Why Passing is The Most Beautiful Part of Basketball


There’s More to The Game Than Scoring

When you watch a basketball game on television the focus too often is on scoring and who has the highest ppg.  The truth is that scoring is only one aspect of a very complex and unique sport that is basketball.  By focusing too solely on this one part of the game you lose sight of what creates a complete player and a winning team.

Defense, ball handling, and rebounding are also critical to success in the sport.  But another aspect of the game is by far the most beautiful: passing.  No other part of the game of basketball shows how free flowing and exciting the sport can be.  Finding an open man with a no look pass and completely fooling the defense is one of the best feelings a basketball player can have.  The “high” I get from making a pass like this far surpasses the pleasure I get when I hit a jump shot.

Why Passing is The Best Part of Basketball

Now let me break down why the pass is the best part of basketball compared to scoring.  If you think about scoring there are only about ten to twenty specific ways in which you can score on your opponent.  Dunking, lay-ups, 3-pointers, step back jumpers, etc.  This limited number of options means you often see the same things over and over in terms of scoring.

With passing it is different.  There are literally millions of ways and situations that may come up that lead to a badass dime.  Each great pass is completely unique.

Beyond the uniqueness there is a cool factor and an act of selflessness that comes from passing that is contagious.  When you keep getting the ball from your teammate in good scoring positions, you want to return the favor and offer your teammate the same quality scoring opportunities.  One thing leads to another and now your team has great ball movement, which is a key to a successful offense.

When to Pull Off a Fancy Passes

The best opportunities to pull off sick passes are when the defense is either momentarily frozen or when it collapses to stop a slashing player.  If you are driving to the basket and see another defender step in to help be aware of who on your team might now be open.  If you see an angle to get the ball to your teammate then get the pass there with a no look as to not telegraph where you are going with the pass.

Another time to pull off great passes is when there is a lose ball that you get possession of and the defense is yet to react.  Often in this position you can find teammates who are wide open.  Just before you gather the ball try to locate your open teammates using peripheral vision and know where you want to pass the ball.  When you do gather the ball immediately make the pass before the defense can recover.

Who Are The Best Passers In The NBA Today?

If you want to get some inspiration here is a list of five of the best passers that currently play in the NBA.

  1. Lebron James- Has always been a great passer.  One of the more unselfish superstars to play the game.
  2. Stephen Curry- Known more for his 3 point shooting, but Stephen is a great passer especially in the lane.
  3. Chris Paul- A true point guard that understands how to run an offense.
  4. Rajon Rondo- Has made some seriously epic assists in his time in the NBA.
  5. Ricky Rubio- An example of how being a prolific passer can take you to the NBA as his scoring is a weakness.

Bonus: Best Assists of All-Time

Below we have found a clip from ESPN that counts down the 32 best assists of all time in the NBA.


About best outdoor basketball

Nick Daniels is the founder of BestOutdoorBasketball.net. As a longtime lover of basketball and a practicing school psychologist, Nick is able to offer unique insights about the game in regard to tips, guides, and the psychology of the game.

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