Basketball is a very different sport from football, but there is still a very distinct similarity that can be applied to both sports. In the NFL, if you have a bad quarterback you are likely doomed to be a bad team; a weakness at that specific position more than any other dooms you. In the NBA, having a bad point guard, the hoops equivalent of a quarterback, directing the offense and passing to set up scoring, can likewise doom you to failure.
At the other end of the spectrum, however, the very best point guards in NBA history have had a more difficult task. The history of the league is that size wins championships, which is why the list of NBA champions is more littered with towering centers than diminutive floor generals. When the game demands putting the ball through a nine-foot hoop, the closer you are to the hoop the better.
Who are the Top 15 point guards in NBA History, and who is next up?
That’s what makes this list truly special. These point guards were so good during their careers, so impactful to the success of their teams, that they transcend the basic calculation of height = greatness. In the words of a wise Jedi Master, “size matters not.”
Whether it’s the manipulation of defenses, incredible pinpoint passing, shifty finishing or floor-breaking shooting, these players are exceptional at their craft.
Let’s count down the Top 15 point guards of all time, taking into account the breadth of NBA history and trying to contextualize the impact on their era. Bob Cousy might get roasted by today’s athletes, but his passing and shooting were a revelation in his time. Similarly, Steve Nash might get mashed in an earlier era but thrived as the rules opened up in the 2000s.
We begin in San Antonio, with a point guard who proved to be the perfect second banana for one of the greatest dynasties in league history.