Photo Credit: Fadeawayworld.net
As we inducted another class in the Basketball Hall of Fame, I felt it was time to make an all-time list but with a twist. Instead of the top 10 of all time, I wanted to give my top 5 at each position. THis was an easy list to come up in theory but was hard to fill out and bring to omit. So here's the first in my series or top 5 all time.
One of the greats in his generation, the throwback to the classic floor general. A career 18 point / 9 assist player will be considered one of the greats soon.
A walking triple double and former league MVP make Westbrook an all-time PG. He had 3 straight season averaging a triple double, including his MVP season in 2016 and passed The Big O for all time career triple doubles.
Former 2-time MVP and lethal shooter, Steve Nash was a solid player from Santa Clara who made himself one of the best PGs. All time 14 point / 8 assist per game player made the most of his shot in the NBA.
The closest PG we've seen to Magic Johnson, Kidd was one of the most versatile point guard in NBA history. His excellent vision left him in the top 5 of all-time assists and like overshadowed how good his defense was.
One of the flashiest player on and off the court, Walt 'Clyde' Frazier was as good on offense as he was on defense. He was a floor general and the best player on those 70s Knicks teams. Frazier arguably had the greatest Game 7 performances ever in the 1970 NBA Finals (36 points, 19 assists, 7 rebounds).
#5 - John Stockton
When compiling this list, it was hard to not include the all-time assist leader at the point guard position. John Stockton was a small point guard from Gonzaga that turned out to be one of the best four generals the league has ever seen. A true point guard in the old sense of the word, a distributor and floor general. He could control the tempo of the game, slowed it way down in to a grind or led fast breaks for easy buckets. He was a scrappy defender that goes underrated because of his size and unassuming frame. He just couldn't break through in the NBA Finals because he was matched up against Jordan's Bulls. He helped lead the Jazz to two consecutive finals appearances, partnering with the great Karl Malone. From 1987 to 1996 Stockton led the league in assists per season. His career numbers finished at over 13 points and 10 assists per game.
#4 - Oscar Robinson
Before there was Russell Westbrook there was the Big O, Oscar Robinson. The Original "Mr. Triple Double'' is the inspiration for this list. A rookie of the year, MVP in one time champion he was so ahead of his time in terms of size and skill he was out of place in a league that wasn't ready for him. The Big O was a prelude to Magic Johnson and then LeBron James in terms of his size and ball handling skills. He averaged a triple double in the 1961 season (a feat not matched until Westbrook). Finished his career averaging over 25 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists per game. Robinson was an MVP, 12-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA selection, Rookie of the Year. When Robinson averaged the triple double in the 1960 season, but still finished third in the MVP voting to Chamberlain (averaged over 50 points per game).
#3 - Steph Curry
How could you not include Steph Curry on this list, even though my personal opinion is he's more of a shooting guard than a point guard. He happens to play the one position, and that's where the similarities with everyone on this list end. He is revolutionized the game in a way that has changed it forever. Easily the greatest pure shooters the game has ever seen, Steph Curry has done it all. He's a 2-time MVP, 3-time champion, any shooting record available he is taking or will take by the end of his career and he's not even done yet. While as assist numbers don't compare to everyone else on the list, he will still go down as one of the greatest point guards ever. Curry's current averages are over 24 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists for his career. But it's the over 47% field goal percentage as a shooter that really puts him ahead of the class.
#2 - Isiah Thomas
One of the greatest little men that ever played the point guard position at 6 foot 1 inch. I'd say it was a tough point guard and the driving force behind The Bad Boys. Isiah Thomas played the villain on the meanest team in the league, but was merely the face of a new wave of players. But he was also a winner, as a two-time NBA champion. He could have won 3 straight if not for Magic and his Lakers in 1988. His omission from The Dream Team is one accolade that I wish he had gotten. The leader of The Bad Boys, Thomas always seemed to come up big in pressure moments and when his team needed a bucket. There's no denying that he is one of the greatest point guards that ever lived. A career 19 points, 3 rebounds, 9 assists player who was ultra quick and could score on anyone. He was one of the most exciting players in a league was was growing into what it would become. When his team needed a bucket or a big play, he was there. He was one of the best players in his era, he will always be 3rd fiddle to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, he was as good as any of them.
#1 - Magic Johnson
Simply the greatest point guard we've ever seen. The impact that Magic had on the game is still felt today. He with Larry Bird saved the NBA from the '70s. The NBA was on a tape delay before Magic came, after Magic the NBA was must see TV. Finished his career with over 130 triple-doubles, 3 MVPs, 5 NBA championships, there was nothing Magic couldn't do. Magic Johnson only missed The NBA Finals twice in his career. Johnson's Game 6 in the 1980 NBA Finals (as a rookie), playing center against the 76ers is one of the best moments in his young career. He averaged 19 points, 7 rebounds, 11 assists for his career. His unparalleled vision in court leadership will never be matched. The only thing that could that derailed his career was contracting the HIV virus. We wouldn't even know where his career would have ended if he had kept playing.