December 01, 2009
The Oklahoman recently conducted an interesting, albeit basic poll among players and coaches to determine who has the highest basketball IQ in the NBA.
Alanis Morrisette-ironically, the player who garnered the most votes was a gentleman (and basketball scholar) who never attended college or university.
Stay in school, ki— bah, forget it.
The results were as follows:
A solid list, no doubt. But it begs an obvious question: What exactly is basketball IQ?
In an accompanying OK article, Darnell Mayberry sums up the pithy phrase as a sort of "feel for the game." The players and coaches quizzed for the poll said those who possess a high basketball IQ contain a court savvy that goes beyond the coach's X's and O's.
It's instinctive ability that a player has, knowing when to shoot and when to make the extra pass. Knowing how to set a screen on one possession and play off it on the next. Knowing when to employ subtle defensive schemes such as 'pulling out the chair' in the post.
Frankly, I'm happy with those examples and explanation, as well as Kobe topping the list. That guy lives and breathes basketball. But one name I'm surprised didn't make the cut: Tim Duncan(notes). I don't know if it's because he's a big guy, and it's assumed he doesn't have to make as many decisions with the ball as, say, a point guard, but I would rank TD's innate basketball IQ extremely high.
But what do you think? Let's hear your top five guys in the comments section below.
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