No one is going to steal your great idea … the story of the Skyhook

Steph Curry is having a hell of a run over the past two seasons. Curry’s numbers and touch are ridiculous.
His jumper is sweet but it will need some longevity to be considered alongside the most potent offensive weapon the game has seen.

The Skyhook.

Kareem skyhook

Basketball Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul Jabbar  is the NBA’s all time leading scorer.
Some context for you younger types,  he’s scored more points than MJ, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Kobe.

He swished (and I do mean swished) 38,387 points… many of them with the skyhook.

Kareem started experimenting with the skyhook in the 5th grade and used it to become a force of nature playing high school ball in NYC.
In 1967 early in his time in college at UCLA the NCAA banned the dunk – in no small part because Kareem or Lew Alcinder as he was then known was throwing them down with reckless abandon. Without the dunk in his arsenal No.33 honed his sweeping hook shot even further to dominate the college game in a way not seen before nor since, leading the Bruins to 3 consecutive titles under legendary coach John Wooden. Most big men in the game had and have an offensive arsenal of mid range jump shots, jump hooks, put backs and dunks.
Taking the Skyhook to the NBA Kareem won 6 titles with the Bucks then Lakers and was League MVP 6 times over a stellar 20 year NBA Career.  With my teenage hero Magic Johnson (I grew up a Lakers fan… Showtime, Riles with his slick back hair & Rambis as the oddball)  feeding him the ball, Kareem got the Skyhook off whenever and against whomever he wanted.

It was all but unstoppable with even the best centers of the era; Moses Malone, Robert Parish, Bill Walton unable to defend against it, even a 7’7” Manute Bol (6 inches taller than Kareem) couldn’t block it.
Kareem NBA Career Points leader

What’s intriguing about the Skyhook is that despite it’s being un-guardable it has never been replicated by young ballers. 
The sweeping hook shot has become the game’s lost art.

So why wouldn’t aspiring players look to learn a proven skill.
Yes the game has evolved and changed I hear you say. True, but not in ways that make the skyhook redundant.

There are many theories as to why it’s died out of the game, why has no no one copied it.
One is that modern players don’t see it as a cool way to score (viewing it through the power LeBron lens). They’d rather shoot fade away jumpers or look to take it down the lane for the dunk. I suspect another is that no one has been willing to put int the years of work required to master it.

Look at the balance and poise of 33 rising over a young MJ.

Kareem over Jordan

In business many entrepreneurs are scared of their idea being copied, they want potential partners and investors to sign an NDA to even hear the concept.
The reality is this. Most ideas won’t be successfully copied because the idea is the easy part, executing and perfecting is that hard part that takes years of work.
That’s not sexy nor cool and is seen as traditional… it doesn’t look good in many eyes to grind it out everyone wants an instant win.

So if you have an idea run with it, expose it, practice it like crazy.

There may be imitators but it’s likely they won’t stick around.

As Thomas Edison said Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Start ups are cool, hard work ain’t.

Long time NBA coach Mike Dunleavy used to tell young players to “practice the skyhook if you want to make tens of millions of dollars if you don’t keep doing what you’re doing”.
Yet since Kareem retired in ’89 no player has copied the most lethal offensive weapon in basketball history… go figure.

Kareem was also a shite actor.

Kareem in Airplane
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