Who was the better NBA Point Guard: Chris Paul or John Stockton?

Chris Paul.

John Stockton only really has one thing on CP3 which is longevity. And Stockton honestly has that over EVERY point guard. Stockton was one of the most durable players ever, he was a tough player, and also a dirty player and averaged double digit assists longer than anyone else.

However, we can’t use longevity purely and say that it means one player was better than the other. By that metric, Mark Jackson could be considered better than Isiah Thomas since he played longer and had more total assists.

Chris Paul has more All-Star appearances, as many All-NBA teams, and more All-Def teams – this despite playing less seasons than Stockton.

CP3 led the league in steals a record 6 times – Stockton despite being the all time leader in steals only led in steals twice.

Stockton leads CP3 in assists and APG – but honestly not by very much considering that he played with Karl Malone almost his whole career. CP3 still manages to have the 4th highest APG all time despite playing with a much more diverse cast than Magic or Stockton or Oscar (the three guys ahead of him). Passing wise I’d say they are fairly close (not looking at raw APG but based on their ability).

Also, despite CP3 being 3 inches shorter, he averages almost 2 more rebounds than Stockton.

and of course the obvious one is scoring. CP3 is just a better scorer and shot creator, period. Stockton and CP3 are about the same when it comes to shooting efficiency – but Stockton was never a go to offensive player. Both Stockton and CP3 have hit memorable clutch shots (Stockton’s buzzer beater vs the Rockets in 1997 and CP3’s Game 7 buzzer vs the Spurs in 2015) but you couldn’t rely on Stockton to consistently create those shots or to lead a team to victory the way CP3 has.

Stockton would routinely get his ass handed to him on one on one matchups by much quicker dynamic PGs like Isiah Thomas, Kevin Johnson, Tim Hardaway and Mark Price.

CP3’s finest performance came just this last playoffs versus his former team the Clippers in a masterpiece Game 6 performance. What’s amazing about all of CP3’s performances is that he does this while having little to no turnovers – he’s second all time in assist/turnover ratio, which is why he is often referred to as the Point God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMLP_M0nbFc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wCm_zBDjEo

Or a 14/14 perfect game.. never seen Stockton do that.

Neither CP3 or Stockton has a ring – but they both have led their team to Finals. What’s amazing about this is that both of them did this in their mid 30s. Stockton and Malone led their Jazz to the Finals when Stockton was 34 and 35 years old. In both those Finals Stockton averaged only 15 and 10 PPG respectively, and 9 APG in both series.

Despite everyone criticizing CP3’s play in the 2021 Finals, he had a better Finals series than Stockton ever had, averaging 23/3/9 on 55% shooting – this at 36 years old! Older than even Stockton was. And Devin Booker may be a great scorer but he’s not Karl Malone yet. And for all the talk about CP3 shying away from a shot (which isnt true cause CP3 has lots of clutch moments in his career), Stockton wasn’t even trusted to take those shots in the first place so there’s something to be said there too. CP3’s Finals performance was still better than Stockton’s 2 Finals performances, it’s quite easy to see there.

Also, there’s something to be said about Stockton playing under a system with a great coach in Jerry Sloan and a great teammate in Karl Malone. CP3 has managed to have the same level of playoff success – with a far more unstable cast of teammates and coaches – which is far harder to do.

Adding to that – Stockton has never finished higher than #7 in MVP voting – which was in 1989. For comparison, CP3 finished #2 in MVP voting in 2008 and top 6 in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2021. So 7 times, CP3 finished higher in MVP voting than Stockton ever did.

To me, Stockton is just outside my top 5 of PGs – probably #6 all time. While CP3 is definitely in my top 5 and very close with Isiah Thomas and Curry honestly. He would probably be higher if he had a stable cast of great teammates like Isiah and Curry had.

Edit:

A lot of people commenting that CP3 had ‘a lot of’ talent and got nothing done and Stockton somehow won ‘more’. Let’s actually debunk this ok?

CP3 had David West on his Hornets team. He took the Duncan Big 3 Spurs to 7 games with that inferior supporting cast.

CP3 had Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan on the Clippers. When they were all heathy, they beat the Curry/Klay/Draymond/Iggy Warriors in 2014 – just one year before they won the championship. In 2015 he beats the defending champ Spurs. Other times either Griffin or CP3 was injured.

CP3 had James Harden on the Rockets. While he was healthy, he almost beat the super stacked Curry/KD Warriors in 2018. But he got injured and they lost in 7.

CP3 had basically nobodies on the OKC team he went to in 2020. He took the Westbrook/Harden Rockets to 7 games despite not having anybody else.

CP3 had Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton on the Suns. He took them from a lottery team to the Finals in 2021 (beat Lebron/AD defending champ Lakers in first round) and lost to Giannis and Middleton Bucks. Shot 55% being guarded by Jrue Holiday a great defender. No shame there.

What did John Stockton do? His whole career he had Karl Malone a top 3 PF all time and Mark Eaton a 2x DPOY and Jeff Hornacek a former all star Suns player and he kept getting bounced in the playoffs by the Supersonics, Blazers and Rockets until finally the West got weaker and he was able to go to the Finals twice. And still lost.

CP3 is so disrespected it’s crazy SMH. Everytime he’s had even a little bit of help he’s overachieved with it.


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