"I got kind of a kick out of it because we don't really celebrate 2-point baskets but somehow or another the 3-point basket has now become a really big thing," he said today at Emerson College. "I guess because maybe there's so many 2-point field goals. But Reggie's going to be here. Ray's going to be here. It's like one stepping over the other at that time. So it's pretty cool."
This is more of Phil just being his usual dickish self by saying things that will tweak people. That said, though, he's wrong.
We DO celebrate 2-point baskets all the time. Scoring is the BIGGEST celebration in the NBA. The first thing just about everyone looks for in the box score is how many points a person has scored. And aside from a few rare occasions, the biggest scorers of the night have more 2-pointers than 3-pointers. And the more creative those 2-pointers get, the more we celebrate them.
Paul Pierce's step-back jumper from the right elbow? That's a 2-pointer. Tim Duncan's 12 foot bank shot? That's a 2-pointer. Kevin McHale's moves in the post? Those were all 2-pointers.
What we're celebrating here with Ray is the same thing we celebrate all the time in countless different ways… from our favorite singers, to great authors, to 5-star chefs: The ability to do something that is very difficult, something that few people can really do, and do it better than almost anyone in the world…. and maybe anyone in history.
It's why we celebrate the most exciting 2-pointer: The dunk. Because a great majority of people can't do it… and of those who can, only a few can do it really well. We celebrate Ray, and hopefully a new record tonight, because he will do what only one other person in the world has ever done.
So it's not because we don't celebrate the 2-pointer… or because there are so many of them. It's because no one has been able to propel a 29.5 inch round, 9 1/2 inch wide, 22 ounce ball through an 18-inch ring suspended 10 feet off the ground from that far away as he has for as often as he has.
But of course, Phil is Phil and he loves tweaking people. So here's hoping the record breaker is hit right in front of his face. Maybe then he can see what the fuss is about.