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Top Ten NBA Point Guards of All-Time


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Do you have the NBA Lockout blues?  We feel your pain and have a cure for you.  The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together Bloguin’s best basketball writers to rummage through the annals of NBA history (sounds dirty, but it’s not – honest) to bring you rankings of the best players to have ever laced them up.  First up: Top Ten Point Guards of All-Time.

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily, Diego from Hot Hot Hoops and Ezra from the Purple and Gold Blog. 

10) Steve Nash – Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns – 1996 – present

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Career accomplishments:

- tenth all-time in three-pointers made in NBA history
- eighth all-time in three-point % in NBA history
- all-time leader in free throw % in NBA history
- sixth all-time in assists in NBA history
- ninth all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in free throw % in 2005/06 & 2009/10
- NBA leader in assists in 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10 & 2010/11
- NBA leader in assists per game in 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10 & 2010/11
- two-time NBA MVP
- five-time NBA All-Star
- five-time All-NBA selection

“The greatest shooting point guard in history, and not too shabby of a passer either, only had one college scholarship offer coming out of high school in Victoria, B.C.” – Jeff Fox 

“One of the best distributors of all time, Steve Nash gets the best out of his teammates. His lack of Finals experience and defense knock him down a few spots on this list, though.” – Diego

9) Gary Payton – Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat – 1990 – 2007

Career accomplishments:

- member on one NBA championship team
- ninth all-time in games played in NBA history
- ninth all-time in minutes played in NBA history
- eighth all-time in assists in NBA history
- fourth all-time in steals in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1990/91, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1997/98 & 1998/99
- NBA leader in threes (made & attempted) in 1999/00
- NBA leader in steals in 1995/96
- NBA leader in assists in 1999/00
- NBA leader in steals per game in 1995/96
- nine-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- nine-time All-NBA selection

“One of the best defensive players ever, and finally “won” a title with the Miami Heat.  Nine-time all-Star and only missed 13 regular season games in 16 years.” – College Wolf

“The Glove made a living with his defense. But he was also an excellent assists man who could take over the game with his scoring and swagger.” – Ezra

8) Tiny Archibald – Cincinnati Royals/KC-Omaha Kings/KC Kings, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks – 1970 – 1977, 1978 – 1984

Career accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- member of one NBA championship team
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1972/73
- NBA leader in field goals (made & attempted) in 1972/73
- NBA leader in free throws made in 1971/72, 1972/73 & 1974/75
- NBA leader in free throws attempted in 1971/72 & 1972/73
- NBA leader in assists in 1972/73
- NBA leader in points in 1972/73
- NBA leader in minutes per game in 1972/73
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1972/73
- NBA leader in points per game in 1972/73
- six-time NBA All-Star
- five-time All-NBA selection

“Still the best little big man in history.” – Ezra

“Tiny had his big moments as a member of the Kings in Kansas City-Omaha. He did not win his title until he got to Boston. By then he was a veteran and willing to take a back seat for the better of the team. He was the big support Dave Cowens needed to win a few titles between Bill Russell and Larry Bird.” – Philip 

7) Walt Frazier – New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers – 1967 – 1980

Career accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- member of two NBA championship teams
- seven-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- seven-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- six-time All-NBA selection

“The number one point guard of all-time in terms of style, dress, swagger and vocab.” – Jeff Fox 

“Along with Payton, he’s one of the best defensive PG’s ever.” – College Wolf
 

6) Isiah Thomas – Detroit Pistons – 1981 – 1994

Career accomplishments:

- member of the basketball Hall of Fame
- member of two NBA championship teams
- NBA Finals MVP
- seventh all-time in assists in NBA history
- fifth all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1983/84
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1982/83
- NBA leader in assists in 1983/84 & 1984/85
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1984/85
- 12-time NBA All-Star
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- five-time All-NBA selection

“I feel like he is always vastly overlooked in “best ever” discussions.  Has the stats and pedigree.” – College Wolf

“Thomas was more of a scoring guard that let his backcourt partner Joe Dumars handle more of the facilitating and passing. But what made Thomas stand out was his leadership. Everyone remembers his effort in the Finals when he scored 25 fourth quarter points on a sprained ankle. He spent the entire game hobbling up and down the court and embarrassing the Lakers’ defense.” – Philip 

“No other point guard was more intense or had more of a killer instinct than Zeke.” – Ezra

5) Jason Kidd – Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, New Jersey Nets – 1994 – present

Career accomplishments:

- member of one NBA championship team
- tenth all-time in minutes played in NBA history
- third all-time in three-pointers made in NBA history
- third all-time in three-pointers attempted in NBA history
- second all-time in assists in NBA history
- third all-time in steals in NBA history
- seventh all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1997,98 & 1998/99
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1998/99
- NBA leader in assists in 1998/99, 2000/2001, 2002/03
- NBA leader in steals in 2001/02
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2002/03 & 2003/04
- 10-time NBA All-Star
- nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection
- six-time All-NBA selection
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA All-Rookie Team

“One of the most intelligent players in the game today. That’s what makes him great as a point guard.” – Diego

“One of the best rebounding PG’s ever.  Gets a bump up due to winning the NBA Championship, while playing an integral role (unlike Gary Payton).” – College Wolf

“Kidd has his title now, so it might be time to start thinking about where he fits in historically. Kidd was a triple-double machine in a time when scoring was down and has continually been fantastic. He came into the league as almost a pure passer with little offense or jump shooting to speak of. By the time he won his championship with the Mavericks last year, he turned himself into a decent shooter.” – Philip

“An extremely heady guy who can dissect any defense with his floor vision and deft passing. Not to mention of the best perimeter defenders ever.” – Ezra

4) Bob Cousy – Boston Celtics, Cincinnati Royals – 1950 – 1963, 1969

Career accomplishments:

- NBA Hall of Fame member
- member of six NBA championship teams
- 13-time All-Star
- NBA MVP
- 12-time All-NBA

“Revolutionized the PG position.” – College Wolf

“The Celtics needed a point guard to help them win those six championships in seven years. Cousy was a perennial All-Star and someone who could run the offense while Russell manned the defense. He led the league in assists for seven straight seasons and helped pace the greatest dynasty in league history.” – Philip

3) John Stockton – Utah Jazz – 1984 – 2003
 
Career accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- third all-time in games played in NBA history
- sixth all-time in minutes played in NBA history
- all-time leader in assists in NBA history
- all-time leader in steals in NBA history
- second all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- sixth all-time in steals per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1984/85, 1986/87, 1988/89, 1990/91, 1993/94, 1994/95 & 1998/99
- NBA leader in assists in 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95 & 1995/96
- NBA leader in steals in 1988/89 & 1991/92
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1987/88, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1990/91, 1991/92, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95 & 1995/96
- NBA leader in steals per game in 1988/89 & 1991/92
- 10-time NBA All-Star
- 11-time All-NBA selection
- five-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“All those accomplishments and he never once broke a sweat or messed his hair up.” – Jeff Fox 

“If we are going to measure the value of a point guard for doing whatever it takes to make his team good, you have to have the league’s all-time assist leader pretty high. Stockton and Karl Malone worked the pick and roll to perfection, but Stockton did more than just dish the ball to Malone. He turned himself into a great shooter and found ways to get everyone involved. You don’t rack up 15,800 assists and post nine straight seasons as the league’s top assist guy without being a pretty good point guard.” – Philip

2) Oscar Robertson – Cincinnati Royals, Milwaukee Bucks – 1960 – 1974

Career accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- member of one NBA championship team
- third all-time in free throws made in NBA history
- sixth all-time in free throws attempted in NBA history
- fifth all-time in assists in NBA history
- third all-time in minutes per game in NBA history
- eighth all-time in points per game in NBA history
- fourth all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in games played in 1962/63
- NBA leader in free throws made in 1963/64, 1964/65, 1967/68 & 1968/69
- NBA leader in free throw % in 1963/64 & 1967/68
- NBA leader in assists in 1960/61, 1961/62, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66 & 1968/69
- NBA leader is assists per game in 1960/61, 1961/62, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1967/68 & 1968/69
- NBA leader in points per game 1967/68
- 12-time NBA All-Star
- 11-time All-NBA selection
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- NBA MVP

“The triple-double season sits in the annals of NBA history and probably has more legend attached to it than fact at this point. Robertson was a great point guard, able to score at will and dishing to teammates that often were not that good. He did not win his title until he was traded to Milwaukee and played with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The numbers don’t lie though – Robertson could produce.” – Philip

1) Magic Johnson – Los Angeles Lakers – 1979 – 1991, 1996

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Career accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- member of five NBA championship teams
- fourth all-time in assists in NBA history
- first all-time in assists per game in NBA history
- NBA leader in assists in 1982/83, 1985/86 & 1986/87
- NBA leader in free throw % in 1988/89
- NBA leader in steals per game in 1980/81 & 1981/82
- NBA leader in assists per game in 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86 & 1986/87
- 12-time NBA All-Star
- three-time NBA Finals MVP
- three-time NBA MVP
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- 10-time All-NBA selection

“He had absolute command of the Showtime Lakers’ offense and was one of the league’s greatest champions. His selflessness and ability to play any position meant he was the ultimate teammate. And that is exactly what a point guard is supposed to do.” – Philip

“His stats were sick, and he could literally do it all, playing any position on the court.  Not only the best PG ever, but one of the best ever players in the history of the NBA.”  – College Wolf

“The best basketball player ever. Not only did he dominated the point guard position, you could also pencil him in as one of the best player to ever played the other four positions in basketball.” – Ezra
 

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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