Last Saturday nightSunday morning, I was up late watching NBA TV.
Pretty sad, I know. But in retrospect, I'm glad I was there. Otherwise, I would have missed this story.
At the time, Dennis Scott (one of the 90s deadliest three-point shooters) and Kendall Gill (one of the 90s best defenders) were on set discussing the art of "getting open." More specifically, the best way for a shooter to run his man off a pick. And in turn, the best way to defend it.
After running a few skeleton drills against each other in the studio, Scott had a question:
Scott: "Kendall, for the people at home, whether it's Joe Dumars, old school Ricky Pierce or even Rip Hamilton: Who was the toughest guy you had to cover coming off screens?
Gill: Yeah, there was Pierce and Hamilton. Of course, Reggie Miller. But the guy who gave me the most problems, may he rest in peace, was Reggie Lewis. He was so great at coming off of picks and shooting the basketball. He knew how to read your better than anybody."
I thought that was pretty cool.
In a way, I guess it makes sense. After all, Gill's first few years in the league coincided with Reggie's prime. Or at least the start of it. Back then, Gill was just learning the rules of playing defense in the NBA, and I'm sure Lewis was a very willing tutor. The result? A permanent stamp on Gill's memory: Damn, Reggie Lewis could play.
Anyway, for today's Box Score Bank, I wanted to track down one of the games that helped cement Gill's respect for Reggie's game, and it didn't take long to find the perfect example:
April 12, 1992: Reggie Lewis hits 15 OF 19 SHOTS and scores 35 points on Kendall Gill and the Hornets. For good measure, Lewis added nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks. Ah, that's good Reggie.
And how about Kevin Gamble?
(Note: It didn't fit with the tone of this post, but it's probably worth mentioning that Gill was guarding Lewis the night he collapsed. Not that Gill had anything to do with it. Just a weird coincidence.)