San Antonio Spurs legend George Gervin said recently he thinks the “three point shot is the worst in basketball,” and there is no truth to the rumor that he feels this way after years of trying to finger roll it in from way out there unsuccessfully. In a video featured on the Bloguin Network’s Project Spurs website recently, Gervin goes on to support his thesis on the three-ball. A couple points I agree with, a couple points I don’t.
First, here is that video featuring the Iceman:
Now the point that Gervin makes regarding the shooting percentages from three-point range is obviously valid, but we also can’t forget that the shot is actually worth one more point than those shots with better percentages up closer to the basket. I’m not trying to be sarcastic or anything, but to argue that you shoot a lay-up over a three pointer because the percentage of making a lay-up is much higher than that of a three does kinda totally dismiss the one extra point thing.
That said, I think the Iceman is right to tell some people not to shoot as many threes. I would too, but it definitely depends on who you’re talking too. Again, not to be sarcastic, but LeBron shouldn’t shoot as many three pointers as he does. He needs to shoot some, to make guys come out and guard him way out there, but LeBron James needs to take the ball to the basket more than he needs to stand out there shooting three pointers. This has been true for about five years now. Chris Quinn, on the other hand, needs to fire as many threes as he can if he wants to sneak back into the NBA anytime soon. Kyle Korver would be wise to keep firing as well.
Where I also agree with George (even though he didn’t really say this, I just think he meant it) is that the three point shot has created the way basketball is currently played by a lot of people in that the philosophy is either a three-pointer or a dunk. That wasn’t the intention of the three pointer back when it was invented. It was supposed to be “a specialty shot”, as George said, and it really should be treated like that more in a lot of cases. It really isn’t about the shot itself though, more than it is about how people are able to handle the shot – just like anything else. Too much of it, or in the wrong hands, it can be a problem for guys.
When the lure of the three pointer forces LeBron James to heave up a thirty foot brick, when he could’ve easily dunked on whoever was standing in the the paint, I think everyone in the world would agree with Gervin. It is the worst shot ever. When it earned Craig Hodges a paycheck as a member of the Chicago Bulls for all those years, it was a pretty great invention. It all depends on how you use it.