NBA Best of the Decade- Part 1- Point Guards
I did this decade thing with the NFL. I got such great feedback that I’m now doing it with the NBA. In recent years, the NBA has become a point guard driven league with the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose and John Wall.
1. Jason Kidd- Kidd or Nash? It was such a toss-up between these two, especially since Nash had the 2 MVP awards. I went with Kidd because he single-handedly guided New Jersey to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. When it came to court vision, there was no one better than Kidd during the decade. He was so versatile, a legitimate threat for a triple-double every time he laces up his sneakers. He’s 3rd all-time in triple-doubles, 2nd in assists and has made the All NBA 1st Team 5 times.
2. Steve Nash– The reason why I took Kidd over Nash was the overall body of work. Nash was spectacular for a couple of seasons, but Kidd was consistently great over the entire decade. Plus, Nash wasn’t exactly the best defender. Nash flourished predominantly during Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo coaching style. He won back to back MVP crowns the 2004-2005 season and 2005-2006 season. Nash plays with such a flair that reminds me of Pete Maravich. He uses the stop-and-go move so effectively, and I don’t know if anyone can shoot off their wrong foot like Nash can. The question I’ve always asked myself is what type of numbers Kidd would have put up if he played in Phoenix during D’Antoni’s stay.
3. Chauncey Billups– “Mr. Big Shot” Why the hell did Detroit trade this guy? All this guy does is win. It took a while for Billups to get his career started. The Boston Celtics chose him 3rd overall in 1997. After becoming the Kenny Lofton of the NBA for the next couple of years, Billups signed a free-agent deal in 2002 and settled in Detroit. With his tenacious defense and deadly accurate clutch shooting, Billups led the Pistons to an NBA Title in 2004 where he won the Finals MVP.
4. Tony Parker- Parker’s career reminds me so much of what Rondo is going through in Boston. Early on in his career, Parker was flashy, struggled with his jump shot, but skilled enough to run the point, and win an NBA Title with San Antonio in just his second season in 2003. In the 2005 Championship Season, Parker improved dramatically despite the consistent trade rumors of San Antonio bringing in Jason Kidd. Parker’s best season came in 2006-2007 where Parker picked up his 3rd ring and 1st NBA Finals MVP.
5. Chris Paul- He may be number one on this list next decade. What a start to his career thus far. In just a few seasons, this guy has already made the All NBA 1st Team and 2nd Team. He has all the attributes; great ball handling skills, vision, jumpshot, and defense. In 2008, Paul put the team on his back and carried the Hornets to a 2nd seed into the playoffs.
6. Deron Williams- He and Chris Paul will always be synonymous with one another. In the 2005 NBA Draft, Williams was taken 3rd overall, Paul 4th. Williams has a sweet crossover and a killer step back jumper which leaves plenty of defenders with their lingerie on the hardwood. He has made the 2nd Team All NBA Team twice.
7. Sam Cassell- The most underrated point guard of the decade in my opinion. His best years came with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. With the Bucks he was one of the “Big Three,” which consisted of he Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson. That squad had its best season in 2001 where it reached the Eastern Conference Finals where they fell to Philadelphia in a fantastic 7 game series. His 2003-2004 season with Minnesota was phenomenal. He made the All NBA 2nd team, named to his 1st All-Star Game and led the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals.
8. Gary Payton- “The Glove” had his glory years back in the 1990’s, but during the first part of the decade Payton was still an elite player. His lone All-NBA 1st Team appearance came in 2000 with Seattle. Payton played stellar defense, hence the nickname, and had a solid mid-range jump shot. After 2003, Payton was on a mission to achieve his ultimate goal of winning an NBA ring. His wish was finally fulfilled as a backup point guard for the Heat in 2006.
9. Gilbert Arenas- I really didn’t know where to put this guy because on a couple of talented Wizard teams, Agent Zero really couldn’t get the team deep into the playoffs. The Hibachi man gets hurt so darn much, but when he’s on the floor he’s effective. He’s really more of a scorer than a point man, for example in 2006, Arenas was 4th in the NBA in scoring averaging 29.3 ppg. Unfortunately for Arenas, he will always be known for the locker room gun incident in which he was suspended this past season.
10. Andre Miller– Year after year, Miller silently kept putting up solid statistics. He never made an all-star team, but his value ultimately showed during his tenure in Philadelphia. Miller was part of the Allen Iverson deal which sent Miller from Denver to Philadelphia. In his two seasons with Philly, Miller led the 76ers to the playoffs twice. When Miller left, the 76ers finished with the 6th worst record in the NBA and in position to draft (Hopefully!) Evan Turner in the 2010 NBA Draft.
11. Mike Bibby
12. Baron Davis
13. Steve Francis
14. Stephon Marbury
15. John Stockton
16. Derek Fisher
17. Rajon Rondo
18. Jason Terry (Could be PG or SG)
19. Eric Snow
20. Derrick Rose
Notable Mentions- Terrell Brandon, Darrell Armstrong, Nick Van Exel, Kirk Hinrich, Mo Williams, Jameer Nelson, Rafer Alston, Mookie Blaylock, Brevin Knight, Damon Stoudemire
Some Names to Throw Out Next Decade- Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Devin Harris, Tyreke Evans, Aaron Brooks, John Wall, Stephen Curry