After watching a Lakers vs. Celtics game from the eighties, a couple of things became apparent. The first thing I noticed is was the difference in athleticism and size. I thought to myself those were the golden days when players relied less on athletic ability and more of the fundamentals. This statement resonated more and more as my attention went to Larry Bird. At 6′9″, Bird was a step slower and athletic than most, but somehow managed to be one of the best players on the floor.
What most players today don’t understand is there is a peaking order to greatness. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Vince Carter dunk or put back slams from Dwight Howard, but without the fundamentals you are lost.
Bird represents the fundamentals while Magic Johnson represents fundamentals combined with athleticism.
Johnson was an aberration. Like LeBron James, he combined the size and talent that captivated the world. At 6’8”, Magic was quick enough to run the point, big enough to guard defend the center, and smart enough to take a game over at will. Even though he was blessed with rare talent he still possessed the fundamentals that made one of the best players to ever put on a jersey.
While watching this game I realized its takes a Bird to create Magic. Athleticism will get you a scholarship, but if you combine that with fundamentals you could possibly get paid for what you love to do.
Below is a video demonstrating what you should be looking for when in the triple threat position.