We’ve all heard the stories about how Bill Russell would block shots. He’d do his best to get a hand on every shot he could. When he did, he’d try to tip it to a teammate or himself in order to start a fast break. Those shot-blocking techniques are just a part of the huge legacy that Russell built as one of the NBA’s most prominent winners. The guy was so unselfish that even his blocks were part of a team concept.

Dwight Howard goes about blocking shots in a very similar manner, except for the exact opposite. Dwight’s content to toss a weak shot attempt in to the stands, even if that means the other team still gets the ball back. That’s his way of not showboating. No, that doesn’t make sense, but that’s how he feels and perception is reality, people.

From the Associated Press:

“They told me to grab them, but I just think sometimes blocking a shot, sending it out of bounds, shows a team that it’s not going to be easy coming into the paint,” Howard said. “Grabbing it, that’s like being a show-off, even though it is kind of cool.”

Well, that’s one way of looking at things, I guess. Kind of the totally backwards, against-conventional-wisdom way, but at least it’s an ethos. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how just snatching the ball out of the air would be showing-off while smashing it in to the sixth row isn’t.

I’m not complaining, just a little confused. Believe me, I’m all for Dwight Howard inviting everyone over for a block party, then immediately kicking them to the curb without even serving guacamole. If Dwight’s convoluted theory of showmanship means that we keep getting highlights like this one, then I’m all for it.

Comments (2)

  1. Sending the ball into the stands MIGHT result in your opponent’s reluctance to penetrate the paint. Securing the ball and/or initiating the fast break is of actual advantage to your team. IF you can do it, of course.

    Related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVFSfRVzQ8s

  2. And correct me if I’m wrong, but a grabbing a shot or blocking it to yourself results in a block AND a rebound statistically. It’d up his board numbers, not to mention helping get some fast breaks which could lead to more points if he blocked it, ran after it, passed it and got it back for the finish.

    As a point guard who often got blocked on my forays to the rim, I’d always love it when bigs blocked me out of court and made a big song and dance about it cos I’d always flash to the baseline outside the arc on the resulting inbounds pass from the baseline and hit a three (surprisingly rarely guarded when not in high-level competitions). I wouldn’t hesitate to thank the big for the extra point on that trip as well!

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