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!
I think that everyone should be able to dribble. Everyone should be able to pass. Otherwise, why are you out there?
I played when I played, and played, I think, against the greatest players in the greatest time in the history of basketball.
The players have no real self-esteem when it comes to putting the best image out there in a real competitive fashion.
Basketball is basketball.
I think that basketball players should get the job done no matter how it looks on the screen.
Actually, Magic and the Lakers beat Philadelphia for Magic's first NBA Championship.
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.
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.
Now, I guess, people want stars. People are trying to invent stars.
This is where young players today want to land. They want to be NBA players because of the money.
You look at today, it's a different situation. You have a game that has been transformed into a game where almost every shot is either an outside shot - a three-point shot - or a dunk.
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.
I don't think that players learn how to play any other aspect of the game in high school or college.
If you're a basketball player, you've got to shoot.
People say that, but I think the NBA was bigger than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
We're all Americans trying to compete. Magic was competing for his team and Larry for his team.
You need a teaching coach who understands the game of basketball, not just some guy coming on the court talking about Xs and Os.
But I like to think an athlete is an athlete.
I played on an all-black high school team and we didn't want people saying that we were clowns.
I'm sorry that the young athletes in basketball will not get the chance to play (in the Olympics) anymore, and live that dream.
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.
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.
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.
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