Published By: Akashdeep

Evaluating the Top Five Point Guards in Each Decade of NBA History Based on Their Contributions

Examining the most outstanding point guards in NBA history with a comprehensive analysis spanning each decade!

Throughout the NBA's history, the point guard position has undergone significant evolution and transformation. From the defensive and playmaking specialists of earlier eras to the current era's sharpshooters, high-flyers, and scoring-oriented point guards, this position has played a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of NBA history. In this journey through time, we revisit the league's greatest point guards, exploring the changes over the decades. The countdown highlights the five most exceptional point guards of each decade, providing insight into the dynamic shifts and developments in the game.

Walt Frazier - 1970’s 

In the 1970s, some of the most exceptional point guards in NBA history emerged, illustrated by the charismatic Walt Frazier. Serving as the Knicks' point guard from 1970 to 1977, Frazier played a pivotal role in securing two NBA championships for the team in 1970 and 1973. Across this period, he garnered seven consecutive All-Star selections, achieved All-NBA Team recognition six times, and earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team six times. Despite being a strong contender for Finals MVP in both of the Knicks' championship victories, the honour ultimately went to Willis Reed. Frazier's contributions during the 1970s included averages of 20.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.

Magic Johnson - 1980's 

In the 1980s, the point guard position witnessed the emergence of the greatest player in its history, Magic Johnson. Starting from his rookie season in 1980, which culminated in an NBA championship and Finals MVP accolade, to clinching his fifth NBA title in 1988, Magic Johnson spearheaded one of the most illustrious dynasties of the era, the Showtime Lakers. Throughout the decade, Magic earned three Finals MVP awards and two of his three career MVP awards, establishing him as the unequivocal and obvious choice for the title of the greatest point guard of the '80s.

John Stockton - 1990's 

The 1990s marked an exceptional era in NBA history, particularly for point guards, who significantly influenced their respective teams. Foremost among them was John Stockton of the Utah Jazz, who secured an impressive seven assist titles and one steals title throughout the decade. Accompanied by six All-Star selections, Stockton played a crucial role in guiding the Jazz to two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998. Notably, upon his retirement in 2003, Stockton held the distinction of being the NBA's all-time leader in both assists and steals, a record that remains unbroken as of 2023.

Steve Nash - 2000's

When it comes to point guards excelling on both ends of the court, the 2000s stand out as an unparalleled era. The top spot for the best point guard of the decade undoubtedly goes to Steve Nash, a two-time MVP with the Phoenix Suns. While he had two All-Star seasons with Dallas, his MVP achievements were in 2006 and 2007 with the Suns, where he orchestrated one of the most formidable offences in NBA history. Throughout the 2000s, Nash maintained averages of 16.2 points and 9.2 assists per game, securing three out of his five career assists titles during this period.

Stephen Curry

Throughout the 2010s, Stephen Curry significantly altered the landscape of basketball with his prolific and highly effective three-point shooting. This transformative skill earned him two MVP awards in 2015 and 2016, accompanied by three NBA championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Notably, Curry achieved the status of the NBA's only unanimous MVP in 2016, leading the Warriors to a historic 73 wins. During this season, he secured a scoring and stealing title, averaging 30.1 points and 2.1 steals per game. Curry's impact transcended borders, influencing basketball globally at all levels as aspiring players worldwide aimed to emulate his prowess as a three-point shooter.

Throughout the game's evolution, the position of the point guard has changed a lot. The time of playmaking point guards has passed, with the natural evolution being Stephen Curry's explosive offence.