Welcome to the Golden Era of the Point Guard

kwame manuCorrespondent IMay 20, 2009

DENVER - MAY 05:  Chauncey Billups #7 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after scroing against the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth quarter in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 5, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 117-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

There was a time that the big man dominated the NBA. Game strategies always worked from the inside out.

However, now we live in a highlight obsessed society.

To feed this addiction, the NBA has made several rule changes over the last few years that have allowed for guards to thrive in the NBA. I am not saying this is a bad thing. I am just stating the facts.

Due to the fact the rules favor guards, we have been blessed with many solid and spectacular point guards over the last decade (AI, Kidd, Paul, Nash, Billups, etc). These players have been some of the biggest stars and trendsetters of sport.

In the early days of the NBA, it was common for the point guard to simply be someone who doesn't turn over the ball. They were not depended upon to score.

Now, with the athleticism of some of the point guards in the NBA this is not the case. In addition to great athleticism, many point guards have a very high basketball IQ. They know the game.

I am not saying there were no great point guards in the past. That is stupid. I am saying that there have never been so many great point guards playing at the same time.

Athletic guys with size are not becoming undersized shooting guards like in the past. They are becoming point guards.

Today, point guards are beginning to emerge as stars even from the prep level. The past three years, the top rated players in the country have been point guards (Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings, and John Wall). The top rated player in the class of 2010 is also a point guard (Brandon Knight).

We all know how point guards affect the game in college.

This past season, Ty Lawson was the ACC player of the year and was the leader of the National Champion Tar Heels. On the other side, Kalin Lucas was the driving forces behind Michigan State’s improbable run to the Championship game. The year before that Derrick Rose shocked the nation by leading his Memphis team to the Championship game.

In this year's draft alone, it is predicted that 11 point guards will be taken in the first round.

The past four years in the NBA, the Rookie of the Year has been a point guard two times.

I think you just about got my point.

Every spectacular team in basketball is being lead by a point guard who is a facilitator.

Leaders like Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul are running teams. Studs like Derrick Rose or lights-out up and coming scorers like Stephen Curry are captivating fans.

This is a time like no-other when the point guard is becoming the premier star in the NBA. As NBA teams get faster, it is becoming more important that point guards can attack with speed and intelligent. They are exactly what the fans want and need.

Watch your favorite team. Now watch their point guard. I guarantee he is either the team leader or one of the team's best players.

So next time you want to find the next big thing in basketball, don't look at a 7' 3" center or a 6' 10" PF; look out for that 6' 2" point guard.

You may be surprised.

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