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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shot Blocking: Very Different When You're 5'6''

I played four years of basketball in High School, four years of intramural hoops in college, and regularly frequent local parks for pickup games. Reaching a soaring height of five feet, six inches, I have never been known for my shot blocking abilities. However, that doesn't mean I don't get the occasional swat at the rim. I just don't have the blocking talent of, say, Shaq, Dwight Howard, or the ever videogenic (it's about time someone made up that word) Dikembe Mutombo.

You may have seen Mr. Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, as his friends call him, in a recent insurance commercial wherein he shows the joy he has for rejecting his opponents. This finger-wagging, 7'2'' center was an intimidating presence in the paint. Much unlike Mutombo, I am not a formidable foe against forwards flying to the hoop.

Throughout his NBA career, Mutombo had almost 3,300 blocks and I'm sure some variation of, "No no no! Not in my house!" was said or thought for each and every one of those. I, on the other hand, am able to pull off a block once in a blue moon. It's usually because I turn around and suddenly a guy is driving through the lane, so I stick my hand out and he happens to run the ball into my hand. When this rare feat happens, I definitely don't wag my finger or taunt my opponent. Usually this is the thought process going through my mind: "Teehee!" *:-D giddy school girl giggle* "Ouch, he really tweaked my arm there. Dang! I probably should have just let him score."

Alas, the game wasn't built for five and a half feet grown men to be swatting balls out of the air. Besides, when was the last time you saw Dikembe Mutombo do a crossover, penetrate the lane, and dish off the alley oop? Never! So, when I learn to do some of those moves, I will be better than him at one aspect of basketball! Until that day, it's park ball pickup games for me.

- Isaac M. Comelli (4/24/2013)

(Just to settle the debate, this is what would happen if Mutombo tried to come into MY house!)

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