When he was in the NBA, Gary Payton was one of the best point guards in the league.
He could put points on the scoreboard and was a feared defender on the perimeter. And because of this he is now in the Hall of Fame so it is safe to say, "The Glove" can spot a true point guard when he sees one.
With that being said, Payton made it clear - there's only three true point guards in the league right now and one of them is San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker.
Via The Republican:
“We don’t really have point guards in the NBA now. We really have (shooting) guards – and that’s a fact,” Payton said. “I think there’s only three true point guards that play like point guards. I think Chris Paul is one, I think (Rajon) Rondo is one, and I think Tony Parker is the other.”
Funny to hear Parker be defined as a true point guard considering he is thought to be a scoring point guard and not looking to pass first. But that has changed for Parker in the past two seasons.
He has upped his assists averages to 7.7 per game in the 2011-12 season and 7.6 in the 2012-13 season. Both averages are career highs considering his best prior to those season was 6.6 assists in the 2010-11 season.
Parker can still light up the scoreboard when he wants but seeing him evolve into a more balance point guard has done wonders for San Antonio. With the torched passed from Tim Duncan to Tony, the Spurs are still considered a perennial title contender and has even garnered him attention as an NBA MVP candidate as last season proved.
With up-and-coming point guards such as Ricky Rubio, and Kyrie Irving, this is truly an era of the point guard in the NBA and Parker is leading the charge after 12-years in the NBA.
Thoughts Spurs fans? Is TP a true point guard and should be be top-3 like Payton said over others such as Derrick Rose, or Deron Williams?
Parker has set a new category of point guards - a system PG. He's very robotic in his execution of the offense and plays well within his limits. He usually makes the correct decision and the Spurs offense is beautiful to watch as the offense starts with him.
I really struggled liking as a pg until about 3 years ago when it seemed like a light turned on and he started focusing on not only looking for the open man but also working the pick and roll better and being a more vocal floor general. Now I absolutely respect him as a pg. Parker has shown he now knows when to look for his shot and when to feed others, though sometimes I think he still forces shots or looks for his first. I do agree with The Glove though. Only thing I'd like to add to Tony's game would be a reliable 3 that he could bust out from time to time when defenses sag on him, but that's nit picking on my part.
The only PG I would consider putting over Parker is Chris Paul. But even then, TP has outdueled CP3 so many times that I'm not even sure I can put Chris Paul over Parker. Still, it's pretty close. Like 66 said, if Rose can come back and be that MVP type of player he was in 2011, he should be right up there with TP and CP3.
TP is a true PG imo. And I'd put TP over Dwill as Dwill has not been very impressive to me the last couple years. DRose, if he returns to form will obviously be right back at the top with TP.
@RyanBury That he's human and doesn't shoot 50% EVERY single game? Cherry picking a single game doesnt really prove anything