Updated: May 24, 2021
Photo Credit: Fadeawayworld.net
As we continue on my list of Top 5 by position, this week brings me to the Shooting Guards. This was a easy list at the top but as I started to filling the blanks, this one became difficult. So here's the latest entry in my series of top 5 all time.
Considered one of the greatest shooters of all time. Miller was also one of the most clutch shooters and could rip your heart out. Trust me, as a Knick fan I've seen him do it.
In his era he was the second greatest shooting guard to play rivaled only by Michael Jordan. A former NBA champion, he led some of the best Trail Blazer teams to the playoffs and finally won a championship with the Houston Rockets.
He retired as the greatest 3-point shooter ever. Ray Allen was a lethal shooter, silky smooth and a 2-time NBA champion.
At one point in time, Tracy McGrady was one of the best shooting guards in the game (after Kobe Bryant). One of the best scoring shooting guards of his era, his performances are stuff of legend.
Black Jesus. Earl the Pearl was one of the most exciting shooting guards in the 70s and was a prelude to the modern style of basketball. One of the street basketball legends, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe was one of the most dominant scorers of his era.
The Iceman cometh. George Gervin was one of the first long lengthy athletic shooting guards the NBA produced. He was Kevin Durant before there was a Kevin Durant. Master of the finger roll, Gervin was an electric score for the San Antonio Spurs.
One of the most dominant scorers of his era, it won't take long before James Harden moves up this list. A former MVP in scoring champion, James Harden is one of the greatest isolation scores the game has ever seen.
#5 - Allen Iverson
A former MVP, Allen Iverson changed the game on and off the court. He brought basketball and Hip Hop together. He was a cultural icon and one of the toughest players the NBA has ever seen. Iverson won the league MVP in 2000, was a 11-time All-Star, 7-time All-NBA selection, 4-time NBA scoring champion, and Rookie of the Year. A classic isolation player, his athletic ability and will made him a elite scorer for 76er teams that had no offensive weapons. He was the only offense on those teams, but his defense rarely gets brought up when talking about AI. He finished his career as a 26 ppt / 6 ast player and one of the toughest pound for pound guys ever.
#4 - Dwyane Wade
The former Marquette product was projected to be a very good player. No one could ever foreseen that he would be considered one of the greatest shooting guards of his era and of all time. A 3-time NBA champion, Finals MVP, 11-time All-Star, 8-time All-NBA selection, 3-time All-Defense selection, NBA scoring champion. The only thing missing from his resume was a League MVP. But his brilliance on the court was rivaled only by Kobe Bryant in his era. He could do it all, and on both end of the court. His defense was as brilliant as his offense, and often goes overlooked.
#3 - Jerry West
The logo, when he retired he was one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Jerry West's career off the court as an executive rivals his on the court brilliance (he drafted Kobe Bryant out of high school). He was clutch when nobody knew the meaning of the word. He's likely one of the greatest players never to win an MVP Award. West was one of the greatest postseason performers we ever saw. West averaged 40.6 points per game in the 1965 playoffs, and is still the only player from a losing team to win Finals MVP. Jerry West even switched to point guard later in his career and led the league in assists. The only blemish on his resume was he went to 9 NBA Finals and only won once.
#2 - Kobe Bryant
And everybody wanted to be like Mike, Kobe Bean Bryant was the only one that came is close. He would be the greatest shooting guard of all time if it wasn't for the man sitting at number one on this list. A five-time champion, former League MVP, 2-time scoring champion, and one of the few drafted straight out of high school and into super stardom. He averaged 25 ppts for his Hall of Fame career and finished in the top 3 all-time scoring list. A classic bad shot maker, he always came up clutch in his career. His competitive drive is only rivaled by his big brother, Michael Jordan. His tragic passing on 2020 only makes his legend grow even larger today.
#1 - Michael Jordan
Simply the greatest that ever played the game of basketball. Average over 30 points a game for his career and finished top three in scoring. What makes it a phenomenal feat is that he took a full year and a half off and played 3 years in college. Finished as a 30pts / 6 rebs / 5 ast player, an underrated and underappreciated passer. He defense goes almost unnoticed because he played with Pippen and Rodman. But don't forget Jordan led the NBA in scoring and steals in the same season three times. Five-time MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, 10 scoring titles, 6-time NBA Champion, 6-time NBA Finals MVP, what didn't Michael Jordan accomplish in his career. Not only was he the most gifted athlete we ever saw, he was the smartest and the most competitive. His stories of sheer will and competitiveness are stuff of legend.