August 12, 2009


Henry Abbott of the oft linked Truehoop blog is your consummate journalist/blogger. Monday through Friday he's expected to produce, and this is a hasty estimate, let's say about 3000-4000 words daily, complete with relevant links and whatnot, about basketball. He gets ripped to shreds in the comments. More people call him a hack than is otherwise fair, balanced, or rational, but the dude keeps chipping away, may reach at times, and overall, I'm giving him a solid 95% success rate on everything that he posts. Cut the guy some slack, it is the off-season after all.

This post got me thinking; essentially its about a sports writer that Abbott respects immensely, who asserts that the best basketball is the least flashy basketball, and on that point, Abbott, a bit haltingly, disagrees. To quote Abbott:

...[W]hen I think about the very best players I have ever seen, heard of, or played with ... a lot of them feel extremely comfortable on the basketball court, and make it their business to demonstrate a sense of ownership of that space. Sometimes that means being flamboyant -- doing something ostentatious to show your spirit is not likely to be restrained by, well, anything.
Those are his italics above.

And off to reflexively think about skateboarding; in all, the best skateboarding is the best skateboarding because it is flashy, perhaps flamboyant isn't the best word but there is that air of immense comfort that Abbott describes (this idea excludes Huf et. al., who, for another day, could be described as the Timmy Duncan of skateboarding, the "Big Fundamental"). To further elucidate, Mariano's switch frontside shuvit nosegrind fakie heelflip is akin to, uh, the fake-out behind the back pass going right to a left handed layup? Or something [would Huf's hop-up, ollie, ollie, ollie, gap to lipslide be akin to Duncan's posted up turn around bank shot? (again, another day)]? While the analogy breaks down when it is finally trotted around town, what it boils down to is the question of this: If flashy skateboarding is simply good skateboarding (the norm which is being aimed for, thus no longer being flashy and/or special, a value inherent to flashiness), then what is truly flashy skateboarding?

The best answer I can come up with is something along the lines of Eric Koston doing dork tricks. Dork tricks to him, at least. What comes to mind, out of a cast of thousands, is that, how do you even name it?, lay-back frontside 360 wallie grab thinger that he does in Beauty and the Beast (you know what I mean). So, what this all boils down to is Koston's part from Chomp on This. Flashy, and just maybe even flamboyant. Ostentatious for sure:

1 comment:

al ghabi said...

i think timmy duncan would be more like the BA of basketball. quiet but deadly, able to switch shit up and make other fools look dumb without all of the fake noise