1001 Black Men–#528


There are the brothers on the court who are tall and wide, and then there are the brothers who are on the shorter side. In the NBA, the shortest guys are always some of the most dynamic. Players like Spud Webb (5′ 7″) and Muggsy Bogues (5′ 3″) more than earned the respect of both their teammates and the fans with their highlight-reel playing skills. At the gym, I’ve noticed the same sort of dynamic. The shorter guys tend to work a little harder than all the other players. Even among adults, far removed from those high school gym classes where some of the shortest guys were picked last, the guys who look the least like your typical athlete have to work a little harder to earn the recognition of their peers. The guy in this drawing is a case in point. He was sweating so much that his shirt was sticking to him like a second skin, he was running harder and breathing harder than anyone else in his half-court game, and he seemed to be everywhere at all times. He was like a hydra. One guy would cut him off, and then he would seem to materialize on the other side of the court. He was not a natural born rebounder, but he was an amazing blocker, and the way he moved his arms in front of the other players faces made him seem like he had an 80-inch wingspan. Mad props to the short brother who works harder.

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