The Phoenix Suns have may have a storied history at the point guard position, from Kevin Johnson to Jason Kidd to Starbury to Steve Nash.
But it’s their recent history employing small forwards with funky shooting forms that may start to become associated with the Suns franchise as well.
Will Josh Jackson’s career better resemble that of Shawn Marion or Josh Childress, two other recent do-everything small forwards with funky jump shots who played for the Suns?
I know you’re thinking - how in the world can you put Josh Childress in the same sentence as the legendary Shawn Marion?
Frankly, the 6’8” string bean Childress was once viewed as a poor man’s Marion by the Hawks.
And all three, including Suns rookie Josh Jackson, come into the league with a jump shot that makes shooting gurus and casual fans cringe.
The funky jumper
First, here’s the Matrix
Here’s Marion among some other bad shooting forms, where #TheStarters rank Marion’s shot as the second worst ever.
Still, Marion made 33% of his threes in his career, with a career high 35% in one high-volume season for the SSOL Suns.
Childress was also a career 33% shooter on threes, much of that buoyed by a 36% clip as a Hawk before leaving the NBA for big money in Greece. He rejoined the NBA with the Suns on a full midlevel deal, but never lived up to... well, anything.
Now watch this offseason improvement video from the great Mike Schmitz, when he was with Valley of the Suns, to see Childress’ shooting form after that first gawdawful season.
Josh Jackson’s jumper doesn’t look quote so bad by comparison, but it still needs a lot of work.
Here is Suns rookie Josh Jackson’s highlight reel from the just-finished Las Vegas Summer League, where he earned first-team All-NBA Summer League honors.
All three players have a funky jump shot.
They each came to the Suns as a player who could do a lot of different things at a high level. Of course, Shawn Marion turned his skills into a likely Ring of Honor, if not Basketball Hall of Fame, career while Josh Childress flamed out in Phoenix after experiencing a promising start to his career in Atlanta.
Let’s look at the first two seasons of each of Marion and Childress’ careers in the NBA.
Both started their careers strong. Childress was seen as one one of the best sixth men in the league, coming on behind Josh Smith but still playing 31 minutes per game just like Marion.
Marion was more productive, but Childress was the overall better shooter. Both delivered in a multitude of ways, from scoring to rebounding to passing, steals and blocks.
If the Suns get either of these two sets of numbers from Josh Jackson in his first two years in the valley, we should be satisfied with the pick.
I know you don’t remember much good from Childress, but here’s the good side of Childress in one play sequence, attacking the rim, playing heads-up defense to get the steal, and then finishing with a dunk.
It may give you chills to think of Josh Jackson having a J-Chill kind of career in the NBA, but their games and that of Shawn Marion are not dissimilar.
Let's just hope Jackson gives us fond memories, no matter whose career he more emulates.