10 Best Shooting Guards in Basketball History

Shooting guard is the most coveted position in the NBA and the ten listed below are the 10 best shooting guards in basketball history. Sure, there are big names at every position and talent is needed at all five spots to win a championship but children practicing alone in their driveways do not practice making the last pass with the game winding down or getting fed in the low post for the game-winner. They dream of pushing the ball up the court as their team's leading scorer, all eyes on them, tossing up that last jumper as time expires. These athletes became the best in the sport at making that dream come true.

  1. Michael "Air" Jordan is the best player in the game at any position. With the ball in Jordan's hands and the game on the line everyone in every arena knew #23 was going to find a way to put it in the basket.
  2. Jerry "Mr. Clutch" West is more than an icon. When West retired the NBA made him the logo of the league. He did everything that could be expected from a top ten shooting guard. He scored efficiently and in volume, defended well, and as his nickname hints he always came through in the clutch.
  3. Allen "The Answer" Iverson is the best pure scorer the NBA has ever seen. At 6'0" nobody could have predicted he would be able to score as easily as he did. He always found a way into the lane and to the rim no matter who stood in his way. He was one of the toughest players in the league and the NBA will likely never see a player like him at his size again.
  4. Clyde "The Glide" Drexler had one of the quickest first steps in basketball and one of the best finishes at the rim. His incredible leaping ability allowed him to become one of the best dunkers in the league and one of the best shot-blocking guards in NBA history.
  5. George "The Iceman" Gervin was ice-cold on the court, known for never getting rattled and always cooly stepping up when his team was down. He set the league record for most points in a quarter and before the arrival of Michael Jordan owned more scoring titles than any other guard in league history.
  6. Earl "The Pearl" Monroe was known for some of the best handles in basketball and a talent for making unheard of trick shots look easy. Also called "Thomas Edison" because he was always inventing new ways to score, Monroe is one of the most dynamic of the top ten shooting guards.
  7. "Pistol" Pete Maravich was one of the quickest guards in league history and a prolific scorer. In 2002 the LSU alum became one of just four players to have his jersey retired by a team he never played for when the New Orleans Hornets set aside his #7 to honor all he did for the city.
  8. Sam "The Shooter" Jones had a twelve year career with the Boston Celtics and won championships in ten of them. His shot was known for its perfect form and its tendency to go directly into the hoop.
  9. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest three-point shooters in the history of basketball. He may not have the driving ability of the other top ten shooting guards but he holds the all time record for career three-pointers made. Any debate about his place on this list should be solved with a quick review the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals in which he scored eight points in 8.9 seconds to win the game.
  10. Joe Dumars is the single best defender out of all of the top ten shooting guards in NBA history. The upstanding member of the "Bad Boy" Pistons of the late '80s, Dumars was the first recipient of the NBA's Outstanding Sportsmanship Award which was subsequently named in his honor.

Though NBA basketball is a tall man's sport these ten shooting guards proved that the biggest player on the court isn't always the best.


Association of NBA Basketball Researchers

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