What can a kid who has hoop dreams do when his height prevents him from playing basketball?
...I wish I was a baller.
I was good. Picture this, a 5'6" white dude breakin down chumps at my Junior High School in Arvada. Yeah. I was like a blur...White Chocolate they called me. I had a killer crossover before Allen Iverson broke into the NBA. Everyone was screaming my name. I made fools cry as I dropped 40 on them like they were sleeping. Guys who tried to guard me break their ankles and collapse to the ground as I dribble right on by.
Then I wake up.
I was pretty good, but my shots kept getting blocked. My junior high coach used to scream at me to, "stop driving to the damn hoop!" Which, in hindsight, was some pretty crappy coaching. Breaking down the lane can cause opportunities for others. I wanted to score like a two-guard, with the height of a basketball midget. Was never going to happen. All those moves were for naught.
After 9th grade, due to my height and some other factors, I stopped playing basketball all together. It's disappointing when I look back on it. I should have done something else within the basketball confines that I loved so much. I could have gone into coaching. I could have stayed around a program and learned the ins-and-outs about hoops. In reality however, the only thing that would have satisfied me is playing the game I love. My height may help in motivating me to conquer the world (Napoleon/Josh McDaniels), but it doesn't get me anywhere dribbling a ball.
In the the NBA, short guards are a novelty. Muggsy Bogues, Spud Webb, and to a lesser extent Earl Boykins were nothing but a sideshow for the real event. NBA basketball is a tall man's game. These players were used in slam dunk contests and to draw in the occasional fan. Fact is, it's hard to have a long lasting NBA career if you are under the height of 5'10".
I remember 5'3" Bogues. He was really quick but I truthfully don't remember him playing an substantial minutes. Same goes for Webb. Boykins (who is listed at 5'5") played some significant minutes with the Nuggets, but I remember him more for chucking up ill advised three-point shots and generally being a ball-hog. I don't know if Boykins' problem was his height, so much as between the ears.
This got me to thinking. There are several frustrated ballers who comment on Denver Stiffs. There's also some people who have played hoops and have their own tales of their experiences.
Leave a comment below and tell us at Denver Stiffs your own hoop dreams. Mine was a tale of shorty being shorty. What's yours?