We’ve all been honored by witnessing some of the best players in NBA history throughout the years, getting excited with every single game and learning to love this beautiful game thanks to memorable performances from the best athletes in the world.
Of course, even if a defense is what makes teams actually contend and win championships, you just can’t deny the fact that offense is what drives everybody nuts, always expecting the next big performance and lots of points from our favorite players.
Being a successful shooting guard in the NBA, nevertheless, is being perfectly capable of combining both offense and defense, being quick and of course, having that clutch gene knowing that you’re probably the most athletic, quick and skilled player on your team.
So, let’s take a look at the top 10 guys to ever play the shooting guard position in the NBA, enjoy.
Honorable mentions: Pete Maravich, Joe Dumars, Bill Sharman, Sam Jones, David Thompson, Hal Greer, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter
10. Earl Monroe
You’re probably too young to remember Earl Monroe, or “Black Jesus”, as he was referred to during his prime, but the former Baltimore Bullet and New York Knick standout was a complete beast through his 13-year career.
The second pick of the 1967 NBA Draft immediately took the league by storm, winning the Rookie of the Year award. He also made 4 All-Star Appearances, and his number 15 jersey was retired by the Knicks due to his great lifetime averages of 18.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists, even putting up 56 against the Lakers as a rookie.
9. George Gervin
Of course, Gervin had to be next on this list, as the scoring machine spent 17 seasons of his professional career playing overseas and in the ABA and the NBA before retiring with TDK Manresa.
Through his entire career, Gervin averaged 25.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game on 50.4% from the floor, making it to 12 All-Star Games, leading the league in points in 4 different seasons and being the 24th leading scorer in NBA history.
8. Reggie Miller
The eleventh pick in the 1987 NBA Draft and definitely the ultimate player in Pacers history is next in our list, as the sharpshooting trash-talking Reggie Miller was for a very long time the best 3-point shooter in NBA history until Steph Curry came along.
Sadly, Miller was never able to put his hands on an NBA trophy, but he still managed to win a golden Olympic medal, become a 5-time All-Star and be one of the few members of the 50-40-90 club, shooting 50% from the floor, 40% from downtown and 90% from the charity stripe for an entire season.
7. Ray Allen
Before Curry came along, the longtime debate about the best three-point shooter in history was between Reggie Miller and Ray Allen, but Allen was way more than just a shooter, as some of you may remember from his time with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Supersonics.
Putting up 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 45% from the floor and 40% from downtown through his entire career, Allen was one of the most important pieces for two championship teams, even scoring one of the best baskets in NBA Finals history to force overtime in Game 6 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat in 2013.
6. Jerry West
Well, the NBA logo as we know it is this guy’s shape, so he had to be pretty decent, didn’t he? Well yes, Jerry West was a complete beast and the best shooting guard in Laker history after a guy named Kobe Bryant took the reins of the team.
The 14-time All-Star averaged 27 points, 5.8 boards and 6.7 assists through his 14-year career, being the lone winner of the Finals MVP despite being on the losing team, before finally winning a championship in 1972, also making 5 All-Defensive team appearances and being one of the best 2-way players in league history.
5. Clyde Drexler
A lot of people say that the only reason why nobody talks enough about Clyde Drexler is because he had to play against Michael Jordan through his entire career, and that’s probably one of the most accurate phrases in sports.
Drexler is arguably the best player in Trail Blazers history, although his glory days came as a member of the Houston Rockets, where he was finally able to win a Championship when Jordan was retired.Through 14 seasons, Clyde the Glide averaged 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 47.2% from the floor and just over 30% from three.
4. Allen Iverson
Iverson was the ultimate bad boy, the ultimate thug, and the ultimate scorer, being one of the greatest athletes in NBA history since day one, taking the game to a whole new level and to different frontiers and being one of the most talented players we’ve all witnessed.
Nevertheless, some poor judgement and lack of discipline, as well as constant lack of a supporting cast prevented the Answer from becoming an NBA Champion, although he still won the Rookie of the Year, made it to 11 All-Star games (with two AS MVPs), and won the 2000-01 MVP, leading the league in scoring in 4 different seasons and in steals in 3, averaging 26.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.2 assists for life.
3. Dwyane Wade
Even if he’s not as dominant and quick as he used to be during his prime, Wade’s definitely one of the best players of his generation despite never being the best-paid player on the team. The Flash is one of the best defensive shooting guards in history, besides being a scoring machine without the need to rely on the three-pointer.
The 3-time NBA Champion is definitely the best player in Miami Heat history, being a key member of the team’s 3 trophies before departing to his hometown Chicago Bulls. The future Hall of Famer is quite injury prone nowadays, but he still has a lot left in the tank as he has shown during this season, averaging 18.8 points, 4.3 boards and 4.5 assists to help lead the Bulls to the playoffs.
2. Kobe Bryant
Just over a year ago, Kobe Bryant said goodbye to the game after winning 5 NBA Championships, one MVP award, 18 All-Star appearances, 4 All-Star MVPs, 2 scoring titles, 9 All-Defensive team appearances, a slam dunk champion and the leading scorer (and greatest player) in Los Angeles Lakers history.
Love it or hate it, you just can’t deny Kobe’s legacy and impact on the game both on and off the court, and his number 8 and 24 jerseys will hang high inside the Staples Center forever thanks to those nightly 25 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists and of course, some mythical performances like those 81 points against the Raptors, 6 games scoring over 60 points, 26 games scoring over 50 points, 135 games scoring over 40 and of course, saying goodbye with a 60 point performance against the Utah Jazz.
1. Michael Jordan
There’s absolutely no surprise here, as Michael Jordan has to be on top of pretty much every single basketball (or sports) related list that you decide to make, being the ultimate NBA player and one of the best athletes in history alongside maybe Muhammad Ali and Roger Federer.
MJ’s legacy made the NBA what it is nowadays, and he’s the most unforgettable and impressive player anybody will ever see. The former North Carolina Tarheel left behind the highest career scoring average in history, averaging 30.1 points through his entire career.
6 NBA championships, 10 scoring titles, 5 MVPs, 6 Finals MVPs, 9-time All-Defensive team, 1-time Defensive Player of the Year, 3 times leading the league in steals, former Rookie of the Year and 2-time Slam Dunk champion are just some of the distinctions the 2-time Olympic medalist won throughout his career.
Jordan’s flame will burn brightly forever at the United Center in Chicago, and he’s without any single doubt the best player to ever lace them up.