ProHoopsHistory HOF: Dennis Johnson

Pro Hoops History

Was Dennis Johnson a point guard or a shooting guard?

It’s a question with no easy answer. While with the SuperSonics, Johnson played alongside Gus Williams and Freddie Brown in the backcourt. All three men were under 6’4″ in height and all had assists tallies around 3 or 4 per game. While with the Phoenix Suns a somewhat clearer picture emerged with Johnson being the point guard, but the Suns distributed the burden of orchestrating offense widely, even to center Alvan Adams. Things got murkier yet in Boston. Danny Ainge, Gerald Henderson, and Larry Bird could all assume ball-handling and/or orchestration duties. Adding Bill Walton to the mix in 1986 didn’t do much to resolve the impasse.

Not until the late 1980s when Dennis Johnson was on the back nine of his career could you say the man was truly a classical definition of point guard. All this long while…

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