Regressing Post Players

Looking at basketball from today's perspective, one can hardly realize that it was once a game dominated by post players. Although teams continue to look for post players in the draft, their roles have changed since the days of the late George Mikan and Wilt Chamberlain. Bill Russell, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwan, etc., were masters of the game, and they took center stage in their respective teams. The new post player set picks, block a short two, grab rebounds, and score if he happens to get the ball in the right place and time. Those days when teams went to the post players when they needed basketballs are only available on the "Classic Sports Channel" and that is a shame.

Various situations have dropped the post player to the last option on offense. The level of coaching from elementary to professional levels has greatly changed. Coaches tend to put more emphasis on physical and natural ability more so than developed skills. At the professional level, ever body is huge; thus advantage lies on developed skills. Since post with developed skills are very rare, teams are left with is a bunch of big players clogging up the paint with very little offensive skills. Post players are being encouraged to shoot jump shots to stretch the defense. Stretch the defense for who or what? The guards are supposed to stretch the defense by their long range shooting, not the post players.

Coaches do not seem to realize that developing a consistent jump shot, even from 6-10 feet will take a post player his entire career. David Robinson and Patrick Erwing are good examples of post players who spent their entire careers working to develop the outside shot. These players rarely delivered when called upon to make a last minute shot to win or send a game into overtime. Post players have no business shooting a 10-foot jump shot unless they are on the free throw line. This option limits their effectiveness; they cannot use their main assets, height to dominate the game. As a result, most post players play their entire careers without realizing their full potentials. Pick any current post player (you have a ton of names to choose from), 86% of them are playing below their potentials.

Another reason for the retardation is the lack of the conventional hook shot. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar revolutionized this shot and made it a trademark for every successful post player. The current generation might term it "old fashion," however, it is still the most effective shot for a post player in the paint. The conventional hook shot is a dying art and it is taking the post players with it. Very few coaches and even former players who used the shot successfully know how to coach the conventional one-step hook shot. These outlined the main reasons why post players will continue to take the back stage until a knowledgeable coach comes along who truly understand what it takes to play in the low block; muscle does not count.

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