I’ve never been a huge fan of pro basketball, but I’ve paid a certain amount of attention to it over the years. Consequently, when I heard yesterday of the death of NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone, I checked out a few articles online. One of them was an appreciation for Malone’s historic place in the professional sport, as the first player to go directly from high school to the pros, among other things.
As I read the article, one passage struck me:
He once described the key to his rebounding prowess — he is fifth all time in rebounds and has more offensive rebounds than anyone else since they were kept as a separate category in 1973-74 — by saying “Mostly I goes to the rack.”
It occurred to me that there’s a fair amount of wisdom in that explanation, and it says a lot about opportunity. If you want the rebound, you have to go where the rebounds happen. That’s the sine qua non. Malone was 6′ 10″ and bulky, but he wasn’t a great leaper, and even at that size, he wouldn’t have collected many rebounds standing at the foul line.
Likewise, it’s easier sometimes to find a comfortable place to stand, avoiding the crush of bodies, the jostling, and even the occasional elbow. But to get the rebound, we have to go to the rack. It’s foolish to expect success without making the effort to put yourself in the appropriate location, whether that’s physical or mental.
Here’s hoping we crash the boards today.