Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who was known as Chris Jackson when he was at LSU, was a tremendous basketball player. He had an incredibly pure stroke and was also unbelievably quick.
He also has Tourette’s Syndrome.
We wouldn’t pretend to understand it perfectly but people with Tourette’s have a lot of behaviors that appear odd to others. Some people curse at random times. Others have facial tics and physical behaviors that also may occur randomly. For Abdul-Rauf, that may have worked to his advantage: he was almost impossible to guard and for someone who was ready to react to any movement, an unexpected tic by Abdul-Rauf could turn into a small advantage that the supremely quick guard could easily take advantage of.
In this video, his Denver Nuggets are playing Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. When you watch this, you’ll see a couple of things: first, Abdul-Rauf has an impossibly soft shot. If he was in the gym by himself, it would barely ripple the net. You’d hardly hear anything.
Second, even Jordan has a tough time guarding him. And third, Abdul-Rauf was an excellent passer.