THE QUESTION: Do you think that old-time, low-scoring basketball—before Hank Luisetti popularized the one-hand jump shot—was a better and more interesting game than it is today?

Dec. 09, 1957
Dec. 09, 1957

Table of Contents
Dec. 9, 1957

Fisherman's Calendar
Coming Events
The American Game
  • Basketball's boom has triggered a chain reaction of new multimillion-dollar arenas equipped to handle great crowds in a setting of colorful, geometric beauty

Art On The Court
  • Behind the apparently aimless swirl of 10 young men racing down a polished hardwood floor and the dynamic disarray which they present beneath the basket, there exist certain basic, even classic, patterns and skills. In instants of perfection, they also become an art, indigenous to this sport alone: the shooting, playmaking and defense which make up the game of basketball

Dixie's Hero
Quel Homme!
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

THE QUESTION: Do you think that old-time, low-scoring basketball—before Hank Luisetti popularized the one-hand jump shot—was a better and more interesting game than it is today?

West Los Angeles
Movie Star
No. From the spectator's point of view, today's game is much better, although much harder on the players. It particularly appeals to young boys the ages of my children. Any sport that appeals as strongly to spectators as basketball does today will be a success, but it must be full of action.

This is an article from the Dec. 9, 1957 issue Original Layout

Basketball coach
St. John's University
New York
Equally so. I was the tallest player, 6 feet 5 inches, with the original Celtics, a team so strong that it was broken up by the league itself, in 1927. We played a tight possession game with tremendous emphasis on defense. When we were on tour, fans came hundreds of miles to see us play.

New York
It's a much harder game, but we like it better because the spectators like it better. Let's face it. We play for the fans. The old game was set and shoot or shoot and run. I wouldn't blame the fans for booing if we tried that today. They won't take anything less than the best.

Boston Celtics
Today's game is better for the spectators. I like it better too, because I've always enjoyed a fast running game. It's true that the high scores seem strange to oldtimers, but that doesn't mean that we're short on team work or defense. The bigger men in the game have stepped up the offense.

Partner-Owner of Jack and Charlie's "21"
New York City
Yes. Overofficiating has taken the defense out of basketball. The game has changed into a contest of basket shooting—you shoot and then I shoot. The team with the most accurate shooters usually wins. The only defense against the jump shot is considered a foul by the officials.

St. Louis University
Past president Natl. Assn.
Basketball Coaches
Yes. I favor more conservative offensive play. Our offense is built on control and we are definitely opposed to a helter-skelter type of play. One of the most serious objections to today's game is the emphasis on height, which often means a run-and-shoot, shoot-and-run game, to which I am opposed.

San Francisco
Chevrolet dealer
No. The kids today are better shooters. Instead of two or three sharpshooters, all five are good, but I don't like the bonus shot on personal fouls. Eliminating it would cut 20 points off the score. Incidentally, I didn't invent the jump shot; I just did a lot of one-hand shooting.

Philadelphia Warriors
I like this game fine. Can you imagine what would happen if all of a sudden we went back to the old style of play? The action would be so much slower that it would be almost boring for the fans, and our crowds would be cut in half. Sure it's harder on the players. So what? We like it.

President, Wilson
Sporting Goods Co.
River Grove, Ill.
No, although it did feature more team work, particularly in the offensive patterns. Hank Iba of Oklahoma A&M, one of the nation's most successful coaches, still teaches old-style basketball. However, today's spectacular scoring, brilliant passing and Speed appeals more to the spectator.

Sports editor
Cincinnati Post
No. Back in the old days basketball didn't draw good crowds. The crowds are bigger and more enthusiastic today because the game is faster and more spectacular. When the old-timers got the lead in a game, they'd freeze the ball and the game became a bore. I saw a game that ended with a 3-1 score.