The NBA shooting guard is one of the most glamorous positions in sports.
Much of the time, they represent the best scorer (or at least one of the top guys) on their respective teams and are typically very well-rounded in how they get their points.
There have been a whole lot of good 2-guards to come and go in the NBA, but who are the very best of the best?
Here is a list of the top five shooting guards of all-time:
5. Tracy McGrady
Tracy McGrady is a fairly difficult sell here, because he also played small forward for a decent chunk of his career, and outside of 2013 when he was at the end of the San Antonio Spurs’ bench, he never made it past the first round of the playoffs.
However, those who watched McGrady during his prime with the Orlando Magic (and in his very early Houston Rockets days) know just how dominant of a force he was, especially when trotting about as a shooting guard.
In a way, McGrady was LeBron James before LeBron James in that he did a little bit of everything.
He could score. He could pass. He could handle. He could rebound. He could guard multiple positions.
Granted, McGrady played in an era where efficiency wasn’t highly valued, and he was a bit of a high-volume scorer as a result, but any who questions his talent and dominance either a.) was too young to have watched him play, or b.) doesn’t know what the heck they are/were looking at.
McGrady won back-to-back scoring titles in 2003 and 2004 and likely would have been one of the top scorers in NBA history had back injuries not derailed the latter half of his career.
4. Clyde Drexler
That brings us to arguably one of the most underrated players in the history of the game.
Clyde Drexler was that dude in his prime, a 2-guard capable of doing pretty much anything on the floor. He even averaged a hefty eight assists per game during his third season with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The only drawback for Drexler was his lack of a consistent perimeter shot, but otherwise, he was nails in every area on both ends of the floor.
He played in three NBA Finals overall, two of them coming with the Blazers in 1990 and 1992 (both losses) and his third coming as a member of the Rockets in 1995, when he and Hakeem Olajuwon led the way to a championship.
Of course, one Drexler’s two finals losses came at the hands of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. While Jordan stole the show, Drexler put forth an admirable performance and was the driving force behind Portland giving the Jordan Bulls one of their toughest finals series, pushing things to six games.
Drexler averaged 20.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game throughout his 15-year career.
3. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade spent 16 years in the NBA and had one of the more impressive and resilient careers you will see.
Wade led the Miami Heat to a championship as soon as his third season, putting forth one of the more memorable NBA Finals performances we have seen in recent memory.
He later added a couple of more titles in 2012 and 2013 alongside of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, giving him three rings for his career.
Not only that, but Wade made 12 straight All-Star appearances between 2005 and 2016, averaging over 20 points per game in nine consecutive seasons and 10 of 11 during that stretch.
Wade was never able to develop a perimeter shot, but his ability to get to the rim and finish and/or draw contact was unrivaled by most.
While he was a relatively inconsistent defender throughout much of his NBA tenure, he was good when he locked in, especially during the LeBron years.
Injuries certainly affected Wade during the second half of his career, but he was able to remain productive even in his later years.
The man known as Flash boasts lifetime averages of 22 points, 5.4 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.
2. Kobe Bryant
The heir to Jordan’s throne.
Kobe Bryant was one of the most prolific scorers the game has ever seen and will ever see, and even if he may have chucked a little bit to get to that point, no one can deny how fearsome he was.
But what made Bryant such a superstar was his ability to play both ends of the floor.
Yes, Bryant’s defense fell off as he got older, but not even the biggest Kobe detractors can overlook how terrific of a defender he was in his younger years.
Of course, Bryant will always be known for his scoring, but he was good in pretty much every area and was a very underrated passer.
Bryant collected five rings with the Los Angeles Lakers during his illustrious 20-year NBA career, winning three straight titles with Shaquille O’Neal between 2000 and 2002. No other team has accomplished a three-peat since.
The Mamba then added a couple of more championships in 2009 and 2010, playing with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.
Say what you want about Bryant’s high-volume ways, but he was unquestionably one of the greatest to ever do it, and there is no doubt that he is the second-best shooting guard in NBA history.
1. Michael Jordan
Come on now. Did you expect anything else?
MJ. His Airness. The GOAT.
Jordan is undeniably the best 2-guard to ever step on the hardwood, and it’s hard to ever see anyone dethroning him.
He won six championships during his NBA tenure, famously going 6-0 in the finals with six Finals MVPs. Heck, it may very well have been 8-0 had he not taken two years off in 1994 and 1995. Yes, I get that Jordan returned late during the 1994-95 campaign, but let’s be real: he was not in game shape, which was why the Bulls lost to the Magic that postseason.
Is there really much more to add?
Jordan is the best basketball player ever, so of course he was going to be No. 1 on this list.