Watching basketball on television or in the stands does not show how great NBA players are.
Not only are they extremely gifted athletically they work extremely hard at their craft. Sometime the layperson just feels these players come out of the womb this good when in reality the spend hundreds of hours perfecting their game.
We get mesmerized with the astounding skills of point guards like, Kobe, CP3, Dwayne Wade and Allen Iverson and overlook the big fellas down low.
The bigs take longer to develop but they work just as hard at their game as the guards do. Guards play with the basket in front of them and can always see the rim where as centers and forwards play with their backs to the basket. The dribbling proficiency of guards can be equated to the footwork needed by centers and forwards. The footwork and balance these 250-pound behemoths display is absolutely remarkable.
There are a multitude of moves that a big player must perfect o make it in the NBA. Dropping steps, rip thrus, inside pivot, outside pivot, hook shots, up and unders and the all-important throw down. Each of these moves takes a precise sequence of footwork to stay on balance and make the move quick and powerful.
Dropping stepping seems to be a rudimentary move that anyone should be able to, especially a 7 footer but in reality it’s a very complex chain of events that demands precise timing and exceptionally good, quick feet.
The player needs to focus on the catch while being pushed from behind. Reading the defenders feet and processing the information in a millisecond. If the defender is on the inside, drop step and go to the rim, if the defenders is to the outside, pivot in and shoot. During the drop step the drop leg must seal off the defender while maintaining their pivot foot to avoid the travel. The whole time preparing for the double team that may or may not be coming form the strong side.
If the double team come being able to find the open point guard must accomplished quickly. While the player is being bombarded with all these decisions the player is also preparing to shoot. The nightly punishment that centers and forwards endure is absurd.
They are pushed, slapped, smacked, hit, clobbered and stepped on. Executing high-level skills all while getting beat on is unbelievable.
The huge men are looked upon as non-athletes, they are there just to rebound and dunk. It is easy to look past these players since they are not high flyers or sharpshooters. Ask Shaq if he wants to play guard and the answer is yes and now ask Kobe if he wants to play center and the answer will be a resounding no.
Tim Duncan just revealed a secret that he wants to play guard. He is tired of the punishment of the 13 years of playing on the block. Playing guard would be a rest for him. To the causal fan watching these gargantuans play is a boring side of the game but to closely watch a big man dust his defender with lightning quick up and under is beautiful or watching Dwight Howard slide across the lane a blazing speed and swat the bal out of the air like of fly spectacular.