NBA Finals MVP 3 times and NBA MVP 3 times. He finished his career with 10,141 assists and is the best to ever do it.
23. Mark Price
One of the greatest shooters to ever play the position, he ranks fifth behind Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Steve Nash, and Steph Curry with a career shooting percentage of .586.
22. Dennis Johnson
DJ was a key cog on both ends of the floor for the mid-80s Celtics teams that had epic battles with the Lakers. A defensive wizard, he won two titles during his time in Boston (and another with the Sonics), but his legendary steal against the Pistons late in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals is something that will never be forgotten in Boston.
21. Kevin Johnson
Johnson played just about his entire career with the Suns, finishing with averages of 17.9 ppg and 9.1 apg. He was the court general for some great Suns teams in the early 90s, including one that fell to the Bulls in the NBA Finals.
20. Tim Hardaway
Hardaway became a star early on when, with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond, he was a part of “Run TMC” with the Golden State Warriors. A five-time All-Star known for his killer crossover, Hardaway also had six great seasons in Miami and won a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics. He finished his run in the NBA with career averages of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists.
19. Lenny Wilkens
He did it all as a player and a coach, but let’s not forget about the player part. Wilkens appeared in 9 all-star games (and four more as a coach) and was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
18. Chauncey Billups
“Mr. Big Shot” had quite a career, especially with the Pistons where he led them to the NBA title in 2004 and was named NBA Finals MVP.
17. Tony Parker
A 4-time NBA champ, a Finals MVP, and six all-star appearances. While maybe not the flashiest player, what Parker has done in his career has been incredible.