How Is The Man Who Invented The Jump Shot Not In The Basketball Hall Of Fame?
With only 3,480 total points and a career field goal percentage that looks more like a batting average, Kenny Sailors' five-year stint in the NBA was rather pedestrian. So why are the sport's biggest names labeling his omission from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a "travesty"? Um, because he invented the freakin' jump shot -- that's why.
"They got guy who invented the 24-second clock in the Hall of Fame" Doug Gottlieb can be heard saying in the video below. "But you can't get the guy who invented the jump shot in the Hall of Fame?"
For once, we kind of agree with Doug Gottlieb.
It's a fair question. After all, basketball without the jump shot would look like some stupid competition played on "American Gladiators." It'd be football without the spacing. It'd be a bunch of guys standing in the lane, humping each other for 48 minutes. It'd be a mess (or not, depending on how you view that last description). The idea that the sport ever existed without it is mind-boggling, yet somehow, Sailors has only been enshrined in the College Basketball Hall of Fame and not the one in Springfield, Massachusetts.
"But if you let in the guy who invented the jump shot, don't you then have to admit the guy who invented the hook shoot and the dunk and so forth?" you might be asking. The difference, we suppose, is that Sailors actually invented the modern version of the jump shot, meaning he came up with the rubric for what everyone uses today...in 1938. He didn't invent the Delorean -- he invented basketball's flux capacitor. That's as incredible as it is important to the evolution of the sport.
[CBS Sports] "That's the key. I wanted proof that a guy gathered, went straight up off two feet, facing the basket, and shot one-handed from an elevated position. That's the shot we see today," says [basketball researcher] Jerry Krause, who spent more than a decade looking into this, writing and talking to anyone and everyone with even the slightest connection to a supposed original jump shooter -- anyone who could provide any kind of evidence, be it a photograph or verifiable story, that could help get him closer to a conclusion.
"What I found," Krause continued, "was that a lot of guys shot some variation of a jump shot, a running shot off one foot or what have you. But Kenny's shot is the shot we see today. Was he the first? I don't think anyone could ever say that for certain. But what you can say, and I'm very comfortable saying this, is that Kenny was the first player to really develop the jump shot and use it consistently. The jump shot we see today is Kenny's shot."
So what do you think? Should Sailors be in the Basketball Hall of Fame? Let us know what you think, below...
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