George Gervin explains why not all players could be like him and Steph Curry: “It’s shot selection”

San Antonio Spurs icon George Gervin made a name for himself with his silky-smooth layups and incredible scoring ability. Similarly, Golden State Warriors star point guard Steph Curry has revolutionized the game with his three-point shooting and long-range accuracy.

However, the “Iceman” reckoned that what sets them apart from other scoring virtuosos in NBA history is not just their shooting prowess but their unique approach to shot selection.

The way Gervin broke it down, he and “Chef Curry” were given the freedom to take as many shots as they wanted because they had a knack for choosing their sweet spots and the right shots at the right time.

“It’s shot selection. I got the green light. Everybody don’t get the green light but if you got the green light, I shoot whenever I want to,” Gervin said on Ballislife Podcast Network. “It’s kind of like ‘Chef’ Steph Curry. We got the green light. He takes some shots you’ll be saying, ‘Oh! Wow!'”

“So, to be able to be in a position in which I was in that position, that my coach said, hey man, you shoot when you wanna, and the reason why you can is because you don’t take bad shots,” he pointed out.

Iceman was big on accuracy

Known for his trademark move, the “finger roll,” Gervin mesmerized fans with his ability to score effortlessly around the basket. The finger roll became his signature shot, which signified his unique style and artistry on the court.

He also earned the nickname “Iceman” for his cool demeanor under pressure and his ability to deliver when it mattered most.

Apart from that, George also racked up a total of 26,595 points throughout his legendary ABA and NBA career. However, the “Iceman” said none of that beats the pride and joy that his total field goal percentage gives him.

For Gervin, for a shooting guard to average over 50% from the field speaks volumes about how great a scorer he truly was during his time.

“I mean, I can shoot whenever I want to so, what I got to take a bad shot for? I ain’t saying I didn’t take none but… I know how to get it done. Because I shot 51 percent in my career, 26,000 points, with my ABA/NBA. I shot 51 percent, I’m more proud of that than I am with the buckets, the accuracy,” the Hall of Famer stressed.

Ice thinks today’s NBA scorers are mostly inefficient

With the exception of Curry, Gervin is not impressed by how inefficient scorers are in today’s NBA. Despite the modern NBA showcasing incredible offensive talent, George thinks most of them don’t possess an aptitude for good shot selection.

For Ice, taking high-percentage shots is a skill that many current NBA players don’t pay much attention to. As a result, Gervin said they often felt the need to take a lot of shots just to meet the offensive contributions expected from them by their respective teams.

“You look at the guys that score today, they shoot 35 times to get 30 points. I ain’t criticizing. I’m showing the difference,” Gervin weighed in. “So, you know, shot selection was everything, and then I could go to the hole with both hands.”

Nobody could score the way the Iceman did

Besides his wonderful finger roll layup, Gervin’s precision made him a nightmare for defenders. That said, the “Iceman” believed that no other top NBA scorer could ever match his style and grace when putting the ball into the hoop, let alone score in bunches with impeccable efficiency.

Well aware of his legacy, Gervin once declared that out of all the greatest scorers of all time, nobody scored like “Iceman,” not even Michael Jordan.

“That’s the only thing I can say. [Jordan] He’s one of the greatest entertainers, one of the greatest winners, he could flat-out play, his stats proved themselves, but he couldn’t score like Ice,” Gervin once assessed.

“He had his own way of scoring,” he continued. “He didn’t score like me. I didn’t score as many points as he did, but I didn’t shoot as much as he did. Mike and Kobe shot more times than anyone in the history of basketball. So that means they missed a lot.”

The skill of selective shooting goes beyond just accuracy. It involves understanding the flow of the game, recognizing defensive strategies, and having the confidence to take the shot when it matters most. Gervin and Curry have mastered the art of reading the game and seizing the opportunities presented in front of them, which explains why they are two of the greatest scorers in the history of the game.

For aspiring basketball players, learning from the likes of George and Steph can be invaluable. By studying their approach to shot selection, young athletes can improve not only their shooting accuracy but also their overall performance on the court.

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