We'll Give You an NBA Star, You Tell Us Which Position They Play

By: Jonnathan Chadwick

We'll Give You an NBA Star, You Tell Us Which Position They Play
Image: Wiki Commons by Keith Allison

About This Quiz

One of the most important things to understand when watching sports is understanding player positions. In some leagues, like the NFL and MLB, it's pretty easy to recognize a player's position. The guy standing at first base with a glove on plays the position of first base. The person who kicks field goals in an NFL game is the kicker. It's pretty straightforward. Quarterbacks don't play in the running back position, and first basemen don't play in the catcher position. But the NBA isn't so cut and dry.

There was a time in the NBA where the point guard would only play point guard, and the center would only play center, but those days are long gone. Today's NBA is a world where one player on the court might play every single position. The point guard might be seven feet tall, and the center might be 6'7''. It's not unusual to see centers shooting three-pointers and the point guard dunking down low. And to make things more complicated, there are more "unicorn" players in the league like Kristaps Porzingis, LeBron James, Ben Simmons, Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo than ever before. These guys are so unique they can play every position, and they frequently do.

For the most part, the point guard is the smallest person on the floor, and the center is the largest. They're labeled with numbers one through five, and they all have a specific role. How well do you know the NBA's biggest stars? We'll give you the star; you give us the position.



18 - Chris Paul Do you know what position Chris Paul plays?
Shooting guard
Point guard
Chris Paul rose to fame while still playing in high school. He once scored 61 points in a game to honor his grandfather (aged 61) who had died a few days earlier. The most memorable moment of the game came when Paul purposely missed a free throw so he wouldn't score 62 points.
Small forward
Power forward

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35 - Steven Adams Do you know what position New Zealand native Steven Adams plays?
Point guard
Center
Steven Adams is known as one of the strongest and toughest NBA players. He was selected by OKC in the first round of the 2013 draft and has played center for the team ever since. He played high school ball in New Zealand and Massachusetts before attending the University of Pittsburgh.
Power forward
Shooting guard

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7 - James Harden James Harden is known around the world as "The Beard." What position does he play?
Guard
James Harden started his career as a shooting guard playing alongside Russell Westbrook. He then took over point-guard duties on the Houston Rockets and won a league MVP award at the position. He re-teamed with Westbrook for the 2019-20 season.
Power forward
Center
Small forward

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8 - Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony isn't done playing basketball just yet. What position does he play?
Small forward
Carmelo shot to basketball fame when he led the Syracuse Orangemen to an NCAA championship as a freshman. He was selected in that year's NBA draft behind LeBron James and Darko Milicic. He was the NBA scoring champion in 2013.
Point guard
Shooting guard
Center

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17 - Jimmy Butler Jimmy Butler is one of the best two-way players in the NBA. What position does he play?
Point guard
Shooting guard/small forward
Jimmy Butler isn't a pure shooting guard, but he isn't a pure forward either. He's somewhere in between and is one of the league's best perimeter defenders. He was the last pick in the first round of the 2011 draft and has made four All-Star teams since.
Center
Power forward

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6 -  Joel Embiid What position does Joel Embiid play?
Shooting guard
Point guard
Center
The NBA is a fluid game, and it's unlikely for a player only to play one position their entire career, so Joel Embiid is listed as a power forward and a center, but he mostly plays center. He's made two All-Star selections as a center.
Small forward

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25 - Kristaps Porzingis Kevin Durant dubbed Kristaps Porzingis a "unicorn." What position does he play?
Shooting guard
Small forward
Power forward/center
Kristaps Porzingis earned the "Unicorn" nickname because he's a 7'3'' center who can shoot like a shooting guard and dribble like a point guard. He's usually the tallest player on the court and naturally plays the center position, but he's listed as a power forward.
Point guard

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5 - Kevin Durant Kevin Durant is one of the best shooters in the league. What position does he play?
Forward
Kevin Durant is 6'10'' with a 7'5'' wingspan and has one of the purest jump shots in the NBA. Most players of his height play low in the paint, but he's a perimeter player who can hang with the guards. He's listed as a small/power forward.
Shooting guard
Center
Point guard

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37 - JJ Redick JJ Redick is known for his exceptional three-point shooting skills. What position does he play?
Point guard
Shooting guard
JJ Redick is one of Duke University's most famous players. He never won an NCAA championship, but he was recognized as the country's best college basketball player for the 2005-06 season. He's played shooting guard his entire career.
Center
Small forward

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3 - Steph Curry Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are known as the "Splash Brothers." What position does Steph Curry play?
Power forward
Point guard
Steph Curry is arguably the greatest three-point shooter in NBA history, but he's not a shooting guard. He plays point guard. The Ohio native has played for the Golden State Warriors his entire career and has led the Warriors to multiple rings.
Small forward
Shooting guard

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27 - Patrick Beverley What position does defensive specialist Patrick Beverley play?
Guard
Patrick Beverley stands 6'1'', but if he has to guard someone who is seven feet tall, he can. He's listed as a point guard/shooting guard, but he mostly plays point guard. He will guard whatever position the best player on the opposing team is playing.
Small forward
Power forward
Center

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33 - Bradley Beal What position does Bradley Beal play?
Point guard
Shooting guard
Bradley Beal was drafted by the Washington Wizards in 2012 and has played shooting guard for the team his entire career. He first played in the back-court alongside John Wall, but after Wall got injured, the 5'9'' Isaiah Thomas took over at point.
Small forward
Power forward

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13 - Nikola Jokic Nikola Jokic went from second-round draft pick to NBA All-Star playing what position?
Power forward
Center
Nikola Jokic was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2014 draft. The Serbian native stands seven feet tall and has played center his entire career. He made his first NBA All-Star team in 2018-2019.
Small forward
Shooting guard

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26 - Draymond Green Can you name Draymond Green's position?
Point guard
Shooting guard
Power forward
Because the Golden State Warriors frequently run short lineups, Green sometimes has to play the center position, but he's a natural power forward. In wake of Golden State injuries in the 2019-20 season, it's expected Green will even play point guard for the team.
Small forward

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14 - Damian Lillard What position does All-Star Damian Lillard play?
Power forward
Shooting guard
Small forward
Point guard
Oakland native Damian Lillard has played point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers ever since he was drafted sixth overall in the 2012 draft. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and has made four All-Star teams during his career.

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2 - Russell Westbrook Russell Westbrook has more than 140 triple-doubles in his career playing what position?
Power forward
Center
Point guard
Russell Westbrook is a triple-double machine and has averaged a triple-double for three consecutive seasons en counting. He's the only player other than Oscar Robertson (also a point guard) to do so. Robertson did it in the 1961-62 NBA season.
Shooting guard

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23 - Blake Griffin Blake Griffin went from Hollywood to the Motor City playing what position?
Point guard
Power forward
Blake Griffin is a pure power forward, but he can also play center during shorter lineup rotations. He played alongside DeAndre Jordan in L.A. and plays alongside Andre Drummond in Detroit. Those are two of the league's best centers, so he mostly plays power forward.
Small forward
Shooting guard

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36 - Trae Young What position does Trae Young play?
Point guard
Trae Young has been compared to Steph Curry ever since his college days at the University of Oklahoma. Young was drafted fifth overall in 2018 and currently plays point guard in the NBA. It's just his second season in the league.
Shooting guard
Small forward
Power forward

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32 - Vince Carter Vince Carter is currently the oldest NBA player. What's his position?
Point guard
Center
Power forward
Small forward/shooting guard
Vince Carter is 42 years old and is the oldest active NBA player as of the 2019-20 season. The oldest ever NBA player played when he was 45 years and 363 days old. Carter is one of the five oldest players in NBA history.

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11 - Kyrie Irving Kyrie Irving has some of the best handles in the NBA. What position does he play?
Point guard
Kyrie Irving is a floor general and one of the league's best point guards. He's known around the league for his extraordinary ball-handling skills and also plays exceptional perimeter defense. He won a championship playing point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Shooting guard
Power forward
Small forward

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40 - Kevin Love Kevin Love won a championship alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. What position does he play?
Point guard
Small forward
Shooting guard
Power forward/center
Kevin Love made up one-third of Cleveland's big three when the team beat the 73-win Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. He plays both center and power forward depending on the lineup. LeBron and Kyrie are gone, but Love still plays in Cleveland.

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31 - Donovan Mitchell Do you know what position Donovan Mitchell plays?
Small forward
Guard
Donovan Mitchell was drafted in 2017 and won the dunk contest in 2018. He's listed as a point guard/shooting guard, but he has mostly played shooting guard while on the Jazz. Mike Conley Jr. currently runs point for the team.
Power forward
Center

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22 - Devin Booker Devin Booker once scored 70 points in a game playing what position?
Center
Guard
Devin Booker is a three-point contest champion and one of the best shooters in the league, so it's only fitting he plays shooting guard most of the time, but he can also play point guard. He's one of only six players in NBA history to score 70+ points in a single NBA game.
Small forward
Power forward

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21 - Giannis Antetokounmpo Giannis Antetokounmpo is commonly known as "The Greek Freak." What's his position?
Point guard
Shooting guard
Forward
There was a time when Giannis was playing point guard for the Bucks, but he's listed as a forward. He's one of the most unique players the league has ever seen and is one of just a few in history that can honestly play every position.
Center

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4 - Klay Thompson What position does Klay Thompson play?
Power forward
Point guard
Small forward
Shooting guard
The other half of the Splash Brothers, Klay Thompson, plays shooting guard in the NBA. Along with Steph Curry and Draymond Green, Thompson was integral to the Warriors dynasty of the mid-2010s. He's expected to miss the entire 2019-20 NBA season.

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19 - Kawhi Leonard Kawhi Leonard has won championships in both the Eastern and Western conferences playing what position?
Power forward
Small forward
Kawhi Leonard is a small forward. He played so exceptionally well at the start of his career in San Antonio that he was given a license also to play shooting guard. Today, he's one of the league's best players and can play multiple positions.
Point guard
Center

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28 - Kyle Lowry What position does Kyle Lowry play?
Point guard
Kyle Lowry was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft. He was then traded to Houston and eventually landed in Toronto in 2012. He won a championship with the Raptors in 2019.
Shooting guard
Small forward
Power forward

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24 - Kemba Walker What position does UConn champion Kemba Walker play in the NBA?
Small forward
Power forward
Point guard
Kemba Walker stands about six feet tall and has played point guard his entire career. He played three seasons at UConn and won a championship in 2011. He was drafted by Charlotte in 2011 but started the 2019-20 season playing point for the Boston Celtics.
Shooting guard

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1 - LeBron James LeBron plays every position, but what is his listed position?
Point guard
Forward
LeBron has played every position on the basketball court in high school and the NBA. He's listed as a small forward and power forward, but he has the privilege of playing whatever position he feels like playing at the moment.
Center
Shooting guard

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12 - Isaiah Thomas Isaiah Thomas is currently the shortest player in the NBA. What's his position?
Shooting guard
Center
Point guard
Isaiah Thomas stands 5'9'' and, alongside Kay Felder, is the shortest active NBA player. Thomas is the shortest player to start in the NBA since he won the starting job for the Washington Wizards in the 2019-20 season.
Small forward

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29 - Victor Oladipo Do you know what position high-flyer Victor Oladipo plays?
Power forward
Small forward
Guard
Victor Oladipo was drafted second overall in a draft class that is one of the NBA's most forgettable. The No. 1 overall pick was a bust, and the best player of the class by far, Giannis Antentokounmpo, was drafted 15th overall.
Center

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10 - Karl Anthony-Towns What position does Karl Anthony-Towns play?
Small forward
Point guard
Shooting guard
Center
University of Kentucky star Karl Anthony-Towns was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He played the center position in college and has played center for the Minnesota Timberwolves his entire NBA career.

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9 - Anthony Davis Anthony Davis is known around the world as "The Brow." What position does he play?
Point guard
Shooting guard
Center
Believe it or not, Anthony Davis actually played point guard in high school. He had a growth spurt late in school and shot up to 6'10'' and began playing center in college. Today, he's listed as a power forward/center.
Small forward

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39 - CJ McCollum What position does CJ McCollum play?
Center
Power forward
Small forward
Shooting guard
Alongside Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum makes up one of the best back-courts in the NBA. He's listed as a point guard/shooting guard, but when Lillard is on the floor, McCollum almost always plays shooting guard.

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30 - Luka Doncic Slovenian native Luka Doncic won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award playing what position?
Power forward
Center
Shooting guard
Point guard/small forward
Luka Doncic is one of the league's most unique players. He plays point guard and small forward for the Dallas Mavericks, but the Mavs have one of the most unique starting lineups in basketball. They start two point guards and three forwards, so Doncic is free to play multiple positions.

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16 - Ben Simmons He stands almost seven feet tall. What position does Ben Simmons play?
Center
Power forward
Shooting guard
Point guard
Ben Simmons is a point guard, but since he's 6'10, he also plays small forward. He doesn't have a great jump shot, so he never plays shooting guard, and he's not heavy enough to play power forward. He's one of the league's most unique players.

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20 - Rudy Gobert What position does Rudy Gobert, a native of France, play?
Power forward
Small forward
Center
Rudy Gobert stands more than seven feet tall with a 7'9'' wingspan. He's played the center position his entire career and is a throwback to old-school NBA centers of the 1990s. He doesn't play on the perimeter at all and is one of the league's best post defenders.
Shooting guard

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34 - Zion Williamson Basketball phenom Zion Williamson was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. What position does he play?
Center
Shooting guard
Power forward
Zion Williamson is one of the heaviest players in the NBA and is listed as a power forward. He has yet to play a regular-season NBA game, so we don't know whether he'll remain a power forward, but he excelled in the position while playing at Duke University.
Small forward

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38 - Jayson Tatum Jayson Tatum was drafted No. 3 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. What's his position?
Point guard
Center
Forward
Jayson Tatum was drafted after Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball in the 2017 draft, but he's gone on to have more success than them. He's a natural forward and is listed as a small forward and power forward for the Boston Celtics.
Shooting guard

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15 - Paul George Paul George will finally play an NBA season in Los Angeles. What's his position?
Forward
Paul George stands 6'8'' and has a lanky body frame, making him one of the NBA's best perimeter defenders. He's made six All-Star teams during his decade in the league and currently plays for the LA Clippers.
Point guard
Shooting guard
Center

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You Got:
/40

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