There’s a cool video of Ja Morant after his rookie season, working out at home in South Carolina with his dad Tee, and a good deal of it is spent jumping onto a big tire: single hops from tire to turf, or with double hops on the landing. NBA workout videos have become my favorite rabbit hole lately, but if you’re dumb enough, like me, they also create a false sense of possibility, as if only incremental hard work explained a pro basketball player’s genius. As if there were a specific number of tire hops I’d need to execute in order to bash an Avery Bradley layup against the backboard with two hands, like the Grizzlies point guard did in Sunday night’s game against the Lakers:
That number of tire hops does not exist, but here are some numbers that do: Morant is 6-foot-3, and the top of the backboard’s square is 11-foot-6. The Grizzlies beat a notably crotchety LeBron, 127-119, and extended their win streak to nine. During that streak, the ascendant Morant has averaged 27.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 6.3 assists on 60 percent true shooting.