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Get to know about the top 15 all time best point guards in the NBA in 2022
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.
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
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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 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.
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13. Russell Westbrook
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
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
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.
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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
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
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.
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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
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 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.
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6. Chris Paul
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
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.
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4. Stephen Curry
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
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.
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2. Oscar Robertson
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
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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