The two guard position has been a position filled with lots of character throughout the history of the league. There’s been a “G.O.A.T.,” a “Black Mamba,” “The Flash,” and now, a beard that have all graced the position with the flash and poise that only shooting guards can bring to the floor.
We introduced our ten greatest point guards list last Thursday. Now, here are the ten greatest shooting guards to ever lace up. Let’s get to it.
10. Ray Allen
Accomplishments: 2x Champion, 10x All-Star, 2x All-NBA, #1 All-Time in career 3 pointers
18.9 PPG, 4.1 REB, 3.4 AST
Two words: Jesus Shuttlesworth. In game six of the 2013 NBA Finals, Ray hit the greatest shot I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and I would debate that it’s possibly the greatest shot in the history of basketball considering all the circumstances. Ray Allen always hit the biggest shots when his team needed them the most. It’s almost scary to wonder how much greater he could’ve been had he played in the modern era of the NBA where spacing and 3 point shooting are staples in the game. He would’ve definitely ended up much higher on this list.
9. Reggie Miller
5x All-Star, 3x All-NBA, Retired #1 All-Time in career 3 pointers
18.2 PPG, 3.0 REB, 3.0 AST
Reggie Miller led the Indiana Pacers to four Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a spot in the NBA Finals during the most competitive time period of the east. A deadly sniper with a flair for the dramatics, there wasn’t a shot on the floor that Reggie couldn’t find for himself. His eight points in nine seconds still stands the most impressive late game heroics the league has ever seen. It’s a shame that Indiana was never able to pair Reggie with another capable star, so sadly, the former greatest shooter of all time had to end his career with no titles to his name.
8. James Harden
1x MVP, 6x All-Star, 5x All-NBA, 1x 6th Man of the Year, 1x Scoring Champ, 1x AST Leader
23.0 PPG, 5.1 REB, 6.1 AST
James Harden sits this low on the list only because of lack of longevity. I fully expect that by the end of his career, James will be much higher on the list because he’s honestly a top three talent at the shooting guard position. A scorer who can attack the basket and draw fouls at will and who can also step back and shoot a long range three in the face of any defender, James can do it all on offense. He’s grown into an incredible passer who’s already arguably the greatest passer at the shooting guard spot that the league has ever seen.
If James hopes to move up on this list, and many other lists, he’ll have to put an end to his troubling postseason woes and show up for the Rockets when it matters most.
7. George Gervin
9x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 4x Scoring Champ
25.1 PPG, 5.3 REB, .504FG%
The Smoothest scorer of all time, the Iceman could drop 35 on your favorite team and you wouldn’t even realize it until the game was over. Out of every great player from the ’70s/ABA era of basketball, Gervin’s game would probably translate better than anybody else’s into today’s game. He was an offensive juggernaut to whom many once compared Kevin Durant.
6. Clyde Drexler
1x Champion, 10x All-Star, 5x All-NBA
20.4 PPG, 6.1 REB, 5.6 AST
When you hear about the greatest in game dunkers of all time you often hear the same names — Vince, Michael, Dominique, etc– but its a wonder to me why Clyde’s name doesn’t come up far more often in that conversation than it does. Clyde could average 20 in his sleep and take the ball to the hole at will and there was nothing anyone could do to stop him. He’s probably the most underrated college basketball ever as well.
5. Allen Iverson
1x MVP, 11x All-Star, 7x All-NBA, 4x Scoring Champ, Rookie of the Year
26.7 PPG, 6.2 AST, 2.2 SPG
The most talented little man in the history of the game, there’s not a single player in league history with more heart than Allen Iverson. Sure, his controversial takes on practice and his attitude were major negatives in his career but there’s no denying he was as skilled as they come.
A 6’0 guard who could score at will, and is the last little guy to ever lead a team to a Finals appearance, he took the “worst NBA Finals team ever” to the finals long before Lebron did it in 2007. Philly never surrounded AI with an adequate supporting cast that was capable of winning a championship and that’s sad because AI could’ve been a top ten all time player had he won at least one championship.
4. Jerry West
Accomplishments: 1x Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 14x All-Star, 12x All-NBA, 5x All-Defense
Career Stats: 27.0 PPG, 6.7 AST, 2.6 SPG
The Logo. It’s amazing to me that people throw West’s 1-8 Finals record out there with absolutely zero context provided. I guarantee that the people who just laugh at his record couldn’t tell a single teammate he had on his team aside from Elgin Baylor and I’d bet any amount of money in the world that they have no idea what team’s he was going up against.
Just being frank people are idiots if they really throw away everything Jerry West was for his team record in the Finals. People who watched West play during the 60’s and 70’s have been quoted as to saying he’s the greatest athlete they’ve ever seen and I honestly believe them. Just look at his resume, it’s phenomenal.
3. Dwyane Wade
Accomplishments: 3x Champion, 1x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 8x All-NBA, 3x All Defense, 1x Scoring Champ
22.5 PPG, 5.5 AST, 4.7 REB
For Dwyane Wade to have put together the resume he has all while dealing with knee injuries his entire career is pretty remarkable. Just imagine how much better his numbers would’ve looked had he not missed so much time due to injury, it’s sad to think about but it gives you an even greater appreciation for the career he put together even while dealing with such unfortunate health.
2. Kobe Bryant
1x MVP, 2x Finals MVP, 17x All-Star, 15x All-NBA, 2x Scoring Champ, 12x All-Defense
25.0 PPG, 4.7 AST, 5.2 REB
Kobe Bryant goes back and forth with Tim Duncan for the title of greatest player of the 2000’s. No, he wasn’t better than Shaq during their early 2000’s title runs but he didn’t have to be. People will proclaim that Shaq “carried” Kobe even though Bryant led the team in scoring in 9 of the 20 playoff series he played with the Diesel as a starter. Kobe at peak was possibly the best player in the world and also the best defensive player in the league as well. No matter your opinion on Bean, he solidified himself as one of the all time greats without Shaq when he led the Lakers to back to back championships in 2009 and 2010.
1. Michael Jordan
6x Champion, 6x Finals MVP, 5x MVP, 14x All-Star, 11x All-NBA, 1x Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, 10x Scoring Champ, 3x Steals Leader
30.1 PPG, 6.2 REB, 5.3 AST
Goat. What more needs to be said? Michael is the only player in the history of the league that checks off in every single category. He won a lot of rings, he was the undisputed best player on every single championship team he was on, he has a stupendous individual resume, he played in a great era, and his numbers are arguably better than any other player in league history. Again I ask, what more needs to be said?