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Art Basketball player making lay-up

Basketball Player Lay Up

Sports Painting basketball player by artist John Robertson
60″ x 40″ (5 feet by 3 ½ feet)
acrylic on unstretched canvas

Like most LA Lakers fans I love them when they have a championship victory and don’t pay much attention to them when they lose. But for the last couple of years the Lakers have been doing just fine. I have no interest in the LA Clippers. Part of the reason why is that The Los Angeles Lakers  became the first NBA team to reach 3,000 wins. The Los Angeles clippers trail them by just 2,992.
No fancy analysis here about the Lakers and Celtic play. My main interest in basketball is in the beauty of the play. I am amazed at the basketball player’s ability (at their size) to create artistic moves. I’ve painted a few basketball players and prefer to paint the street players that play on the Venice California beach basketball courts.
Well, the season is about over for basketball and it is on to other sports paintings. Baseball is next with a few World Cup soccer (football) paintings thrown in for the fun of it.

Basketball paintings NBA Sports art Point Guards

“Point Guard” 24” x 36” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NBA and point guards. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson sports Paintings for sale.
“Point Guard” 24” x 36” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NBA and point guards. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson sports Paintings for sale.

The quarterback on a basketball court is the point guard – and the most important.  He is the one who leads the team by trying to make the good decisions for the plays.  He generally handles the ball more than any other player on the court and passes the ball off to other players to lead them towards a goal.  All of this leads me to the good reason of why it is important for people to play sports.  I did as a child and as an adult participated in sports into my sixties and still exercise regularly.

One of the things sports taught me was developing teamwork.  This is a way to learn how to help others, and thereby themselves, to work together towards a specific goal, (winning).  We see this problem of teamwork all the time in the major professional sports.  I think the best example of that is in the NBA where there are “star” players and “winning” teams.  I will not point out the specific teams that have (as we used to call them as a kid)  “ball hoggers” as I am sure you know who they are.   But I will point out an example of a great NBA team, the LA Lakers when they were led by, what most consider the best point guard ever, Magic Johnson.  Some people have referred to Magic Johnson as the indisputable “Point God.”   He was an absolutely great, all around player who probably sacrificed individual statistics for the greater good of the team – and in doing so, brought other teammates up to play at a higher level.  And, of course, won more games.

Magic Johnson played in 12 All-Star games, won five NBA rings, three years the MVP awards and won most valuable player in three Finals.  His career Stats 19.5 points per game, 11.2 assists per game, 5.5 re-bounds per game and 1.9 steels per game.  Those 11.2 assists per game shows how much Magic was a team player.  At 6 feet 9 inches he dominated the point guard position.

To have a great team is to have a leader who will work to have all contribute to it’s success.  And without that great leadership in the “point guard” position few teams have had a high level of successful seasons.

Basketball paintings NBA Shooting Guard Sports art

Why Paint a Shooting Guard

A shooting guard have these perfect little moments like in any sport where, for the player, time

Shooting Guard 24” x 36” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NBA and Shooting Guards. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.
“Shooting Guard” 24” x 36” ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the NBA and Shooting Guards. Newsprint attached to ¾” stretched canvas.

stops.  And there nothing is their mind except the feeling of making that perfect play.  What I tried to do is capture that moment in this painting of a shooting guard.  His concentration is focused on the hoop.  There is nothing in his mind except for that feeling of making the shot.  He is not thinking, … “Did I jump high enough?  Are my hands extended high enough?  Am I holding the ball correctly?”  Those thoughts are all gone.  He left them on the practice court with the thousands and thousands of shots he has taken before.  There is no thought – only letting his instincts take over.

A Shooting Guard is Lyrical

Something is very lyrical about a basketball player going up for a jump shot and the release and the follow-through, that is quite beautiful in it’s action.  It is like watching a baseball batter taking a swing at the perfect pitch and making a connection and watching a home-run hit ball, fly off the bat and see the follow-through of the batter’s swing.

Any athlete has had those moments.  Even the most inept person playing a sport has those moments, when, for some odd reason one make the perfect shot or hit the perfect ball or makes the perfect catch.   It can be anything.

For me it was in volleyball.  I played at a competitive level – well enough to have been asked to “try-outs” for the Olympics.  But I was not good enough to make it any farther than the try-outs.  I like to think that I lasted the whole day.  But, unfortunately after a few hours I was kindly asked to leave.  As the Paul Simon songs says about leaving your lover (In this case me leaving my serious love for the game of volleyball), “Slip out the back Jack.  Make a new Plan Stan.”   So I went back to playing on the beach and even without great success as a volleyball player I had a lot of those moments where an athlete is  “lost in action” – the perfect “dig”, the perfect “spike”,  etc.

When the weekend athlete makes a really good play I don’t believe his feeling of success is any less greater than a professional making a great play.  I know it is nice to make the play in front of thousands of people and be paid highly for it but the real reason any athlete plays a sport (professional or amateur) is for those moments of success. That feeling you get when you make the perfect move.  It is like a drug that you want to take over and over – repeat that great action.

Actually it is exactly why I paint.  I love the feeling I get when I make a mark on the canvas that I feel is just the right mark, just the right brush stroke.  And when I do, like an athlete making a good play,  I am lost in time.