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The point guard position in the NBA is so deep, it’s been easy for Parker to fly under the radar.
Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo are each point guards that are likely to draw the distinction of being dubbed the “best point guard in the league” than Parker.
Even after helping the Spurs win the first of three titles with him as the starter, the Spurs put the full-court press on Jason Kidd, who was a free agent back in July 2003.
The thought was that Parker was great, but he was not Jason Kidd. The Spurs nearly got Kidd, but Kidd ultimately decided to re-sign with the New Jersey Nets.
It’s amazing to imagine how different Parker’s career may have been if Kidd decided to sign with the Spurs.
That the Spurs pursued Kidd after Parker helped the franchise win a title was a sign of what the future held for Parker, as two championships and one Bill Russell Finals MVP award later, he’s still not mentioned amongst the other top point guards in the league.
In the NBA’s annual general managers poll released back in October, only one of the league’s 30 general managers voted Parker as the best point guard in the league.
Paul, Rose and Rondo each received more votes than Parker and while that’s not a surprise, it just underscores where Parker lives in the NBA’s hierarchy of point guards.
Unlike most of his peers, Parker is a three-time NBA champion, having helped the San Antonio Spurs to titles in 2003, 2005 and 2007. And last season, he was the major reason why the Spurs were able to go 50-16, despite Manu Ginobili missing 32 games and Tim Duncan playing a career-low 28.2 minutes per game.
Last season, Andy Roth of The Sports Network made a case for Parker receiving MVP consideration. If you think the idea of that is ridiculous, well, you may have just proven the point.
Of all NBA players, Parker can reasonably claim to be the one that is most under-appreciated.