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Top 10 Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

What does greatness mean to you? In the context of ranking the top 10 greatest point guards in NBA history, it comes down to an amalgamation of factors. It’s not just most talented: that’s just LeBron James when he decides to run point. It’s not just the most accomplished, either. Greatness is the combination of skill, achievement, legacy, and influence. Which point guards best embody those categories?

Ranking the top point guards in NBA history

RankPlayer NameBirthdateHeightWeightTeam
1Steph Curry3/14/886’2”185Golden State Warriors
Awards: 8 All-Star selections, 4 NBA Champs, Two MVPs, 8 All-NBA selections
2Magic Johnson8/14/596’9”215Los Angeles Lakers
Awards: 12 All-Star, 4 AST Champs, 5 NBA Champs, 3 MVPs, 10 All-NBA
3Oscar Robertson11/24/386’5”205Cincinnati Royals
Awards: 12 All-Star selections, 6 AST Champs, 1 NBA Champ, 11 All-NBA 
4Jerry West5/28/386’3”175Los Angeles Lakers
Awards: 14 All-Star selections, 1 NBA Champ, 12 All-NBA selections
5Isiah Thomas4/30/616’1”180Detroit Pistons
Awards: 12 All-Star selections, 2 NBA Champs, 5 All-NBA selections
6John Stockton3/26/626’1”170Utah Jazz
Awards: 10 All-Star selections, 9 AST Champs, 2 STL Champs, 11 All-NBA 
7Steve Nash2/7/746’3”195Phoenix Suns
Awards: 8 All-Star selections, 5 AST Champs, 2 MVPs, 7 All-NBA selections
8Chris Paul5/6/856’0”175Phoenix Suns
Awards: 12 All-Star selections, 5 AST Champs, 6 STL Champs, 11 All-NBA 
9Bob Cousy8/9/286’1”175Boston Celtics
Awards: 13 All-Star selections, 8 AST Champs, 6 NBA Champs. 12 All-NBA 
10Allen Iverson6/7/756’0”165Philadelphia 76ers
Awards: 11 All-Star, 4 Scoring Champs, 3 STL Champs, 2001 MVP, 7 All-NBA 


Explaining the top 10 greatest point guards in NBA history

I wasn’t kidding when I said that influence was important in the making of this list. Few athletes were more influential at the turn of the century than Iverson himself. His crossover made him the most electrifying player in the league, culminating in the dribble move heard ‘round the world. Catching Michael Jordan swiping just wasn’t a thing people did until AI came along. His speeches, his moves, and his prolific scoring numbers land him a spot on this list. 

From one famous dribbler to the next, a ranking of the top point guards in NBA history would not be complete without Cousy. Sure, he’s famous for dribbling in a fashion that most elementary schoolers could time up, but the professionals of his time couldn’t. He led the league in assists in eight consecutive seasons and won six rings. The resume speaks for itself.

CP3 doesn’t have six rings. At this point, it’s safe to say he never will. A championship trophy remains the gaping hole on an otherwise stellar track record, but it shouldn’t take him out of contention for a spot on this list. He’s one of the greatest playmakers of all time, taking over the league in New Orleans, throwing lobs in Los Angeles, and supplying superstar shooting guards with the ball. He was so good the then-commissioner vetoed a trade that would’ve made him Kobe Bryant’s wingman.

Speaking of pure playmakers, we cannot ignore Steve Nash. He’s a winner. He’s a playmaker. He’s a lethal sharpshooter. Nash may not have the gaudy scoring numbers of some others on this list, but his consistent presence as a top facilitator has placed his fingerprints all over the NBA of the last two decades.

Furthermore, being one of the best playmakers ever earns you some esteem in these rankings. Stockton may have transitioned from dropping dimes to dishing out rancid political takes, but one thing is for certain: the dude was the prototypical point guard. When Stockton was on the floor, his team made the playoffs. Simple as that. I’d say that given their other accomplishments I’d feel bad that he and his co-star never won it all, but that’d be lying.

Remember the first part of “The Last Dance,” when Jordan couldn’t get past those big, bad Pistons? Thomas was their point guard. He was not an elite scorer, especially from deep. Still, his ability to lead, facilitate, and defend paid dividends in the form of two NBA Finals trophies. Like Nash, his playing days were much better than his basketball jobs post-retirement.

Here’s a pro tip. If a major sports organization makes you the logo for more than a half-century, you are probably pretty good at your job. Former Lakers guard Jerry “The Logo” West can personally confirm. It’s easy to get lost in time when considering the various eras the NBA has undergone, but West stands the test of it. In an 11-year span, he ranged from 25-32 points per game every single season. The man epitomized consistency.

While Russell Westbrook runs away with his triple-double records, it is important to remember the basketball god that set them and let them stand for decades. Robertson is one of the most well-rounded players to ever touch the hardwood. Big O averaged a triple-double before it was cool, which is one of the most impressive feats of basketball you’ll find. 

Furthermore, being thought of as the best to ever play your position goes pretty far on a resume. For Magic Johnson, he’ll now have to settle for second place. Magic was a walking mismatch, standing at 6’9” and facing off against the smallest position on the floor. He took full advantage of it, winning three MVPs and three finals MVPs. He was the MJ of the west coast, boasting incredible assist, rebound, and steal numbers throughout his career. I can’t fault you for putting him atop your rankings.

However, here at Bet Basics, we’ve crowned a new king. Steph Curry is the greatest shooter to ever live, and it’s about time we gave him credit as the greatest to ever play his position. Curry revolutionized the NBA to a point of non-recognition and continues to demand defensive attention the second he steps past half-court. He headlined a 21st century dynasty on his way to the Hall of Fame. His off-ball movement is second to none, and he’s a pretty good passer and pick-pocket, too. Kids and professionals alike are shooting the three more than ever before, and they have the greatest point guard of all time to thank.

Anthony Licciardi
Sports Journalist
Anthony Licciardi is a long-suffering fan of the New York Mets, Jets, and Knicks. He aims to build a smarter generation of sports fans and writes to distract himself from the daily happenings of his favorite teams. In his spare time, he’s knee deep in Google Sheets looking for some statistical edge on coming betting action. With former bylines at Pro Football Network, Cowboys Wire, and Around The Block Network, Anthony has experience wri
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