He “oohed,” “ahhed,” and everything between and outside in his 138 point performance last week, but Division III Grinnell College’s Jack Taylor followed up the record-breaking game Sunday night by being a bit less spectacular.
While most would consider 21 points a solid night, Taylor was short 117 points of matching his last output, and shot a poor 6-for-21 from the field en route to a 131-116 loss at the hands of William Penn on Sunday night.
Is this further justification that the 138 point performance was a sham? I suppose. Although if anyone was of the mindset of “if he doesn’t score over 100 points in every game he’s a fraud,” they should no longer be allowed to watch basketball.
However, in my opinion, I think this is further justification that we all should have just had fun with the 138 point game, and not looked too much into it. At the end of the day, nobody – let me clarify, nobody that hadn’t followed Grinnell College, D-3 basketball, or Jack Taylor – really cares about Jack Taylor, they don’t care about Grinnell College or their head coach and his (successful) publicity stunts, and they certainly don’t care about basketball ethics and playing the game the right way, because if they did, the NBA would have a heck of a lot less fans.
One of my favorite fellow Ranters, Joseph Nardone, disagreed with me vehemently that Taylor’s performance was indeed a sham, and that the 138 points were evil. Which I argued against, because while I’m against bad basketball, how bad is bad basketball if your team wins the game? I mean, shouldn’t the game be predicated on wins and losses, and if Taylor scored 138 points, even if he did so by just hanging out under the basket, sitting on the bench for 20 seconds or so when it was his team’s turn to get back on D, and then hopped off the bench as soon as a shot was hoisted, that was his teams strategy – and it worked.
I feel like I was one of the few people who took this performance and enjoyed it for the same reason that people enjoy sensationalism, because it strayed from the norm. Maybe I’d have a different outlook if I was a big D-3 basketball fan, or maybe even worse if I had a connection to Faith Baptist Bible, or any other team that falls victim to Grinnell’s unorthodox style of basketball. Instead I’m a basketball fanatic, and again, while what we saw may not have been traditional basketball by any accounts, one player scored 138 points in one game.
That’s pretty unique no matter how it’s formulated.
The game of basketball has evolved, been re-mixed, and just flat out changed in drastic ways since Dr. James Naismith hung up a peach basket in the late 1800’s. Do you hear people crying sham when games are decided because a player gets away without being called for a foul, or a travel at some point along the way? I mean was anybody claiming that Mike D’Antoni’s Phoenix Suns teams of the mid-2000s were a sham because they focused an immense amount of their efforts to offense and only offense? Should Allen Iverson have been kicked out of the NBA because he palmed the ball more than your average point guard – and got away with it?
As much as I enjoy sports, and going into depth about the athletes, styles of play, eras, etc., I think it’s a very black and white concept in the idea of you play to win games, and if you can’t stop your opponent from beating you, you deserve to lose.
Faith Baptist Bible couldn’t stop Grinnell’s “let Jack stay back” approach, and they darn sure couldn’t stop Taylor from jacking up 108 field goal attempts. William Penn did, and there was nothing to talk about after the game.
Perspective, people. Thank you Jack for the memories.
For hoops, hip-hop and other random sports and pop culture commentary, follow Jared Mintz on Twitter @JaredMintzTruth