Getting old sucks. Especially for ballers. The legs slow. The eyes get weak. Injuries accumulate. But Setshot is here to bring you hope! Many aging ballers have developed a specialty move. These moves are often rooted in chicanery and misdirection, as opposed to athleticism, and are a way for us to counter the superior quickness and hops of younger players.
I've developed a few such moves over the years. My favorite is getting the ball near the basket, tucking it between my legs, and throwing a fake pass around my defender. If he bites, he will turn to see where the ball has gone, whereupon I retrieve the rock from between my legs and lay it in. In addition to utilizing the strengths of the older player (the mind!), this move has a certain streetball appeal that the young folks like. Whenever I pull this off, kids on the sidelines will invariably ooh and ahh.
Thanks to Cary and Mothy for suggesting this topic. Here is a space where we can share our secret moves with each other.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
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I had two specialty moves. At 6'1" I wasn't a bad ball handler but I used to be able to outjump most players even a couple of inches taller than myself, so I always like to hang out as a forward down in the corner. It may have been a quick first step or simply a walk that no one had the stones to call, but I loved to face up after receiving a swing pass, appear to size up the shot, then drive or juke and drive baseline for the easy lay-in or reverse junk. Actually, in hindsight, I normally just matched up with the slowest looking defender, so maybe that explains that quick first step of mine. My second sweet move was a jump stop starting from just outside the left end of the free-throw line, which typically split both backcourt defenders and got you right into the heart of the lane for an easy 2. It's a move that always catches everyone on the court off guard, because it looks so strange and so wildly illegal. Well, one time mine looked really illegal because while sticking the landing my right knee Theismaned, and the following weekend I lurched around the 1998 Final Four in a velcro cast in anticipation of my very first ACL reconstruction (actually, I also got charged with a turnover, which was kind of cold).
I continue to work on the classic old-school, old-guy, big-man move: the hook shot. Back 'em down and throw up the hook. Jabbar's hook was the one truly un-defendable shot in the history of the game.
I learned the awesome power of the hook in junior high playing church ball against my friend's dad, who was 6'4" with a wide posterior. He was old, slow, and unstoppable. When perfected, the hook is beautiful to behold.
The hook is indeed the classic old man's move. My dad's was a killer. In fact, we were originally going to call this website "Hookshot" but the name had already been taken by a seriously depressed thirteen-year old. Every once in awhile, I contemplate developing a hook shot, but I'm not sure I can handle any more stylistic grief from the youngsters.
As a slow, Jewish 5'8 "swingman" (what I call myself because I don't have enough handle to run the point yet don't shoot well enough to play 2 either), my options are limited. I have, however, developed a couple of decent old man moves. The first, which every one of my friends has caught onto already, is a behind the back pass if I'm on a fast break on the right side. I can use this about 2 or 3 times a year with success as long as it's with different groups of people.
The other move I can get away with is my left handed fade away jumpshot, which I get over on because most people I play against don't figure out that i shoot lefty until halfway through the first game. Anways, It kind of a Larry Johnson back to the basket back-down move (having a formidably sized, Barkley like lower body helps this), and then fake to the lane, and spin back the other way shooting with what appears to the defender to be my off hand.
Doing dribbling drills helped a lot too, because I can do an old man head fake off of a between the legs dribble from my left to my right hand, quickly pump fake and then change hands. works every (34%) time!
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