Reggie Miller is entering the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this week. Deservedly so — he is one of the great pure shooters the game has ever seen. But while we tend to think of him as just a guy at the arc he could put the ball on the floor and draw fouls, he was a good passer, he could create shots for himself and others as well.
So as he steps into the building with the all-time greats, where does he rank among the top shooting guards ever to play the game?
Former Pacer, former annoying broadcaster, current Warriors coach Mark Jackson was asked that by the Indianapolis Star and came back with a surprising number.
“When you take Michael Jordan and you take Kobe Bryant out of the discussion, he’s as good as any two-guard that has ever played the game,” Jackson said.
I’m not sure anyone is trying to take them out of the equation, but okay, let’s play that game. Even without them the list is very impressive, here is the group our man Sekou Smith put together at NBA.com.
Let’s see … (and these names are no particular order) George Gervin, Jerry West, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade, Clyde Drexler, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Ray Allen, Joe Dumars and “Pistol” Pete Maravich are names that certainly come to mind when the discussion turns to the top shooting guards of all time.
We could quibble about whether Iverson was a point or two guard, but the list is still valid — Miller is good but guys like West, Gervin, Wade and Maravich are better in my mind.
However, that is a barstool argument about who is the best among some of the greatest to ever play the game, and while I’m willing to do it most of the time this is Reggie Miller’s week in the sun. He is entering the Hall of Fame and he deserves the praise coming to him this week. Now is not the time to nit-pick his game. We’re going to let him have his moment.
But Jackson thinks a little more highly of Miller than some of the rest of us.