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I’ve heard people argue that an elite point guard hasn’t won the NBA title since Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas were roaming the court.
Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs disagrees, and he has a Finals MVP from the 2006-07 postseason and three rings to prove it.
That makes him one of only three point guards to have multiple titles and a Finals MVP, the other two being Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson.
The only two point guards who have more career postseason points and assists than Parker are Johnson and Jerry West. If he duplicates last postseason’s Finals run, Parker is poised to move past West in the assists column this year and Johnson in the scoring column.
If you expand the list beyond point guards, you only add five names: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, LeBron James, Larry Bird and Kobe Bryant. That’s some very elite company.
Based on the numbers, Parker can be considered one of the five greatest postseason point guards of all time. Add Bob Cousy to the list of point guards already mentioned, and who else is even close? That’s your top five to arrange however you want.
And the most interesting thing about that argument is that almost no one would ever make it—or even be aware it could be made.
Three NBA championships, one Finals MVP and one of the most productive postseason careers in history give such an argument credibility, though.
If Parker can lead his Spurs to the Finals and win a second MVP award there, he’d be only the second point guard to own more than one Bill Russell trophy.
His teammate, Tim Duncan, has often been considered (accurately) under-appreciated because of the limited limelight shed on the Spurs. However, what little there’s been has gone mostly to Duncan.
Parker could make history this year, and if he does, maybe the nation will finally notice one of the greatest postseason point guards in history is in our midst.