#8 Russell Westbrook
His basketball IQ has been under scrutiny for several years, but Russell Westbrook's intensity and competitiveness are traits that any NBA coach would want on their team.
We might go on and on about Westbrook's athleticism and his attitude on the court, but his numbers are also impressive. A one-time MVP, he will surely enter the basketball Hall of Fame.
His greatest feat was averaging a triple-double for three straight seasons, an unprecedented stat in NBA history (Oscar Robertson reigned for decades as the only player to average a triple-double in a season).
A 23-point-per-game career scorer, Westbrook's 8.3 assists per game rank 11th in NBA history. He is the only player in history to have led the league twice in points and assists.
#7 Steve Nash
Though his two MVPs might look exaggerated for many, Steve Nash was a tremendous passer who knew how to lead his offence with his passing and his efficient shooting.
Nash led the NBA five times in assists and twice in FT percentage. His 8.4 career assist average ranks ninth in NBA history, and his career FT percentage (90.5 percent) trails only Steph Curry's in NBA history.
Though Nash did not push his teams to the NBA Finals, he wasn't always favoured to do so. Still, he was a great point guard, as he knew how to impact the game like few others.
#6 John Stockton
Controlling your offence and the pace of an NBA game is a trait reserved for few players, and John Stockton was one of those. Universally celebrated for his passing, Stockton was also a 50/38/83 shooter from the field, the three-point line, and the FT line respectively.
The all-time leader in total assists (15,806) and second in assists per game (10.5), Stockton's career only lacked an NBA title. But he was the perfect point guard, and he surely sacrificed some of his game to help his team.
Stockton was a 10-time All-Star, and led the league nine times in assists (in a row) with an average of 13 assists per game during that stretch. He was also a great defender and was named five times to the NBA's All-Defensive teams.
#5 Jerry West
There will always be debate about Jerry West's position, but he was simply a guard that could do a lot (even become the NBA's logo).
West was a prolific scorer as he averaged 27 points per game in his career (fifth in NBA history), and also a solid passer as his seven assists per game suggest. He led the league in points in the 1969-70 season and in assists two years later.
He was an All-Star in each of his 14 NBA seasons and won one title with the LA LAakers in 1972. Of course, West's Finals losses are well remembered by many, but he was incredible in the Playoffs, despite his eight losses in the NBA's biggest stage.
West averaged 29.1 points per game on 47 percent shooting in 153 NBA Playoff games (third all-time in PPG).
Published 23 Oct 2020, 18:00 IST