Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Slam the dunk footage

ESPN on Tuesday morning ran a short promotional ad during its broadcast asking for people to send video footage of their best dunks.

Oh, lucky us. More dunk footage.

After all, it's only been about 5 seconds since ESPN ran tape on one of those.

Part of the promo included a kid jumping on a pogo stick, holding onto the stick with one hand and the ball with the other. On the last hop, the kid dismounts and dunks the ball.

Then goes wild.

When this promo is finished and the top 10 nationwide dunks are tabulated, the only thing that will be missing is cheeseball Bob Sagat narrating the countdown.

Dunks are not only overplayed. They're also overrated.

ESPN, show us something we haven't seen.

Show us a high school team playing defense so tight that for a minute, the offense calls a time out out of frustration.

Show us a high school team that moves without the ball.

Show us a kid who dribbles off a high screen and buries a 3-pointer, a la Mark Price.

Show us a kid who can, for crying out loud, make 7 out of 10 free throws.

I haven't seen a ton of prep basketball this year, but I've seen enough to know tha many teams lack basics. They play open-gym, matador-defense, fundamental-less basketball - which makes me appreciate being a wrestling writer even more and more.

There's a lot of teams out there that would be better served attending fundamental basketball camps over the summer rather than simply going to team camp and further honing their already-shoddy fundamentals.

ESPN is partially - but not totally - to blame for that. The Worldwide Leader in Sports shows endless clips of dunks on a daily basis. It glorifies a minute portion of the game, as its most recent promotion shows.

I'd much rather see a kid hit 8 out of 10 free throws.

But I'm not holding my breath for that ESPN countdown.

- John Kampf


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