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Why I couldn't play basketball
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Posts: 25,854
Joined: May 2002
Reputation: 30
I Root For: Little Rock
Location: Booneville, Arkansas
Post: #1
Why I couldn't play basketball
Actually, there were several reasons, not the least of which was my outstanding 2" vertical leap.

But probably the most notable aspect of my failure was my inability to anticipate. Great basketball players (see Bird and Magic) have that ability to see two or three steps ahead - without really thinking about it. They seem to be able to instinctively know what is going to happen, so they can move to the appropriate spot to be ready for a pass or to intercept a pass or to take a charge, etc. It is like they are mentally playing chess on the basketball court.

While we have been quarantined from sports, I have been watching old basketball games on YouTube, starting by immersing myself in the old Big East back in the days of Ewing and Mullin. Both of them were amazing, for different reasons; but they did have one thing in common. Ewing was not the most active big man I ever saw (I would give that award to Akeem), but he had a gracefulness that was amazing. He would be no where in sight, then an opposing player would take a shot and all of sudden, out of nowhere, Ewing could come soaring through the air like a 7-foot Julius Erving. His timing and instincts for blocking shots were better than anyone I have seen - EXCEPT for that old man from Boston.

Chris Mullin was an amazing shooter, but above and beyond that he was the epitome of the Slow White Guy who was always in the right place at the right time. If you watched him in those wonderful old Big East games against some of the best college basketball players of all time, he would just seemingly slowly float around the court, and then all of a sudden there he was in the only open spot on the court to take a pass for a jump shot or a layup, or to steal a pass.

One other example I would give of natural basketball instincts that I did not possess is our own Mr. Rashad Jones-Jennings. Coach Shields acknowledged that he was not even best jumper even on our team, and he was "only" 6-8 in a day when even most lower-level teams can find 7-footers. Shields observed that JJ had an ability to anticipate how a shot would come off the goal as soon as it was shot, and would be moving toward the spot where he anticipated it would come down. (And, of course, there was the "every rebound belongs to me" attitude.)

No, there are quite a few reasons why I never was much good at basketball.
05-09-2020 07:18 AM
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