Watching these modern pro hoop superstars execute one unbelievable, gravity-defying play after another, you can’t help wondering: Were there equally sensational athletes around before 1980, but some wicked force conspired to keep them from sky-walking their way to NBA fame? Or did an alien force visit earth in the late 1950s and slip a potion to Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Johnson, and Mrs. Jordan, so their sons Isiah, Magic, and Michael could grow up able to leap higher and hang longer than other mortals?
NBA Showmen endeavors to show that what pro guards Thomas, Johnson, and Jordan do on court today can be traced back through Nate Archibald and Pete Maravich in the 1970s, Earl Monroe in the 1960s, and Bob Cousy in the 1950s. But let’s be serious: Cousy had the hang time of the Spruce Goose, Maravich was a stone pure shooter, and Monroe and Archibald were one-on-one playground magicians.
Thomas, Johnson, and Jordan are something else again, versatile athletes of astonishing physical skills who are able to elevate their own and their teams’ play to championship levels. NBA Showmen demonstrates their superb skills with stock highlight footage and ho-hum commentary. But maybe no video can adequately capture their feats. B-