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 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.
When you play guard, you're not going to block a lot of shots. Inside, you're going to block shots.
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.
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.
People say that, but I think the NBA was bigger than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
The thing about it is almost everyone could pass that way, but we were kept from doing it by our coaches.
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.
The Olympics were great, because you had to make the team, and then go to the games. Now, I don't know, these guys today don't want to do anything like that.
The triple-double is just a stat. It's a test of your strength and stamina and playing ability, really.
There's so many young peoople who start to play basketball and never learn the fundamentals.
You need a teaching coach who understands the game of basketball, not just some guy coming on the court talking about Xs and Os.
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.
You see what happens in college and high school games today - a three-point shot or a dunk. I think that's the reason that you see a lot of that in the pros today.
When you go into a game on offense, you make a couple moves and see what the defender is going to do. Then you pretty much can figure out what he is going to do against you - whether he carries his hands low or high, whether he is bumping or pushing, those type of things.
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