Point guards. They are the quarterbacks on the basketball court, handling the ball, dishing it off, and they are frequently relied on to make the smart decisions. Not to discount other positions–each one has its own importance–but the point guard is arguably the most significant player on the floor. After counting down the ten greatest shooting guards and centers in NBA history, we now turn to the point guard position.
Without further adieu, here are the NBA’s ten greatest point guards of all time.
[RELATED: The 10 greatest centers in NBA history]
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10. Maurice Cheeks (1978-93)
Career stats: 11.1 PPG, 6.7 APG, 2.8 RPG and 2.1 SPG
Similar to Payton, Maurice Cheeks was heavily relied on to guard the opposing team’s best player. He played on a Philadelphia 76ers team that made it to three NBA championships and featured all-timers such as Moses Malone and Julius Erving and while they provided the glamour, he provided the grit.
Cheeks, a four-time All-Star, was as efficient as they came, shooting over 52 percent in his career and averaging close to seven assists per game while turning the ball over just about twice.
9. Gary Payton (1990-2007)
Career stats: 16.3 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.9 RPG and 1.8 SPG
Gary Payton–otherwise known as the Glove–was a point guard who will forever stick out in the minds of basketball fanatics. He enjoyed the challenge of defense, and his quick hands and strength, combined with his swagger, led him to become the only one-guard to ever win Defensive Player of the Year.
As the nine-time All-Star’s career was coming to an end, there was one component still missing – a title ring. Finally, at the age of 37 while with the Miami Heat, Payton secured his first NBA Championship, and managed to play a significant role in the Finals, too.