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Legendary Playmakers: Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards in NBA History

Basketball’s point guard position is frequently considered the most important and challenging on the court. The best point guards in NBA are the ones who have transformed the game with their tremendous playmaking skills. These point guards are known for their talent, basketball IQ, leadership, and court vision, which help them succeed in this role.

In this article, we will travel time to honour the best point guards in the history of the NBA. From the early pioneers to the present maestros, we will examine these famous playmakers’ extraordinary skills and accomplishments and talk about each player’s stats, achievements, and influence that they created in the game. 

Join us as we commemorate the ten greatest point guards in NBA history:

Top 10 Point Guards Of All Times In the NBA:

#1. Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas-best point guards in NBA

The best person to begin this list is the “Bad Boys” leader, Isiah Thomas, known for his incredible skills on the court. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star, a 5-time All-NBA selection, and a 2-time NBA champion. He is one of the best point guards and is the Pistons’ all-time leader in points, assists, and steals. He is also one among the five players in the history of NBA to average at least 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 9 assists per game for their career. Thomas was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000 and was also a member of the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.

Here are some of Thomas’s career highlights:

  • Per Game: 19.2 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals
  • Per 75 Possessions: 19.3 points, 9.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: -2.0
  • Net Rating Swing: N/A
  • Box Plus/Minus: +2.2
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .109

Also Read: Meet The Icons: 10 Best Small Forwards In NBA

#2. Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook-best point guards in NBA

Russell Westbrook is a professional American basketball player who played for the team Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA. He was a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, and a nine-time NBA All-Star. He also earned the NBA Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) for the 2016–17 season. Westbrook was a nine-time All-NBA Team member, led the league by scoring in 2014–15 and 2016–17. He won back-to-back NBA All-Star Game MVP awards in 2015 and 2016. Westbrook’s efforts and undying spirit make him one of the top 10 point guards of all time. 

Here are some highlights from Westbrook’s career:

  • Per Game: 23.0 points, 8.4 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals
  • Per 75 Possessions: 25.1 points, 9.2 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 1.9 steals
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: -1.5
  • Net Rating Swing: +5.3
  • Box Plus/Minus: +6.6
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .164

#3. Steve Nash

Steve Nash-best point guards in NBA

Steve Nash is a Canadian professional basketball coach and a former player who has played 18 seasons in the NBA, where he was an eight-time All-Star and a seven-time All-NBA selection. Nash was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player when he was playing for the Phoenix Suns. He has led the several league in assists and free throw percentage at different points in his career. In 2005–06, Nash had one of the best seasons of his career when he averaged 15.8 points, 11.5 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. 

Here are some of Nash’s career highlights:

  • Per Game: 14.3 points, 8.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 threes
  • Per 75 Possessions: 17.4 points, 10.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 threes
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +7.4
  • Net Rating Swing: +7.5
  • Box Plus/Minus: +1.3
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .164

#4. Jason Kidd

Jason Kidd-best point guards in NBA

Jason Kidd is a retired American professional basketball player and current head coach of the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played 19 seasons in the NBA, winning a championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Kidd was a 10-time NBA All-Star, a 9-time All-NBA selection, and a 5-time All-Defensive selection. He was also the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1995.He retired from the NBA in 2013 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Here are some of Kidd’s career highlights:

  • Per Game: 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.4 threes
  • Per 75 Possessions: 13.7 points, 9.5 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals, 1.6 threes
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: -2.5
  • Net Rating Swing: +6.3
  • Box Plus/Minus: +4.2
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .133

#5. John Stockton

John Stockton-best point guards in NBA

John Stockton is the king of the dime and is known for always making the greatest pass to score. He is a retired American professional basketball player who played for the Utah Jazz for his entire 19-year career. Stockton is widely regarded as one of the best point guards in NBA. He is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists (15,806) and steals (3,265) and has been a 10-time NBA All-Star, a 9-time All-NBA selection, and a 2-time All-Defensive selection. He was also a 1992 United States Olympic basketball team member that won the gold medal.

Here are some of Stockton’s career highlights:

  • Per Game: 13.1 points, 10.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 steals
  • Per 75 Possessions: 15.7 points, 12.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +7.6
  • Net Rating Swing: N/A
  • Box Plus/Minus: +3.5
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .209

#6. Chris Paul

Chris Paul-best point guards in NBA

Chris Paul played for the Phoenix Suns of the NBA and is widely regarded as one of the top 10 point guards of all time. Paul is a 12-time NBA All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA selection, and a 9-time All-Defensive selection. He has also been named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) once, in 2008. Paul has had a steady career and is still an outstanding player at the age of 37. He is considered one of the most accomplished point guards in NBA history and has been a key member of several successful teams. 

Here are some of his career highlights:

  • Per Game: 18.5 points, 9.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.3 threes
  • Per 75 Possessions: 20.6 points, 10.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.5 threes
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +3.7
  • Net Rating Swing: +10.9
  • Box Plus/Minus: +7.3
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .247

Also Read: 10 Best NBA Players Of All Time Who Reigned Supreme In Basketball (2023)

#7. Jerry West

Jerry West-best point guards in NBA

In addition to having his image appear on the logo, Jerry West is regarded as an all-time great, making him an NBA icon. He played for the Los Angeles Lakers from 1960 to 1974 and was a 14-time NBA All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA selection, and a 9-time All-Defensive selection. He was also named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 1969. He was a gifted scorer, shooter, and passer and led the Lakers to the NBA Finals in 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1970. West is one of the most accomplished players and the best point guards in NBA history and has been a key member of several successful teams. 

Here are some of West’s career highlights:

  • Per Game: 27.0 points, 6.7 assists, 5.8 rebounds
  • Per 75 Possessions: 18.5 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +5.6
  • Net Rating Swing: N/A
  • Box Plus/Minus: N/A
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .213

#8. Oscar Robertson

Oscar Robertson-best point guards in NBA

Oscar Robertson, nicknamed “the Big O”, played for the Cincinnati Royals and Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time. He was named to the All-NBA First Team nine times and was selected to the NBA All-Star Game 12 times before finally retiring from the NBA in 1974. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980. Robertson is one of the most accomplished players in NBA history and will be remembered as one of the top 10 point guards of all time. 

Here are some of his career highlights:

  • Per Game: 25.7 points, 9.5 assists, 7.5 rebounds
  • Per 75 Possessions: 16.6 points, 6.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +7.0
  • Net Rating Swing: N/A
  • Box Plus/Minus: N/A 
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .207

#9. Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry-best point guards in NBA

The greatest three-point shooter in history, we’re referring to Stephen Curry, who ranks 13th in percentage (.427) and has made 3,270 or more three-pointers in NBA history. He is a two-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA champion, and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He is also the all-time leader in three-pointers made. He led the Warriors to their first NBA championship in 40 years in 2015. He won his first MVP award that season. Curry is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist, where he won gold medals with Team USA in 2016 and 2020. 

Here are some of Curry’s career accomplishments:

  • Per Game: 23.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 threes, 1.7 steals
  • Per 75 Possessions: 25.1 points, 7.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 threes, 1.8 steals
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +8.0
  • Net Rating Swing: +12.1
  • Box Plus/Minus: +6.5
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .207

#10. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson-best point guards in NBA
Legendary Playmakers: Ranking the Top 10 Point Guards in NBA History 11

Magic Johnson Jr. is often regarded as one of the best point guards in NBA. Johnson played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Los Angeles Lakers and won five NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVP awards, and three regular season MVP awards. He was also a 12-time NBA All-Star and a 9-time All-NBA First Team selection.  Johnson led the Lakers to five NBA championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. Johnson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Here are some of his career highlights:

  • Per Game: 19.5 points, 11.2 assists, 7.2 rebounds, 1.9 steals
  • Per 75 Possessions: 19.0 points, 10.9 assists, 7.0 rebounds, 1.9 steals
  • Relative True Shooting Percentage: +7.3
  • Net Rating Swing: N/A
  • Box Plus/Minus: +7.2
  • Win Shares per 48 Minutes: .225

Conclusion

With this, we conclude the list of the top 10 point guards of all time. Over the years, we have seen the incredible influence of these legendary playmakers that have helped them earn their spot among the all-time greats. With their outstanding court vision and leadership skills, these point guards have managed to create a lasting impression on the game. Each of these players has significantly contributed to basketball’s development and growth.

Also Read: 25 Interesting Basketball Facts Which Will Leave Your Jaw Dropped

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Who is the greatest point guard in NBA history?

The distinction of NBA history’s best point guard is incredibly subjective and susceptible to interpretation. Several contenders, including Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, John Stockton, and Isiah Thomas, are frequently considered to be some of the greatest point guards, given their special talents, leadership, and influence on the game.

Is Steph Curry better than Magic?

Both outstanding point guards, Magic Johnson and Steph Curry, have greatly affected the game. It is subjective and depends on personal tastes to decide who is superior. Both these athletes have had outstanding success in their respective times.

Who is the smartest NBA point guard?

It is difficult to pin down the smartest and the best point guard in the NBA as it requires weighing strategic thinking, basketball IQ, and decision-making skills. Players like Chris Paul are frequently recognised for their superior court vision and excellent basketball IQ while Rajon Rondo is known for his keen sense of timing and analytical skills. 

Who is the fastest NBA player?

The NBA players known for their extraordinary speed and quickness in the game are players like De’Aaron Fox, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall. However, choosing any one as the quickest NBA player is difficult.

Are there any notable players who narrowly missed the top 10-point guards list?

There are several players who remain under consideration but narrowly miss the list; it does not put them behind in any way. Therefore, as a fan, if you think any player deserves to be listed in the top 10, we would sure want to know.

Were there any controversies or debates surrounding the selection of the top 10 point guards?

Controversies are part and parcel of the selection process because each player is individually talented and has their own playing style. But, despite being highly talented, some players miss being in the top 10-point guards’ list. Finding the best amongst the best is a matter that mostly depends on personal preferences.

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Monika Ahuja
Monika Ahuja
Monika is a sports fanatic who loves expressing her emotions through her words. She always holds the spirit of the game when writing about them. She has an extensive understanding of different sports formats that prevent her from making any unsubstantiated accusations towards a player or sport. Her understanding, combined with her rigorous research skills, helps her deliver the best sports content.

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