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Question of the Day: Pick your basketball skill

Last weekend, I strapped on the my Nike's (with extra cushy and supportive after market insoles added, just like the pros) for the big Lakers/710 ESPN 3-on-3 tournament down at Staples. Fair to say things didn't go well for team Purple Rain (two losses) or me (twisted ankle, zero votes in the tournament MVP voting). But as I waded through the sea of hoops humanity, filled with players who, like myself, weren't exactly horrible and clearly enjoy the game but who's love of playing is far outstripped by any ability to do it like an NBAer, I got to thinking:

If you could pick one skill you see in an NBA game- passing, ball handling, dead-eye shooting, jumping, shot blocking, rebounding, and so on- and do it like a pro, which would you choose? The rest of your game would still be yours, but in that one area, you'd rock. (Note: I don't know how many dudes (or dude-ettes) with genuine, upper-one-percent, get picked first at the rec but can't play because pickup games a violation of their current contract type skills frequent this site, but if you're one- and you're almost certainly not- feel free to click away, because the following likely doesn't apply to you.)

It's a tough question, at least for me.

I'm a decent enough athlete, or was at one point, but at 5'9" sans hops I touch the rim only with help of a ladder and reject shots with the same frequency as a drunk rejects a drink. So you can imagine the appeal of Shannon Brown hops or Mutombo-esque swatting ability. Except from a practical standpoint, I'm not sure how either of those skills would help me much in my weekly pickup games. Still gotta drive the lane to use the hops, and I don't have Steve Nash handle or Aaron Brooks quicks. Spiking shots with authority is a rush (so I've read), but eventually wouldn't the opposition catch on and limit the one thing I can do? 

Those moments where I could put the talent to use, though, would be epic. Out in front of the break or finishing off a turnover with a big dunk (and I'd be the cherrypickin'est $@#&((&!% you've ever seen), or drawing some serious "Da-Yum!" from the peanut gallery with a strong block off the weakside. Pure joy, even if it doesn't happen as often.

If the goal is to make myself more useful and play better when I step out on the floor with friends or at the rec, ball handling, passing or shooting would probably be better bets. Who wouldn't pick me first if during warm ups I dribbled four balls at once? (Putting me on an even skill level with this 12 year old, just for the sake of comparison. But seriously, did you know some people dribble with their heads up?  I could be that guy!) And there's something really cool about stepping all over the floor and draining J's. Particularly triples. You become the guy who keeps his team on the floor for three or four games at a time.

As it was said about Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption, in here (even if "here" is the local LA Fitness or a big streetball tournament) I would be an important man. How much does it mean to excel in whatever basketball world in which you live?

My choices would be shooting or jumping. Vanity pushes me towards the former, because it's a skill I can use for a while, plug into my game (as it were) right away, and be more effective on those days when I get out on the court to play. Everyone wants to be one of the best guys on the floor, right?

Well... no.  Not me at least. I've gone nearly 34 years being pretty bad at basketball, and things have turned out okay. Being one of the first guys picked up at the rec may be good for the ego, but from an experiential standpoint, does it matter?  I can still go play, and when it comes to winning and losing in athletic endeavors, I still try to play hard and do the best I can, but am relatively unconcerned about winning and losing. I'm there to have fun and get a little exercise.

What I've never done, and never will do without this hypothetical, is dunk. I'm all about the fantasy, so give me jumping ability. Talking to Andy about this question, his answer was the same, and basically thought the whole thing was a no brainer. Who wouldn't take that skill? But he's an atrocious basketball player. I'm not speaking out of turn, he'd tell you the same thing. Can't dribble, can't shoot, never cared about learning. I feel like it matters, though, if you play a little and have a skill set, even if it's spotty.

But maybe he's right- I'm taking the hops, after all. Is it that cut and dried?

(Note: I'm polishing this thing up at Dodger Stadium, sitting next to Friend of the Blog, ESPN's Eric Neel. I put the question to him, and he said "I'd like to pass like Chris Paul." Why? Because at the heart of the game is ball movement and vision. "Everything else is just window dressing." Plus, he said, "If I could pass like Chris Paul, my pickup team would never lose." Proving once again that Eric Neel is far more thoughtful/far less shallow than I, and probably a better guy to choose before me when picking fives. But maybe there won't be uniformity in response from the blogosphere?)

Waffle UPDATE- 4:32 pm PT... WAFFLE ALERT!!!: So I've been reading some of the comments, and have officially decided my initial choice was short-sighted. Jumping and being able to dunk, while super cool, isn't necessarily a "skill," per se. It's an incredibly useful basketball talent, but an unrefined one. And I've seen a lot of bad ballers who can still jump enough to dunk. What Ray Allen or Steve Nash do from the perimeter, though? Obviously there's some God given blessings at work, but that's a skill. I've always said it would be amazing to play one round of golf like Tiger Woods, just to feel what it is to be that freakin' good at anything. Why skip that opportunity in basketball? So give me shooting, or failing that, the super sick passing skills and court vision that comes with it. I want a pro level skill. Upper .0000001% type stuff. I am officially waffling. BK

BK

 
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Easy,

Slaaam dunk. Those who can, do. Those who can't, blog.

To relay further Brian and my discussion, I didn't take dunking purely because of the reason he stated (I'm not a very good player anyway, so run with the fantasy/fun skill?), but because it's one of the few skills I could think of that isn't dependent on something else.

For example, "passing" actually popped into my head, and like Eric Neel, Chris Paul was the main guy I'd love to emulate. But then I decided it was a bad choice, because without Paul's handle, you can't throw a lot of the passes he does, particularly in traffic or the paint. It's simply impossible. And taking BK's question and construct at it's most literal without cheating, dunking strikes me as among the few things you could get the most out of while dealing with your other limitations.

Plus, dunking is rather cool.

AK

BK
Oh if only I could be a deadly 3-point shooter! If not I like to be a lock down defender like Michael Cooper.

If you are including physical attributes in this (i.e. I don't know that quickness and jumping ability aren't really "skills") I would pick quickness. Lack of that ability is the hardest to work around.

No brainer ... I'd want kobe's jumpshot ... imagine me with my weak dribbling and passing skills stuck in a corner with 2 defenders running at me ... trigger the inner black mamba, rise up, and hit the jumper with my defenders draped all over me ... referee blows the whistle for the and 1 ... i step up to the line thinking "am i allowed to shoot a freethrow as a jump shot?"

AK,

"But then I decided it was a bad choice, because without Paul's handle, you can't throw a lot of the passes he does, particularly in traffic or the paint."

And therein lies your answer ... pick his handles instead ... it's the best in the nba in my opinion simply because it seems the guy can get anywhere on the court without losing his dribble no matter how congested his path is with defenders ... with a handle like that u dont have to pass the ball ... u hand off the ball to your man in person

On a side note, how much would people pay to watch a dunk contest between me and Andy? Two dollars? One?

BK

Oh man this is so easy, yet makes me wonder about myself. I am so much more a Magic Johnson fan than a Kobe or Jordan fan. I love the playmakers finding guys open that I can’t see, even given the eagle eye view of the TV camera. A pick your poison drive to the rim of either a layup or a dish to someone to dunk is my cup of tea. What I hate are the showboats who act as if a dunk is worth more than two points, that seemed very impressed with themselves that a guy 6’8” can dunk a basketball. 7’rs that making anything that isn’t thrown down is a miracle are just what I detest the most.

So of course I would give up my car and spend hours a day on the bus getting to and from work in exchange for the ability to dunk the ball.

Passing.
I loved what Magic did. He first caught my atention to the game and to the Lakers when the Bulls where ruling.
I wanna be like Magic!!

GO LAKERS!!!

Hops. Hands-down. I played a little high-school ball. I had sub-standard (but not horrible) handles. I had only one reliable jumper (12-13 feet, at the elbow), but I was a lock-down defender. Still am to some degree. In high school, I could jump *just enough* to inconsistently dunk. Some would go in, most would rim out. I was on the bubble.

Since high school, my hops have slowly declined. My J has marginally improved, my handles have slightly improved. My defense is still lock-down, if I'm defending dudes in my own age bracket. Not lock-down, but still impressive if I'm against the young bucks, mostly because I'm smarter. But, I cannot dunk anymore.

So, if I got super hops, it would make me a more complete b-baller because I would actually be able to break-down a fellow middle-aged dude and them bring the thunder at the end.

That would be cool. I'd proll'y start getting picked before that dead-eye shooting dude with the loud mouth.

--Fearless

Good morning Laker morning CRUE!!!!!

BK - you said "On a side note, how much would people pay to watch a dunk contest between me and Andy? Two dollars? One?"

My answer is a resounding YOU would have to pay ME to see that. Plus you'd have to throw in some snacks or something. LOL!

If I could pick a skill, it would have to be ball handling ability. LOL @ Taliq - no passing required, just hand offs! Dunks are spectacular, but you LOVE the guy who gets you the ball. Nothing like watching Magic do his thing - I think we all remember that much more than the shot that came afterwards. That's a skill set I wish a few on our team had....

If I'm filling in my skills then the answer is easy....shooting. I have a decent shot, but I'm not "money". I'd love to be 'money'. I think I've been in the zone about 3 times in my life to be honest, and its a great, great feeling.

Plus shooting opens up every thing. If everyone plays your shot, you can pass or drive easier.

I had decent hops and speed in college, as I 5'6" and had about a 40" vert. Grabbing the rim was pretty easy for me about 10 years and 30 pounds ago. Dunking would be cool, but at my height, I don't ever see that happening in a game with out risking serious injury. I'm not built like Nate Robinson.

I'm a point guard by nature, so passing and handles come with the territory. I'm always looking. However, when people start laying off to play drives or passes, I'd love to have a dead eye jumper as a last resort.

Having a shot would probably help me now that I'm getting older.

I would like the ability to set picks like a mutha, or give really good high fives. You know, the exciting stuff.

Passing. Ask Lebron, Kobe, Howard, Wade if they could pick one mate in an Olympic game and have coaches and fans pick the rest of the team, who would they pick. Chris Paul. Why: He would get them the ball at the best possible moment. The team wins and each individual gets at least one highlight.

Ever wonder why Chris Paul has so many of them as friends?

Yeah, I'm also a big Magic fan. There was nothing like being in The Forum when the Worthy was flying toward the hoop and out of the magical night the long flight of a basketball curved in an arc above the head of Big Game James, arriving at the basket the very moment a big hand could guide it into the basket. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Give me back my breath and I'll yell James, while Magic quietly lights up The Forum with gleams from his teeth.

Yep, passing.

Imagine what Chris Paul could do if he had a Big Game James on his team. Just imagine. MAGIC!

Yep, passing. I've done it many times in The Forum........In my dreams.

Great Blog, BK.

Clutch shooting would be my choice..the ability to shoot under extreme pressure and be clutch at the end of periods or 4th qrts. Many shooters will pass rather than shoot with the clock running down, not so with Kobe, Fish, or even Big Shot Rob. That would be AWSOME!

An oddly rambling post, BK.


Well, I'd improve my shot, because my shot sucks. Actually, that's not true. It's awful. Just terrible. Painfully so.


Despite that, I'm pretty good at everything else. I'm not particularly tall, but I position myself well for rebounds and box-out well. I pass well. See the floor well. Am quick. Play absolutely solid defense against much bigger players.


I just can't shoot.


So, yeah, I'll take shooting.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!!

BK,


I'd pay AT LEAST five dollars to watch you and AK do a dunk contest. That would be HOURS of mega-awesome hilarity as the two of you gruntingly struggled to bring the ball to the bottom of the net, let alone through the rim.


By the way, about a year ago AK promised to release a YouTube video for the blog proving that he can still do 100 push-ups without pause or break in a row. I'm still waiting for proof to this claim.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!!

Since I already drain the triple with acumen and have awesome court vision for a midget, I'll take the quickness of Allen Iverson in his prime. As much as I dream of throwing down tamahawks, my teams would dominate if these squatty legs could go lightspeed and I could get my hands on the ball defensively.

There's been a lot of discussion of Chris Paul in this thread, and I think there should be.


El Jono is going to throw out this hard truth: AFTER this year, we're going to have to shore up the point guard position. Derek Fisher is my idol, but I think this is his last year as a starting point guard. Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar, I believe, are both solid back-up players (even starters on a losing or mid-level team), but they are not necessarily starters on a Championship/Dynasty caliber team.


I don't think we have anything to worry about this year with Thriller and Bynum's improvement and health, the role Fisher/Brown/Farmar need to play (and their ability to fulfill that role) is sufficient for us to get that Championship ring next season.


However, the FOLLOWING year, we're going to need to do a trade or a signing. I think Chris Paul is completely out of our budgetary constraints, but it would be amazing to see Chris Paul in Purple and Gold.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!!

...the ability to create my own shot... if that's too much, then just unconscious shooting from anywhere on the floor... like the logo or kobe.... can't score if you don't shoot... can't win if you don't score....

BK,
"On a side note, how much would people pay to watch a dunk contest between me and Andy? Two dollars? One? "

Can we pick the mascot costumes you wear?

Give me the J. I'm satisfied with my passing ability and I already got the dunk bug out of my system when I was younger, but my J is so incredibly inconsistent (8-of-10 one game, 1-of 9 the next), I'd like to have a consistent outside shot. Sure would make driving the lane a lot easier.

Hmm. I think it just might be that cut and dry... it has to be some physical attribute that is really hard to work on or obtain... (like one's jump vertical).

I grew up admiring a point guards who can not only pass, but have court awareness. Guys like Nash & Chris Paul do this very well. They don't just pass well, what sets them apart is how they control the defenders. They drive in the lane to specific areas because they know how the defenders will react to their movement. Then as the defense reacts accordingly, it frees up particular teammates. This is why their teammates often are found wide open practically doing layup drills.

Being a small guy myself (5'9"), this is the part of the game I worked on all my life and became pretty well known for. I discovered from an early age (playing league ball) that one of my strengths is court vision. Used to be 2nd tallest on the several league ball teams but coaches would eventually just put me in the point guard position come playoff time :) This is the part of basketball I love the most, but since I am somewhat adept at it already, I would have to pick something else to improve upon.

So ultimately you may be right.. it is cut and dry.. i want a 50 inch vertical. Whenever I play a game, I would not reveal it, until a crucial moment near the end of the game and go ahead and drive the lane like i normally do, then proceed to elevate over everyone to shannon brown the game winner. Then just walk off like nothing happened. one crucial dunk or one crucial block at the end. that's all i need.

I no longer have any basketball skills so I'm not worthy to comment on this post. I used to play a mean game but...well no one wants to hear another one of those stories I'm sure.

I would take shooting. When I was younger I twisted my ankle a lot, and became reluctant to drive to the hoop anymore. Fortunately I became a pretty good shooter from mid range and three point land. Throughout the years I've had no problem getting picked up for games and every now and then I actually help win some lol. Therefore, I would take dead eye shooting. Now a days when everybody is trying to be like kobe or lebron and drive the lane who wouldn't want a good mid range and three point shooter around?

Go Lakers

Since I am a chick - I have a totally different take. While I am an athlete, I was never good at bball. I swam and played vball. So, my take as an athlete who LOVES the GAME of basketball is totally different than that of a player.

I am a fan and NBA players are beautiful to watch. So, with that in mind:

1. I would like the passing ability of CP3 because I would have amazing arm's.

2. I would like to have the rebounding skills of Stilt, Cap, Dream or Rodman because there is an art to understanding and anticipating where the ball is going the minute it leaves a shooter's hand.

3. I would love to have the flexibility of Kobe and anyone else that can contort their body to make unbelieveable shots because sometimes after a good workout, I can barely reach my shoes to take them off.

4. Lastly, I would love to have the hops of Shannon Brown because no matter how hard my trainer works on my vert - it's just NEVER going to be more than 8 inches - I just can't jump.

Cheers all!

Easiest question you've ever asked.

Answer: Deadeye shooting.

You ever played with those guys who look like they couldn't run more than 3 feet without fainting? They're old, they can't dribble, they can't finish in the lane and they can't defend, but you give them 1 inch of room at the 3 point line and you're toast? Yeah. That one skill is incredibly invaluable. Just ask Steve Novak.

I consider myself to be a little like Lamar Odom (in comparison to the guys I mostly play against, of course): good at a lot of things, but not great at any one thing. If I could be a deadeye shooter - man. Just imagine if Lamar shot like Rashard Lewis. He'd be a top 10 NBA player.

Sadly, all this discussion does is remind me that I'm a mediocre shooter. Thanks a lot BK.

I'd have to go with hops, not just hops, but Shannon Brown hops. The hops are something that can't be taught or learned, you either have them or you don't. Shooting, ball handling, passing, etc., those are all learned traits and the more you practice the better you get. If you have the hops your quick twitch muscles will be firing faster and that would help in other phases of the game.

D.

It's my best skill that I have now. I suck at shooting and rebounds, but my shot blocking, steals, and ability to stay on a dude ain't so bad.

In other news, The Bannner Holder is asking his Lakers Blog family for prayers for...himself. This recession business is taking a toll on me. It's really gnawing at my faith as of late.

Thanks all.

Passing: Magic Johnson
Shooting: Jordan's (Turn Around Fade Away Shot)
Rebounding: Dennis Rodman
Quickness: Derrick Rose
Defence: Kobe Bryant
Blocking: Josh Smith
Hops: Spudd Webb

GO LALAKERS!!!!

Shooting. No-brainer.

No doubt I'd love to sky over some dude and throw a dunk down just one time in my life, but nothing trumps being able to put the ball in the hole from anywhere on the court like a pro.

And nothing annoys a pickup opponent more than an old slow cat who ambles down the floor and swishes 22-footers in his face all day long.

I would take jumping in a heartbeat. I can always practice and become a better shooter, ball handler, passer, rebounder, etc. but I will always have a 2 inch vert.

That got me thinking, which skill would the Lakers players take?

- Artest - shot blocking
- Gasol - jumping
- Kobe - flopping
- Fisher - quickness, jumping, but most importantly, the will power to stop driving to the hole
- Bynum - passing, ball handling, and the ability to stop pouting
- Lamar - shooting and thinking (is thinking a skill?)
- Luke - jumping, quickness, shot blocking, shooting, staying on the bench
- Farmar - all of the above except jumping
- Sasha - all of the above except flopping

Jumping is the no-brainer choice.

Good question, and at first it was hard to answer. I mean, not to brag, cause I don't necessary do that, but playing basketball for over 20 years, some competively and most pick up ball, I'm pretty happy with the skills I actually hold today. I'm a pretty good passer, thanks to the Magic Johnson days....a nice jump shooter thanks to many years of practice, and I shoot well from the three. But one skill I wish I could improve on is defense. Not, that I don't have any, but it would be nice if I were able to lock down an offender. So with that being said, I would take Bruce Bowen's defensive skills.

1. Shooting
2. Lock down defense/steals
3. Passing
4. Rebounding
5. Shot blocking
6. Quickness
7. Hops/vertical lift
8. Giant hands/palming the ball like Dr. J
9. Massive strength
10. The ability to sweat so profusely that no one wants to play tight defense on you.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!

It's the quicks. For sure. You can develop most of the other skills if you put work in, but quickness is the toughest. You kinda either have it or you don't.

It's why Shaq was such a beast. Not only because of his sheer massiveness. Certainly not his basketball skills. But he had a combination of quickness and size that's never existed in the game. Even with that quickness greatly diminished, he can still dominate in spurts. Take away that quickness, and he's his old running mate, Stanley Roberts.

If I really had a choice though, I'd take being very, very tall. Because without that, you really don't have much of a shot breaking into the league.

utz - stand firm, brother. Wavering is what will get you into trouble. Remember Matthew 6:31-34.

Being a huge 5,foot 8 cyclist who weighs 61kg in cycling season....Gee lets see..

Before cycling i weighed just over 72kg.....
So lets start with ...Derron Williams Body...

Magic's smile..
Chris Pauls hair..

Ok let me cut to the chase...I shoot around 60% from 3 in my back yard..
I get heaps of rebounds..At least 10 maybe 15 each time i go outside and shoot around...I never played the game at a high level,so im in oar of all of these athletes..It doesnt matter what team or player...I sit back and admire them all..I may not like them all but i respect them...

Ok ..To be able to run a fast break like Magic...Thats it..

Jon K -

99% of the dudes I play with have #10 already. Combine that with #11 - an unsightly amount of arm and back hair - and with #12 - smelling like you awoke from a 9 year hibernation in a vomit filled dumpster - you have a lethal combination.

Ugh.

BK,

This reminds me of the classic reefer discussion of which superhero skill you would prefer to have: ability to fly, see with x-ray vision, be invisible, or be invincible?

As a guy who has played basketball competitively for over many decades, shooting is one skill that you can continue to display and hone. Hops are great but quickly disappear as you get older. I am also 5-9 and could dunk a volleyball when I was in my 20’s. One Achilles tendon operation when I was 30 and another when I turned 40 (both playing basketball) quickly eliminated hops as part of my game.

Now, as a genuine senior citizen, I can still go down to the gym and play me some hoops, even if my game is virtually grounded and my lightening quick moves are more like a punch drunk boxer trying to get back to his chair in the corner. Of course, it helps to shoot from behind the college 3-point line rather than the NBA and my Jerry West stop-on-a-dime pull-up jumper is now more like Brent Barry’s set shot than anything else. And I can still can swish more than 90 out of 100 free throws.

So give me the ball and a basket to shoot at. That’s always been my game. Winners out of course.

Tom

Haha BK, you're only 5'9"!

Seriously though that's an interesting question. I would prefer shooting because then I'd be useful instantly.

Jumping provides a lot of versatility and would be my second choice. I could learn to dunk well, block shots and rebound better with that.

And I thought of those before I read your reply.

From a life perspective, I'd prefer jumping. I could probably find more ways to use that than just shooting a basketball.

I would say jumping but at 6 ft, i can already dunk. I went with shooting. Stretching the floor like dan Marlie did leaves more room 4 ur team to operate, opens up more passing lanes, and makes it easy for u to drive the hoop (a simple pump ffake should sufice).

I like this question.

The things that I can do on the court are shooting and passing. I have no doubt that I can out-shoot many NBA players. I can make the right pass too.

Everything else, not very good. Although, I do have an understanding of the fundamentals and try put them to use.

The thing that I need that would put me in a position to compete at the NBA level would be quickness. I have always been pretty slow. NBA players would eat me up. Most college players would eat me up. But I can school some high schoolers.

Go Lakers!

Jon K - can I get a Delilah update?


Laker Tom - invincible - no question.

Oh to have a 48" vertical to fly like superman' now that's one thing you cannot teach.

Not that I am not already, but I would choose to be a lock down defender. Scoring is the point of basketball, so shooters are always at a premium. But even the best shooters in the world have off nights. Defense is something that is effort based. That effort can dictate that the defense is there night in & night out. Not to mention the old cliche...Defense wins championships. More than scoring, I as a basketball player take huge amounts of pride in defending. Defending the perimeter/ stopping penetration and chasing guards around screens is an art. It is an art that I think is by far the most important thing in basketball, and an art that is being lost with the offensively biased rules now enacted in the NBA. Defense, Defense, Defense......

Thirty2,
"I shoot around 60% from 3 in my back yard.."

Hey, last night in my driveway I sent the NCAA finals game into overtime by making 2 freethrows with no time left in regulation, then stole the ball and made a buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of overtime. And all of it despite some gritty defense by the cat!

Hang in there, Utz!

puddle,


"12 - smelling like you awoke from a 9 year hibernation in a vomit filled dumpster - you have a lethal combination."


I laughed. Yeah, I've played against THAT guy. I think we all have.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!

Too late for me and LakerTom to specify a particular NBA skill that we can still do. Perhaps, I can still be competitive in H-O-R-S-E or this game we call PRESIDENT played during All Stars that starts from nearest to sideways to farthest. Anything that involves constant running down court might lead to a 9-1-1 call, That's why we just settle for blogging. lol!

Thirty2,
"I shoot around 60% from 3 in my back yard.."

Hey, last night in my driveway I sent the NCAA finals game into overtime by making 2 freethrows with no time left in regulation, then stole the ball and made a buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of overtime. And all of it despite some gritty defense by the cat!

Posted by: exhelodrvr | August 19, 2009 at 02:29 PM

==============
LOL. Now that was funny and great comment.

Ex: "Hey, last night in my driveway I sent the NCAA finals game into overtime by making 2 freethrows with no time left in regulation, then stole the ball and made a buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of overtime. And all of it despite some gritty defense by the cat!"

That sounds like a replay of every game I've ever played on my 6-inch office hoop...without the cat covering me.

I'd take rebounding, and here's why -

I have enough handle to initiate a break myself, I have pretty decent decision making skills, and I can knock down a jumper. I'm already pretty good at rebounding, but if I could rebound like Dwight Howard (or a combo of your fave rebounders) at my height (6'3"), then you better believe I'm staying on the court.

I can get second chance points without demanding the ball, limit teams to 1 and done, and if people started to recognize that I was killing the boards, they'd have to put two people on me (which leaves a crashing lane open for a high flyer).

The hard thing about this question is, even in my heyday, I lacked the physical gifts necessary to be great. I could pick hops, but what about the hands to go with it. I suppose with hops I could reach the basket, but my hands are so small, the ball would go sailing somewhere else. I could ask for the ability to dribble down the lane, but would that come with the ability to be faster? Taller? And I could be a dead-eye shot from the 3-point line, but when you're 5' 8", it's still going to get blocked more than 90% of the time.

Oh, we're playing in the gym in pickup games? Hops. Besides the dunking, it's gotta help in the shot-blocking dept.

Is this some kind of trick question?
Of course I'd go for the corn-bred calves..

http://tinyurl.com/dn8sxm

that is why I would pick shooting. I mean come on if he could look like a superstar in a pickup game cause he's a good shooter, than so can I.

Go Lakers

Forget skill, I want a 1970s 'fro. That would do wonders for my basketball reputation.

handles.

Utz - These times are most definitely trying - prayer sent!

re: skills... I was always decent at snagging a reboound, setting a pick, boxing out. The shot though... um, inconsistent? I'd want to be a pure shooter.

Another way of asking this question would be to say, which in-their-prime NBA player's skill would you most want to add to your existing repertoire?

A) Hops of Michael Jordan
B) Shot of Ray Allen
C) Quickness of Tony Parker
D) Court vision of Magic Johnson
E) Strength of Ben Wallace
F) Speed of Leandro Barbosa
G) Quick feet of Bruce Bowen
H) Ambidexterity of Pau Gasol
I) Shot block timing of Alonzo Mourning
J) Creativity of Kobe Bryant
K) Crossover of Allen Iverson
L) Court IQ of Larry Bird
M) Rebounding of Dennis Rodman
N) Quick hands of Gary Payton
O) Ballhandling of Chris Paul
P) Fundamentals of Tim Duncan
Q) Skyhook of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
R) Finishing ability of LeBron James
S) First step of Kevin Johnson

Remember, you still have all your current skills, so even if you could jump like Jordan, it might not be any good for you if you can't dribble or shoot worth crap.

That's why I feel shooting could be the greatest asset. Even if you can't do anything else, you're a HUGE asset to your team just standing 25 feet from the basket. Although, if you're already a deadeye shooter, maybe it's ballhandling that could make you your team's Steve Nash. Who knows? I'm still going with shooting.

Props to puddle for KJ's first step. That guy could flat out get into the lane.

I'd add:

Mark Price's running jumper.

To this day, I cannot do that smoothly. Its always a brick.

I wouldn't mind his overall game either. He could shoot. IMO, Steve Nash is a modern day equivalent of Mark Price, and that's a big compliment.

TrueLakerFan -

MIKE FREAKING PENBERTHY!

That was awesome. Thanks for that clip!

How about putting all of you jumpers in the popcorn machine and banking a 15 footer? It's easy pickings - all covered with salt & butter!

Utz,

Expand your networks and retrain in other skills that u never imagine to be in. Old jobs are gone, new ones are coming. One sure thing, baby boomers are aging. Somehow they need to be taken care of like learning new craze how to tweet, blog and digg. They need a company as they search their own twilight zone.

Godspeed and Goodluck

#4,

"Forget skill, I want a 1970s 'fro. That would do wonders for my basketball reputation."Posted by: #4 | August 19, 2009 at 04:23 PM

Good one.. Not to mention add to your height, remember Fletch?..Haha

And this is why I chose clutch shooting under extreme pressure. A thing of beauty.

http://tinyurl.com/llky3g

I'd look at it in terms of what I can already do... which is shoot it.Lights out - no joke....but I can't do anything else well at all.

A) I could choose ball handling and become an offensive juggernaut as opposed to just a spot up shooter.

B)But I think I'd actually choose to become a terrific man to man defender.Then I'd be a Bruce Bowen/Dan Marjerle type instead of a kyle Korver type.

Dead eye shooting, hands down. If you're a pure shooter than the other, less polished aspects of your game are slightly mitigated by the fact your defender always has to keep an eye on you.

I am assuming of course, you all know about my lock down defensive capabilities and super mad hops.

Oh wait, no I don't.

wah wah wah

BK,

Disappointed it took Eric straightened you out. Rare brain cramp for you, BK.

If you could dish dimes by the dozen, your teammates would love you. They would always pic you first, and you would be generator of most of your teams points. Think SSOL. On the other hand, if you D'ed like Nash, then you would be a negative. But your mates still wouldn't care if you can turn their ordinary into all star; just ask Amare.

justanothermambafan,


Delilah is okay. Actually, better than I thought. Her wound is still seeping a bit, which is gross, and she's obviously in some pain, but she's adapting quickly.


I took her on a walk today with no leash (a short walk) and she burst out for a little bit and was faster than I'd be in a quick jog, (almost) sprint-like.


I think she'll be fine. Sometimes I think she has deeper spirit than me. If I lost a limb, I'd be freaking out about it a lot more than my animal. She just adapts, which is a very evolved way of approaching life.


Hope you are well, brother.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!


Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


GO LAKERS!!!

I'd go with shooting, hands-down. Growing up, I picked up defense/rebounding and passing well...which is why it's so painful to me that I can't hit the broad side of Shaq if my life depended on it. lol. I mean, seriously, layups, fine but a wide open anywhere outside the key, and I'm like Carlton trying ot hit a gamewinner. So yeah, shooting is what I'd want to do like a pro.

To catch the ball.

Utz - I'll add you to my prayer list. You did the same for me and it's back at cha.

PLG.

Puddle's mention of Kobe's creativity comes closest and a few people said "getting a shot off", but I'm surprised no one has mentioned footwork at all. Granted, I wouldn't pick it, I just think it should be thrown into the conversation.

If I had Kobe's foot work, it'd...

... help me many facets of the game. It'd help in getting off a clean shot by getting guys to bite or setting up just enough space to get a jump shot off. In addition, it'd help me in the rebounding department by working guys out of rebounding position or at least boxing them out. On top of that, it'd improve my defensive play. I'd more often be able to cut off angles to the hole for the guys that are driving before they get to their spots, since I am still rather quick.

However, having that skill is pretty unsexy, and would only work if you're decent at the other parts. It's sort of like getting an AMG to your S-Class. If you have the S-Class, it is pretty darn good already. But if you add the AMG, it just makes it that much better.

My game isn't anywhere near S-Class level, but I got some pretty good knowledge of the game. I can pass, get by a defender using speed, but could improve my offensive footwork to do it more consistently, can pass, can sweat, got grit... But for me to pick, after watching that Penberthy video I'm pretty much convinced that I'd go with the a shot.

Jumper, Runner, floater, off the backboard, left hand, right hand, three point shot, behind the back, all of them or even just one would suit me and my game fine as long as it were deadly.

If ball movement and vision are at the heart of the game, scoring is the mind game. You not going to win at the exclusion of the other. But taking it in as a whole, the spacing is going to be there more or less, and I'd be able to pass out of that double team, so scoring seems a lot more useful.

We'd win. I'd be the hero, and, get the girl.


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