The 2000’s were a golden era for basketball, with the league’s best player up for grabs following Michael Jordan’s second retirement with the Chicago Bulls after completely dominating the scene throughout the 80’s and 90’s.
Michael Jordan set the table for all shooting guards that came after him, trying to copy his every move and master of the tools needed to be considered the greatest player in the world and accomplish even more than he ever did, something that up to this date still hasn’t happened.
Still, some players got as close as you could get throughout the 2000 decade, and today, we’re going to let you know all about the top 10 best shooting guards of the 2000s.
10. Joe Johnson
ISO Joe doesn’t get the recognition he deserves as one of the most prolific scorers of our time, mostly because he’s lacked the kind of support cast to lead him to the ultimate stage, and he’s struggled to become the team’s go-to-guy mostly because of his low profile personality.
Regardless of where he’s playing, he’s always been a walking bucket, as he’s proven for the Celtics, Suns, Hawks, Nets, Heat, Jazz and now Rockets, making it to 7 All-Stars and the 01-02 All-Rookie squad, and posting career averages of 14 points, 4 boards, 3.9 dimes and 0.8 steals on 44% from the floor.
9. Rip Hamilton
Richard “RIP” Hamilton was one of the main reasons why the Pistons were able to go the distance and reach the ultimate stage of basketball because of his versatile offensive skill set and ability to cash out from beyond the arc.
Playing for the Wizards and Pistons before eventually retiring as a member of the Bulls, Hamilton was one of the most underrated scorers in the league throughout his 14 season career. Over that span, he put averages of 17.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists, won 1 Championship and made it to 3 All-Stars.
8. Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller was the deadliest three-point shooter in the NBA before Ray Allen’s surge, and he was yet one of the players that couldn’t thrive during MJ’s prime mostly because of the lack of good talents surrounding him.
The Knick Killer was one of the harshest trash talkers in the world during his prime and could just light it up and score in bunches on any given night, and he’s considered to be the greatest player in Pacers history. Over his career, he averaged 18.2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.1 steals per game on almost 40% shooting from downtown and making it to 5 All-Stars.
7. Manu Ginobili
When Manu Ginobili first entered the league he was considered to be the best player not playing in the NBA, but there were a lot of doubts regarding his ability to adapt to the NBA, especially in the defensive end of the hardwood.
Needless to say, he proved all of his doubters wrong and became one of the greatest international players in the history of the game with his great basketball IQ, hustle in the defensive end of the floor, his euro step and sharp shooting, helping the Spurs win 4 Championships and averaging 13.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game as one of the greatest 6th men ever.
6. Ray Allen
Way before becoming a three-point specialist, Ray Allen was one of the most athletic and dominant scorers of the league, especially during his Bucks and Sonics era before heading to the Celtics to land the first of his NBA Championships.
Now considered to be one of the greatest three-point shooters in the history of the game, Jesus Shuttlesworth paved his way to a Hall of Famer kind of career, making it to 10 All-Stars, 2 All-NBA teams, and winning a couple of rings with averages of 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 dimes a contest.
5. Vince Carter
Young fans won’t remember Vince’s prime, but besides being the greatest dunker this game has ever seen, he was also one of the clutchest scorers and more locked in defenders when he was playing against top-notch opposition.
Carter’s New Jersey Nets stint was incredibly good but he wasn’t ever able to successfully lead them to the O’Brien Trophy. Still, his career averages of 17.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.3 dimes a game are a lot to brag about, as well as his 8 All-Star appearances and the Rookie of the Year award.
4. Tracy McGrady
During McGrady’s prime, there wasn’t a more unstoppable player in the entire world, and his offensive skill set was so freakingly complete that he could either pull up from everywhere on the floor or just take it all the way to the rim and put you on a poster with great ease.
Sadly, injuries took a major toll in T-Mac’s career, as well as the fact that he was never able to lead his teams during playoff time. Over his career, McGrady won the Most Improved Player award, made it to 7 All-Stars and All-NBA teams, and won back-to-back scoring titles, posting career averages of 19.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
3. Dwyane Wade
Some people believe Wade is the best shooting guard of the decade even ahead of Kobe Bryant, and even though we disagree, he definitely has made a strong case for it ever since making his professional debut in 2003.
The Flash is by far the most important player in Miami Heat’s history, leading the team to all of their 3 Larry O’Brien trophies as one of the most skilled two-way guards in the history of the game. Up to this date, he’s put career averages of 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.9 blocks per game, winning 1 Scoring Title, 1 Finals MVP and making it to 12 All-Stars and 3 All-Defensive teams.
2. Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson was the most talented shooting guard this game has ever seen after Michael Jordan. Boy, he even broke MJ’s ankles during his rookie season and even held the single-season assist record for a rookie in Sixers history until Ben Simmons recently broke it a couple of days ago.
Iverson’s crossover was the best in NBA history, he was such a dominant scorer and sneaky rebounder and deadly in passing lanes. Sadly, lack of discipline and a true support cast stopped him from winning the Chip, but his accolades speak for himself: Rookie of the Year, 11-time All-Star, 3 Steals Titles, 4 Scoring Titles, 1 MVP and averages of 26.7 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
1. Kobe Bryant
And obviously, we’ve got to name the closest player to Michael Jordan, a legend that copied most of his moves to complete a deadly repertoire of his own, that could put together a string of 50 point games with ease, and whose mindset and work ethic were just so tough and impeccable that he went all the way to be considered the greatest player in Lakers history.
The Mamba legacy will live forever and both of his jerseys will hang high in the rafters of the Staples Center after Kobe was able to lead them to 5 Championships, won 1 MVP, made 18 All-Stars, 12 All-Defensive teams, won 2 Scoring Titles and Finals MVPs and averaged 25 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game.