“Point Guard”… When Was It Coined? And, By Who?

PHOTO CREDIT: SIkids.com | NBA great, Bob Cousy

I’m looking for some help. At dinner last night, this question was posed to the group: Where does the name “point guard” come from and when was it originally used?

I didn’t know and still don’t have an answer.

To give you a little background, this same question was asked of the likes of John Wooden, Bill Walton, and several other highly successful and knowledgeable basketball minds. None had the answer. As curiosity would have it, I learned that Bob Cousy was contacted and he said that when he played, the players were listed on the roster as “Shooting Guard 1, Shooting Guard 2, Shooting Guard 3…” and so on.

And, after much discussion, they deduced that the name “point guard” was first used some time in early to mid 80’s. By who, nobody knows. To the group’s recollection, it happened at some point during Magic Johnson’s career.

Looking to get some help with this one. Who first coined the term and when?

Talk to me!


UPDATE: I learned from Mike MacKay that “‘guard’ was originally used to describe the players who “guarded the basket” in transition. Very similar to the safety in football. Pete Newell was on of the first coaches in the 1950’s to have these positions inverted in transition defense. The moniker point was added when there was the one guard. Peter Newell describes this in his book.”