I shot this video in the halfcourt gym in the basement at Emmis Communications downtown on the Circle for a couple of reasons.
The previous day, broadcaster Rachel Nichols had posted a brief video of Reggie Miller shooting around during the NCAA tournament while waiting for a team to take the court for practice. I wanted to have fun with that by talking a little trash and taking a stand for Indiana basketball. I also had recently learned my One on One program was being canceled after the next episode, and was angry. I wanted to take a stand for myself, too, and have a lasting memory of the place.
I had been upstairs working on the final episode with Lyndon Jones and went down to take a shower before going over to a Pacers game. I thought I'd shoot a video first, just to see what happened. This was either the second or third take. It's a small court with a low ceiling, so that limited shooting range. Otherwise I would have been draining threes. Cough-cough.
I go crazy watching some major college and NBA players shoot during games. They aren't squared up, they fade sideways, they fall backward -- even on foul shots at times. How difficult can it be to go up straight, or lean forward, when you shoot a basketball?
George Hill's high school coach at Broad Ripple, Bill Smith, preached it to his players all the time: "Straight up, straight down!" Seems simple enough. And you might have noticed that Hill, the Indiana kid, had the best shooting form on the Pacers teams for which he played.
Hill told a great story at a memorial service for Smith. During a Pacers-Knicks playoff game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2013 he missed a three-point shot from in front of the Knicks bench. Smith, a second-row assistant coach for Mike Woodson at the time, shouted "Straight up, straight down!"
Just couldn't help himself. He was a Knicks coach, but he was Hill's coach, too. That's Indiana basketball for you.