I'm guessing most here will agree with #1 but hate 2-7. Here is the whole piece, the list is bolded if you want to skip to it
These days, it's hard to fathom what a point guard in the NBA really is anymore.
What we do know is he's the guy who handles the ball the majority of the time, is likely to have the most assists on his team and should be the best on-the-ball defender among the starters.
Allen Iverson will run the show for the Sixers after several years at shooting guard. (Getty Images)
And most important, he's the guy who will make everybody better.
If you go by that theory, there is no doubt Jason Kidd -- with or without a surgically repaired left knee, whether he plays the first month of the season, whether the New Jersey Nets continue their deconstruction and deal him -- remains the best point guard in the NBA.
And that leaves everybody else.
Granted, the Phoenix Suns overpaid free agent Steve Nash because he is a proven floor leader who should help his young and restless teammates improve. And San Antonio Spurs prodigy Tony Parker has shown signs of being that kind of player.
But the rest of the group has proved to have me-first, you-next inclinations.
It's why Chauncey Billups struggled nearly the entire season and certainly into the playoffs as Pistons coach Larry Brown worked at transforming Billups into the kind of point guard who plays the right way. Ultimately it worked; the Pistons roared to the NBA title, and Billups was named MVP of the NBA Finals.
Then again, we'll have to wait and see Year 2 of the great experiment to either acknowledge the transformation is complete or learn the Finals were just an aberration.
His No. 2 ranking doesn't mean Allen Iverson isn't a special player and can't be a great point guard. New 76ers coach Jim O'Brien has made it clear he will play Iverson at the point despite Brown's insistence at playing Iverson at the shooting guard for their six seasons together in Philadelphia.
"It was coach Brown's choice," Iverson said in an extended interview before the 2004 All-Star Game. "I always thought I should have the ball in my hands. I see the floor and can help my teammates get better shots."
Of course, saying it and doing it are two different things. Brown went through a lot of the same pains during the Olympics with Stephon Marbury, another marvelously talented point guard who is inclined to shoot first. Although he and Oscar Robertson are the only players in history to average at least 20 points and eight assists for their careers, he was not the traditional playmaker Brown wanted either.
Last year's rankings
2004 Rank 2003 Stock
1. J. Kidd 1 SAME
2. A. Iverson 3-SG
3. B. Davis 5
4. C. Billups 9
5. S. Cassell --
6. S. Marbury 2
7. S. Francis 4
8. M. Bibby 7
9. T. Parker --
10. S. Nash 6
Complete 2003 Rankings
But Brown stuck with him throughout the Olympics and it got better, gradually.
"It was tough," Marbury said. "But I learned a lot from him. It just takes time to adjust."
And so it goes when it is instinctive to control the ball, but not include other players on a consistent basis.
Steve Francis might be the most naturally gifted point guard in the whole group, but his inclination to put on a dribbling exhibition that runs down the shot clock, and ultimately force an off-balance shot, nearly drove Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy loony. Consequently, it precipitated a blockbuster trade that sent Francis to Orlando for Tracy McGrady.
And then you have a career-long shoot-first point guard like Sam Cassell, who just happens to be coming off the best season of his career at the age of 34, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Western Conference finals.
So you see, it's possible to be effective as a shoot-first point guard. But it only works if there are mature players who accept it and are capable of helping the ball move.
But if you ask any player in the league what point guard they would prefer to play with, you'd be, uh, kidding yourself to consider there would be any choice other than Jason Kidd.
1. Jason Kidd, New Jersey Nets: He is 31 and his knee is a problem, but he's still the best at running an offense and his teammates love him.
2. Allen Iverson, Philadelphia 76ers: This will be the most interesting season for the most exciting guard in the league to prove he can run an offense.
3. Baron Davis, New Orleans Hornets: He is so gifted, and potentially better than any of these guys, but he's just too selfish too often.
4. Chauncey Billups, Detroit Pistons: When Joe Dumars signed him as a free agent, he saw a lot of himself in Billups. This season we'll find out.
5. Sam Cassell, Minnesota Timberwolves: Last season will be a tough act for him to follow, but if he does, the Timberwolves have a great shot to win the West.
6. Stephon Marbury, New York Knicks: Isiah Thomas invested the future of the Knicks and his own credibility in Marbury. Will he step up this year?
7. Steve Francis, Orlando Magic: It's impossible to know how getting traded will affect Francis, but he certainly has a lot to learn about running a team.
8. Mike Bibby, Sacramento Kings: Some might believe he should be higher in this ranking, but defensive shortcomings and unpredictability in big games linger.
9. Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs: He could end up being the best of this group with his quickness and all-around ability, but only if he improves.
10. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns: It appears age is catching up to him considering how he has tired the past couple of seasons. We'll see what he has left.
Also receiving consideration: Gary Payton, Boston Celtics; Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat; Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards; Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets; Jason Terry, Dallas Mavericks; Jason Williams, Memphis Grizzlies; Carlos Arroyo, Utah Jazz; Eric Snow, Cleveland Cavaliers; Damon Stoudamire, Portland Trail Blazers.