It is incredible watching Kenny Anderson take apart Duke in this video. It was fun to watch but must have been torture to defend him.
How would I defend someone impossibly shifty with the ball, and lightning quick, when it seemed impossible to guard him. I think if I were assigned to him I’d ignore the ball – I’d only watch him, since the ball is part of the illusion, like a pickpocket distracting prey. And I think I’d prepare like a boxer would – work on timing and reaction drills, and wear him down over the game with body blows (not literally, but bumping him a lot away from the ball, and having the forwards putting extra little bumps on him). I think you’d have to mentally prepare like a boxer, too – spend the day or two up to the match envisioning yourself sticking to him, imagining him going this way or that and sticking to him. Of course, it is easy being an armchair coach – if he did that to Bobby Hurley and Coach K, I have a hard time imaging I would’ve stopped him :).
The hardest part of being a defender for me was discipline – I had stamina and quickness and loved to run and to pester everyone, which meant I was liable to get distracted and bored and harass others while my man would disappear to another part of the court. Of course, I usually played my best against the Kenny Anderson’s of the world because I made it my mission to stick to them. It was the good but not great players who’d burn me because my attention wavered.