Welcome to the “extreme” era of sports media. Thanks to an increasing number of outlets having to fight for an decreasing attention span of the audience, we’re not getting an overabundance of extreme arguments: Everything is “the best” or “the worst,” a smash hit or a bust, an all-time epic or an utter disaster. The point is, say something that makes people listen to you and put down the remote or chill on the left-click.
Charles Barkley is good for throwing out those extreme statements. During last night’s Spurs/Mavs highlight, Barkley blurted out, “He’s the best point guard of the last 20 years” in regards to Jason Kidd. The guys in the studio immediately jumped on him for ranking Kidd ahead of John Stockton, and when Barkley didn’t really have a response, it gave me the idea that this was just another of those random extreme statements intended to cause debate. (And it’s not that Barkley was totally off-base. I’d probably have Kidd #1 in the post-Magic/Isiah era, too. But I wonder how much Chuck thought about it before he said it.)
Well, it worked. Going back to 1990 — at the tail end of Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas‘ careers, so let’s make it interesting and exclude them from this group — where does Kidd rank among NBA point guards?
You’ve got Stockton, Gary Payton, Kevin Johnson, Mark Price, Tim Hardaway, Penny Hardaway, Muggsy Bogues, Mark Jackson, Nick Van Exel, Mookie Blaylock, Terrell Brandon, Allen Iverson (if you consider him a PG), Steve Nash, Stephon Marbury, Rod Strickland, Sam Cassell, Baron Davis, Gilbert Arenas, Andre Miller, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and the new rookie class of ’09-10, featuring Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry.
Where does Kidd fit in? Is he really the best PG of the last two decades? Who makes up your Top 10?