It's been a long time. I've been meaning to vent about a lot of the recent basketball stories: from Jeremy Tyler to Dirk's humble admission to Rafer and Ron-Ron taking it back to Queens. I could go on and on about Lebron or Billups or the difference between JR Smith and Gerald Green (that one is actually coming soon), but I have something different to share with you; and would like your feedback in the comments section. More after the random picture...
I've let it be known over on Money Mike's "Points Off Turnovers!" that Allen Iverson is my favorite all-time player. Even though his titan-slaying crossover on His Airness is his most monumental move in his journey through the Path of Basketball, it's his second-most profound move that confirmed the way I now see Basketball. I'm talking about the one that happened on the court and not the one in the media room that inspired an amazing J-Live/DJ Jazzy Jeff joint. The crossover-step-back corner jumper over Tyronn Lue in the '01 Finals demonstrated that a man, regardless of what was thrown his way, could impose his individual style on another and succeed. In addition to that affirmation, AI's anti-establishment style was further validation to me that a man carves his own destiny and can wield the power to move mountains. I know that sounds like a lot for a jumper in a game that ultimately meant nothing but keeping those Lakers from going undefeated in the playoffs, but I can now recognize those feelings now that I'm older. That one jumper from an unadulterated scorer inspired a shooter to find new ways to play angles to be able to release over taller players. And it was the foundation for the Fundamentally UnSound opinions that you read every...whenever I have time to post.
I couldn't be initially inspired by anything else; not because I'm not enamored with taller players, but rather because AI is someone that resonated with my Basketball soul. Isiah Thomas was a little before I really started watching, and Jason Terry doesn't possess the destructive willpower like Iverson. While Terry's one of my favorite players to watch, he isn't a shatterer of worlds; and that's what AI's jumper appeared to do to Mr. Lue. Iverson had to be the one to confirm my vision of the sport to me because he was the first player that I viewed differently. Even God Jordan to me was someone that was superhuman through tenacity; and didn't have blatant individualism through rebellion. Jordan was un-eff-witable because he was amazing; AI was all that with the candor of the best of hip-hop verses (Shout-out to Inspectah Deck).
That move was nearly a decade ago, yet I get special feelings for it whenever I see it. See, there are some things that will stay with you, whether consciously or subconsciously, that will shape the way you view tings, situations, events, and moments in life. They are things from your younger years that will bring back the entusiasm of youth once you have thought of them. They can be from anything, and not just necessarily related to your particular passion. For whatever reason, you can't forget them if you tried. They are the Konami Code for video game heads, something that designers of a few web sites have included on their pages after so many years.
So I'm asking you, Basketball fan, what moment in time is the cornerstone for how you see Hoops? Even if you don't look on Basketball with the analytical scope as I do, there is still something—some moment—that you can recall that will fill your Basketball mind with content. And I'd love to know what it is.