SPECIAL MIDDLE OF THE WEEK BASKETBALL BLOG EDITION.
There is no question that the game of basketball has become much more athletic over the years. It is more athletes playing basketball versing fewer basketball players playing basketball except maybe for the international NBA players of which there are 108 of 450 roster spots. But, there are more basketball players playing basketball then athletes playing basketball.
However, very interesting that the 100 national sportswriters and broadcasters selected non athletic 7 foot Nikola Jokic center for the Denver Nuggets to the All-NBA’s lst team all-star selection for the past season edging out outstanding athletic 7 foot Joel Embiid center of the Philadelphia 76ers who was selected to the second team center position.
Jokic is not fast, not a very good jumper, not very quick laterally and not very athletic. But he is outstanding and one of the best if not the best in the NBA in playing the game from the shoulders up and using his high basketball IQ compared to the athletic Embiid who plays the game more from the shoulders down relying much more on his athleticism. Jokic certainly is the NBA player who gets the most from the least.
Comparing their regular season and post season 15 individual stats for each Jokic lead in 19 and Emiid in 11. Both players teams were eliminated in the NBA second round of their conference playoffs.
It is very interesting the Jokic was recognized for his non athletic basketball skills ahead of Embiids athletic basketball skills seeing that both teams only got to the NBA 2nd round of the playoffs this season.
Athletes playing basketball rely more on their athletic skills of natural GOD given skills like reaction time, quickness and jumping ability and have a greater tendency to play the game more from the shoulders down then basketball players playing basketball who are less athletic and have to rely on their basketball fundamental skills, basketball IQ’s and play the game more from the shoulders up.
I have personally always thought as a player and as a coach that Basketball is a 6 inch game. It is played 6 inches from the players adam’s apple up to the brain and 6 inches from a players adam’s apple down to the players heart and anything below a players heart is athleticism which is a player’s core and their legs.
Athletes playing basketball from the shoulders down do not make as good of basketball decisions because generally they don’t have as high basketball IQ’s then basketball players playing basketball as they have a tendency to make poorer basketball decisions by having poorer shot selection commit more turnovers and commit more personal fouls then their counter parts basketball players playing basketball. Athletes play more with their bodies and basketball players play more with their brains.
Athletes playing basketball have a tendency to make themselves better were as basketball players playing basketball have a tendency to make their teammates better.
Athletes playing basketball have more of a tendency to take themselves to the game. Basketball players playing basketball have more of a tendency to let the game come to them.
I write about this from personal experience as a high school, college and semi-pro player from the 50’s as I was not blessed with much overall athletic talent. at 6’0″ 165 pounds in high school and 6’1″ 175 pounds in college I had to rely on my basketball IQ, to make good basketball decisions like good shot selection, commit few turnovers and fewer personal fouls, figure out how to gain advantages against the athletes I was playing against especially in college and semi-pro ball and basic fundamental skills to compete with and against players that were more athletic then I was on my own teams and my opponents.
Therefore, I guess I am a little more biased to the basketball players playing basketball then to the athletes playing basketball. It is my personal opinion based on my basketball experiences as a player, coach and official.
Certainly couldn’t be a more explicit comparison of athletes playing basketball versus basketball players playing basketball then the Jokic-Embiid comparison with Nikola Jokic coming out ahead in the voting.
The best way to illustrate athleticism and non-athleticism is if Jokic and Embiid were on your track and Field team what running or jumping events would you put them in?
Embiiid would have a lot of choices while Jokic would need a clipboard and a rake to take care of one of the long jump pits.
By the way my two favorite players too watch this year in the NBA were Jokic and Luka Donic, the rookie international player who was just 19 years old when the NBA season started. By the way what do both Jokic and Donic have in common? They are both International European players. Jokic from Serbia and Donic from Solvenia and Embiid is from Cameroon. Embiid is by far the most athletic of the three being a pure outstanding athlete playing basketball, while Donic is a combination athlete/ basketball player playing basketball and Jokic is a pure outstanding basketball player playing basketball.
Also to reinforce my point remember Magic Johnson and Larry Bird? They certainly were not athletes playing basketball. but they were all time great basketball players playing basketball. They were considered the best of their era as their teams dominated the NBA by their leadership. More proof: What track running/jumping events would you put Larry and Magic in on your track team, oh yeah, clipboards and rakes.
Thought where this BLOG selection writing goes along with my personal basketball unorthodox way opinion and way of thinking about athletes playing basketball, playing against basketball players playing basketball that this was a good time to post such a BLOG.
Great to think the 100 sportswriters and broadcasters agreed with me in their selection of Jokic lst team All-NBA center and Embiid second team All-NBA player.
Basketball player playing basketball again beats an athlete playing basketball in the minds of others besides me.
P.S. I will post the regular season and playoff stats for 15 statistical categories each for Jokic and Embiid this weekend. Jokic was ahead for the playoffs season 13-2 and Embiid lead in the regular season 9-6, Final totals Jokic 19 Embiid 11.