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.
Just because it is an All-Star Game doesn't mean that you are playing as efficiently as you should.
Just fundamental things - I played guard and I played forward, so you get into a position where you are pivoting out on the court.
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.
Look, I think you should promote the game, but I think you should make it what it ought to be. Not some kind of a side-show.
Now, I guess, people want stars. People are trying to invent stars.
The players have no real self-esteem when it comes to putting the best image out there in a real competitive fashion.
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.
I'm sorry that the young athletes in basketball will not get the chance to play (in the Olympics) anymore, and live that dream.
If you're a basketball player, you've got to shoot.
But if people are buying the products, naturally they're gonna use them.
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