“I have 9 spots on each side, you can only defend me in 5 ways!”: Bernard King succintly breaks down the Knicks legend’s own scoring mantra and approach to basketball

Amulya Shekhar
|Published December 04, 2021

The New York Knicks observed the 65th birthday of their legend Bernard King by sharing an illuminating interview with Ahmad Rashad.

NBA players are truly a different breed when it comes to what most of them can do athletically. They can all run fast, jump high, generate lots of momentum, change directions fast and hustle. But that’s not what fans are watching the game for!

Most fans are watching to see offensive moves, either made through team play or by some excellent individual. And when it comes to scoring, few games are as exciting and varied as basketball. The variety of moves possible on a court makes for some great viewing experiences.

The game’s greatest scorers all had a mind for the game in addition to being physically gifted and hardworking. It takes a lot of instant decision-making and game-reading skill to be able to take an NBA court. And the game’s best scorers operate on a whole different plane altogether.

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Bernard King won an NBA scoring title by using a methodical, analytical approach

The Knicks shared an interview of Bernard King, where he describes his scoring methodology to Ahmad Rashad:

“I had a system for scoring. And I was not creative like Spree (Latrell Sprewell) or even Earl, and so I had an analytical approach to the game. I had 9 spots on the left, 9 spots on the right. 4 spots from the front of the rim to the top of the key. And that’s where I wanted to get my shots every single night.”

“And so when I see the court, I don’t see the baseline, I don’t see the foul line, I don’t see the top of the key – that’s what you may see. But what I see is a grid. And that was my grid.”

“My game was built within that grid pattern and that’s how I scored my points. Those 9 spots on each side of the floor and 4 spots there.”

“And then, there are only 5 ways you can be defended. If you’re on the left wing, only 5 ways – send me left, send me right, play me tight, give me the jumpshot or overplay me. That’s the only 5 ways you can defend me.”

“And so I have 5 counters to the 5 different ways you’re going to defend me, alright? I’m going to go to one of my 9 spots, and you’re not going to stop me!”

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/nyknicks/status/1467157999605137409?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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About the author

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar

Amulya Shekhar is a sports junkie who thrives on the thrills and frills of live sports action across basketball, football (the American variant works too), parkour, adventure sports. He believes sports connect us to our best selves, and he hopes to help people experience sports more holistically.

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