Until the game of basketball reaches Kobe Bryant‘s vision and there are no more positions, we will still have arguments that get unnecessarily heated over which boxes certain players should be assigned.
Tyreke Evans may be the best example. Ever since Tyreke started to distance himself as the NBA’s Rookie of the Year front-runner in 2010, it seems every discussion and Internet post about him eventually turns into a debate on whether ‘Reke is a point guard or a shooting guard.
Yes, Tyreke began his pro career playing the point, he is the true initiator of the Sacramento Kings’ offense, and he averaged over five assists per game on a team that didn’t have a lot of big-time scorers. But with his 6-6, long-armed build and scorer’s mentality, a lot of people refuse to call Tyreke a real PG, allowing at best that he’s masquerading as a one until the Kings get somebody who will let ‘Reke move to his natural two-guard spot.
For what it’s worth, Kings coach Paul Westphal has indirectly addressed Tyreke’s position status in a couple of recent interviews.
“One of the things I like about him is he’s not a specialist,” Westphal told NBA Fanhouse in August. “He’s an all-around player who comes out there to win. And the more experience he gets, the better the players are around him, the more the team settles into a consistency, the more we’ll see him be who I think he can be in this League — which is somebody who can help you win games in a whole lot of different ways.”
Then, talking about Beno Udrih — who became a full-time starter after Kevin Martin was traded last February and racked up five double-digit assist games at the point while Tyreke played a lot of two-guard — Westphal told the Sacramento Bee this week that Udrih should resume that same role.
“(Udrih) made a good case for being a starter (this season), and looking at the makeup of our roster now, that’s how I view him,” Westphal said.
Listed at 6-3, 205 pounds, Udrih would at least defensively have to match up against point guards and let the 6-6, 220-pound Evans stick opposing two-guards. Offensively, Udrih shined at times playing the point late last year, while Evans’ scoring and field-goal percentage splits dipped slightly when he was primarily playing the two. But you could attribute that to Evans being a rookie and getting fatigued in the latter stages of his first 82-game season. This summer he’s added some muscle and is working on improving his outside jumper, both indications that he’s preparing to make a definitive position change to two-guard. At least for the moment.
What position do you think Tyreke Evans should play?