The Dime Position Guide: 2nd Edition

By: 05.24.14
Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard (Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)

Every few years, Dime presents a guide to help you understand the basketball positions. Are you new to the game? Confused as to which position to play? We’re here to help!


Back in the old days, basketball teams didn’t have positions. Coaches simply put their five best players on the court, which is silly, but no one knew any better. Luckily, John Hollinger stepped in and created positions so that the players could be organized and analyzed.

[RELATED: Dime A Dime Guide: Which Basketball Position Is For Me?]

And Daryl Morey was there, and he saw that it was good.


Ricky Rubio, Steve Nash

Ricky Rubio, Steve Nash (Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)

The point guard position was invented so that short people could play basketball. Casual fans LOVE point guards, especially the small white ones. This is because casual fans have never played basketball and have no idea how annoying point guards can be.

In theory, the point guard is the facilitator, the selfless leader who dribbles the ball up the court and looks to feed his teammates.

Ha ha, theories are funny. People become point guards because they want to have the ball in their hands at all times, because they want to be in control, because they don’t trust anyone, because short people.

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The most important rule for point guards is to act tough. This way, people will start to call you a “floor general,” which is a name that was coined by Napoleon, who was also a little dude. The second most important rule for a point guard is to make sure you have plenty of teammates around before you start fighting anybody, which is a thing that Napoleon did not do.


James Harden, Dwyane Wade

James Harden, Dwyane Wade (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

Mothers and fathers, if you have an only child, he or she will grow up believing they are a shooting guard. They are strange creatures, aloof and odd. A shooting guard will wear rubber bands on his wrist, a sweatband on his head, a padded shooting sleeve that covers his entire arm, a brace on his knee, and will think nothing of holding up a pickup game or a team practice to tape a pinky finger on his shooting hand that has never been injured.

Deep down inside, every shooting guard believes that he or she has been chosen. They have grown up watching Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, and in their minds they believe that the best player on any team is always the shooting guard. During games they will spend long stretches on offense standing in the corner, brooding and waiting for teammates to come and set screens. Some shooting guards believe that it is against the rules for them to venture inside the three point arc for any reason.

The one exception to this is the end-of-game scenario, where the shooting guard sprints out to midcourt and demands the ball as the clock winds down. He then waves all of his teammates away and begins to dribble back and forth while everyone stands and watches. When the clock reaches six seconds he will jackknife towards the hoop and chuck up an off-balance jumper, often with two or three defenders draped all over him. This almost never works, but shooting guards don’t care, because they were fouled on that play, man. There is always a foul.

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