In the earliest days of basketball, there was no such thing as dribbling. The idea of movement in early peach-basket basketball was that players could move without the ball, but had to stand still while in possession of it. This created a stilted sort of game play that involved a lot of starting and stopping.
One player, no doubt unnerved with the confines of the rules, inadvertently dropped the ball and, as it bounced back up to him, slapped it back to the floor with his open palm. He moved around while bouncing the ball, not holding it in possession in the strictest sense. In astonishment at the possibilities awakened by this alarming development, the assembled players looked to James Naismith to bless the move as an inspired maneuver around the existing rules. Dribbling was “created” in that moment. While the name of that player may be lost to history, Stan Fletcher’s similarly brilliant contribution to SlamBall will never go unattributed.
A rule exists in SlamBall that forbids a player from bouncing twice with the ball in his possession. This is a critical rule and would never change, as the exclusion of the rule would create an advantage for the offense impossible to overcome by the defenders. It also looks ridiculous.
In a training camp scrimmage game, prior to the second season of SlamBall, Stan charged in to attack, but pulled up his momentum in the top springbed. The Stopper had an advantageous position, and so Stan shot a high arcing jumper from the top springbed. In a twist of fate, the ball came off his shooting hand wrong. The shot sailed high and would fall well short, only travelling halfway to the basket. Maybe he was tired of waiting to be thrown perfectly timed alley-oops. Maybe he expertly maneuvered logically around the existing rules. Whatever the case, while his own body weight was being reclaimed by gravity and he was falling down to the springs below, the thought occurred to Stan, “I could go get that!”
And so he did. Smashing the ball on the flummoxed defender and creating the first permutation of what has become an indispensable move in the sport. Below see a particularly well executed example of “The Chaser”, a true Stan Fletcher original.
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