In basketball, the point guard is arguably the most important position in the game.
A role reserved for the team’s best ball handler and passer, the point guard directs the game’s offense by stealing the ball, passing it, harassing the opposing team to force turnovers, and scoring points.
Being a point guard is an accolade in itself, as the role recognizes a player’s outstanding dribbling, passing, and shooting skills, three of the most important competencies in the game of basketball. It also acknowledges a player’s speed and quickness.
And being dubbed one of the best court leaders to ever play in the NBA is a distinction given to only the best and brightest basketball stars in the world.
This recognition implies having contributed substantial points, steals, and assists for the player’s team in the course of his basketball career. Achievements in these three basketball departments further translate to championship runs, MVP titles, and inclusion in All-Star selections.
One player who exemplifies this position is Stephen Curry, the prolific point guard who has helped current champion Golden State Warriors win four NBA titles since 2015. He’s the 2022 NBA Finals MVP, 2022 NBA All-Star Game MVP, and 8-time NBA All-Star.
Curry’s prodigious 3-point shooting skills transformed the game into a 3-point contest, with every player on the court trying to score threes to get ahead. The future Hall-of-Famer is not just a clutch shooter, but a spunky playmaker whose presence on the court makes things happen.
Earvin Marvin Johnson, Jr. or Magic Johnson bedazzled basketball fans of his era with his spectacular steals, passes, and assists en route to helping the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA titles between 1980 and 1988.
His career achievements in the NBA during the same period included three MVP Awards, three Finals MVP Award, nine NBA Finals appearances, and 12 All-Star selections. He was also a member of the “Dream Team” that won the gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Another standout point guard was John Stockton, one of the NBA’s most talented players.
He played only for the Utah Jazz during his 19-year NBA career, during which he held the record for career assists with a remarkable 15,806. He also topped the assists-per-game average of 14.5 in 1990 and is one of only three players who have made more than 1,000 assists per season in seven seasons.
As a defender, Stockton owns the NBA record of 3,265 career steals. He also sizzles as a scorer, with 13.1 points per game career average and 38.4% average from the three-point lane.
While his efforts did not translate into an NBA title for the Utah Jazz, his consistent and outstanding performance in the NBA was recognized by his peers through his inclusion in 10 NBA All-Star games. He was the MVP in the 1993 All-Star.
In 1996, Stockton was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history; in 2006, ESPN.com listed him the fourth best point guard of all time.
Some of the other best point guards of all time are Oscar Robinson, Bob Cousy, Steve Nash, Walt Frazier, and Isiah Thomas.
All of them have made a strong impact on their respective teams and the sport of basketball in general.