Straight to the Point: This Has Gone on for Too Long

derrick brownContributor IJuly 16, 2010

For decades, we’ve marveled at the abilities of point guards and dearly hold a special place for them inside. We’ve seen them in all different shapes and sizes, but it’s their uncanny ability to lead the teams we love that has captured us.

Some argue that playing the point is the toughest position to play at the professional level, which may be true but quite frivolous.

I’m not convinced that the point guard position is any more valuable than the others.

It’s easy to get drawn into their overemphasized importance, through the recurring discussions and lists that rank guards almost every week. I mean, how many times have you seen or heard ESPN rank the top centers or forwards?

Elite guards are so coveted because the league hasn’t seen many players at other positions with the multifaceted skill sets or the “total packages” that some point guards possess.

"It’s CP3. No, it’s easily Deron Williams. Don’t forget about Rondo. I like Rose. Westbrook is next…"

Why is it that people insist on having these arguments? Really, if the best point guard was guaranteed to win the championship, I’d be right there arguing for my favorite guards—Stephen Curry and Baron Davis—as well.

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I’m not that familiar with past guards who had great championship runs like Isaiah and Magic, so let’s fast forward to more modern times.

John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, and Gary Payton were a few of the top guards that ran the show in the 90s. Among those Hall-of-Fame caliber guards, only GP was fortunate enough to get a ring at the end of his career aboard the D.Wade train.

More recently, Steve Nash, Chris Paul, and Deron Williams are considered to be the best at running the point. Although their careers are far from over, they all have big goose eggs in the championship column.

So, exactly how important are point guards in this league? Do we create a false depiction of their worth? I watched top guard after top guard fall during the postseason.

Who came out with that old man grin? Derek Fisher.

A talented point guard is only as good as his supporting cast and vice versa. The point receives a lot of attention and scrutiny, but I don’t think they're any more or less valuable than other positions.

Derek Fisher, five-time NBA champion, challenges the traditional approaches to the position. He defies the criteria we use to rank point guards, yet he’s been every bit as successful.

His role is simply to shoot (open or otherwise). Fish can’t pass all that well, has an average handle, and probably couldn’t blow by Yao Ming on the perimeter. Defensively, he makes a living using his veteran savvy, luring referees into very questionable calls (not a Donaghy reference). 

So then, why do we make such a big deal over debates and lists? The All-Star games and All-NBA lists are supposed to give the deserving guards, forwards, and centers credit. Let’s keep it at that.


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