In today's NBA, every team has a need for speed.
Basketball has turned into a guard-oriented game, where "traditional" big men are not as coveted as they used to be.
Let's face it. No coach fears the Miami Heat because of Chris Bosh and Mike Miller dominating the inside-outside game.
No, what they fear is that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, two of the fastest players in the history of the NBA, will run all over their defense.
As the game of basketball has evolved, so have the players. The pace of the game has continued to speed up behind quick players looking to gain an edge on their opponents.
Yet, what exactly makes a player speedy?
Is it purely how fast he can run from one end of the court to the other? Does it matter if he is dribbling a basketball while doing so?
What about a quick first step? Acceleration is critical for a player to beat his defender and slash to the basket.
That's the beauty of speed. It's a primarily subjective topic. You can use your eyes and determine which player looks like he's hyped up on caffeine compared to the rest.
The following list comprises 20 of the quickest and fastest players who proved difficult to guard.
Some are from the past. Many are from the present. That can be attributed to improved training and conditioning.
Still, at the end of the day, these 20 players would break even the best defenders' ankles, and leave them in the dust en route to the basket.