One of the best things about the NBA getting simultaneously younger and older — which is happening because players are able to have longer careers, and no one waits four years before entering the draft — is that a bunch of today’s young stars get to play with and against their childhood heroes. And while that can lead to tragicomic instances like being dunked on by a favorite player, it also means there are certain times when one of the league’s elders gets to speaking about a young player in some particularly glowing terms.
That’s exactly what happened to Kings rookie Ben McLemore, who might have received the greatest compliment in modern NBA history. From Cowbell Kingdom:
He’s a jump shooter, first and foremost. He looks like, I haven’t seen him a lot, but every shot he takes, it seems like he duplicates the first one to the next one to the one after that. He stays consistent in how he puts the ball in the air. He has great athleticism, and he uses it on his jump shot and most players now in the NBA don’t do that.
I can’t imagine there are many better endorsements in the league right now than Ray Allen bigging up your jumper. That’d be like Ronald Reagan expressing admiration for your public speaking skills or Kevin Bacon admiring your ability to appear in every movie ever made — it really means something when it comes from one of the best to ever do it.
Now, to live up to these kind words, all Ben McLemore has to do is play another 16 seasons, raise his three-point accuracy five percentage points while doing so, break all kinds of records, credibly appear in a major motion picture, shave his head right when it becomes time to shave his head, always look like he’s snarling even though he’s generally happy, and win two titles while also making one of the most clutch three-pointers in league history to save a championship season. Simple stuff.