Mark Jackson Snubs Stephen Curry from Top 5 PGs, Praises 'True Maestros'

Exploring the shift in NBA's point guard paradigms.

by Nouman Rasool
Mark Jackson Snubs Stephen Curry from Top 5 PGs, Praises 'True Maestros'
© Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In the evolving landscape of the NBA, few figures command as much respect and attention as former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson. Known affectionately as 'Action,' Jackson played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of Stephen Curry's career, transforming him into the MVP and champion we admire today.

His tenure with the Warriors from 2011 to 2014 coincided with Curry's meteoric rise to stardom, a journey Jackson has often lauded in high regard. Despite his admiration for Curry's prowess on the court, Jackson stirred the pot in a recent episode of The Mark Jackson Show.

When pressed to name his all-time top point guards, the 1988 NBA Rookie of the Year notably excluded Curry from his list. Instead, he placed Magic Johnson at the pinnacle, followed by Isiah Thomas, John Stockton, Jason Kidd, and interchangeably, Steve Nash and Chris Paul, highlighting their roles as 'pure point guards.'

Point Guard Evolution

Jackson's delineation between traditional and modern point guards sheds light on the evolving nature of the position. Today's point guards often embody a hybrid role, blending scoring with their playmaking duties, a shift from the past where the emphasis was more on orchestration than scoring.

This distinction was the crux of Jackson's argument, suggesting that Curry, despite his groundbreaking impact, does not fit the mold of a 'pure' point guard. "I'm talking about six guys that run a team like true maestros," Jackson elaborated, underscoring the unique qualities of his selected point guards.

He acknowledged Gary Payton's greatness but argued that even 'The Glove' did not manage a team in the same vein as his top picks. Interestingly, Jackson is not alone in this assessment. Isiah Thomas, another legend of the game and ranked second on Jackson's list, also opined that Curry transcends the traditional point guard categorization.

Appearing on The Draymond Green Show, Thomas lauded Curry's unique approach to the game, stating, "What he's been able to do for this generation of play and the way he's won it has been different than anybody else has ever tried to do it." This debate highlights the ongoing evolution of basketball, where the lines defining positions and roles are increasingly blurred.

Curry's exclusion from the list of 'pure point guards' by figures like Jackson and Thomas does not detract from his brilliance but rather underscores the uniqueness of his contribution to the sport. As basketball continues to evolve, so too will the criteria for greatness, leaving room for players like Curry to carve their own unparalleled legacies.

Stephen Curry