In basketball there is no position on the court more important than the point guard position. From running the offense, calling the plays, distributing the ball, and also knowing when to take over the game, the point guard controls the game. Having an elite point guard can make the difference between winning and losing. Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, Stephen Curry, and Isiah Thomas, represent the Top 5 NBA Guards Of All Time. The greatest court generals in history got the job done on the court on both ends and here are the numbers to back them up.
1. Earvin “Magic” Johnson
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a successful entrepreneur, businessman, and broadcasting analyst. He is also the greatest point guard ever.
Pat Riley was the coach who created “Showtime” basketball, an up and down, fast-paced, and exciting brand of basketball. If Showtime was a movie, then Magic was the director. Flashy passes, dribbling through traffic, and controlling the pace of the game, along with a smile that lit up all of California, were the ingredients that made up Magic in his playing days. Being a loveable player is not the reason why Johnson is on the list, however, he talked the talk and walked the walk with his stats.
Magic played his entire 13 year career for the Los Angeles Lakers, and compiled some of the best statistics the basketball world has ever seen.
Magic won 5 NBA championships, he won the NBA MVP award 3 times (1986, 1988, 1989), was the NBA Finals MVP 3 times, made 12 NBA All-Star appearances, Magic was selected All-NBA Team 10 times, was named one of the Top 50 Greatest Players Of All Time, and Johnson is also inducted into the basketball Hall Of Fame.
2. Oscar Robertson
The “Big O”, Oscar Robertson, is credited with creating the mold of the point guard greats, past and present. Robertson was a walking triple-double, before keeping track of triple-doubles was a part of the league.
Many would name Magic or Lebron James as the oversized guard that scored, rebounded, and passed the ball with an unmatched proficiency. Robertson’s other nickname, “Mr. Triple Double”, suggests that he is the prototype for players like Johnson and James. Robertson nearly averaged a triple double in his career (25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 9.5 APG), and shot 49% from the field.
Robertson won the MVP once, was a 12-time NBA All-Star selection, was Rookie of the Year, and is a member of the basketball Hall of Fame.
3. John Stockton
Ruthless, tricky, and a little nasty to play against, John Stockton was difficult to deal with on the court, and his career numbers legitimize his spot in NBA guard history.
Stockton played 19 seasons in the NBA, all with the Utah Jazz. Recency bias causes Stockton’s name to be pushed to the side and forgotten when mentioning the greatest conductors of the court.
Stockton was not flashy, did not have the many endorsement deals like others on this list, he just did what was necessary for his teams to be successful.
Stockton was a 10 time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA selection, 5-time NBA All-Defensive Team selections. The Hall of Fame guard averaged 13.1 PPG, 10.5 APG, and had 2.2 SPG.
4. Stephen Curry
Known as the “Chef”, Stephen Curry burst onto the NBA scene shooting 3’s from the parking lot, which was also his range. There is no spot on the offensive side of the floor that is safe to leave Curry open.
Curry is the only player on the Top 5 NBA Guards Of All Time list who is still currently playing. It seems as though he has a long career ahead of him to put up bigger numbers than the ones that already have him on the list in the first place.
As a member of the Golden State Warriors Curry is a 3-time NBA champion, 2-time NBA MVP, 6-time NBA All-Star, former NBA Scoring Champion, and was the NBA Steals Champion in 2016.
Curry averaged 23.5 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 1.7 SPG.
5. Isiah Thomas
Although Isiah Thomas is ranked 5th on this list, he was among the leaders in history when it came to other statistics as well.
Thomas joined Oscar Robertson, and Magic Johnson, as the 3 players in NBA history with the most games played with 20 points and 10 assists.
Zeke had a smile that, similarly to Magic’s smile, could light up an entire state, but his opponents knew better than to be fooled by Thomas’ pearly whites.
Thomas was credited or blamed, with being the general of the most physically bruising team in NBA history, the Detroit PIstons, also known as the “Bad Boys”. Teams were made aware that trying to enter the paint was going to be a painful, terrible, and difficult process to go through every night against Thomas’ Pistons.
Thomas was not a slouch when it came to being a floor general, and his game spoke for itself.
Zeke was a 2-time NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP (at 6’1”, Thomas was the shortest MVP in league history), 12-time NBA All-Star selection, 5-time All-NBA selection, and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Isiah averaged 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 9.3 APG, and 1.9 SPG.
5 point guards, the greatest of all time in NBA history. Some of the statistics will never be surpassed, but the names on the list potentially change over the next 10 years. Stay tuned for the next Top 5 NBA Guards Of All Time.