As an aspiring sports journalist, I have watched my fair share of sports — particularly basketball. I grew up loving the sport of basketball and always wanted to play it. However, I have never been the athletic type.My love of basketball has made me realize that the style in which basketball is played has been changing over the years, and not just in my own generation. In the age of Larry Bird and Jerry West, we witnessed a more traditional (some would call “boring”) style of basketball, with methodical ball passing that resulted in a mid-range jump shot or a quick dash to the basket for a layup. This is the style of basketball that Indiana became famous for, most noticeably due to its prodigal son, Larry Bird.
However, with the age of such stars as LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant, a more explosive and dynamic style of basketball has emerged. Many people began to think the traditional pass and jump shot style were too monotonous, and that this new style of fast-breaks, slam dunks and strong drives to the basket were the future of basketball.
Both styles of basketball have been proven time and time again to work, and many times, not only in the NBA, but also in college and even high school basketball, the two styles have clashed. Some people believe that the more traditional style cannot stand up to the fast-paced and aggressive style of more modern basketball, while others argue that traditional can be better. It all depends on whether you have quicker players or better shooters.
Goshen College has seen its fair share of both of these styles, particularly within the last two years of men’s basketball. The 2011-2012 team had stronger shooters, while the 2012-2013 team has shown they are better at driving to the basket. For example, last season’s top scorer for the Maple Leafs was first-year Kody Chandler, a six-foot-one guard who was more than proficient at shooting. This season’s top scorer is junior Jerron Jamerson, a six-foot-four forward who has shown he is better at driving than shooting the ball.
It all comes down to preference, talent and doing what works.