Hero Ball, or How NBA teams fail by giving the ball to money players in crunch time...
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Basketball
Great article by Henry Abbott about Hero Ball:
Nobody respects the crunch-time passer. He's an affront to the game -- the game of hero ball.
Perhaps you've heard of hero ball. Maybe not. That would hardly be a surprise, as its practitioners like to pretend it doesn't exist. But even though hero ball looks suspiciously like basketball -- it's played on the same court and uses the same rims, same ball and at least some of the same players -- it differs from basketball in one key respect: The goal of hero ball is not necessarily to outscore your opponent. The goal of hero ball is, instead, appeasing egos, saving coaching jobs, kowtowing to talking heads and mollifying idiot owners sitting on the floor. If hero ball is tangentially about winning basketball games, it's about winning them only through the least efficient, most predictable means of doing so.
The first (and only) rule of hero ball: Big-name scorers must always take the last-minute shot. That the numbers now exist to prove it doesn't work is, curiously enough, beside the point. In the world of hero ball, when Bryant -- by the numbers, the least efficient clutch-time go-to scorer in the league -- barks at James at the end of an All-Star contest for not jacking up a low-percentage shot, Kobe is praised, LeBron is vilified and the world mouths along with the Laker yelling: "Shoot the f--ing ball!"
So how did we get here? You could blame Michael Jordan, whose last-second heroics spawned the posters that adorned the walls of a generation of wannabes. Bucks assistant coach Jim Boylan has his own take: "You're down one. There are 15 seconds to go. You come down the floor, make a few passes. Somehow your best player ends up not getting the ball. Now there are five seconds left, four, three, two ... boom. Got to shoot. You miss. After the game, everyone asks, 'Why didn't your best player, your highest-paid player, get the basketball? This is why he's here. We're paying him to get the ball at the end of the game and win it for us.' As a coach, you're stuck."
Hero Ball is why Carmelo Anthony is a Joy Wrecker.
And why Kobe Bryant can't see Reality.