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Jackson says Reggie Miller is third best shooting guard ever

Sep 4, 2012, 10:11 AM EDT

Reggie Miller Getty Images

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.

  1. LPad - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    forget arguing about whether A.I. is a one or two, the Pearl was a one

  2. knightrider1755 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I think highly of him and yes he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame like the rest of them.

  3. djstickypants - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Wasn’t the Pistol also a “one”? And sorry Miller was way better than dumars.

  4. lakerluver - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I would take Miller over Dumars too but way better? I doubt that very seriously. Dumars didn’t score as much as Miller because he was more of a combo guard. And he shared the backcourt with another HOF’er. Defensively Dumars was definitely better than Miller.

  5. miamatt - Sep 4, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    One of the all time greats, I got a laugh re-watching “Reggie Miller versus Spike Lee” on youtube. Call me a homer, but I take Wade over Miller hands down. Still, the game was greatly diminished the day Reggie Miller walked off a basketball court for the last time.

    Now if we want to talk broadcasting, I’ll take Mark Jackson over Reggie any day. “Momma, there goes that man…”

    • skids003 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM

      I’m rooting for anyone versus Spike Lee,

  6. zblott - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Reggie Miller is almost without question the least dominant guard ever in the HOF, and that’s even looking past his uninspiring career stats (18-3-3). Not only that, for his “clutch” reputation, his teams got past the first round only 5 times in his first 15 years before he faded to a peripheral role, and they lost more Game 5/7’s than they won. Selective memory, anyone?

    http://www.behindthebasket.com/btb/2012/4/2/reggie-miller-worst-guard-in-hof-not-great-during-own-era-ju.html

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      So Z…lemme guess. Knicks fan? Pistons fan? No? Ahhhh…Bulls fan then?

  7. krockog1 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Other then Jerry West and Ray Allen, Reggie had a better jump shot then all the rest.

  8. passerby23 - Sep 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    I would call Iverson a 2 and I think everyone you listed there are ahead of Miller.

  9. professoressadiesel - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    ^^^^^^Someone needs hits to their site. ^^^^^^

    I think that’s the 3rd time I’ve seen that link on here.

  10. vikes69 - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    id take miller over wade anyday…. Wade and dumar are not in the top 10 sg of all time

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:38 AM

      Look up their statistics and individual accomplishments and try again later.

  11. bougin89 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    This may sound rough(depending on if you’re a Vince Carter fan) but I would say Reggie Miller was on a level that Vince Carter was on. I’m not comparing how they played because their games were very, very different but I don’t think Vince Carter would ever be thought of as the greatest shooting guard of his era and probably would be debated as top 5ish in his era. I think the same of Reggie Miller. Both never won anything(not that rings are the only deciding factor of a legacy) and both had areas in their game that could have been improved(mainly defense). All in all, I could name a few shooting guards in the league that I thought were better than them even while they were in their prime.

    That being said, both were fun to watch and at their best they could both light it up on any given night.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      One big difference between Vince and Reggie. Reggie could shoot and Vince can’t.

      • bougin89 - Sep 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        Well, in fairness, let’s file that one under the “obvious” file. I wasn’t comparing their games because they couldn’t be much more different(as I said in my post) but I was comparing Miller to a current player as far as how you would view Miller in the NBA today. A bit of a stretch maybe but I think my overall point is pretty accurate.

  12. camnellum12 - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I’ve only agreed with zblott a few times, but I’m with him all the way on this one. It’s a stretch saying Reggie Miller “deserves to be in the Hall”, maybe he should because of him being the greatest Indiana Pacer, or maybe for him being arguably the greatest 3PT shooter ever, but for a player that’s only had 13 career double-doubles and was a huge defensive liability, he shouldn’t even be in the Hall.

    Jerry West should be the automatic No.3 SG on this list, hell, he could be No.2, but Kobe’s rings make fans say other wise. If only steals and 3PT shots were a statistic back in Jerry West’s prime, he’d be more appreciated for what he did in the 60’s. Mark Jackson should worry about avoiding strippers rather than saying an outrageous statement like this.

  13. ebrownwareagle - Sep 4, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I think it is an absolute Joke for people to comment on guys from the 60’s and part of the 70’s when they have never seen them play; yet say they are greater than guys from this era. Just as misguided as a future 20 year old saying Babe Ruth is the greatest hitter he has ever seen.

    • camnellum12 - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      Jerry West was well known for his long range jumpshots and great defensive play, it’s all documented. And quotes from legends in his era on justifies it. It’s nothing wrong with being a student of the game, and I’ve never said I’ve seen Jerry West play before.

      • manchestermiracle - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:52 PM

        I’ve seen Zeke from Cabin Creek play (in person) and you’re right about him. Miller isn’t in the same class as West. There’s a reason the NBA logo is a silhouette of Jerry West.

  14. davidly - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Now is not the time to nit-pick his game.
    You pretty much just did. Some moment in the sun you’re giving him there, Kurt.

    • khadeemw - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      Thats tru, but he shouldnt be a hall of famer anyway so who cares.

  15. ebrownwareagle - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Did someone get offended?!

    • camnellum12 - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      No, but I was the only one that mentioned a player of the 60’s on this thread, Captain Obvious LOL

  16. lakerluver - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    @camnellum12
    You criticize Miller for being a poor defender than you say West could be 2nd on this list ahead of Kobe?! Dude, there has only been two shooting guards ever who were both prolific scorers AND great defenders, MJ and Kobe. That’s why it’s clear who the top 2 sg’s are. They separate themselves from all the rest.

    • khadeemw - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:21 PM

      Clyde Drexler was a great defender and a prolific scorer. Maybe not to the extent of Jordan but he was definitely one of those guys you can say made huge impacts on both ends of the floor.

    • camnellum12 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM

      Wow, lakerluver, if you’re going to have the franchises’ name as apart of your tag, why don’t you know your Laker legends more? Steals didn’t become a official statistic in the NBA until the 1973-1974 season, Jerry’s last season, and he averaged 2.6 STLS in 31 games in his final season, as a 35 year old veteran. He was a well known wing defender in his heyday, I’m sure he was just as good, or probably better perimeter defender than Kobe. Also, West averaged 30+ PPG 4x in his career to Kobe’s 2, was a much better passer, and he was a better player in crunch time. So, how isn’t Jerry West a good argument for No.2?

      • cramsinned - Sep 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM

        Also, there’s no three point line in West’s era

  17. khadeemw - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Im not gonna go into the players Ive never seen play. But I know for sure that Clyde Drexler, A.I(If you consider him a 2guard) Ray Allen, and Dwyane Wade for sure to be better. Then they’re are players like Latrell Sprewell, Vince Carter, Mitch Richmond, and Tracy McGrady(Once again if you consider him a 2) that I would consider to be a better player than Reggie Miller. In my opinion Reggie Miller isnt a hall of famer. In my opinion the only thing that seperates Reggie Miller from guys like Allan Houston, Richard Hamilton, and Michael Finley are some clutch playoffs moment on national television.

    • tcclark - Sep 7, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      I wish I could give you more thumbs up than just one. People are clouded by the media perception of Reggie Miller and I used to be one of them. The truth is, Reggie played in Mitch Richmond’s shadow for most of his career (look at the All-NBA teams, Reggie wasn’t the #2 Shooting Guard, Richmond was). Mark Jackson’s statement is laughable.

  18. paulhargis53 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    It figures that lakerluver has no clue. A simple look into his wiki page shows Jerry West was great both offensively and defensively. 4 time all NBA 1st team defensive player. The catch, he only has 4 because they didn’t have those teams until his age 32 season.

    For such a huge Lakers fan, you know very little of the teams history.
    Your man love for Kobe precludes you from accepting FACTS.
    No sense of history whatsoever.

    Clownshoes dude, you’re clownshoes.

    You and bozosforall have to be the 2 dumbest people on this site.

    If you’re such a big fan, how could you not know the history of the team?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_West

    • camnellum12 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      The entire Laker base isn’t ignorant to NBA history, I’m a Laker fan

  19. loungefly74 - Sep 4, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    obviously Jackson is sticking up for his teammate and friend, nothing wrong with that. also, with reggie getting into the HoF this week…its all about him.
    to me, reggie is one of those guys who barely got in the HoF and his bravado/showmanship is what help pushed him over. i will admit though, i had a great time watching him play…

  20. thestudiokida - Sep 4, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Ray Allen > Reggie Miller

  21. 00maltliquor - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    What?! No mention of The Big O, Oscar Robertson?!

    • eventhorizon04 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      He’s one of those players who is near “position-less” because they did so much, but he’s listed as a point guard.

      • 00maltliquor - Sep 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM

        Yeah, he’s a combo-guard, but I hear you. They had A.I. in the convo so I figured the lines were a bit blurred position-wise so why not even give O a shout out, you know.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:01 PM

      Oscar was a point guard. Damn near averaged a triple double for his career.
      Another Hoosier with serious basketball skills.

  22. lakerluver - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Say what you like, the majority would I agree with me that the two best sg’s of all time are MJ and Kobe.

    • shempbat - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      Actually, the majority on this blog are saying that you’re full of Kobe.

  23. lakerluver - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Don’t have to look up his stats, I simply listen to those that have played or coached in the NBA. But of course you know more about basketball than they do.

  24. lakerluver - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Why am I even debating this anyway. The question is not who number 1 or 2 is, it’s who’s number 3.

  25. lakerluver - Sep 5, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Don’t be angry at me, I’m in the majority. As a matter of fact, many NBA types might even pick D. Wade 3rd. West would have a much harder time scoring on MJ, Kobe and Wade than they would have scoring on him. He was about the same size as Wade and not as athletic as any of the above mentioned players. And, yes, I’m a West fan.

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