NBA

Top 3 Greatest NBA Players at Every Position of the 1980’s

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Point Guards

8. Derek Harper

7. Micheal Ray Richardson

6. Doc Rivers

5. Gus Williams

4. John Stockton

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3. Dennis Johnson

Unlike another NBA player such as Benard King, Dennis Johnson was the definition of a team player. No matter what the Celtics asked of him, he was always ready to do it. If it meant locking down the opponent’s best player or controlling the pace of the game, Johnson was constantly willing to lay down his individual success for the betterment of his team, and that’s what made him such a successful player. DJ was also one hell of a floor general. What he lacked in size, he gained with pure heart. One of the toughest defenders the game has ever seen, Johnson helped the Celtics win two titles in the ’80s. Offensively he did a little bit of everything; he could hit the mid-range, was tough around the basket and was as clutch as they come. All in all, he was a special player. A player that any coach or teammate would love to have on their team. 

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2. Isiah Thomas

Isiah Thomas will always be one of the toughest, grittiest and dirtiest players to ever play the game. That toughness that existed in his game is what makes him such a legendary player. At just 6’1” and 180 pounds, Thomas imposed his will on his opponents, and that’s why he ended his career with multiple NBA titles – he refused to end his career without one or two. In the 1980s, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete and offensively productive point guard than Thomas. Not only did he score in droves, he also kept his teammates involved, which is something a number of other players on this list struggled to do. Thomas’ determination is something that current NBA players could learn something from, and it’s what made him such a legendary player. The Baby-Faced Assassin will not soon be forgotten.

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1. Magic Johnson

Magic and Larry saved the NBA from obscurity. But, just like he usually did, Magic Johnson beats out Larry Bird as the best player of the 1980’s. During the ’80s, he won more championships, more NBA Finals MVPs and he also played at a more efficient rate. Johnson had a game unlike the world had ever seen. At 6’9″, he was the greatest point guard to ever play. His basketball IQ is second to none and he proved it by helping the Lakers win the Finals during his rookie year. From ’83-’89, Johnson put up 20 points and 12 dimes while the Lakers won three chips. When he abruptly retired due to being infected with the HIV virus, Magic was even the all-time leader in assists. He consistently involved his teammates in the game more often than any other point guard in the 1980s, and he also managed to score and rebound the ball at an impressively-productive rate. Magic’s versatility is something that comes once in a generation, and that’s why his production during the 1980’s is so memorable. There will never be a player like him, which is why his legend will never die.