Slamadamonth, SLAM #131: Trevor Ariza

Trevor Ariza

Originally published in SLAM 131

Catch him if you can—yeah, right. Like Hedo ever had a chance? Ever? Even had he gotten a better jump, even if he’d foregone the pregame pizza, he never had a chance. One step is all Trevor Ariza needed. 

Long arms are part of it. Extra-sensory perception could be. Big cojones, no doubt. Raw speed like Usain Bolt. Overplaying passing lanes the way Pip used to. Nobody does the steal-and-slam better than Ariza. Nobody. If he gets his hand on the ball and gets that first step on you, best to just slow down and stay out the poster. Ease back and think happy thoughts. Deep-dish pepperoni and monogrammed bathrobes.

Then again, it’s not that easy. Reflexes take over. You see that ball headed the other way and you give chase, even knowing full well it’s a lost cause. Hedo could race Trevor from endline to endline 100 times and the result would never change. But things happen, right? A bad bounce off the foot, a missed layup. Gotta keep your Valvano straight.

Of course, most times, things don’t happen. They play out like this. You catch up just enough to see everything unfold. Plus you wind up in the poster. Or Slamadamonth. And you end up feeling like a Turk.

Russ Bengtson