NBA Hall of Famer Bernard King had a completely different approach to the game.
Instead of seeing the basketball court with lines and zones, he saw a 'grid' that gave him an analytical perspective on the game.
Speaking to Ahmad Rashad, the Knicks legend shared his unique approach to basketball, revealing how he was able to average 22.5 points per game for his career.
“I had a system for scoring," King said. "And I was not creative like Spree [Latrell Sprewell] or even Earl, and so I had an analytical approach to the game. I had 9 spots on the left, 9 spots on the right. 4 spots from the front of the rim to the top of the key. And that’s where I wanted to get my shots every single night.”
“And so when I see the court, I don’t see the baseline, I don’t see the foul line, I don’t see the top of the key – that’s what you may see. But what I see is a grid. And that was my grid. My game was built within that grid pattern and that’s how I scored my points. Those 9 spots on each side of the floor and 4 spots there. And then, there are only 5 ways you can be defended. If you’re on the left wing, only 5 ways – send me left, send me right, play me tight, give me the jumpshot or overplay me. That’s the only 5 ways you can defend me.
And so I have 5 counters to the 5 different ways you’re going to defend me, alright? I’m going to go to one of my 9 spots, and you’re not going to stop me!”
In 14 years in the NBA, King averaged 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game on 51.8% shooting. He retired in 1993 as a 4x All-Star, 4x All-NBA player, and 1x Scoring Champion.
While his name often gets overlooked by today's fans, his tactics allowed him to dominate the game unlike anyone else during his time and he'll always be regarded for his ability to put the ball in the hoop.
Understanding how he did it only makes his career all the more intriguing.