During the ‘Hack-A-Shaq’ days Coach Phil Jackson would look to make situational substitutions to limit the number of times Shaq could be fouled late in games. But, after witnessing Shaq already hitting ten in a row it would be hard to take him out. Is that the right decision? Or do you play the odds?
Basketball is becoming more sabermetric with the increasing prioritization of analytics. And throughout all that data many coaches rely upon the law of averages for scouting purposes. There is a subconscious dependency on the existence of balance in the world and from a philosophical standpoint, this is similar to the practice of yin-and-yang.
Can a basketball court be a dojo, "a place of enlightenment" in which disciplined athletes train their hearts and minds through the pursuit of physical excellence? This weeks #BookClub takes six key principles that lead to success from four famous coaches. And Dickie V. and Billy Packer debate what is beautiful about basketball.
Arguments between purists and modernists are primarily about different visions of what basketball should be, not about which techniques work better. Fans of each generation have a subjective view of the best brand of basketball despite evidence of overlap between each era. During my day we played team defense. During my day we moved without the basketball. During my day, then just fill in the blank from what you have heard because everyone has a barbershop type story to tell.
Basketball and Philosophy may not provide guidance on the "foul or no foul" situation when up three with less than five seconds in the game. But, it can challenge our approach when thinking about our daily interactions with our best players. Or things to consider when playing a team for the third time in a season.