Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks claimed that his point guard, Russell Westbrook, is the second greatest point guard to have ever played behind Magic Johnson. After all, these comments from Brooks came after Westbrook guaranteed a 4th season averaging a triple-double.
But Westbrook has a ton of critics. For one, he is a very inefficient shooter who averages a career 43.8% from the field and 30.5% from three. A player like Westbrook gets his points on a ton of shots and he's a very streaky shooter. There are also doubts about Westbrook's ability to help his team win games, as his only Finals appearance came in 2012 when he was Kevin Durant's sidekick.
Westbrook has played with some great players like James Harden and Paul George but has failed to make it back to the Finals. And obviously, many feel that Westbrook is a stat padder who uses his gifted athleticism to manipulate his stat sheet. While these criticisms are harsh, it stems from the fact that Westbrook hasn't played for a winner in a very long time despite being a legendary player.
There is no denying that Russell Westbrook is one of the best point guards to ever do it, but saying he's second-best is absurd. There have been better all-time point guards who played the right way and won NBA championships before him.
But at the same time, Westbrook is absolutely a top-10 player of all time. He is a former league MVP and a 2-time scoring champion who will surpass Oscar Robertson as the best triple-double threat of all time. Here are the 9 point guards ranked ahead of Russell Westbrook.
10. Russell Westbrook
Players Stats: 23.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Honors: 2016-2017 MVP, 9x All-Star, 9x All-NBA Selection, 2x Scoring Champion
Russell Westbrook is the 10th best point guard ever. His triple-double ability and incredible athleticism make him one of the best individuals to have ever played basketball. He is by far the most explosive and athletic point guard ever, and his accolades speak for themselves when ranking him among the top ten.
9. Jason Kidd
Players Stats: 12.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Honors: 10x All-Star, 6x All-NBA Selection, 1994-1995 Rookie of the Year, 9x All-Defensive Team Selection, Hall of Famer
Jason Kidd didn't have the physical explosiveness of Russell Westbrook, but he was a triple-double threat in his own right. Jason Kidd was one of the best leaders in NBA history, and he managed to carry a decent Nets team to the NBA Finals for two straight years. Kidd later captured an NBA title as the starting point guard for the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
8. Chris Paul
Players Stats: 18.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 9.4 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Honors: 11x All-Stars, 9x All-NBA Selection, 2005-2006 Rookie of the Year, 9x All-Defensive Team Selection
Chris Paul is a legend at the point guard position, and he is the perfect prototypical playmaker. He shoots a very high percentage from the floor, sets his teammates up for good looks, and initiates the offense perfectly depending on his teammates. Paul is also a dominant defensive guard, and his ability as arguably the best leader in the game today places him firmly in the top 10.
7. Steve Nash
Players Stats: 14.3 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 8.5 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Honors: 2x MVP, 8x All-Stars, 7x All-NBA Selection, Hall of Famer
Steve Nash is a 2-time MVP, a feat that very few players in NBA history ever achieved. Nash was an offensive machine as an All-Star with the Mavericks and later a franchise superstar for the Phoenix Suns. Nash is also one of the best shooters in NBA history, with career averages of 49.0% FG, 42.8% 3-PT FG, and 90.4% FT. His efficiency and playmaking also make him a better player than Russell Westbrook.
6. Walt Frazier
Players Stats: 18.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 6.1 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 7x All-Stars, 6x All-NBA Selection, 7x All-Defensive Team Selection, Hall of Famer
2-time NBA champion Walt Frazier is one of the greatest winners of his era. The box office point guard was a Hall of Famer because his style and grace brought championships to the city of New York. In terms of the best Knicks ever, Frazier ranks among the best and that is sufficient argument to place him in the top-10 ever.
5. John Stockton
Players Stats: 13.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 10.5 APG, 2.2 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 10x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Selection, 5x All-Defensive Team Selection, Hall of Famer
John Stockton's name is normally mentioned alongside his superstar teammate Karl Malone, but that doesn't take away from his greatness. Stockton ranks first all-time in assists and steals for a point guard, and he will likely hold those records for the rest of eternity. Whenever Stockton was the point guard for the Jazz, his team never missed the playoffs. Case closed.
4. Oscar Robertson
Players Stats: 25.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 9.5 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Honors: 1963-1964 MVP, 12x All-Star, 11x All-NBA Selection, 1960-1961 Rookie of the Year, Hall of Famer
The original triple-double machine, the great Oscar Robertson broke new grounds for players like Russell Westbrook to take over. Robertson was a 12-time All-Star and 11-time NBA champion who was also once MVP of the league. The greatest achievement of Oscar Robertson was not his triple-double record, but his NBA title with the Bucks alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
3. Isiah Thomas
Players Stats: 19.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 9.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Honors: 1989-1990 Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 5x All-NBA Selection, Hall of Famer
Without a doubt, Isiah Thomas is a top-3 point guard of all-time. Thomas was the leader and best player for the Detroit Pistons squad that went back to back in 1989 and 1990. Thomas was famously recognized as the leader of the Bad Boy Pistons that even managed to beat up on Michael Jordan for years. Thomas was not only a special leader but a special offensive threat who knew when to take over games.
2. Stephen Curry
Players Stats: 24.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Honors: 2x MVP, 7x All-Star, 6x All-NBA Selection, 2015-2016 Scoring Champion
The player who changed the game, Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter ever. His back-to-back MVPs solidified his legendary status while his 3 NBA titles as the franchise player for a dynasty Warriors team places him second all-time. Stephen Curry overcame nagging injuries earlier on in his career along with doubts about his size, but he has accomplished more than any other point guard in NBA history except for one more player.
1. Magic Johnson
Players Stats: 19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Honors: 3x MVP, 3x Finals MVP, 12x All-Star, 10x All-NBA Selection, Hall of Famer
Without a doubt, Magic is by himself as the best point guard ever. Magic was the architect behind 5 NBA championships with the Lakers and even managed to capture 3 Finals MVPs. His rare size and triple-double ability at his position, along with his creation of "Showtime" makes him the most accomplished point guard ever.