Dennis Velasco of The Basketball Jones ranked the 10 best point guards since 1980, and two former Pistons made the list. Isiah Thomas ranked third, and Allen Iverson ranked sixth. I’m not going to say anything more about Iverson, whom nobody really identifies with the Pistons and I don’t consider a point guard. But here’s what Velasco wrote about Isiah:
Thomas gets a lot of crap for destroying the New York Knicks and it’s a valid point. He and James Dolan combined is what pushed me over the edge to no longer being a Knicks fan, but that’s besides the point. As a basketball player, Zeke was amazing and one of my favorite players of all-time. He led the Bad Boys to two NBA titles, and despite his size, was the biggest player for those title teams.
Isiah averaged 20+ points for five seasons and had nine seasons of 18+ points. He averaged four seasons of 10+ assists, including a 13.9 assists per game campaign that led the league. Thomas played in a dozen straight All-Star games (1982-1993), winning the All-Star MVP award twice (1984 and 1986). He made five All-NBA teams, won two titles and one NBA Finals MVP award. He finished with a 18.1 PER and 106 ORtg.
Zeke was an artist on the court with an fanastic dribble and ability to get his shot off smoothly. He was a player to watch and one that you seemingly waited for some highlight from, which was amazing considering the likes of Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan were dunking everything during that time. In any case, here’s a small taste of Zeke.
Before we go further, here’s what Velasco considered for his rankings:
statistics, impact on the game, awards and honors, longevity, playoff performance and my own gut instincts
Of course, Magic Johnson ranked first, but I’m sure Isiah’s second-place finish behind John Stockton will stir debate here.
Personally, I think Velasco got the top three right. At their peaks, Thomas was much better than Stockton. But considering Thomas played 13 years and Stockton played 19, I think Stockton has the slight edge when you consider total body of work.
Besides, Chris Paul is going to shoot into that No. 2 spot before he retires, anyway.