You need an elite point guard on your team if you want to have a shot at contention. A guy that knows how to break down and pick apart defenses with his playmaking and that knows how to get everybody else involved.
The league has seen some pretty talented playmakers since its dawn. Obviously, some of them have stood out from the rest of the pack because of the way they impact the game and set the standard for those who come after them.
But just a couple of them have been almost unanimously the best point guard in the league for a 10-year span or so. That’s why today, we’re going to honor them by talking about the best point guard of every NBA decade.
1960’s – Oscar Robertson
Oscar Robertson was a bit of a one-man team. He could literally do it all and posted unprecedented numbers for point guards during his prime. He was the first player to average a triple-double for a full season before Russell Westbrook did it a couple of years ago.
Robertson led the league in assists six times, made it to 12 All-Stars with 3 All-Star MVPs, won the Rookie of the Year Award, 1 MVP, and helped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar win his first Championship. He posted career averages of 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game.
1970’s – Walt Frazier
It’s crazy to think that we don’t talk about Walt Frazier pretty often. However, he was the best point guard in the league during his 12-year career in the NBA, and even led the New York Knicks to two NBA Championships in his prime.
Frazier was arguably the first elite two-way point guard in NBA history, as he could play lockdown defense as good as he could run the offense. He averaged 18.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game, made 7 All-Defensive teams, 6 All-NBA teams, and 7 All-Star Games with one All-Star MVP.
1980’s – Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson isn’t just the greatest point guard of the ’80s but also the best point guard in the history of the game. He was the league’s finest entertainer with passing and playmaking skills no one had ever seen, especially for a guy that was 6’9”.
Magic still holds the record for the highest assists-per-game average in NBA history (11.2), to go along with 19.5 points and 7.2 rebounds. He won 5 Championships, 3 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, led the league in dimes six times, twice in steals, made it to 12 All-Stars (with 2 MVPs), and 10 All-NBA teams.
1990’s – John Stockton
John Stockton was the epitome of the pure point guard. He was the ultimate pass-first kind of guy and his durability helped him climb all the way to the top of the league’s all-time assists table. It’s unlikely that someone will ever top his 19,711 career dimes.
He was never able to win a ring because of Michael Jordan but he led the Jazz to back-to-back Finals. He led the league in assists 9 times, and twice in steals. He also made it to 10 All-Star Games with 1 All-Star MVP and 5 All-Defensive teams while averaging 13.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists per game.
2000’s Steve Nash
Steve Nash and the NBA drew a lot of criticism when he won back-to-back MVPs while scoring under 20 points per game but honestly, Nash was the main reason why the Suns orchestrated one of the most entertaining offenses this game has ever seen.
Nash was incredibly influential and was the most efficient scorer in the NBA by a long stretch during his prime. He averaged 14.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game; led the league in assists 5 times, made it to 8 All-Stars, 7 All-NBA teams, and won 2 MVPs.
2010’s Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry completely changed the way the game is played. He made people give up on the long twos and mid-range shots and start lighting it up for all over the court, but no one is even close to his efficiency as a high-volume three-point shooter.
Curry was the main face of the strongest dynasty of the decade. He’s already won 3 Championships with 2 MVPs, 6 All-NBA teams, 6 All-Star Games, 1 Scoring title, and 1 Steals title. Averaging 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, he shoots 43.5% from three on 8.2 three-pointers a game. Revolutionary.