NBA legend Tiny Archibald gives kids secret to hoops success

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 13 Februari 2015 | 18.18

There will be plenty of glitz and glamour associated with NBA All-Star Weekend. The fashion, the jewelry, the cars and the parties will be in excess. The Rising Stars Game on Friday night at Barclays Center and the All-Star Game on Sunday at the Garden will be an onslaught of alley-oops, fancy passes, trick shots and acrobatic dunks.

That's all well and good. All-Star Weekend is supposed to be entertaining. But one of the greatest basketball players ever to come out of New York City hopes impressionable boys and girls look beyond the bling to find more meaningful messages from the All-Star experience: messages that center mostly on teamwork.
Yes, teamwork. That's something that can be lost in this whole All-Star Game experience. But it's something Nate "Tiny" Archibald hopes isn't forgotten.

Archibald, who led the NBA in scoring and assists in 1973, suggests anyone with aspirations of being an All-Star can learn more focusing on the subtleties of the game and not just the flash and cash.

"I like the skills contest," Archibald told The Post on Thursday. "I like dribbling, passing, taking foul shots and taking layups. I like that part. And I like the concept where there's a member of the WNBA playing with a current and former player. That to me symbolizes teamwork."

Forgive Archibald for sounding old school. He is. At age 66, the six-time All-Star and MVP of the 1981 All-Star Game spends most of his time these days telling boys and girls there's more to basketball than shooting 3's and dunking.

"I tell them to watch the whole game," Archibald said. "I don't care what level it is — high school, college or the pros — watch the whole game. Look at the players move. Look at the players in transition from offense to defense. Look at somebody you want to emulate. But watch the game."

The All-Star Game these days is more about fun than fundamentals. Archibald isn't opposed to that. He just wants kids who perhaps can't jump as high or shoot as well to know there is a place in the game for them, too.

"Most kids want to emulate the guys on the highlights," Archibald said. "I tell them you've got to watch the whole game. Not just the highlights. If you can't make the play that's on the highlight, you have to watch the whole game to find out where you can fit in. If you can find where your niche is and where you can be an asset, then you're good."

A product of the South Bronx Patterson housing project, Archibald's legacy and his grass-roots approach to basketball will be recognized Saturday, when he and Dolph Schayes will be honored at their alma mater, DeWitt Clinton High School in The Bronx. The National Basketball Retired Players Association along with Benjamin Moore and Publicolor are teaming to revitalize the 118-year school.

"I don't brag about the school, but I do brag about the school," Archibald said. "It's a high school that probably had about 17 or 18 guys that played in the NBA, ABA or with the Harlem Globetrotters and became successful not just in basketball but as teachers, social servants and coaches."

Archibald went from DeWitt Clinton to Arizona Western Community College to Texas-El Paso and onto 15 years in the NBA, winning a title with the Celtics in 1981. He was only 6-foot-1, but had a big heart and a big game and earned a place on the 50th Anniversary all-time team. He welcomes the arrival of the NBA All-Star Game because it will showcase New York basketball.

"There's a lot of rich history here," Archibald said. "I'm glad [the All-Star Game] is here because it's about New York City basketball, coaches, players and the contributors that came out of this city."

Archibald learned to play the game the right way and hopes the next generation understands there is more to becoming an All-Star than just making the highlights.


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