5. Oscar Robertson
Until the last few years, Oscar Robertson was the only player ever to average a triple double for an entire season. Robertson nearly averaged a triple double for his entire decade long peak. He led the league in assists six times and finished top five in eight straight MVP races, winning it in 1964 over Wilt Chamberlain.
Robertson struggled to get his team to the highest level until late in his career when he joined Kareem with the Bucks, finally making two Finals and winning one of them. Robertson’s numbers are helped by a heavy minutes load at an insane pace, but the dude ranks top 10 all time in both points and assists per game. That’s pretty nuts, no matter how you slice it.
Achievements: 1x champion, 1x MVP, 11x All NBA, 12x All Star
4. Jerry West
As great as Kobe Bryant was, he might not even be the best Lakers shooting guard of all time. Jerry West may have been an even better scorer. He averaged 26 or more points per game a ridiculous 11 straight seasons, and he has a career 29ppg playoff average including seven different playoffs over 30ppg. West was 9–2 in the Conference Finals and finished top five in eight different MVP races.
Of course he also went 1–8 in the NBA Finals and finished runner up in the MVP race without ever winning one, and he’s the only player in NBA history to win a Finals MVP on the losing team. Thankfully, West finally broke through for a title on the 69–13 1972 Lakers to win his one ring. But with his all time scoring, passing, and defense, it’s not exactly his fault he came up short in all the rest.
Achievements: 1x champion, 12x All NBA, 14x All Star
3. Kobe Bryant
The numbers for Kobe Bryant are simply staggering. He finished his career third all time with 33,643 points and a career average of 25 points a game. Kobe won an MVP in 2008 but, even more impressively, he finished top 5 in MVP voting all but one year between 2002 and 2013. There was the 81 point game, second most points all time in an NBA game, and of course there was the 60 point finale to end his career.
And the winning — there was plenty of that, too. Kobe was 7–1 in Conference Finals and 5–2 in the Finals, winning five rings with Shaq and Pau and grabbing two Finals MVP awards on top of the rings. Throw in two scoring titles and 12 All Defense teams and you have one of the game’s all time’s greats.
Achievements: 5x champion, 1x MVP, 15x All NBA, 18x All Star
2. Magic Johnson
Argue about anything else on this list of guards, but number one and two are absolute locks. Magic Johnson is the greatest point guard of all time. He could do everything. Magic led the league in assists four times. He was the best player on eight straight Conference Finals Lakers teams and won five NBA championships, named Finals MVP in three of them, one of which was as a rookie when he was the second best player on a 60–win champ and memorably filled in at center in the Finals for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Magic was the heartbeat of the Showtime Lakers with a dazzling array of passes, and elite offense followed him wherever he went. He finished top three in the MVP race nine straight times and won it three times between 1987 and 1990. Magic Johnson is one of the game’s all time greats.
Achievements: 5x champion, 3x MVP, 10x All NBA, 12x All Star
1. Michael Jordan
Is there any question? Michael Jordan finished with a career scoring average over 30 points a game and once scored 30 a game for seven consecutive seasons. Jordan led the NBA in scoring 10 times, with several of the greatest offensive seasons in league history. Oh and he was also elite defensively. Jordan was named to nine All Defense teams and once won Defensive Player of the Year. He won five MVP awards. And then there was all the Bulls dominance.
In Michael’s final six full seasons with the Bulls, Chicago won the championship in all of them. Jordan was 24–11 in NBA Finals games. He was six-for-six in the Finals and six-for-six winning Finals MVP. There was nothing Michael Jordan could not do on a basketball court. He was the Greatest Of All Time.
Achievements: 6x champion, 5x MVP, 11x All NBA, 14x All Star