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“Magic was everything” — Rod Strickland names the best point guards of all time

Rod Strickland names his Mount Rushmore of NBA point guards, which includes Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Tim Hardaway, and Gary Payton.
Rod Strickland and Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson

Rod Strickland and Magic Johnson

When discussing the best point guards of all time, it is great to hear from those who played the position. Rod Strickland, one of the most famous point guards during the 1990s, shared his thoughts on the matter in a recent episode of Kevin Garnett's show on SHOWTIME Basketball, and his No. 1 pick is hardly surprising.

Who's No. 1?

"That's a hard one," Strickland told Garnett, who asked his list of best point guards of all time. "But I'll tell you Magic [Johnson] was everything. I used to go to the store and buy the uniform, put 32 on and Magic on the back."

The Los Angeles Lakers legend is certainly at the top of a lot of pundits' and fans' Mount Rushmore of point guards. Johnson helped make playing the position fun. He also had a knack for making his teammates better, which inspired Strickland during his 17-year career in the Association.

"I don't even think he knows how much he inspired me," Strickland continued. "It was Dr. J and Magic and George Gervin."

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Who else made Strickland's cut?

For his second pick, one of the original point gods mentioned Johnson's rival, Isiah Thomas.

"But Isiah Thomas, I don't think, he doesn't get enough credit," Strickland further said.

When Garnett pointed out how the former Detroit Pistons champion had "crazy handles," Strickland couldn't help but agree.

The one-time NBA assist leader then found it difficult to determine who else to put on his list, exclaiming that Johnson and Thomas stand out from the rest of the pack.

After some thinking, he rounded out his list with Tim Hardaway, the original crossover king, and Gary Payton, the first point guard to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Unfortunately, Strickland never got to finish his list, as he and Garnett had plenty of fun during their discussion.

But maybe the DePaul University standout should have thrown his own name in the hat. After all, his handles and slick layup package are as impressive as it gets.

It is quite unfortunate that Strickland never got the All-Star treatment when several retired players, including Hardaway, Payton, Sam Cassell, and Chris Childs, saw him as one of the toughest matchups they have ever had. Hopefully, more people will come to appreciate "Hot Rod" over time.

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