Succeeding in the National Basketball Association is all about teamwork, sharing the rock, setting your teammates up and always trying to do what’s best for the group and not just rack up personal stats.
No matter how good of a player you are, you just can’t win on your own in this league, as some guys like Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have already proved, being some of the best players in the league on a personal matter, but mightily struggling to make it come crunch time due to the lack of support they get.
Nonetheless, some other guys have thrived and make a career out of being quite unselfish, constantly looking to make the right play at the right time even if that means sacrificing some personal numbers. Today, we’ll name the top 10 most unselfish guys that play nowadays in the league.
Honorable mentions: Dirk Nowitzki and Tony Parker
10. Deron Williams
At this point of his career, it’s almost impossible to remember the fact that Deron Williams was actually considered the best point guard in the world for a couple of years, but constant injuries and nagging pains made him regress a lot over the past 5 years or so.
Still, despite being a very versatile and prolific scorer, he’s always looked to make his teammates better, and he’s always thrived while making everybody around him score instead of taking matters into his own hands.
9. Stephen Curry
Curry hasn’t been known for being an elite playmaker or for being that Rondo kind of point guard, but for his sick handles and ability to pull up and light it up from a distance like he was shooting free throws.
Nonetheless, he’s been quite an unselfish player through his career, especially over the last 3 seasons or so, sharing touches with Thompson and now Kevin Durant despite being the league’s best shooter.
8. Marc Gasol
Another big man makes our unselfish list, as Marc Gasol has also blossomed into a very good passer, even better than his brother Pau, and just as mature as him, always doing what’s best for the team.
Marc has been the Grizzlies go-to-guy on both ends of the court, but that hasn’t stopped him from sharing the ball with great ease, being an elite pick and pop player despite Memphis’ spacing troubles.
7. Boris Diaw
The Frenchman had the best years of his career as a member of the San Antonio Spurs, as Boris Diaw was pretty much the definition of Gregg Popovich’s offense: extra pass, extra pass, extra pass.
Regardless of if he was on a great scoring position, the big man always rathered take a couple of seconds to see how his teammates moved between defenders, developing very solid playmaking skills for his size.
6. Ricky Rubio
Rubio came into the league as one of the most flashy players from overseas, as the Spanish point guard was a walking highlight reel due to his outstanding playmaking ability and ability to read opposing passing lanes.
Besides, being a horrid shooter as he is, he’s made a name for himself for being a pass-first type of player, although he should definitely have improved his shooting a lot considering he’s been in the league since 2012.
5. Rajon Rondo
Just like Rubio, Rondo’s never been a very good shooter, although he’s been known for his ability to make the key place come crunch time, even taking three pointers to take the lead or just take matters into his own hands when it matters the most.
Still, he’s the definition of a pass-first point guard and for a time he was even the best passer in the Association, putting his body on the line to grab a board and constantly looking to set his teammates up.
4. Nikola Jokic
Jokic got into the league as just another European big man to share frontcourt minutes with Jusuf Nurkic until he was given the green light to run the team’s offense, showing vast playmaking skills for a guy his size.
Now, he’s quietly become one of the league’s best passers, and of course, the best passing big guy in the Association, making no look or between the legs dimes and being a nightly triple double threat.
3. Draymond Green
Of course, on the list is the Golden State not so quiet hero: Draymond Green. This guy has emerged as a top 3 defender and perhaps the most versatile guy in the Association, being the primary playmaker in one of the league’s most unselfish and entertaining offenses.
Just so you get the idea, this guy actually recorded a triple double without having double digit points on a team that could score over 120 points on a nightly basis, being the most unselfish guy you’ll ever see on a basketball court.
2. Chris Paul
What makes Chris Paul so incredible, is the fact that he can actually flat out the ball and score 25+ points in a vast variety of ways, but that he’s also constantly racking up assists like he was on a training ground.
Paul’s defense is just outperformed by his offense, and he’s always been the best passer in the league since the very first day he made his debut, constantly leading the league in dimes and steals.
1. LeBron James
LeBron James has the best court vision among all NBA players, and the fact that he’s constantly the leading passer on his teams go far beyond the fact that he’s the guy that actually has the ball in his hands the most.
His over the head passes, his bounce passes, his willingness to put his body on the line to try and set his teammates up, have always made him an elite playmaker and one of the best ball handlers in the history of the game.