The history of the NBA is replete with so many talented individuals who have graced the league. One such set of players is the point guards. Point guards are considered to be the most skillful players on the court.
Their skill set is suited for setting the play and carrying their teams on their back by initiating offense with their dribbling and ball-handling skills.
Besides ball handling skills, they are also reputed to have great vision and shooting skills. In some quarters, they are viewed as the most important players on the court, and often referred to as the most complete players in the game.
But who are the greatest point guards to have exhibited their skills on the NBA stage? Here is our list of the ten greatest point guards in the history of the NBA.
1. Magic Johnson Jr.
First on our list is none other than Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson Jr. Magic Johnson played 13 seasons in the NBA, and in those 13 years, the nation was treated to a spectacle every time he stepped on the court.
The former LA Lakers is considered by many as the best point guard in the history of the NBA. With his skills and talent, he helped the Lakers win five championships.
On a personal level, he won many awards and plaques. He was a three-time MVP between 1987 and 1990, in addition to scooping the finals MVP on three different occasions.
If he hadn’t been diagnosed with HIV which effectively cut short his career, there is no telling how much more he would have gone on to achieve in basketball.
In his career, he was named the league’s most valuable player on three occasions. He also managed three NBA finals MVPs. To top it all off, he won the NBA Championship five times and one wonders how many more accolades he would have
2. Oscar Robertson
Popularly known as the ‘Big O’, Oscar Robertson comes in at number two in our list of the ten greatest point guards in the history of the NBA. While his career lasted, he played for the Cincinnati Royals and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The hugely talented Robertson was named in the All-Star on twelve occasions, plus eleven more as an All-NBA team member. He also had the honor of being named the most valuable player in the league once in his career.
Robertson was the first player to score a triple-double in NBA history. In his prime, it will be a struggle to find another player better than the Big O at shooting, scoring, and setting plays.
In terms of titles, Robertson didn’t win much, but he has a solitary NBA title he won with the Milwaukee Bucks.
3. John Stockton
John Stockton is undoubtedly one of the greatest point guards the NBA has seen, but he has been dubbed as one of the most unlucky players ever. Stockton made his name with the Utah Jazz, the only franchise he represented.
The former Utah Jazz point guard currently has the records for the most career assists and steals within his grasp and it will be a monumental effort by anyone to wrestle those records from him.
His title collections are also very impressive. He was part of the United States Olympic gold-winning teams of 1992 and 1996 in addition to the FIBA Americas Championship in 1992. The legendary Stockton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
4. Stephen Curry
Young NBA fans who may not be too familiar with some of the names on this list will certainly know Stephen Curry. The Golden State Warriors man is a legend despite being years away from calling it quits.
Curry has been described as the player who modernized the role of the point guard. Aside from his overall ability, he is revered for his shooting skills, so much so that he buries three-pointers from ridiculous angles.
Curry is not limited to shooting alone, he also sets the plays and the offense of his team. Overall, his ability to take a game by the scruff of its neck is impressive. As of the last count, Curry has four NBA titles and there is no sign of slowing down yet. He has been named MVP on many occasions.
With the ability of Curry and the likes of Chris Paul and Klay Thompson, the Warriors are considered contenders for the championship season after season. A lot of NBA experts are of the opinion that it is just a matter of time before Curry and his Warriors pals bag another title.
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5. Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas is regarded as one the greatest competitive point guards in the history of the NBA. He was very athletic in addition to being talented.
While he wasn’t the best dribbler even in his prime, his ball-handling skills and vision were critical in establishing him as a top point guard.
He was part of the Detroit Pistons team that defeated the Bulls three times consecutively in the NBA playoffs.
6. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is also another top point guard in the history of the NBA. Although still very active, he has already made a name for himself.
As a point guard, he not only sets or dictates plays, but he also points his teammates in the right direction on the court.
He is famous for his pick-and-roll playing style along with his ability to shoot and score. The man who is dubbed CP3 by his adoring admirers no doubt belongs to the elite point guards in the history of the NBA.
CP3 has yet to win an NBA title, but analysts posit that it may not be too long before he wins one with the Golden State Warriors.
On the international stage, however, he won two Olympic Gold medals from Beijing and London in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
7. Steve Nash
Before Chris Paul, there was Steve Nash who became famous for his pick-and-roll playing style coupled with incredible dribbling ability and shooting skills.
He was so good at shooting that he could aim for the net from anywhere beyond the arc. Nash won a collection of individual awards, including being named the MVP of the league on two occasions. However, he was unable to earn the NBA title itself.
8. Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd was also very highly rated in his active playing days. Undoubtedly one of the greatest point guards in the history of the NBA but one thing stood him out.
His ability to thread a pass to a teammate in the tightest of spaces made him really special. Kidd was also deadly when in transition.
Kidd not only set plays, he could defend, steal, and set up his team’s offense.
9. Waltz Frazier
Walt Frazier was of the old era, but he did enough in his prime to still be remembered and considered one of the best point guards in history.
He was ice-cool in and off the court and went on about his business. He was a smooth operator with great scoring instincts.
He played for the New York Knicks and won a few individual awards while he was on their roster.
10. Bob Cousey
Many basketball historians cum analysts have opined that Bob Cousey is to be credited as the first modern point guard.
He was famously referred to as the floor general. He possessed a variety of skills which made him an excellent point guard.
He could shoot, dribble, pass, organize a play and score. His creativity was also the stuff of legends.