Has Stephen Curry passed Isiah Thomas on All-Time point guard list?

Isiah Thomas #11, Point Guard for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)
Isiah Thomas #11, Point Guard for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors waves to fans as he runs off the court after the Warriors defeated the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) /

Back in 2016, ESPN did a ranking of their top-10 point guards of all-time and fans of Stephen Curry and Isiah Thomas were not happy about their guy’s respective places on the list.

Most of the usual suspects were there, with Magic Johnson coming in at the top spot. No argument from me.

The next space was occupied by Oscar Robertson, again, you can make that argument, though I would say that the Big O played in an era that featured no defense and approximately 30 more possessions per game, which made it a lot easier to run up stats.

I never saw Robertson play live, so I am not going to argue that one. The next few spots are where things start to get controversial. ESPN has John Stockton at #3, which is ridiculous. I watched the man’s entire career and yes, he was great but there is no way he was better than Isiah. He just played longer.

Sidenote: Stockton and Malone (look up his past sometime) might be the most loathsome teammates in the history of the NBA and I am glad they never won a ring.*

But Stockton has the accumulated stats to make a case, even though none of his peers (including Magic Johnson) would agree.

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The next spot (remember, this was in 2016) was held by Stephen Curry, with Isiah Thomas right behind him in 5th place. At the time, Curry had just one title and one MVP, so there was rightfully argument about it.

Magic Johnson thought it was ridiculous and told us in a series of Tweets:

At the time I agreed with Magic, but in 2022? It’s hard to make the argument for Isiah Thomas.

Stephen Curry vs. Isiah Thomas

It’s always hard to compare eras, but both Curry and Isiah are/were small point guards who relied on high basketball IQ and elite skill level to get it done.

Curry does it with his otherworldly shooting and Isiah did it with one of the quickest first steps and crossovers in the history of the game.

Both are tough players who are underrated defensively and were able to carry their teams to titles even though they were the smallest guy on the floor.

I will say that Isiah’s era was a lot more physical, and it’s hard to imagine Curry holding up to the types of beatings Isiah used to take. Remember when the child rapist (oops, I gave it away!) Malone gave Isiah 40 stitches with a flying elbow to the face?

Hard to imagine the reaction if someone did this to Curry, but Isiah actually came back and played the final six minutes of the game.

Eras aside, Curry has accumulated numbers that just can’t be ignored. And with Steph on the cusp of his 4th title, it’s time to start talking about his place on the All-Time list.