You've got to learn the footwork, the positioning, how to box out, how to pass, how to shoot your free throws. All these things are necessary, not to be the No. 1 player in the world, but maybe you can play against him.
It's like all guys want to do is make a dunk, grab their shirt and yell out and scream - they could be down 30 points but that's what they do. Okay, so you made a dunk. Get back down the floor on defense!
When you play against different people from all walks of life you can't do the same thing against every player defensively or offensively. You have to change up the way you go at a player.
It's a sad commentary when I have to say that sometimes in our country we are real sensitive to race.
They should have a rule: in order to be a sportswriter, you have to have played that sport, at some level; high school, college, junior college, somewhere. Or, you should have had to have been around the game for a long time.
I played when I played, and played, I think, against the greatest players in the greatest time in the history of basketball.
I think that everyone should be able to dribble. Everyone should be able to pass. Otherwise, why are you out there?
When you play guard, you're not going to block a lot of shots. Inside, you're going to block shots.
When I came into the league, once a team drafted you, they owned you forever. If they didn't like the clothes you wore, or the car you drove, they could blackball you.
But I think the image that's thrown out on television is a bad image. Because you see players who want to imitate hip-hop stars. And the NBA is taking advantage of the situation.
Actually, Magic and the Lakers beat Philadelphia for Magic's first NBA Championship.
But after that you don't see a lot of real good fundamental play. You see a showboat-type basketball which is almost parallel to street basketball.
You don't cut anywhere, don't pick down anywhere, don't double screen, no weak side picking. All these things that should happen in a game of basketball don't happen anymore.
I don't think that players learn how to play any other aspect of the game in high school or college.
Some players are more physical than others, some play with more finesse. Some are just really great all-around players. So you have to change your game.
People will think there are no other great ballplayers. Look at Garnett. Look at Duncan, Shaq, Kobe. Look at the players with Sacramento. The have a really good basketball team.
I'd like to think that the nature of the two teams - Boston being a championship team over the years and the Lakers, same thing - was a lot bigger than Larry Bird or Magic Johnson.
You have to teach now - tell a kid how to box out, tell him how to pass, teach him footwork. Players don't understand that anymore.
I was taught to play that way when I was in high school and even before I got to high school.
I think that teaching coaches are the norm now.
I don't know hardly any of the players who have the in-between game like me, who can go to any position on the court.
College coaches want to power the ball inside, they want (their post players) to power the ball up, but no one can shoot from that 15-foot area anymore.
I think that basketball players should get the job done no matter how it looks on the screen.
But if people are buying the products, naturally they're gonna use them.
I don't blame David Stern because a player gets on the court and he doesn't put out competitively. No one can make you play if you don't want to play.
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