Throughout the years, the NBA’s had a plethora of elite shooting guards gracing the hardwood. But, who made the elite list of the top 5 NBA shooting guards of all-time
By Payton Woolsey
Some tasks are more difficult than others, and this list of top 5 NBA shooting guards of all-time. Don’t hate on me if your one of your favorites didn’t make the list, they should have performed better in their NBA career.
5. Clyde Drexler
A member of the most exclusive fraternity ever the “phi slamma jamma,” Clyde Drexler was an absolute machine, most well-known for his above the rim antics and his hard-nosed play style.
If you were gonna beat him, it wasn’t going to be by much. Now, you may find some career stat lines more impressive (McGrady), but he was able to do things in “crunch time” many of those guys could not.
He played in what most would consider the most robust era in basketball to score, and win in– Had that not been the case he might have been even higher on the list.
The 1983 14th overall NBA draft pick didn’t disappoint and his comparisons to Jordan in the 1992 season was not a one-sided affair.
- 1 NBA Championship
- 20.4 PPG
- 5x All NBA team
- .472 FG%
4. Allen Iverson
You’re damn right he made the cut– and for a good reason. If you question that Iverson is the inch for inch G.O.A.T. go brush up on what he’s done, with what he had. I understand he played at the point guard spot as well, but don’t get it mistaken.
This man was the primary shooter of his squad during those years. The crafty shots in the paint and the killer daggers from long range, he had it all. The most comparable acrobatic player in recent memory was Derrick Rose pre-knee problems.
The shots he would create with people towering a foot above him would leave you with awestruck. His performance against Shaq and Kobe will always be remembered in that nasty Finals Game 1.
On that day it was quite apparent the best player on the court was, Iverson. And he did it with a squad worse than what Lebron had in this year’s NBA Finals. “We talkin about practice?!”
- NBA MVP
- 26.7 PPG
- .425 FG%
- NBA Finals appearance
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- Three All-NBA First Team selections
3. Dwayne Wade
Quite possibly, in his prime, the only shooting guard as clutch as MJ. Wade is a winner. Some younger fans might have missed seeing this man in his prime. Hint: he was already going down-hill before Lebron joined up with him. Wade was the most fearless rim attacker on this list.
Nobody. And I mean nobody, could turn the corner and blow by you like “flash” could. He left opposing teams often feeling exposed and eaten alive. The in your face, burializing offensive ability was unguardable. Though lacking in range, he didn’t care. For about 4 years he played at a level only the great MJ could equal.
And he was snubbed an MVP selection by Lebron whom he won a scoring title over that year. He also might own the single greatest NBA playoffs run in history. Carrying an old Payton, Shaq, and Mourning to another NBA championship.
It was so impressive, to this day haters say it was rigged. The issue? You cannot play like that and not lose your knees. Had his prime been longer he is easily No. 2.
- 22.5 PPG
- The all-time leader in blocks by an NBA shooting guard
- NBA Finals MVP
- NBA Scoring Title
- Three-time NBA champ
- Three-time All-Defensive team
- .483 FG% (you read that right)
- 12-time NBA all-star
2. Kobe Bryant
“The Black Mamba” is one of the most iconic Lakers of all time. In his younger years, he relied heavily on athleticism to penetrate through defenses — like butter.
Later, however, he developed that sweet Kobe jumper. So good.
He was also the best-ever at drawing a foul. And we ain’t talking about floppin’ like LeBron aka “LeFlop.”
Showing just how dominant in his era Bryant was, he cruised to a 3 peat — then another two-peat.
He and Shaq is probably the most underrated duo in NBA history. Yes, I said underrated. And by that, I mean the greatest duo ever.
Micahel Jordan and Scottie Pippen had nothing on these two. If Kobe and Shaq would have stayed together, it’s likely each would have broken every record in the books.
The Mamba has for some reason gotten a bad rap as a volume shooter, but a quick look at his numbers shows he was lethally accurate from the field.
For everything Dwayne Wade was as an attacker, Kobe was as a mid-long range jumper. Especially in the crunch. Dagger after dagger after dagger. Kobe would suddenly have 50 points and your down 20 — that’s how he rolled.
How could we talk Kobe without bringing up 81 against Toronto? Un freaking real. The best part? He was benched midway through the 3rd for only God knows why.
Wilt Chamberlain must have paid the coach off because his record was gonna be crushed. Plus, he did it in an era with much fewer possessions per game
This man not only copied Jordan’s moves but built upon them. There was a point in time when no defensive setup or trap could stop Kobe.
For a solid seven years this was the most fear shooting guard on the planet, and possibly the highest basketball I.Q. ever. He had many great moments in his career and none more magical than the very last time he graced the court, going out as a legend.
If you keep this man out of your NBA top 5 shooting guards list, you’re doing it all wrong.
1. Michael Jordan
What can be said about this man that hasn’t been said a million times? Air Jordan didn’t have instant success as many would like to think — primarily because he cut his teeth in the best era of basketball ever — the 80’s.
He was knocked around quite a bit in his early years by the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons.
The Celtics had Larry “legend” Bird. Let’s not forget about Magic Johnson and the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers.
Jordan created so many legendary in-game dunks, and it is often forgotten that he emulated many of Dr. J’s dunks — while history remembers them as Jordan’s because of how smooth he was using them.
He wasn’t much of a long range shooter, but he won the 90s with the sweetest mid range jumper ever documented.
Let’s not forget that Joran won an MVP and NBA Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Incredible.
He was the most hard-nosed, refuse to lose athlete ever. Not Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Ali, or even the “Great One,” in Wayne Gretzki. It’s Michael Jordan.
If you want to actually see rare footage of him being ‘shut down in a finals’ watch a few games where he put up 25 points against Gary Payton — who played out of his absolute mind to only allow that.
The Flu? Didn’t matter. When he was hurt? Didn’t matter. He’s the absolute best player to ever step on the court.
He was cut from his high school baseball team in 9th grade but kept coming. That’s the heart this man had. The only real thorn to his legacy was the two years “took off” between each of his three-peats.
Who knows, he might have locked down an eight-peat if he didn’t part ways for two years — but we know Clyde the Glide and Hakeem Olajuwon. We can go on and on about his greatness. But I’ll allow the numbers to speak for him, instead.
- Six-time NBA champion
- Five-time NBA MVP
- Six-time NBA Finals MVP,
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- 10-time NBA scoring leader
- Three-time NBA steals leader,
- NBA Rookie of the Year
Sweet Jesus, his accolades are unreal. MJ is the “GOAT” for a reason — and it’s why he tops our top 5 NBA shooting guards of all-time.