I’ve spent most of the past four months reading about the jump shot, talking about the jump shot and thinking about the jump shot. A few times — when playing with other old guys in northern Manhattan or playing H-O-R-S-E against one of the great streetball shooters in NYC history — I’ve also been shooting jump shots. I’ve loved every moment of it. Reading about the jumper has proven especially enjoyable. I’ve looked through hundreds of old newspaper articles and magazine profiles, features on some of the first players to ever shoot the shot and profiles of some of the best to ever shoot it.
The only problem with all this reading research is I’m easily distracted. While reading about a player from 1942 who pioneered the jump shot I get distracted by a bizarre ad on the same newspaper page or a headline about the U.S. hockey team preparing to take on the hated Commies. Old newspapers employed colorful language, if not layout, the front page hosting 10, 15 stories, same thing with the front page of sports. I often find myself questioning the editorial decisions of people who worked 80 years ago and have probably been dead for 60.