The elevation of the combo guard and the evolution of a position
Sports are always evolving. The way that the game is played changes over the generations, resulting in the need to reclassify what is the standard. However, there are certain positions in certain sports where change is met with opposition. A prime example of this is the quarterback position in football. For years there was an expectation that a quarterback is supposed to be a statue in the pocket who surveys the defense and makes a decision. This player was expected to possess a high-level surveying ability and have a strong arm that could place the ball down the field. But as time went on, there was an evolution. High-level athletes started to play the position, introducing a new dimension: the scrambling quarterback. Many observers rejected the notion of this evolution insisting that they were gimmicks who couldn’t throw the ball down the field. This has proven to be a falsehood as at the top-end of current NFL quarterbacks almost all of them have the scrambling element to their game.
There seems to be a similar sort of resistance in basketball when it comes to the point guard position. Traditionally, the point guard position was designated as one of facilitating and initiating the offense. In recent years, there has been a shift. More dynamic athletes that can score from multiple levels have continued to rise in popularity. Players such as Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, and Damian Lillard now dominate the point guard landscape. Whereas players such as Chris Paul and Kyle Lowry, who play a more traditional game have come to be less common. Yet despite this, many fans find themselves hoping for a “true point guard”, a position that is best classified as an endangered species. Could it be that the true point guard is a dead concept and we as a collective fan base have not recognized it yet?
The Evolution of the Position
Basketball styles are always an evolving animal. The nature of a position changes rapidly, changing the overall nature of the game. We have seen the evolution of the center and shooting guard from being…