According to the Sporting News release of the “75 Greatest Peaks in NBA History” tied to the NBA’s 75th anniversary season, there is much talk about where the greatest players of all time deserve to be ranked among their peers.
The first part of the list of the “75 Greatest Peaks in NBA History” debuted Tuesday, ranking players who went from 75 to 51. Yesterday, we looked at players ranked 50-26. Today, we debuted a third of that list, going from 25 to 11.
When evaluating the first 65 players on the list, one thing stood out: there are much of large point guards.
Tony Parker, Bob Cousy, Pete Maravich, Derrick Rose, Walt Frazier, Kyrie Irving, Penny Hardaway, Gary Payton, Damian Lillard, Jason Kidd, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul, John Stockton, Allen Iverson, Isiah Thomas , Stephen Curry, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West find their names in the first 65 players revealed.
It got me thinking: if you built the Perfect point guard using bits and pieces from some of the best to ever play the game at the position, what would that create a player look like?
Building the perfect NBA point guard
Size: Magic Johnson
Decisions are not much easier than this.
Weighing in at 6 feet 9 inches and 215 pounds with a wingspan of 7 feet 5 inches, Johnson was a unicorn at point guard in the 1980s. Not that 6-foot-9 point guard these days grow by trees, but back then, no one had ever seen a player of his height and length be able to handle the stone, walk up and down the court and see the path of the court. Magic did.
His size made him one of the most versatile players the NBA has ever seen, successfully playing all five positions throughout his career. He even started an NBA Finals game downtown as a rookie in 1980, replacing an injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and producing an astonishing performance with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Lakers to an NBA title. .
Magic’s size is a great starting point for the perfect foundation.
Durability: John Stockton
You know what they say: the best capacity is availability. Stockton was one of the most available players in NBA history.
In 16 of his 19 NBA seasons, Stockton appeared in all 82 games for the Jazz. If you include the 1999 lockout season, where teams only played 50 games, then Stockton had 17 seasons (!) In which they didn’t miss a single game.
Cargo management? He has never heard of it.
Stockton missed only four games during his first 13 professional seasons before preseason knee surgery caused him to miss the first 18 games of the 1997-98 season. Until then, from 1990 to 1997, Stockton had appeared in 609 consecutive games, the eighth longest streak in NBA history.
His 1,504 games ranked fifth all-time, but it’s worth noting that he played fewer seasons in the league than the four players ahead: Robert Parish, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki.
As the league’s all-time leader in assists and steals, Stockton could easily have been used elsewhere in this one-player creation, but his durability was the most valuable and irreplaceable asset.
Athletic: Russell Westbrook
No point guard in NBA history can move the rim the way Westbrook can.
At 6ft 3in and 200lbs of muscle, Westbrook is like a runaway freight train when it rolls downhill. With a lightning-fast first step, electrifying explosiveness, broad, powerful shoulders, and a killer instinct, he’s better off getting out of the way once Westbrook gains momentum.
It’s all-out war when he’s attacking the rim, and most of the time, Westbrook wins that battle.
Basketball IQ: Chris Paul
They call him the “God Point” for a reason: Paul is one of the smartest players I’ve ever seen in the league.
Paul sees the ground and understands the game on a different level. It’s like he can see into the future at times, the way he navigates defenses to prepare for himself or his teammates in search of easy cubes. He has become the king of sneaky plays that make the masses question his prowess at the game, with some labeling him a dirty player. But others attribute it to his desire to win, doing everything he can to give his team an advantage.
I mean, how many players can say they helped their team win a game because of a rulebook technicality? Paul can.
Your brain is key to forming the perfect foundation.
Arrogance and Confidence: Allen Iverson
Before LeagueFits, Iverson was moving what he wanted, when he wanted, bringing his own swagger to the NBA. And as much as we could get into his off-court style or on-court trends like braids, headband, baggy shorts and uniform, arm sleeves and finger bands, I’m talking more of his behavior when I say “arrogance and confidence.”
Iverson’s definition of walking is “not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog.” That is why players like LeBron James, among others, they have called Iverson “pound for pound” the best player in NBA history.
From a rookie AI crossing Michael Jordan, to Tyronn Lue’s stint in the 2001 NBA Finals, to his signature celebration calling out to hear more from rival crowds, it could be argued that no player in league history played. with more arrogance and confidence. than Iverson.
That attitude is key in this creation of a player.
Shooting: Stephen Curry
Remember when I said “decisions aren’t much easier” than choosing Magic by size? I bring the same statement here for the curry and the shot.
I mean, who else would be the best shooter in basketball history?
He’s still not the all-time leader in 3s, but barring injury cuts his 2021-22 season, Curry (2,832 hitting 3s) will catch Ray Allen (2,973) this season.
He was the fastest player in NBA history to hit 2,000 3-pointers. His 402 3s in 2015-16 are the most in a single season. During that season, he became the only player to average more than 30 points by joining the exclusive 50-40-90 club. He is the only player to score 50 points on 10 or more triples in a game multiple times, something he has done four times. His 21 games with 10 or more triples are with much the most in NBA history, with teammate Klay Thompson’s five such games in second place.
And those are just a few of Curry’s endless list of records when it comes to filming. All of that is to say that it didn’t take a lot of brainpower to make this selection.
Handle: Kyrie Irving
Irving is a basketball wizard. It’s like watching poetry in motion when you evaluate a defender, create separation, and shoot.
Nothing Irving does with basketball is predetermined. He is the most read and reactive ball handler I have ever seen. If a defender unexpectedly cuts a hallway, he has a counter move on his bag to adjust. The basketball term “ball on a string” couldn’t be more applicable.
Irving is as smooth as possible when it comes to handling the ball and confusing the defender in front of him.
Pass: Steve Nash
Nash’s vision of the court and his ability to make plays were elite. How else could you win back-to-back MVPs while averaging less than 20 points per game? As good as he was as a scorer himself, he was even better at elevating his teammates around him.
Nash took home five assist titles throughout his career and led the league in total assists six times. He had seven different seasons in which he averaged more than 10.0 assists per game, establishing himself as the best passer in the NBA from 2004 to approximately 2012. On counterattacks, pick-and-rolls, in lane traffic, behind the Back, behind his head, no-look passes darting all over the court, Nash could hand out a dime in any shape or form.
Even when it seemed like a passing lane had closed, Nash found a way to pass the ball to his goal for a basket.
His 10,335 career assists are the third most in NBA history and it’s the perfect skill set to add to this created perfect point guard.
Defense and toughness: Gary Payton
There isn’t much more blocking from guard position than Payton.
No one prided himself more on the defensive end than “the Glove,” who never backed down from any assignment. He was aggressive, physical and direct the second their confrontation crossed the middle of the court. His intensity matched perfectly with a strong 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame with some of the fastest hands to grab anyone’s pocket. He only led the NBA in steals once, but he averaged more than 2.0 steals per game in eight different seasons throughout his career.
Payton won nine Defensive First Team picks and was the last guard to be named Defensive Player of the Year when he took home the award in 1996.
Clutch Gen: Damian Lillard
It’s gotten to the point where if Lillard shoots with a chance to tie or win the game, no matter what the defense is around him, you have to wait for the ball to go in.
Without a doubt, he has been the most important player in the NBA in recent seasons. Last season, he led the league in decisive scoring while shooting an unfathomable 51.1 percent from the field in those situations. (For what it’s worth, Lillard shot 45.1 percent from the field last season, so he really got more efficient when the stakes were at their highest).
There’s no better evidence for his clutch gene than being the only player in NBA history to hit two series shots in the NBA playoffs, sending him home. the Rockets on the doorbell in 2014 other the Thunder in 2019.
With the game on the line, this player-maker needs Lillard’s steady hand under pressure.
Wow factor: Luka Doncic
This is much more intangible than anything else on this list, but “Luka Magic” feel real, right?
Whether you’re warping opposing defenses with your gravity, knocking down the clutch, making skyscraper triples, making dirty air-control passes across the court, or tricking your showdown with ball fakes to unleash play-making opportunities, Doncic has a way. to “wow” your audience.
At just 22 years old, he already has the masses convinced of his all-time greatness, as evidence that he is already breaking the 75 largest peaks in NBA history in just three years of his career. The best is yet to come for the phenomenal guard, amazing plays and all.