The coolest thing about basketball and the way a decentralized American culture works is that there is no definite standard.
Take Japan for the counterpoint: there is a lot of pressure on baseball players to have perfect batting technique.
Here, a guy like Tom Heinsohn can learn to shoot in a low-ceiling gym and take his flat shot to the Hall of Fame. Dick Barnett curled his legs up on his jump shots, which was frankly odd. But it worked. Magic Johnson saw himself as a 6-9 point guard when no one else dreamed it was possible.
And then there are regional styles: kids in New York and Indiana play very different sorts of games. It all comes together and the influences merge.
But the basic nature of basketball is a kid going out on the closest goal and learning how to dribble and to shoot. It’s hours of fascination with angles and form and learning what you can teach your body to do.
One of the best shooters of all time is JJ Redick, and this documentary delves into his youth and his desire to be a really, really good basketball player. He spent a whole lot of time on the court in his yard.
It also features his family, including his parents. We corresponded with his dad occasionally when JJ was at Duke and he is a nice fellow and obviously a dedicated dad. They spent an insane amount of time shuttling kids to different events.
Bottom line: JJ was driven enough to make it, but his parents put him miles further down the road than he could have gotten by himself at that age.