When it comes to the NBA, it’s a rare occurrence when players share something in common that is more than a common last name such as Smith or which college they came from before entering the league. In fact, as of the 2017 NBA draft, the most common name in the NBA was ‘Williams’, with only 10 players sharing the surname out of the 300+ players in the league. So even when it comes to last names, things are rare, which makes this upcoming fact even more impressive.
According to Reddit user and super sleuth Etzutrap, out of the nine Richardson’s to have played in the NBA over the course of its history, every single one of them has played the shooting guard position. All nine of them.
The fact there have only been nine Richardson’s to ever play in the NBA is surprising enough in itself considering it’s not the most uncommon surname, but the fact that all nine of them played the 2-guard is even crazier.
Second round pick, played from 1979 to 1987, averaged 7/2.5/2.4, played Shooting Guard for nearly his whole career.
5th overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft, played until 2015, missing the 13-14 season with a knee injury. Averaged 17.1/2.7/5 across his whole career, and played SG as his main position for all but one season.
Undrafted out of Delta State University, played for 6 teams in 3 years, from 2006 to 2009. Averaged 1.9/0.1/0.6, and split his time pretty evenly between SG and SF, depending upon the team he played for.
40th pick of the 2015 draft, and first active player on the list. In his first 3 years in the NBA, he has averaged 12.9/2.9/3.4, and while he has certainly favored SF more as his career has advanced, he still played his rookie year largely at SG, and still goes back to the position with regularity this season.
22nd pick of the 2016 NBA draft, Malachi Richardson has averaged 3.5/0.5/1.2 in his first two years as an NBA player, and has played SG for the majority of his time in the league.
Micheal Ray Richardson
4th pick of the 1974 NBA draft, Michael was a 4-time all-star, two time 1st team all-defense selection, and was the 1984-85 comeback player of the year. He averaged 14.8/7/5.5 with 2.6 steals across his successful, but fairly short career due to a apparent drug habit. He was admittedly more of a point guard, but still played considerable minutes at SG, especially in the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons.
An undrafted player, Norm played only 1 season, 2001-02, and played in only 11 games. In his time in the NBA, he averaged 2.7/0.2/0.5, (16.1 points per 36 though, lowkey underrated???) and played SG for a majority of it.
10th pick of the 1989 NBA draft, and first ever pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Pooh averaged 11.1/6.5/2.8 and was elected to the 1989-90 1st team all-rookie squad. Basketball ref only lists him as a PG, but an article on AXS.com titled “The five best Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guards of all-time” lists Pooh as #2, and stated that he was “playing both guard positions and doing it well for the three seasons he was in Minnesota.” I rest my case.
The 18th pick of the 2000 NBA draft, Quentin had something of an up and down 13 season career, which concluded after the 2012-13 NBA season. During it, he averaged 10.3/1.5/4.7, and seemed to favor SG at the beginning of his career, before transitioning to SF, for the most part, in the latter half of his career.
Etzutrap names off the likes of Micheal Ray Richardson and Jason Richardson, arguably the two most successful of the bunch, as well as active players Josh Richardson and Malachi Richardson, who play for the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors respectively.
“In conclusion, Richardsons and shooting guards go together like cherry pie and ice cream, and if you have the last name “Richardson,” you’d better start practicing your 3-point shooting and ball-handling skills.”
He’s not wrong. If you’re an NBA hopeful with the last name Richardson, history tells us that if you play anything other than shooting guard, you’re not gonna go pro.