Monthly Archives: February 2010

Looking for Highlights?

      As much as I enjoy watching a full basketball game and soaking in all the nuances of offensive and defensive strategy, sometimes it is fun to just roll through a few highlight reels on youtube. Three and a half minutes of the best rim rattling dunks, skyscraping blocks, and look-away assists can really get the heart rate up.

          I was watching this clip of Rubio and Vazquez this morning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1qmXbpov4M  It got me thinking about how certain player’s skill sets lend themselves to highlight compilations as much as wins and losses. I came up with a top five list of highlight reel guys (unranked). I am not looking at specfic highlight films here, talking about generalities. If you were going to sit down and watch three and a half minutes of the best someone had to offer, who can’t be missed?

Kenyon Martin

          I know his NBA career has been a disappointment to many. If you are a Nuggets fan, and used to watching his nightly contributions of below the rim post defense and awkward 18 ft. jumpshots, it is easy to forget what he once was. I have never seen anyone attack the rim with such power, emotion and pure ferocity. He is like a bigger, stronger, angier (if that was possible) Latrell Sprewell. Another thing I noticed is that he almost never dunks with one hand, always two. Power, power, power.

          When searching for Martin highlights most will feature his days with the Nets. Martin running the break with  Jason Kidd was a perfect storm, and he frequently unleashed Category 5’s on the basket. My favorites though are the dunks from his Cinncinati days.

Shawn Kemp

           He was the absolute best in game dunker I have ever seen. Every highlight shows him attacking the rim with unparalled atheleticsm and absolute brute strength. Although I remember the Sonics’ NBA finals run of 95′-96′, most of his true athletic prime came before my time. It is easy stick on the terrible, drunken, overwieght and out-of shape end to his career, and forget that he was once a dominant force on the basketball court.

Relive some of his glory days:

Jason Williams

                  White Chocolate is obviously on this list for his ball handling as opposed to his aerials. He brought the playground back to the NBA, and he did it with style and panache. His elbow pass to Raef Lafrentz in the 2000 Rookie Challenge remains one of the most incredible things I have ever seen on a basketball court. (It’s at the 1:23 mark)

Latrell Sprewell

              In his younger days he was one of the most amazing dunkers in the league. What Michael Jordan did for the dunk with athleticism and style, Spree did with anger and raw force. His two-handed tomahawks will literally shake you to your core.

Gerald Wallace

               Gerald would be another representation of my preference for power and force over athleticism and grace. He brings the Sprewell style dunks with some amazing blocks. The total highlight package.

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Statement of Purpose

Introduction

        Let me begin by saying that I recognize and freely admit the self-indulgent nature of this undertaking. To my knowledge, no one has ever expressed the slightest desire to hear or read any of my opinions about basketball. Despite being a passionate fan, I am utterly unqualified as a basketball analyst. Despite my bachelor’s degree I am a barely proficient writer.

          Now that my shortcomings are out of the way, let me talk briefly about my strengths. I love basketball. I watch as much as I can, while balancing the commitments of being a husband and 3rd grade teacher. I read as much as I can about basketball. I actively work to deepen my understanding of the many aspects of this wonderful game. I have many thoughts and opinions. I have a burgeoning desire to put those thoughts and opinions into writing.

Vision

         This blog will be a place for me to add my own thoughts, admittedly simple and unqualified, about the world of basketball to the vast cacophany of opinions expressed over the internet and other media forms. In all likelihood, I will be the only person reading or discussing these opinions for the forseeable future. As I don’t anticipate having much in the way of readership, this blog will serve first and foremost as a vehicle for me to analyze, codify and expand my own opinions and understandings of the world of basketball, through the use of the written word.

(I am from Upstate New York, but am a huge Indiana Pacers fan. I would like to be upfront about my personal biases as they will have a large effect on my opinions and choice of topics. )

Practices

          To begin, I am setting a modest goal of at least one post per week. At first these posts may take a myriad number of forms. I hope that as I become more proficient as a blogger and a basketball thinker, a structure to my opinions and discussions will emerge, which will guide the nature of future posts.

*All aspects are subject to revision!

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