The NBA has witnessed the rise of several legendary point guards throughout its history, and the 2000s were no exception.
In this article, we’ll take a journey back in time to explore the top 10 NBA point guards who left an indelible mark on the game during that era. These players exhibited exceptional skills, leadership, and basketball IQ, making them the cream of the crop.
Top 10 NBA Point Guards from the 2000s
Among the stars that graced the hardwood, the point guards stood out as some of the most electrifying and influential players in the league. In the following sections, we will journey back in time and celebrate the top 10 NBA point guards from the 2000s.
These players embodied the essence of their position, displaying exceptional skills, leadership, and an uncanny ability to impact the game.
- Steve Nash
- Jason Kidd
- Chris Paul
- Tony Parker
- Allen Iverson
- Chauncey Billups
- Gary Payton
- Deron Williams
- Rajon Rondo
- Steve Francis
From MVPs to clutch performers, these point guards left an indelible mark on the NBA landscape, forever etching their names into the annals of basketball history.
Let’s explore the legends who guided their teams with finesse and flair during this unforgettable decade.
Steve Nash, a Canadian basketball icon, was a force to be reckoned with during the 2000s. His tenure with the Phoenix Suns was nothing short of magical, earning him two consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards in 2005 and 2006. Nash’s ability to orchestrate a fast-paced, high-scoring offense made the Suns a perennial contender.
Nash’s unparalleled court vision and precision passing redefined the point guard position. He led the league in assists for five seasons, showcasing his ability to read the game and create scoring opportunities for his teammates.
Nash’s impact on the Suns’ “Seven Seconds or Less” offense was revolutionary, as he seamlessly directed the team’s up-tempo style, creating a breathtaking brand of basketball.
Beyond his passing, Nash was also an outstanding shooter. He joined the prestigious 50-40-90 club, denoting a season where he shot at least 50% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc, and 90% from the free-throw line—an achievement he reached multiple times. His uncanny ability to score efficiently, even as a pass-first point guard, was a testament to his versatility.
Nash’s legacy extends beyond statistics. He brought a level of excitement and charisma to the game that transcended the court. His leadership and ability to bring out the best in his teammates made him not only an exceptional player but also a beloved figure in the league.
2. Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd, renowned for his triple-double prowess, was a true maestro during the 2000s. He possessed a rare combination of basketball IQ, defensive prowess, and playmaking abilities that set him apart. Kidd’s ability to stuff the stat sheet with points, assists, and rebounds was extraordinary.
During his prime years, Kidd’s leadership guided the New Jersey Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. His unselfish play and knack for setting up his teammates made the Nets a formidable force in the Eastern Conference. While he might not have been the most prolific scorer, his impact on both ends of the floor was undeniable.
Kidd’s defensive skills were equally impressive. He was a multiple-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection, and his ability to read passing lanes and disrupt opponents’ plays was second to none. His tenacity on the defensive end often translated into fast-break opportunities for his team.
Despite the evolution of the point guard position, Jason Kidd’s triple-double performances and leadership qualities remain a benchmark for future generations of point guards.
3. Chris Paul
Chris Paul, commonly referred to as CP3, has been a beacon of consistency and excellence in the NBA, particularly during the 2000s. Paul is the epitome of a floor general, seamlessly blending court vision, passing accuracy, leadership, and defensive prowess.
Throughout the 2000s, Paul was consistently among the league leaders in assists and steals, a testament to his playmaking and defensive abilities. His exceptional ball-handling skills enabled him to navigate through opposing defenses with ease, creating scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.
Paul’s impact extended to both ends of the floor. On offense, he could control the pace of the game, slowing it down or speeding it up to his team’s advantage. His ability to execute pick-and-roll plays was masterful, and he displayed an uncanny ability to score in clutch moments.
On defense, CP3 was a pest for opposing ball handlers, constantly applying pressure and creating turnovers. He’s known for being a multi-time NBA steals leader, showcasing his ability to read passing lanes and disrupt the flow of the game.
Paul’s leadership and ability to elevate his teams have made him one of the most respected point guards in the NBA. His influence on the game during the 2000s and beyond cements his legacy as a true floor general and a timeless talent.
4. Tony Parker
Tony Parker, often referred to as “The French General,” played a pivotal role in the San Antonio Spurs’ dynasty during the 2000s. While his contributions might have been understated compared to some of his contemporaries, his impact was undeniable.
Parker’s quickness and ability to penetrate defenses were his trademarks. He was a master of the teardrop floater, a shot that became his signature move. His relentless drives to the rim not only garnered him points but also created open looks for his teammates. Parker’s ability to finish in traffic made him a scoring threat even when tightly guarded.
He played a key role in the Spurs’ championship runs in 2003, 2005, and 2007, earning NBA Finals MVP honors in 2007. His ability to perform in the clutch and make crucial plays during playoff series solidified his reputation as one of the era’s best point guards.
Parker’s leadership was a driving force for the Spurs. He effectively managed the pace of the game, ensuring the Spurs executed their game plan with precision. His chemistry with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginóbili formed the core of the Spurs’ success, and Parker’s ability to find them in the right spots was a testament to his basketball IQ.
Tony Parker’s legacy in the 2000s NBA goes beyond statistics. He was a key contributor to one of the most successful franchises of the era, and his unique style of play left an indelible mark.
5. Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson, known as “The Answer,” was not your typical point guard; he was a scoring machine. His electrifying style of play and scoring ability made him a force to be reckoned with during the 2000s.
Iverson led the league in scoring multiple times, with a fearless approach to attacking the basket and an array of crossover dribbles that left defenders bewildered. Standing at just 6 feet tall, he defied the odds by consistently outscoring taller opponents.
One of his most remarkable achievements came in the 2000-2001 season when he carried the Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA Finals. Iverson’s performance was nothing short of legendary, earning him the league MVP award and capturing the hearts of basketball fans worldwide.
Beyond his scoring prowess, Iverson’s relentless work ethic and passion for the game made him an inspiration to many. He was known for his durability and willingness to play through injuries, embodying the spirit of a true competitor.
Iverson’s legacy extends far beyond the box score. He brought a level of excitement and passion to the game that was unparalleled. His influence on the 2000s NBA landscape is undeniable, and he remains one of the most iconic and influential players of his era.
6. Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups, affectionately known as “Mr. Big Shot,” was the glue that held the Detroit Pistons together during their remarkable “Goin’ to Work” era in the 2000s. His clutch shooting and leadership were instrumental in the Pistons’ 2004 NBA championship run.
Billups was not just a point guard; he was a floor general who orchestrated the Pistons’ defensive-minded, team-first style of play. His ability to control the tempo of the game and make crucial decisions in pressure situations made him indispensable.
In the 2004 NBA Finals, Billups’ exceptional performance earned him the Finals MVP award. He consistently made key shots in critical moments, solidifying his reputation as a clutch performer. His leadership, both on and off the court, was a driving force behind the Pistons’ championship success.
Beyond his time with the Pistons, Billups enjoyed a successful career with various NBA teams. His consistency as a point guard, defensive skills, and ability to rise to the occasion in clutch moments earned him the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” and a place among the top point guards of the 2000s.
7. Gary Payton
Gary Payton, known as “The Glove” for his tenacious defense, was a dominant force in the 2000s NBA, even in the later stages of his career. His defensive prowess and leadership abilities were instrumental in the Miami Heat’s 2006 championship run.
Payton was a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 1996. His ability to pester and disrupt opposing point guards was legendary, and he was known for his relentless on-ball defense.
While Payton’s scoring output may have diminished in his later years, his basketball IQ and playmaking skills remained top-notch. His experience and leadership in the locker room were invaluable to the Heat as they pursued an NBA championship.
Gary Payton’s impact on the 2000s NBA transcended his statistics. He demonstrated that defense and leadership could be as impactful as scoring, and his contributions to the game continued even in the latter stages of his illustrious career.
8. Deron Williams
Deron Williams, often referred to as “D-Will,” was the maestro of the Utah Jazz during the 2000s. His impact on the game, particularly as a point guard, was substantial, and he consistently proved himself as one of the best in the league.
Williams was known for his exceptional ball-handling and court vision. His ability to navigate through defenses and find open teammates made him a true playmaker. He led the league in assists during the 2007-2008 season, showcasing his ability to set up his teammates for easy buckets.
One of Williams’ standout qualities was his scoring ability. He was not just a distributor but also a reliable scorer, capable of taking over games. His proficiency in pick-and-roll situations made him a scoring threat, and his ability to hit from long-range added another dimension to his game.
Under Williams’ leadership, the Utah Jazz consistently made the playoffs, and he played a pivotal role in their success. His competitive spirit and willingness to take on the best point guards in the league made him a fan favorite. Although he faced tough competition during the 2000s, Williams undoubtedly belonged in the conversation of elite point guards of the era.
9. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo, often recognized for his distinctive playing style, was a true maestro of the assist during the 2000s. His unique ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates and orchestrate an offense made him a standout point guard.
Rondo’s court vision was extraordinary, often making passes that left both fans and opponents in awe. His knack for threading the needle and delivering precise assists showcased his playmaking prowess. He led the league in assists in multiple seasons, consistently ranking among the top in this category.
One of Rondo’s most remarkable achievements was leading the Boston Celtics to an NBA championship in 2008. His contributions as the floor general for the “Big Three” era, which featured Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen, were invaluable. Rondo’s ability to find his teammates in the right spots and control the tempo of the game made him an essential part of the championship team.
Defensively, Rondo was equally impressive. He was known for his ability to read passing lanes, generate steals, and disrupt the opponent’s plays. His defensive skills often led to fast-break opportunities for his team.
Rondo’s unselfish play and the way he elevated his teammates were key elements of his success. His impact on the 2000s NBA, both as a playmaker and a leader, solidify his place among the elite point guards of the era.
10. Steve Francis
Steve Francis, often referred to as “Steve Franchise,” was a dynamic point guard who made a significant impact in the NBA during the 2000s.
Known for his explosive athleticism and scoring ability, Francis was a versatile playmaker who could take over a game. He played for several teams during this era, including the Houston Rockets and the Orlando Magic, and consistently put up impressive numbers.
Francis’ ability to score, facilitate, and lead his team on both ends of the floor made him a standout point guard.
He was a three-time NBA All-Star and showcased his skills with a combination of acrobatic layups, three-point shooting, and clutch performances. Steve Francis is another name that belongs in the conversation when discussing the top point guards of the 2000s.
The 2000s NBA era was graced by an abundance of remarkable point guards who showcased their unique skills and leadership abilities.
Their contributions to their respective teams and the game of basketball as a whole solidify their place as the top 10 NBA point guards from the 2000s.