Friday, April 12, 2013

Greatest shooting guards of all time

NBA shooting guards arguably define the sport. In a sport where the goal is to put the ball in the bucket, that’s exactly what these guys are supposed to do. Granted, it is a little more nuanced than that, but you'll see that all of these guys were primarly known for their scoring ability. Here is a ranking of the top-10 best NBA shooting guards of all time:

10. Pete Maravich


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
24.2
4.2
5.4
1.4
.441
.820
N/A
658

One of the most exciting players of his time, “Pistol Pete” dazzled NBA audiences in the 1970s. In the words of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he was “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history…[with] Globetrotter-like dribbling, ability to toss a no-look pass with pinpoint accuracy, or make a fall-away jumper with two defenders draped on him. The court was his personal playground, every night was a show.”

9. Earl Monroe


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
18.8
3.0
3.9
1.0
.464
.807
N/A
926

Another flamboyant guard of the 1970s, “Earl the Pearl” was a second overall pick who went on to have a solid NBA career, winning an NBA championship and being named to four NBA All Star teams. His jersey is retired by two teams, the Knicks and the Wizards.

8. Reggie Miller


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
18.2
3.0
3.0
1.1
.471
.888
.395
1389

Although he doesn’t have much hardware to back up his impressive NBA career, neither do many other excellent players of the 1990s thanks to one Michael Jordan. Although the player one position higher than him on this list currently holds the NBA record for career three-point field goals made, Miller did hold that record when he retired in 2005.

7. Ray Allen


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
19.4
4.1
3.4
1.1
.452
.894
.402
1221

Often regarded as the greatest three-point shooter in NBA history, Ray Allen is known for his smooth, quick-release shot and was also a primary scorer early in his career. An NBA champion and 10-time All-Star, Allen may still have a championship to add to his resume with the Miami Heat. As mentioned earlier, he holds the NBA record for career three-point field goals made.

6. Clyde Drexler


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
20.4
6.1
5.6
2.0
.472
.788
.318
1086

Having had the pleasure to interview Clyde Drexler, I can verify firsthand that he is an incredible classy guy which is remarkable considering how great he was. Ironically, he has an NBA championship and 10 NBA All Star appearances to his name exactly like Ray Allen. Similar to LeBron James, Drexler was an incredibly well-rounded player—he is one of only three players in NBA history with 20,000 points, 6000 rebounds, and 6000 assists.

5. George Gervin


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
26.2
4.6
2.8
1.2
.511
.844
.297
791

Gervin defines scoring greatness as the above stat line shows. 26.2 points per game and over 51 percent from the field is unparalleled. The Iceman has four scoring titles and nine All-Star appearances to support his regular season greatness. If it weren’t for his lack of playoff resume, Gervin would be No. 4 on this list.

4. Dwyane Wade


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
24.8
5.1
6.1
1.8
.489
.768
.289
662

Yes, 31-year-old Dwyane Wade is already one of the greatest shooting guards of all time. A two-time NBA champion who led his team to the 2006 title with one of the greatest playoff performances of all time (per ESPN), Wade is also a nine-time All Star, NBA scoring champion, and Sportsman of the Year. His overall greatness may be subject to debate once his career is over after teaming up with LeBron James but in terms of individual, he’s already No. 4 as a shooting guard.

3. Jerry West


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
27.0
5.8
6.7
N/A
.474
.814
N/A
932

The man in the NBA logo had an illustrious career despite his small stature at 6’2” and 185 pounds. A Laker for the entire duration of his career, he won a scoring title in 1970, an NBA championship in 1972, and was a 14-time All-Star.

2. Kobe Bryant


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
25.5
5.3
4.7
1.5
.454
.837
.336
1235

The Black Mamba. Not much to say that you don’t already know about the five-time champion and prolific NBA scorer. Two-time scoring champion, NBA MVP, 15-time All-Star, 10-time All-NBA First Team…and he’s still adding on at age 34. Quite simply, Kobe is one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

1. Michael Jordan


Points
Rebounds
Assists
Steals
FG %
FT %
3PT %
Games played
30.1
6.2
5.3
2.3
.497
.835
.327
1072

The greatest player of all time is, of course, also the greatest shooting guard of all time. Some of his many accomplishments: six-time NBA champion and Finals MVP, five-time NBA MVP, 14-time All-Star, 10-time scoring champion, three-time steals champion. A great quote that epitomizes the career of Jordan from coach Doug Collins after MJ’s game-winner against the Cavs in the 1989 playoffs: “that play was ‘give the ball to Michael and everyone else get the @##@#% out of the way.’”

Check out the rest of our "greatest of all time" series where we have ranked the top-10 point guardscenters, and overall players in NBA history.

11 comments:

  1. There we go! Kobe bean getting some love. Btw, after he gets 120 more assists, Kobe will be in that club with Clyde Drexler as well! Overall, very fair rankings. Not much to debate :/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd argue to say Allen Iverson deserves to be on this list if Mr. Clutch gets considered a SG.

    ReplyDelete
  3. AI's in with my list of greatest PGs of all time. Either place he goes though, the Answer is definitely one of the best ever.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Been wondering if AI is in the all time greats as a pg then why did he play as an sg his whole career? i mean he was the only small sg that dominated the league at one point so i think you should put ai in the sg not in the pg cause that is ai's real position. JUST SAYING :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wade should probably move up a spot or two. He's the best defensive shooting guard

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like me some D-Wade but there's no way he's better than Kobe and probably not better than the Logo.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I might put Dennis Johnson in my top 10. I think he's underrated. Nba finals MVP, all nba first team, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sure he's underrated but there's really no room for him in the top-10. I'd say he's right in that 11-15 range.

    ReplyDelete

Add your thoughts or opinion.