Get to know about the top 15 all time best point guards in the NBA in 2022

Get to know about the top 15 all time best point guards in the NBA in 2022

Kenneth Mwenda
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:02 PM

Over the last decade, the best point guards such as Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and others have dominated the position. With the increased emphasis on the deep three, point guards account for a large portion of the league's top scorers. Pass-first points of the past have given way to dynamic creators who can score as well as set up teammates.

All time best point guards in the NBA
Photo: (modified by author)
Source: UGC

We compiled a list of the top 15 point guards of all time using wholly subjective metrics from the list of active players and a few other legends. This is also from the various sources we have used.

Who are the best point guards of all time in the NBA?

The game has been graced by several incredible players whose names live on even after they retire. The players listed below are our picks for the best point guards in NBA history.

15. Dave Bing

Get to know about the top 15 best point guards in the nba, 2022.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing attends the 2012 Ford Freedom Awards at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on May 17, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo: Paul Warner
Source: Getty Images

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In nine seasons with the Detroit Pistons, plus two with the Washington Bullets and one with the Boston Celtics, Bing gathered 18,327 points in 901 competitions (20.3 ppg). His contributions won him a spot on the NBA All-Time 50th Anniversary Team.

He was the league's Rookie of the Year in 1966-67 and was named to the All-NBA First Team twice and the Second Team once, and he appeared in seven NBA All-Star Games. He led the NBA in scoring in only his second season, 1967-68, with 27.1 points per game.

14. Tony Parker

The most famous point guards
Tony Parker and Alize Lim attend the 'Tony Parker Infinity Nine Horses' press conference at Hippodrome de Longchamp on June 17, 2021 in Paris, France. Photo: Marc Piasecki
Source: Getty Images

The NBA's best European guard, Tony Parker, monopolised opposing backcourt players with speed and agility, a tight crossover, and a gorgeous tear-drop floater in the lane. He affected the paradigm for overseas guards trying to break into the NBA.

13. Russell Westbrook

The best point guards finishers of alltime
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during the first half of the NBA game at Footprint Center on April 05, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen
Source: Getty Images

Russell is regarded as one of the best point guard finishers of all time. In his single season with the Wizards, the former NBA MVP averaged a triple-double (again), and he was a big reason why Washington made the playoffs after a rough start to the season. You never have to question his effort or commitment.

12. Gary Payton

The greatest point guard defender of alltime
Seattle Sonics Gary Payton (R) drives to the basket around Toronto Raptor Damon Stoudamire in the second half at Toronto's Skydome. Photo: CARLO ALLEGRI
Source: Getty Images

Gary Payton was born on July 23, 1968, and is widely regarded as one of the best defensive point guards of all time. He had unusual strength for his size, quick feet, elite hands, and timing to help him hold down opponents one-on-one and rack up steals. He was also an outstanding playmaker and a solid scorer with a strong mid-range game.

11. Jason Kidd

The best passing point guards
Head coach Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during the Game Seven of the Western Conference at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Christian Petersen
Source: Getty Images

One of the most famous point guards of all time, Jason Kidd, could make a dazzling pass or a simple play with the finest in the game while also adoring to hightail it in transition to wear opponents down.

He also used his incredible basketball IQ to steal the ball and defend at a high level. Later in his career, he even improved as an outside shooter, which contributed significantly to his longevity. He was born on March 23, 1973.

10. Robert Joseph Cousy

Get to know about the top 15 best point guards in the nba, 2022.
President Donald Trump presents the Medal of Freedom to retired Boston Celtic Bob Cousy in the Oval Office at the White House on August 22, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: Mark Wilson
Source: Getty Images

The American former professional basketball player was born on August 9, 1928, and played point guard for the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1963 and shortly for the Cincinnati Royals during the 1969–70 season.

He was a 13-time NBA All-Star during the early half of the Celtics dynasty, winning six NBA championships during his 13-year tenure with the team. In addition, Cousy, dubbed "The Houdini of the Hardwood," led the NBA in assists for 8 straight seasons, creating a whole new blend of ball-handling and passing skills for the league.

9. Steve Nash

The best defensive point guards of alltime
Head coach Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on April 06, 2022 in New York City. Photo: Sarah Stier
Source: Getty Images

He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on February 7, 1974, to a Welsh mother, Jean, and an English father, John. Nash was never known as a strong defender, but he was capable of bothering opposing point guards to some extent.

Nash's sideways speed and power will be non-existent at some age, allowing for constant dribble. Gary Payton, widely regarded as one of the best defensive point guards in NBA history, saw a similar decline in his defensive abilities after the age of 35.

8. Damian Lillard

Get to know about the top 15 best point guards in the nba, 2022.
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers warms up before the game against the Orlando Magic at Moda Center on February 08, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Steph Chambers
Source: Getty Images

Born on July 15, 1990, Damian is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. Lillard has been one of the NBA's most dangerous scorers, capable of striking shots from anywhere on the floor. However, when the game is on the line, he makes the right decision.

7. John Stockton

The best passing point guards
John Stockton #12 of the Utah Jazz dribbling the ball is defended by Andre Turner #1 of the Washington Bullets during an NBA basketball game circa 1991. Photo: Focus on Sport
Source: Getty Images

The former professional basketball player was born on March 26, 1962, and is regarded as one of the best passing point guards. He spent his entire NBA career (1984–2003) as a point guard for the Utah Jazz, and the team made the playoffs in each of his 19 seasons. Stockton was a member of two gold medal teams and twice reached the NBA finals during his remarkable career.

6. Chris Paul

Get to know about the top 15 best point guards in the nba, 2022.
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the Game Seven of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 15, 2022. Photo: Christian Petersen
Source: Getty Images

Paul, who was born on May 6, 1985, has long been regarded as one of the game's greatest point guards, a fact reinforced by his selection to the 75th Anniversary Team. In 2021, Paul became the first player in NBA history to score over 20,000 points and dish out over 10,000 assists before LeBron James followed suit later in 2022.

He has 12 All-Star selections, 10 All-NBA selections, nine All-Defensive Team selections, and a second-place MVP finish in his third season at 22. Chris Paul is widely considered to be one of the best point guards of the 2010s.

5. Isiah Thomas

Get to know about the top 15 best point guards in the nba, 2022.
Terry Porter #30 of the Portland Trail Blazers drives on Isiah Thomas #11 of the Detroit Pistons during an NBA basketball game circa 1990. Photo: Focus on Sport
Source: Getty Images

Isiah Thomas, born on April 30, 1961, and possibly the best player ever under 6-foot-1, combined talent with fierce competitiveness. He could create at an elite level while also scoring off the dribble from the midrange. In the late 1980s, he was the face of the Bad Boys Pistons, who defeated Jordan's Bulls three times in a row in the playoffs. The only thing keeping Thomas off this list is his brief career by star standards.

4. Stephen Curry

Get to know about the top 15 best point guards in the nba, 2022.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 13, 2022 in San Francisco. Photo by Ezra Shaw
Source: Getty Images

Curry has developed into much more than a 3-point specialist. Steph's ball-handling abilities make him a lethal ball-handler, as he can shake a defender at any time. His quickness and slim frame allow him to slip through gaps in the defence and create more opportunities for himself. Not to mention that he is an elite finisher around the rim, shooting 61.5 per cent on 5-foot attempts.

Don't get me wrong: Steph is still the league's best shooter. There is no doubt that Stephen Curry inherited his incredible shooting ability from his father, Dell, who was a successful NBA marksman himself, but the younger Curry's game is more diverse than Dell's.

3. Jerry West

Greatest point guards in NBA history
Jerry West attends a basketball game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center on March 01, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Allen Berezovsky
Source: Getty Images

Jerry West, one of the greatest point guards in NBA history, combines a lethal jump shot, tenacious defence, obsessive perfectionism, unwavering confidence, and an unwavering will to win.

West became synonymous with brilliant basketball during his 14-year playing career with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the league's third player to reach 25,000 points (after Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson). He was an All-Star every year of his career and led the Lakers to nine NBA Finals appearances. He finished the game with the most career postseason points and the highest average in a playoff series.

2. Oscar Robertson

NBA's greatest players in history
Oscar Robertson reacts during the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: Tim Nwachukwu
Source: Getty Images

Oscar Robertson was one of the NBA's greatest players in history. The "Big O" was capable of doing it all. He was an unstoppable offensive force who could score from anywhere on the court and in any way he wanted. Robertson's offensive ability transformed the point guard stereotype from a passer and floor general to a scorer and offensive weapon.

Robertson amassed 26,710 points and 9,887 assists during his 14-year NBA career with the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks. He joined the NBA in 1960 and quickly established himself, averaging 30.5 points per game and winning Rookie of the Year. The Big O's best statistical season came in 1961-62, when he averaged a triple-double for the entire season, a feat that has never been duplicated. Big O is widely regarded as one of the best offensive point guards of all time.

1. Magic Johnson

The greatest point guard of alltime
Magic Johnson speaks during a ceremony honoring Judge Greg Mathis​ with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 04, 2022 in Hollywood, California. Photo: JC Olivera
Source: Getty Images

He also knew when he needed to score, as evidenced by his 42-point performance in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals for a Lakers team missing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Ultimately, Johnson's unselfishness earned him the title of greatest point guard of all time. He owes his charitable demeanour to a group of elementary school parents. His most notable awards include five NBA championships, three Finals MVPs, three MVPs, nine All-NBA First Team selections, and 12 All-Star appearances.

Aside from the centre, having the best point guard is critical to improving your game because every play starts with him. He is in charge of getting the ball into the hands of the shooters. You can be the best shooter in the world, but you can't score if you don't get the ball.

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Kenneth Mwenda photo
Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.