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Best Basketball Numbers for Shooting Guards

Best Basketball Numbers for Shooting Guards

Best Basketball Numbers for Shooting Guards

One of the most important questions you may be asked when playing on a basketball team is, quite simply, what number do you want on your jersey?  While definitely not a life-or-death question, it is an important one for players.

Choosing which number to have on your jersey will not only allow you to be identified on the court but will also, likely, follow you through high school, college, and hopefully more professional leagues.

Many players, however, choose which number to display on their jerseys based on professional players they have watched and players they respect.  But what is the best basketball numbers for shooting guards, and which one should you choose?

While we can’t decide which number you should choose, as a shooting guard we believe the below numbers will be more significant for you and will help you narrow down your choice.

What Are Jersey Numbers?

Quite simply, a jersey number is the number that is displayed on the back and front of a player’s jersey.  While the number itself has no real significance to a player’s game, it is often and typically used to differentiate players on a team.

As such, on a team of ten players, each individual player must have their own unique number.   Players are not allowed to share the same jersey number, nor are they allowed to swap jersey’s during a game.

This is because box-scores, stats, and total number of fouls assessed against an individual player are done so against their jersey number. 

An example of this is that the player wearing the number 27 may have amassed 19 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 fouls assessed against them by half-time.  If they were to switch their jersey or their jersey number, then keeping a tally of their stats and total fouls would become too difficult.

Similarly, game-to-game, players will continue to wear their own, individual jersey number.  If a player opts for the number 5 at the start of a season, then that number will be exclusively theirs throughout the season and from game-to-game.

Who Chooses a Players Jersey Number?

Typically, but not always, the individual players will choose their own jersey numbers.  This is, again typically, done by seniority of a player on a team or an individual players role on the team.

It is usually inferred that either the most senior player on the team or, quite simply, the best player on the team, who will choose their jersey number first.  Going in a descending order by seniority, each player will be given the opportunity to choose their jersey number and may not copy or steal the jersey number of another player.

However, in some leagues, the jersey numbers will be chosen by the coach of the team.  This can be done for a variety of reasons, including to avoid any infighting between players and for the coach to be able to better group player roles by numbers, i.e., guards wearing the numbers between 20-30, centers wearing the numbers between 40-50.

Are There Any Rules on Which Number Jersey I Can Wear?

This is a two-pronged answer.

For most leagues, there typically aren’t rules on which number jersey a player can wear.  However, certain number may be banned due to their reference or inference to adult themes.  Typically, however, most numbers are available for a player to choose from.

However, when playing in a dedicated, national league, such-as the NBA, some individual teams may have certain numbers retired from use.  This can be done to either honor a player who wore that number or to pay homage to an individual number.

For example, the late, great Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant had his two jersey numbers, 8 and 24, retired by the Lakers.  This was done as an act of respect for Kobe Bryant and his achievements as a Laker.

However, simply because the Los Angeles Lakers opted to retire those two numbers does not preclude other teams and players from wearing those numbers.

Lastly, some individual leagues may ban certain numbers due to potential confusion that may arise when a referee attempts to motion with their hands a foul assessed against a player.

The most famous example of this is in the NCAA.

According to Rule 1, Section 22, Article 7, Clause b. 2 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball 2018–2019 Rules, “The following numbers are legal: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 00, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55. Team rosters can include 0 or 00, but not both.”

This eliminates 6 through 9, 16 through 19, 26 through 29, 36 through 39, 46 through 49, and everything over 55. That’s 35% of the numbers between 00 and 55.

This is done as officials and referees are supposed to communicate the jersey number of a player who committed a foul using two hands to indicate the entire number, there are numbers like six that would cause confusion. Depending on which fingers were used, the scorer might think the official meant 15 or 51 rather than six.

Can I Choose the Number 0 or 100?

Typically, in most basketball leagues, the jersey number is limited to two digits.  So, you would be able to choose 10 but not 100.  11 but not 111.  22 but not the number 222, etc.

Similarly, the number 0 is typically available as is the number 00.  However, no two players on a team may choose the numbers 0 and 00 as to not cause confusion.

Famous NBA Jersey Numbers for Shooting Guards


By far the most famous and envious number, the number 23 pays homage to the greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan.  The number 23 has been worn by other famous players, most notably Lebron James and continue to be one of the most sought-after jersey number in all sports.

8 or 24

We mention the numbers 8 and 24 as the next most likely number choice as those are the two numbers worn by the late and great Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant.  Choosing the number 8 or 24 is definitely a safe choice and one that pays respect to Bryant.


If you have great dunking abilities, then the number 15 is a perfect jersey number for you.  Worn by Vince Carter, the number 15 indicates a deep regard for the dunk and for your own ability to soar over the opposing team. 


The number 30 is worn by NBA shooting great Stephen Curry and is chosen as one of the most popular jersey numbers in recent history.  If you have a deadly three-point shot, then the number 30 should definitely be your go to.


James Harden may be known for his voluptuous beard, but he has a killer basketball instinct and may be, arguably, one of the best players in the league right now.  He wears the number 13 and can disarm the defense with his quick shot or hard drive to the basket.


31 is the jersey number of Reggie Miller and is definitely a safe choice for shooting guards.  Reggie Miller’s iconic three-point shots were daggers in the hearts of the opposing team and their fans and is a great choice if you are looking to promote your deadly shooting abilities.


The number 3 was worn by none other than The Flash, a.k.a Dwayne Wade.  Known for his quick dribble, ability to veer through the defense, and quick, pop-up shot, Dwayne Wade electrified the NBA when he was drafter until his retirement in 2019.

In addition, the number 3 was worn by all-time NBA great Allen Iverson.  Known for his unique style of play and toughness, Iversen is by far one of the best shooting guards of all time.