Isiah Thomas – Although he was a first ballot Hall of Fame player, Isiah Thomas is vastly underrated for what he has done for the game of basketball. When the names of the best point guards of all-time are openly discussed, his name is rarely mentioned. The argument generally starts at Magic Johnson and ends somewhere between John Stockton and Steve Nash. However, Isiah put together a career that rivals any point guard that has ever played in the NBA except Magic. He was a 12-time All-Star, a Finals MVP, and a two-time NBA champion. He is still fifth in the league in assists and ninth in steals.
Artis Gilmore – The A-Train was the definition of defense when he entered the league. He stood 7’2″ and possessed a wingspan that was longer than he was tall. He finished his NBA career among the leaders in rebounds, and he could have possibly dominated blocked shots if the statistic was taken during his whole career. Gilmore has the third highest field goal percentage in a single season in league history and still is the overall leader in career field goal percentage. He could bully opponents on both sides of the basketball court, and is often overlooked when historians talk about the great centers of NBA past.
Allen Iverson – Allen Iverson may be the quickest person in NBA history with the basketball. He may also be the fastest. He was one man fast break, and could break down the best defenders with his crossover. He dominated the NBA and won an NBA MVP while being listed at 6′ but actually being closer to 5’10″. His 26.7 career scoring average is sixth in league history, and his playoff scoring average of 29.7 is second only to Michael Jordan. Iverson led the league in scoring multiple times during his career, but most people fail to mention his healthy 6.2 career average in assists. Iverson was the singular talent that proved that guards could win without big men.
Jason Kidd – Jason Kidd will probably finish his career second on the list of total assists. He is currently second on the list and still dishing the ball to scorers. Though Kidd is in the twilight of his career, he will be remembered as one of the best passers that ever played the game. During his prime, Jason Kidd could start and finish fast breaks by himself. He began his career as part of one of the most prolific scoring tandems in the league with Jimmy Jackson and Jamal Mashburn in Dallas. Then, he led the New Jersey Nets to two Conference titles and several Division titles.
Dominique Wilkins – ‘The Highlight Film’ is one of the few great players who is seldom mentioned when the conversations about the greatest players come up in idle talk. He is one of 15 players to score over 25,000 points. He is one of 6 players to average 25+ points for 10 consecutive seasons. And, he was one of the most exciting, high flying players in NBA history. He was known for his ability to finish at the rim and for his pure athleticism. But, his legend is hurt by his failure to get to the NBA Finals. However, his teams were not good enough to compete in a loaded Eastern conference. Dominique regularly dueled with the best the players in the league like Jordan and Bird. However, his teammates could not compete.
Derrick Fisher – There are a lot of different things that you could call Derek Fisher as a basketball player. Dirty. Irritating. Underwhelming. Erratic. But, you would also have to call him one other adjective. Winner. Derek Fisher owns 5 championship rings and he was an integral cog in each of them.
Pistol Pete Maravich – Pistol Pete is one of the few stars of the 70′s that transcended race. He was a white athlete with all the flash of urban black athletes and the sound fundamentals that are necessary for super stardom. He averaged 24.2 points per game and 5.4 assists per game over his tenure in the league.
Dennis Rodman – Dennis Rodman is one of the most under-appreciated basketball players of all time. His primary skill, rebounding the basketball, equated to one of the most prized statistical categories for coaches, possessions. His rebounding rate is the best ever. Rodman took a inglorious sect of the game and made it popular. His defense and rebounding helped establish two NBA dynasties (one with the Bulls and one with the Pistons).
Elgin Baylor – Though he never won an NBA title, Elgin Baylor pushed his team to the NBA Finals an astonishing eight times. Elgin Baylor was the high flyer before Dr. K and Michael Jordan reached the league. He was one of the first big guards and one of the first rebounding guards. He was considered to be one of the most well-rounded players in the league. He was a great shooter, a tough rebounder, and an adept passer. Baylor paved the way for athletic scoring guards.