NBA / Sep 19, 2011 / 12:00 pm

The Great Point Guard Debate: The Best Of The Rest

Kevin Johnson

Over the past few weeks eight point guards took center stage to determine the best. The arguments were presented and I made my feelings known, but left you enough neutral data to formulate yours as well.

In the time spent researching these great players, some other players were seen and I want to make sure they are not overlooked. Some are champions of the record books and others are champions on the court. Either way, here are a few Golden Point Guard Nuggets of the past 60+ years.

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KEVIN JOHNSON – 12 Seasons with Cleveland and Phoenix
The Highlights: 18th all-time in assists and a three-time All-Star

KJ was the heart and soul of the Phoenix Suns during their consistent run as a contender in the ’90s. He will forever be known for the poster he put Hakeem Olajuwon in on May 14, 1995 in the Western Conference Semis. What he should be known for is his fearlessness and how he took his game to otherworldly levels in the playoffs, averaging 21.5 PPG and 9.8 APG in 83 games between 1989 and 1995.

His playoff success was highlighted by his dominance in 1993, leading Phoenix to the NBA Finals while averaging 23.6 PPG and 11.6 APG in 23 games, only to have his dream cut short by Michael Jordan.

DENNIS JOHNSON – 14 Seasons with Seattle, Phoenix and Boston
The Highlights: five-time All-Star, three-time NBA Champ, nine-time All-Defense and the 1978-79 NBA Finals MVP

Most remember DJ as the steady beat of the Boston Celtics great run in the ’80s, but before that he was an NBA MVP with the Seattle Supersonics. Through his career, he was a winner and did it with every team he landed on. He never averaged more than 19.5 PPG in his career and never averaged more than 7.5 APG in any season, but his impact was made on every team he played for.

MARK JACKSON – 17 Seasons with New York, Los Angeles (Clippers), Indiana, Utah and Houston
The Highlights: third all-time in assists and the 1987-88 Rookie of the Year

Jackson became the Robert Parish of point guards after he played long enough to begin to crack the top of some all-time lists. He was not the most athletic or fast guy. He was not the most dynamic player. But in the end he put in his time to get his name next to Stockton, Kidd and Magic.

ALVIN ROBERTSON – 10 Seasons with San Antonio, Milwaukee, Detroit and Toronto
The Highlights: 10th all-time in steals, four-time All-Star, 1985-86 Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year

As a point guard and defender, Robertson has few or no equals. He was never the elite scorer or distributer that other point guards were, but he could defend anyone.

Robertson was never able to gain the success in the playoffs playing for average San Antonio and Milwaukee teams.

ROD STRICKLAND – 17 Seasons with New York, San Antonio, Portland, Washington, Miami, Minnesota, Orlando, Toronto and Houston
The Highlights: ninth all-time in assists and 25th all-time in steals

Strickland had a long and relatively quiet career that spanned three decades. He had a career track similar to that of (Mark) Jackson, just not quite as prolific.

MO CHEEKS – 15 Seasons with Philadelphia, San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey
The Highlights: 10th all-time in assists, fifth all-time in steals, four-time All-Star and five-time All-Defense

Cheeks was the starting point guard on the “Fo’, Fo’, Fo’” Philadelphia team that swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1982-83 NBA Finals. He does not get a lot of respect in the conversation of great point guards despite being in the same class as Stockton, Kidd and Payton as all-time top 10 in both assists and steals.

He had a great career in Philadelphia that ended in a scattered effort to stay in the NBA with stints in San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey.

ANDRE MILLER – Seasons with Cleveland, Los Angeles (Clippers), Denver, Philadelphia and Portland
The Highlights: 14th all-time in assists

When all is said and done, Miller will be a legendary NBA Ironman and one of the top assist men in NBA history. That’s not what you think of when you think of Miller though. At one point he played for a Cleveland team that featured Ricky Davis, DeSagana Diop and Jumaine Jones. That season he led the NBA in assists.

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  • CJ

    you forgot mark price! he was steve nash before steve nash!

  • ctkennedy

    Where is TimHardaway hes over Mark Jackson n RodStrickland CLEARLY
    Marbury HAS to be in the convo his numbers too great

  • Detroit Dave

    Mark Price, Sam Cassell, Derek Harper, Sleepy Floyd

  • Detroit Dave

    @ #2 you’re right. Marbury has career numbers that most PG’s would dream of.

  • Promoman

    @ ctkennedy & Detroit Dave

    Yep. Stephon was selfish and didn’t have the best wiring upstairs but he should’ve been in this article.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Just putting it out there… Marbury didn’t make anyone better.

    Last Wednesday Marbury ate the inside of a breast implant for dinner…. then cried during JoJo’s rendition of Marvin’s Room.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tootalented21 Talented

    When was the last time a PG got a Defensive Player of the Year award? Seems like a minute..any way, imo Kevin Johnson and Mark Jackson almost belong in the same convo as Stockon & Magic n them.

  • ctkennedy

    @Promoman
    how was Marbury selfish
    u can his 10yr assist totals against anybody in history
    he never played on a team good enuff to win the title
    n the teams that had talent he got them to the playoffs

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    ^ because he was selfish. Don’t look at the numbers. They don’t mean much with Marbury. He was the type of PG who passed for the assist… he didn’t pass because it was the right pass to make. There’s a difference.

    Another example… Iverson has one of the highest assist averages for all shooting guards… he even has multiple years averaging 7+ assists… yet he has a reputation for being selfish and there aren’t too many people who would disagree.

  • Detroit Dave

    Marbury just wasn’t a very likeable guy. Marbury is a better POINT GUARD than Russell Westbrook. Emphasis on Point Guard.

  • Sitychoi

    Totally forgot Mark Price…KL couldn’t overtake the starting role in Cleveland over Mark…and not a mention of Isiah Thomas…wow.

  • Sitychoi

    Ok…Thomas was mentioned…but Mark Price is a must in this converstation!

  • Promoman

    @ Sitychoi

    More so than Marbury and he was a low end omission too. Mark was arguably the best shooting point guard in the past 20-25 years.

  • Promoman

    Alvin Robertson’s the starting point guard on the To Catch A Predator All-Stars.

  • Rainman

    i wouldnt put anyone ahead of Nash in the best shooting point guards in the past 20-25 years.

    This guy is the PRESIDENT of the 50-50-90 club. (50 % field goal, 50 % 3pt shooting, 90 % free throw in one season)

    He’s had like 5-6 of them total,3 in 3 straight seasons. Noone else has 3 total seasons with this shooting percentage in theri CAREERS, let alone 3 straight years…not LArry Bird, not Reggie Miller, not Ray Allen, not any other of the all time great shooters this league has EVER seen.

  • George W Kush Sr

    Smush Parker, nuff said. Lol

  • MadSammyboy

    Where is Chris Quinn on this list?

  • Kyle

    You guys forgot Mark Price… he’d battle the Bulls while being a pass first point guard having to shoot more than he liked. Rondo’s prime will be a hilarious let down since he can’t hit an open jumper, relies on guys backing off him to operate, and makes free throws like Ben Wallace.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Funny… I always though Alvin Robertson was a 2-guard.

  • http://www.geturweightup.com Chicagorilla

    @Jay

    alvin was a 2 guard.

    Mark Price and Steve Nash are the greatest shooters ive ever seen at the 2guard. Nash’s 50-40-90 averages over the past 5-6 years have been amazing considering the NBA of today. Mark Price used to murder the Bulls PGs in those Clv vs CHi battles. Mark Price and Nash are unique enough to belong on any top 10 list involving PGs

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @ Chi
    That’s what I thought!

    So then why the fuk is he on a point guard list, and Mark Price isn’t? Heck, BRENT Price deserves to be on this list more than Alvin Robertson. And throw in Jeff Hornecek too… he’s more PG than Robertson is.

    If we’re talking “Best of the Rest: PGs” then this list needs Muggsy.

  • RC

    Where is Sam Cassell in this article???? Are you kidding me???

    3 NBA rings
    rookie of the year

    just because he is an alien doesn’t mean he can’t be part of the list. common man

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    ^^ Good call on Cassell!

    And since we’re adding non-PGs to the list. Let’s throw on Arvydas Sabonis.