“When I went to basketball, the first thing I did was kick the ball.”
The Boston Celtics drafted two polar opposite big men. Jared Sullinger claims to have competed in a league with 12-year olds at age four. Melo, who started playing hoop just six years ago, went to basketball and the first thing he did was kick the ball.
I’m not sure if the following statement is rational, but I found it comforting that Melo says his favorite players to study are Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Hakeem Olajuwon. If you’d asked Mark Blount his favorite players to study, for example, I feel like he would have responded, “Studying is something nerds do when they need to pass an exam. Also, Bimbo Coles, J.R. Rider and the 45-year old dude I played at the Y yesterday who refused to take a single step inside the 3-point arc.” Again, I realize my reaction probably isn’t entirely rational. But I’m happy Melo is taken to Hakeem’s footwork and KG’s defensive mastery. For someone with many miles to travel before reaching NBA greatness, admiring the proper players is a step in the right direction. Or at least, that’s what I irrationally tell myself.