Better with a ball and a rim

You’d be amazed how much it means to open the gyms

BY DAVID THORPE

On a relatively cool night on Clearwater Beach this week, amidst a steady wind blowing from the north as the sun set behind him, Jarrod Uthoff was lofting a ball into the air, just using his right hand, floating it up with perfect shooting form. His long right arm reached up high as he flicked his wrist fully, sending the ball smoothly into the air and catching it as it nestled into his large palm. “It’s been so long since I shot the ball, it just feels so weird.” I met Uthoff last summer after he played for a top team in Europe. He had just arrived here following a strong season in the G-League that resulted in one 10-day call up, with others likely coming had the season not been postponed.

On a pandemic outing to watch the sun set over the Gulf, Uthoff was speaking for hundreds of NBA players. He’s freaking out a little about the pandemic, and about facing anything stressful without the ability to shoot a basketball. Even then, Uthoff wasn’t tossing a basketball on the…

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