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View Full Version : Who was the original "Point Forward" and who coined the term?



Chronz
07-21-2012, 01:20 AM
I was reading this thread (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?t=743823) and a question came to me. Who started the whole "Point Forward" thing? In that thread it links to a truehoop article that states it began with an injury to a true PG (Nate Archibald) which forced Don Nelson's hand into trusting the PG job to his swings, and allegedly it began with Marques Johsnon. But I always thought his teammate (Paul Pressey) was playing the position before Nate was even injured, off the bench as the teams 6th man.

I suppose you could argue Magic Johnson was essentially a Point Forward, at least when he first came into the league and played with Norm Nixon. Or maybe even the Big O even though positions werent really defined so clearly back when he played.

So who do you think was the original Point Forward, and secondly, when was the term coined and for who?

asandhu23
07-21-2012, 01:46 AM
I am going to assume Chamberlain. He played point guard on Harlem Globetrotters as a joke. He probably got the skill there which made him average 7+ apg in two seasons in NBA.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html


if not him, Havlicek.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/havlijo01.html

LakersLockdwn
07-21-2012, 01:55 AM
Scottie Pippen made it famous for sure

eternal slumber
07-21-2012, 02:04 AM
Pippen.

Chronz
07-21-2012, 02:05 AM
The wikipedia page has this to say on the matter


Origin of term
Two former members of the Milwaukee Bucks in the National Basketball Association (NBA) both claim to have originated the point forward term. Former Bucks player Marques Johnson claims to have coined the term. During the 1984 playoffs, Milwaukee became short on point guards after Nate Archibald was sidelined with a hamstring injury. His coach, Don Nelson, instructed Johnson to set up the offense from his forward position. Johnson responded, "OK, so instead of a point guard, I'm a point forward".[1] However, Dell Harris, then-Bucks assistant coach, claims that he first mentioned the term to Nelson while discussing strategies to use Paul Pressey. Harris says he came up with the term while coaching Robert Reid with the Houston Rockets. Harris credits his predecessor as Rockets coach, Tom Nissalke, with creating the point forward strategy with Rick Barry's role in Houston.[1]

So I rummaged up some quotes;
Marques Johnson himself:
"At the start of the playoffs, Don Nelson came up with the idea to initiate the offense through me at small forward," Johnson said. "So after we went through how we were going to make the adjustments to different plays, my response to Nellie was, 'OK, so instead of a point guard, I'm a point forward.' I remember his response clear as mud, like it was yesterday, saying back to me, 'Yeah. I like that. You're my point forward.' Junior Bridgeman was there -- you can ask him."

KnicksorBust
07-21-2012, 01:44 PM
I refuse to respond to this thread until we get Junior Bridgeman's official statement.

camile82
07-21-2012, 01:58 PM
I too young to remember a lot of that but I always thought Scottie Pippen, Anthony Mason, and Larry Johnson were the ones that originated it. Maybe they perfected it IDK. But towards the end of Barkley's career he also added this to his game.

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 01:59 PM
Magic and then Pippen

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 02:00 PM
I also think Kevin Garnett could do a little of that in his day as well as Webber though they kind of just set up the offense.

Citanoxeno
07-21-2012, 02:03 PM
Magic and then Pippen

:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm: Magic was a pure point

lpdunks8
07-21-2012, 02:04 PM
Paul Pressey is the first name that popped into my mind.

Chacarron
07-21-2012, 02:06 PM
Paul Pressey came to mind.

D12 fan
07-21-2012, 02:08 PM
Magic/Pippen/Penny/Lebron

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 02:10 PM
:facepalm::facepalm::facepalm: Magic was a pure point

:facepalm: no he wasn't. The man was 6'9 and could play any position. Yes, he played point guard, but he also facilitatesd the offense from the low block and from the wing position when B Scott and Worthy were playing with him. All of those guys could handle the rock.

Know what you're talking about before you face palm someone

KnickNyKnick
07-21-2012, 02:12 PM
pippen

wmudford
07-21-2012, 02:15 PM
Don't know who coined it but Lebron perfected it

Hawkeye15
07-21-2012, 02:16 PM
anytime I hear the term "point forward", I envision Anthony Mason storming down the floor knocking defenders away like a bug.

themadstork
07-21-2012, 02:26 PM
Paul Pressey was definitely the first guy I saw doing it.

-Stork

AllKohn
07-21-2012, 02:28 PM
I may be able to shed some light on the real answer.

My father who suffered from low grade narcolepsy and had a penchant for buggery, created the term while living as a child in Belgium.
He would sometimes make outrageous claims like he invented the chestnut, and would often accuse squirrels of being lazy.
The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.

The first point forward was clearly Tony Kukoc

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 02:29 PM
Kukoc was the guy I was thinking about and couldn't remember

Citanoxeno
07-21-2012, 02:50 PM
:facepalm: no he wasn't. The man was 6'9 and could play any position. Yes, he played point guard, but he also facilitatesd the offense from the low block and from the wing position when B Scott and Worthy were playing with him. All of those guys could handle the rock.

Know what you're talking about before you face palm someone

You are a biiiiig dummmy. Worthy and Byron Scott could not handle the ball like a point first and for most. Worthy was a slasher and a postup guy. Scott was a pure shooter and before him Coopper was the shooting guard. It doesn't matter what part of the floor the point facilites the offense a hole Magic was able to get a large amount of assist on fastbreaks and pick and rolls and run any offesive system because of his ability to see the court. His size was besides the point. He ran the point guards roll on offense.

CELTICS4LYFE
07-21-2012, 02:54 PM
I am going to assume Chamberlain. He played point guard on Harlem Globetrotters as a joke. He probably got the skill there which made him average 7+ apg in two seasons in NBA.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html


if not him, Havlicek.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/havlijo01.html

I remember Tommy saying something about this before on a broadcast.

Jint.
07-21-2012, 03:01 PM
Pippen / Mullin

lakers4sho
07-21-2012, 03:02 PM
definitely Paul Pressey.

--23--
07-21-2012, 03:09 PM
Pippen/Bird/Rick Barry/Pressey

ewmania
07-21-2012, 03:12 PM
:facepalm: no he wasn't. The man was 6'9 and could play any position. Yes, he played point guard, but he also facilitatesd the offense from the low block and from the wing position when B Scott and Worthy were playing with him. All of those guys could handle the rock.

Know what you're talking about before you face palm someone

but his position was a PG so it didnt matter... point forward are forwards who don't play the PG position but they create for everyone else

Magic wasn't a forward... yea he played the position during small ball games but he was still a point guard

Pippen was a point forward, Odom was a point forward.. etc

PrettyBoyJ
07-21-2012, 03:13 PM
It was def Rick Barry.. Idk why he gets over looked..

ewmania
07-21-2012, 03:13 PM
Don't know who coined it but Lebron perfected it

Pippen perfected it first

ssnsocalfan
07-21-2012, 03:15 PM
Grant Hill
Scott skiles or doug Collins started it

--23--
07-21-2012, 03:22 PM
Grant Hill
Scott skiles or doug Collins started it

lol whaaatttt?

KaganRS
07-21-2012, 03:38 PM
It's not Pippen - he was great no doubt but there were clearly others in the 80s.

You basically shouldn't answer if your under 25

agureghian
07-21-2012, 03:45 PM
the big fundamental

Citanoxeno
07-21-2012, 03:46 PM
but his position was a PG so it didnt matter... point forward are forwards who don't play the PG position but they create for everyone else

Magic wasn't a forward... yea he played the position during small ball games but he was still a point guard

Pippen was a point forward, Odom was a point forward.. etc

He's a dummy let it go

MickeyMgl
07-21-2012, 03:54 PM
I was reading this thread (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?t=743823) and a question came to me. Who started the whole "Point Forward" thing? In that thread it links to a truehoop article that states it began with an injury to a true PG (Nate Archibald) which forced Don Nelson's hand into trusting the PG job to his swings, and allegedly it began with Marques Johsnon. But I always thought his teammate (Paul Pressey) was playing the position before Nate was even injured, off the bench as the teams 6th man.

I suppose you could argue Magic Johnson was essentially a Point Forward, at least when he first came into the league and played with Norm Nixon. Or maybe even the Big O even though positions werent really defined so clearly back when he played.

So who do you think was the original Point Forward, and secondly, when was the term coined and for who?

My understanding was that the phrase "point forward" was indeed coined for Paul Pressey by Don Nelson. And just as you say, it could be argued that Magic Johnson was a point forward before that. I guess it's essentially any player capable of frontcourt duties and ballhandling duties.

show34
07-21-2012, 03:59 PM
Connie Hawkins but scottie pippen and anthony mason made it cool to do

BullySixChicago
07-21-2012, 04:00 PM
I was reading this thread (http://forums.prosportsdaily.com/showthread.php?t=743823) and a question came to me. Who started the whole "Point Forward" thing? In that thread it links to a truehoop article that states it began with an injury to a true PG (Nate Archibald) which forced Don Nelson's hand into trusting the PG job to his swings, and allegedly it began with Marques Johsnon. But I always thought his teammate (Paul Pressey) was playing the position before Nate was even injured, off the bench as the teams 6th man.

I suppose you could argue Magic Johnson was essentially a Point Forward, at least when he first came into the league and played with Norm Nixon. Or maybe even the Big O even though positions werent really defined so clearly back when he played.

So who do you think was the original Point Forward, and secondly, when was the term coined and for who?

Don't know who coined it or who was the first but Scottie Pippen was the first to dominate the NBA at that position

JasonJohnHorn
07-21-2012, 04:19 PM
I don't know when the "point forward" term came into being, but the Big O was the original Point Forward. I can't think of a forward going farther back than that. Though I seem to remember the term being applied to Pippen, and for sure the C-Webb. I would say the term came into being during the Pippen-era, but the actual point-forward style was done by the Big O, though people never seem to agree on what position he played.

And yes, Magic could also be considered as such. People forget that for the first half of Magic's career, that Norm Nixon was the Lakers starting PG, while Cooper played a lot of minutes at SG. Jamaal Wilkes played a lot of SG as well... though both Wilkes and Cooper also played small forward.

anyways... the actual term I think, as far as I can remember, was coined in the 90's in describing Pippen, but I was too young to watch in the mid-80's, so it may have been earlier. Bottom line though, Don Nelson did NOT invent it! lol

Shaolin718
07-21-2012, 04:19 PM
Anthony Mason

--23--
07-21-2012, 04:38 PM
So I'm the only one who mentioned Larry Bird (along w/ Rick Barry, Pippen & Pressey)....interesting. I would have to go with Rick Barry as the "original" point forward until i could think of someone older than him.

Rick Barry (mid 60's-70's)
Pressey (80's)
Bird (80's)
Pippen (90's)

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 04:57 PM
You are a biiiiig dummmy. Worthy and Byron Scott could not handle the ball like a point first and for most. Worthy was a slasher and a postup guy. Scott was a pure shooter and before him Coopper was the shooting guard. It doesn't matter what part of the floor the point facilites the offense a hole Magic was able to get a large amount of assist on fastbreaks and pick and rolls and run any offesive system because of his ability to see the court. His size was besides the point. He ran the point guards roll on offense.

I never said they could handle the ball like point guards you completely missed the point of my post.

I was saying they had multiple ball handlers, whereby Magic of course ended up being the primary one since he was the best player and had point guard skills. But when you have multiple guys on the floor that can all handle the ball in a superior way, the offense becomes less predictable since other guys can distribute and can also create for others. This also allowed Magic, Scott and Worthy to play off the ball and and Magic was able to occupy different areas on the court not traditionally played by other point guards.

This kind of offense, 'my friend' is what what made those Lakers teams so hard to cover despite the defensive juggernauts in the rest of the NBA at that time. Magic was able to play multiple positions and still create for the offense.

Chronz
07-21-2012, 05:00 PM
It was def Rick Barry.. Idk why he gets over looked..

Looked up a few quotes and it seems Del Harris believes he coined the term while coaching Robert Reid with the Rockets, but he credits Tom Nissalke for inventing the strategy with Rick Barry in his final days.

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 05:10 PM
but his position was a PG so it didnt matter... point forward are forwards who don't play the PG position but they create for everyone else

Magic wasn't a forward... yea he played the position during small ball games but he was still a point guard

Pippen was a point forward, Odom was a point forward.. etc

I understand. The word point guard is a relatively new term gaining much of its steam in the 1970s as far as the NBA goes. Which would mean that when Magic was honing his skills he wouldn't be characterized as a point guard, but as the primary ball handler, and the best player on the court.

Jerry West led the Lakers in assists when he was the leagues leading scorer simply because he was the best player on the court and could do it all. He was a traditional 2 guard..but today he would be looked at as more of a point guard or a combo guard. Magic redefined the point guard position, he was not a traditional player therefore he cannot be defined in traditional categories or terms such as saying he was just a point guard.

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 05:16 PM
He's a dummy let it go

Aww Poor baby.. Sorry I didn't agree with you.. :yawn:

bearadonisdna
07-21-2012, 05:21 PM
Earvin Johnson was a pg. He should not even be in the conversation.

Pressey never heard of the guy. He actually played some guard. Listed as a G/F and wasnt that good.

Pippen is the real point foward.

COOLbeans
07-21-2012, 05:35 PM
Earvin Johnson was a pg. He should not even be in the conversation.

Pressey never heard of the guy. He actually played some guard. Listed as a G/F and wasnt that good.

Pippen is the real point foward.

Yea well I agree with you that Magic was a point guard. And that Pippen was more of a point forward or that he played that role more often, but that doesn't mean that Magic wasn't one of the first ones to really play as a point forward in the NBA.

There's a reason why Magic was matched up with guys like Larry Bird and others in the finals and especially during the regular season. It's also about matchups rather than traditional positions and roles. Magic was just assigned that role because he was the primary ball handler. If we restrict Magic to just being the point guard, then he should widely be regarded as the best point guard ever.

--23--
07-21-2012, 05:36 PM
It's not Pippen - he was great no doubt but there were clearly others in the 80s.

You basically shouldn't answer if your under 25

exactly


Earvin Johnson was a pg. He should not even be in the conversation.

Pressey never heard of the guy. He actually played some guard. Listed as a G/F and wasnt that good.

Pippen is the real point foward.

Pippen did play point forward, but he was not the first to ever do it or like the thread title says... "original "Point Forward" who coined the term".

Rick Barry imo originated it

Six-8-TheWizard
07-21-2012, 06:07 PM
I am going to assume Chamberlain. He played point guard on Harlem Globetrotters as a joke. He probably got the skill there which made him average 7+ apg in two seasons in NBA.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/chambwi01.html


if not him, Havlicek.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/h/havlijo01.html

I doubt Wilt coined it but he definitely could have if he wanted to. The guy was unbelievable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2qGxHqutQ&t=63

The clip cuts off before the play finishes but you can see Wilt running the break beforehand. Seriously, who else at 7'1" could pass like that

AIRMAR72
07-21-2012, 06:19 PM
Magic and then Pippen

anthony mason

NJBASEBALL22
07-21-2012, 06:45 PM
Looked up a few quotes and it seems Del Harris believes he coined the term while coaching Robert Reid with the Rockets, but he credits Tom Nissalke for inventing the strategy with Rick Barry in his final days.

It doesn't matter who coined the term, the OP asked who the original "point forward" was and that is what Rick Barry and John 'Hondo' Havlicek did.

Barry at 6'7 SF
(once he came to the NBA in 73 to 79) avg. 22.5/6/5.8

Hondo at 6'6 G/F
(from 68-75 when he was starting) avg. 23.5/7.3/6.7
in 71 and 72 Hondo and JoJo White shared ball handling duties

Others that come to mind:

Bird, Pippen, Magic for his first 3 years as he played the 2 and 3 and Norm Nixon played the 1, Kukocs, KG definitely with Minnie, T-Mac in Orl, Grant Hill in his prime, Billy Cunningham, Connie Hawkins, Lamar Odom, maybe Cliff Hagan, Detlef Schrempf, Paul Pressey and Chris Mullin. And of course, maybe the best point-forward ever, LBJ

meloman1592
07-21-2012, 07:00 PM
Pippen then Penny...this generation, it's been Lebron

53 HOWARD
07-21-2012, 07:02 PM
I thought it was Danny Manning??

NJBASEBALL22
07-21-2012, 07:38 PM
How about Christian Laettner at Duke and a few seasons in the NBA, except that he shot the ball every time he touched it.

NJBASEBALL22
07-21-2012, 07:39 PM
In high school I played the 1-4 at 6'4 and avg. like 16/11/6 my junior year with a 3pt. touch and like 3 triple doubles... so it could be me. :)

Chronz
07-21-2012, 07:45 PM
Looked up a few quotes and it seems Del Harris believes he coined the term while coaching Robert Reid with the Rockets, but he credits Tom Nissalke for inventing the strategy with Rick Barry in his final days.

It doesn't matter who coined the term, the OP asked who the original "point forward" was and that is what Rick Barry and John 'Hondo' Havlicek did.

Barry at 6'7 SF
(once he came to the NBA in 73 to 79) avg. 22.5/6/5.8

Hondo at 6'6 G/F
(from 68-75 when he was starting) avg. 23.5/7.3/6.7
in 71 and 72 Hondo and JoJo White shared ball handling duties

Others that come to mind:

Bird, Pippen, Magic for his first 3 years as he played the 2 and 3 and Norm Nixon played the 1, Kukocs, KG definitely with Minnie, T-Mac in Orl, Grant Hill in his prime, Billy Cunningham, Connie Hawkins, Lamar Odom, maybe Cliff Hagan, Detlef Schrempf, Paul Pressey and Chris Mullin. And of course, maybe the best point-forward ever, LBJ
Uhhh I am the OP, and I was asking 2 separate questions so....... Yeah

Anyways thats an interesting list I'd like to break down when I get a chance

albertajaysfan
07-21-2012, 08:00 PM
You are a biiiiig dummmy. Worthy and Byron Scott could not handle the ball like a point first and for most. Worthy was a slasher and a postup guy. Scott was a pure shooter and before him Coopper was the shooting guard. It doesn't matter what part of the floor the point facilites the offense a hole Magic was able to get a large amount of assist on fastbreaks and pick and rolls and run any offesive system because of his ability to see the court. His size was besides the point. He ran the point guards roll on offense.

By that logic Lebron is the Heat's point guard. Do you believe that?

MrFastBreak
07-21-2012, 08:13 PM
but his position was a PG so it didnt matter... point forward are forwards who don't play the PG position but they create for everyone else

Magic wasn't a forward... yea he played the position during small ball games but he was still a point guard

Pippen was a point forward, Odom was a point forward.. etc

Youre being too technical. The bottom line is he PLAYED FORWARD at times. After gaining that weight after he announced having HIV, he took on a point forward role. Doesnt matter what position took up the majority of his minutes. He was big enough to play forward and proven capable of having the skills to handle, pass, and secure the ball like a point guard should. Thus, a Point Forward. So its not absurd to consider Magic.

Original Point Forward: Rick Barry has a case for the original Point Forward. At the beginning of his career, he was forced to change his game because of injuries, yet still maintained his efficiency and presented astonishing court vision for a forward playing in the 1960's.

And it's easy to name players who honed the Point Forward which is not what the OP asked. As for who coined the actual 'term' is another story because many players claim they did. But I happen to believe it was a coach, Tom Nissalke, of the Rockets. He created the Point Forward strategy with Rick Barry's role in Houston. Nissalke may not have coined the term though, but maybe the 'idea'. IDK. Perhaps someone after him, like Marques Johnson.

Swashcuff
07-21-2012, 09:33 PM
Elgin Baylor anyone? In his first two seasons before the Lakers moved to LA it was essentially his responsibility to run the offense. Even Jerry West's rookie season when he played the PG Baylor was still running the offense as a "point" forward.

IMO Baylor was the original "point" forward with Paul Pressy being the one that coined the phrase.

BlahaTRUTH
07-21-2012, 09:35 PM
Hedo Turkulu.

Obviously not the original or even one of the better point-forwards. However, I don't remember hearing that phrase thrown around a ton until the Magic had the postseason run a while back and Hedo was killing it.

Swashcuff
07-21-2012, 09:36 PM
Earvin Johnson was a pg. He should not even be in the conversation.

Pressey never heard of the guy. He actually played some guard. Listed as a G/F and wasnt that good.

Pippen is the real point foward.

If you never heard of the guy and you're just going by what you see on his player profile dont you think that makes your opinion invalid since you really don't have a clue what you're talking about?

3mikee_
07-21-2012, 09:36 PM
Yea probably Pippen.. Tmac did a nice job as point forward sometimes surprisingly