GOING GLASS The Art of
with Kevin Love
SWORD MAGAZINE 105
In today’s high-flying NBA, a game of H-O-R-S-E might be
about as close as most pros get to using the backboard as a
When Tim Duncan retired in 2016, the art of going glass
inched a little closer to extinction. And the list of guys who
still effectively use the backboard on a regular basis gets
smaller every season. Guards Dwyane Wade and Russell
Westbrook still use the window, and maybe the last two
remaining big men who do are 20-year vet Dirk Nowitzki
and the Cavaliers own Kevin Love.
With his matinee idol good looks, Love is nephew of a
Beach Boy, the centerpiece of several Banana Republic
advertising campaigns and, on the day of this interview,
had shaved his trademark beard in order to film a Schick
ad. He’s a five-time All-Star, a World Champion and has
posted Hall of Fame-type numbers through his first decade
in the league.
So Love isn’t really concerned with an offensive move that’s
not considered “sexy.”
There have been several studies – including one done by
North Carolina State in which they analyzed more than 1
million computer-generated 3-D simulations – that have
determined that a bank shot can be up to 20 percent more
effective than attempting a direct swish.
But if you prefer a less scientific opinion, one of the
greatest scorers in franchise history – Austin Carr – often
speaks about the effectiveness of going glass.
“I was taught from the older guys that when you’re moving
at a high rate of speed and you’ve got people trying to stop
you, the easiest way to make a shot on the move is to just
hit that square,” said Carr. “And if you hit that square, nine
times out of ten the ball bounces right.”
Asked why the bank shot – and the players that shoot it –
A.C. was equally incisive.
“Because it’s not a fashionable thing,” Carr continued. “If
it was something where they could market it and give it a
name, you’d see more of it. But they won’t ever be able to
Kevin Love – and Dirk and Wade and Westbrook – don’t
care about how marketable the bank-shot is. They just
know that it counts for two points and is part of what’s
gotten them to multiple All-Star Games.
It might be a lost art, but Kevin Love explains to
Sword Magazine how he’s found a way to still express
himself on the glass …
BY JOE GABRIELE