One reason I was successful at playing basketball was because I made the game my own. I played it how I wanted to play it. Once I learned the fundamentals, I was able to manipulate the game. I gained IQ and learned how to manipulate opponents. I learned to be deceptive, I learned to make defenders puppets.
"...I've never played a game that I didn't get double teamed on any level!"
I didn't just go to practice and learn the plays and ran the plays. I learned the options and what the defense was doing. I paid attention to the openings and the defenses reactions. I didn't have a big workout routine and try and lift the weight room up. I jumped rope forever and did calisthenics because that enables me to out run my opponent in the ground and not keep still. People hated guarding me because I never stopped running. I never got pushed around. But those things are definitely a part of it. I just did what worked for me. Because of that mentality, I've never played a game and didn't get doubled on any level!
I found creative ways to make the game mine! It took time for coaches to take to my style. A lot of teams I started out on the bench, or got benched for making a play that was considered fancy. But their was always a method to the madness.
After my first scrimmage with the Orlando Magic, one of the Coaches told me, "you can't do everything, you have to pick one thing and be great at that." When I was with the Nets, another coach told me, "dribbling behind your back and between your legs before you shoot is Streetball." Although the shots were going in. I knew that was a quicker way to get my shot off because the defense is expecting a move when you do that. Anybody that tried to defend me would tell you that I had a irky jerky style. Because I was a good shooter, had handle and could finish at the rim, they had to play me honest. So they never knew when I was going to take a shot. They knew I was going to shoot, but didn't know when I was going to pull. Coaches didn't want me doing that back then. Now look at the league today. Curry, Kyrie, Lillard... I was ahead of my time.
To all of the players out here working hard to become great athletes, don't overwork on drills and training, that you don't develop YOUR GAME! A trainer or coach will not always recognize your game if you're doing the same drills over and over. Being to routine will make you a conditional robot.
More dialog and less analog. How are you different from other players? What will separate you from what everyone else is doing? I wasn't the best shooter, but I had more range than anybody. Being mentally prepared, educated and knowing your game, that's what will separate you. Be a player and not a commodity, because if you're the same as everyone else, you'll only win or lose by draw or favor. Rise above common, be rare! Good Luck on this upcoming season.