NBA History: 5 Greatest shooting guards in the 2010s
The second decade of the millennium is about two weeks away from its end. It has brought us many great moments in the history of NBA basketball both collective and individual. The Toronto Raptors won their first NBA title in 2019. The Miami Heat spent four consecutive years from 2011 to 2014 competing for and winning two consecutive NBA titles.
The Cleveland Cavaliers did the same thing from 2015 to 2018 but won the title only once. The common denominator between the Heat and Cavaliers was LeBron James appearing in eight consecutive NBA Finals and winning three.
The Golden State Warriors squared off against LeBron and the Cavaliers in four consecutive NBA Finals winning three. They appeared in five straight Finals winning three of the five from 2015 to 2019.
The 2010s have been a decade where superstar players have led dynasties to multiple NBA Finals and in some cases, multiple NBA Championships. At the forefront of some of these teams have been the shooting guards, tasked with the responsibility of getting buckets in the clutch. Here is a look at the five greatest shooting guards in the last decade:
#5 Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant has been retired since April 13th, 2016. On that day, Kobe sent a message that he was still one of the greats of the game. "The Black Mamba", on that day, delivered one of the most outstanding games of his career. Bryant scored 60 points on 22-50 shooting from the floor and went 10-12 from the free-throw line in a 101-96 Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Utah Jazz.
Kobe's decade started not only with an NBA Championship in June 2010 but also with the Finals MVP Award. Bryant was also an NBA All-Star for 18 years including 17 straight selections from 2000 to 2016.
Since the beginning of the 2010 season till his retirement, Kobe had 7,853 points and that tally would have been higher had he not sat out major parts of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons due to an Achilles tendon injury which ultimately led to his 2016 retirement. During the period beginning at the end of the 2009-10 season and the end of the 2012-13 season, Bryant averaged 26.9 points per game.
The Los Angeles Lakers have employed the talents of great players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O'Neal but Kobe Bryant stands out even amongst all that greatness. His early retirement and injury troubles prevented his name from appearing higher on this list.