The shooting guard spot is my 2nd favorite position in basketball, with power forward being first. The shooting guard spot allows for a lot of freedom and a lot of potential to make big plays. 2 guards (as I like to call them) have the ability to move off the ball or also have the ball in their hands on many possessions. They can make plays themselves or make playmakers look good with their ability to knock down shots or finish at the rim. It is a shooting guard's versatility that can make him so dangerous and productive.
Note: This list is my 5 favorite shooting guards, not who I think are the 5 best ever.
5. Clyde Drexler (Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets)
A true finisher and athlete off the dribble or off the pass, Drexler is also one of my favorite dunkers. He excelled in the open court with the ball in his hands, and backed down from no one. Not just a dunker, Drexler improved as a shooter as his NBA career went on. He knew how to score the ball and dominate a game using his pure athleticism and skill with the ball.
4. George Gervin (Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls)
Gervin is a tremendously underrated and undervalued player in the history of basketball if you ask me. Nicknamed the Iceman for his calm and laid back mood, he played a few seasons in the ABA before the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976. If you watch Gervin you will notice a graceful scorer and deceptive athlete with the penchant to score at any time. A 3 time scoring champion, Gervin (only 6'7) could shoot the hook shot with the skill of a player like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or throw down a thunderous dunk similar to Julius Erving.
3. Pete Maravich (Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans/Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics)
What more can be said about Maravich than that he was ahead of his time? He had the ball in his hands at many times (like a PG), but the way he approached the game was like a 2 guard. As game reels would tell you, Maravich could score at will. He was an unbelievable ball handler, passer, and shooter. Watching highlight reels of Maravich makes me think he was one of the must influential players in basketball history. His jaw-dropping passes and ball fakes made opposing players look lost and unworthy on the court.
2. Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards)
The nemesis of my favorite shooting guard of all time, but certainly a player I loved watching. I wept when Jordan and the Bulls knocked the Pacers out of the playoffs in 1998. Even though Jordan halted my Pacers in '98, I always loved his style of play and athletic prowess. He was a tremendously skilled player off the dribble or off the catch and shoot. Simply put, Jordan could burn anyone in many ways. Even in his later years as a Washington Wizard, Jordan was a competitor through and through.
1. Reggie Miller (Indiana Pacers)
Not the greatest shooting guard of all time, but certainly one of the best shooters in NBA history. People knock Miller for being a "flopper" and a chronic complainer, but is established as one of the best clutch performers ever in both regular season and playoff games. A trash talker and scrappy player, I loved watching Reggie Miller play for my hometown Indiana Pacers as I grew up.
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