, the smallest of the frontcourt
positions. Also known as the 3. The small forward is traditionally a scoring position, and is usually occupied by a tall shooting guard
or a short power forward
. Most shooting guards can also play the 3 position, and are then known as swingmen
Famous small forwards include Larry Bird, Dominique Wilkins, Scottie Pippen, and Julius Erving. The best of the current crop are Vince Carter, Grant Hill, and Shawn Marion. It is actually fairly difficult to pin down the natural positions of some players, as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant may either be shooting guards or small forwards.
The small forward is supposed to be a versatile scorer, able to knock down long jump shots and score inside as well. While some small forwards, such as Shawn Marion, are extremely sick rebounders, the norm for the position is 5 to 7 boards a game. Marion hauls down around 10 a game, an unheard-of total from the 3 position. Most small forwards are only adequate ballhandlers, and defense is not one of the requirements on most teams.