Sunday, December 7, 2008

Study of Jordanism

Most people blame the lack of fundamentals in today’s game on ESPN and their 24-hour highlight reel.

Older players say that because all kids see are dunks, three-point shots or crossovers, that young players have forgotten how to play the game.

Meanwhile, young players argue that basketball has to evolve and they are just doing what they know.

Since I have only been out of the game for seven years - my career peaked with a pre-draft workout with Amare Stoudemire for the Orlando Magic - I can relate to the mentalities of both the young and old.

The truth of the matter is you are what you watch and there comes a time in every basketball player’s career where they realize the importance of studying film.

As a young player coming up, I chose to study what I call Jordanism. Jordanism is the systematic way of analyzing your favorite player, who in my case was Michael Jordan. I would study everything from his shooting form to his offensive moves and even his off-season workout plan. I bought his DVDs and to this day I can look in my video collection and find all types of film from his glory days. When every other kid was in the park practicing his famed ESPN highlight, the reverse lay-up, I was focused on how he got passed the defender to get in position to perform his patented moves.

The thing I loved the most about Jordan is that he scored with his head. In a day and age where most players scored off of athleticism and the famous phrase “let the game come to you,” Jordan was the exact opposite. He scored his points before he ever touched the floor and I’m going to tell you how.

If you take a look at Jordan’s first comeback games, you will notice that 90% of his shots came from the 8-to-15 foot range. He would pick one of the three triangle spots, usually the post, give a shoulder fake or two, then elevate over the defender with a fade away or triple threat pull up jump shot.

People were always amazed at how unstoppable Jordan was but if you ever played H.O.R.S.E outside with your friends, you know that an 8-to-15 foot jump shot is a relatively easy shot for a professional basketball player.

It makes you wonder why more professionals don’t utilize “Jordanism” tactics today.

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