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Old 11-29-2009, 01:00 PM   #1
elementally morale
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Default What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

At first I was going to say that the most talented basketball player I have ever seen was Vince Carter, but then I had another idea.

Can you guys tell me what talent is?

When talking about talent, I see 'natural talent' and 'natural ability' mentioned all the time. But what is 'natural ability'? Is being tall considered talent? Is having huge hops more talent or more hard work? (Think of Barkley for example.) Is 'having a feeling for rebounding' an instinct (i.e.: talent) or mostly hard work? Or is it standing reach and hops? Is it agility?

What do you consider 'putting in the effort'? Is it a natural ability to be able to put in more work than others? I mean... can ANYONE put in more work than ANYONE else? I'm not sure it is mathematically possible... So putting in the 'extra hours' must have something to do with 'ability'.

Is being a smart player (like Nash) talent? Is it ability? Is it mostly due to hard work? Is being capable of deciding what you should work on a kind of 'talent'?

Are we sure that everything taken into account, the likes of Vince Carter and Rasheed Wallace are more talented than guys like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan?

So what is talent?

(And please don't turn it into a Vice vs. Kobe debate, thank you.)
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Great Post.

I never understood what talent actually was. But it seems that on these boards, talent has a lot to do with athletic ability. A lot of the posters on these sites chastise GMs for drafting prospects on potential, yet most of them fall in love with guys just for because of there so called "talent". Just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

ey man, talent is potential brah. its what god gave ya thats impossible or cant be obtained easily by others. like yo brains, mentality, athletic ability, etc. Like if i give you 10000 dollars to startup ya business and I give another guy only 2000 dollars, ya would have more potential to be more successful than that guy brah. But ya could end up losing all dat by not developing it, not being smart nuff or even by bad luck brah. the other guy can be richer than ya at the end.

I hope ya get the picture brah. some got lotsa athletic ability but they can easily lose it all by not maintaining it, not developing it, not smart enuff to use it or just simple injury brah.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by globarticles
ey man, talent is potential brah. its what god gave ya thats impossible or cant be obtained easily by others. like yo brains, mentality, athletic ability, etc.

Are you sure that things like mentality and athletic ability cannot be worked on, especially when one is younger, brah? Is the ABILITY to work on 'raw talent' considered TALENT itself?

Fill me in, brah.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Talent I would say is the ability to do some things exactly how they are supposed to be done, and do so naturally. Whether it's with effort or not, practice or not, that's not so important IMO.

When you go to play ball for the first time with your friends, there are some kids that will play the will pull a layup without any previous instruction. And then there are others that will need practice and instruction to do it.

Let's say a math problem: some people just catch the essence of problems faster than others, and are able to write clear, simple solutions. It's irrelevant if they had to put a lot of work to their solutions (or not): most people won't be able to propose such beautiful solutions.

Some people just seem to have the ability to do some things, and leave you thinking "that's exactly the way it has to be done".

What impressed me more about a prime Carter, is that his impossible tomahawk dunks looked incredibly natural, to the point they even looked easy because of being executed so naturally. I don't care if he spent years practising that move, because I'm sure other NBA players have as well, and yet Carter's dunk usually looked more graceful. And I hate the guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elementally morale
Is the ABILITY to work on 'raw talent' considered TALENT itself?
I personally consider it a talent, and the most precious talent anyone can have.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by elementally morale
Are you sure that things like mentality and athletic ability cannot be worked on, especially when one is younger, brah? Is the ABILITY to work on 'raw talent' considered TALENT itself?

Fill me in, brah.
Talent is just being able to do something right of the bat. For example, say a cat can just pick up on the piano like he's been playing forever, that's talent. But then, you might have some one who can play piano and look at that cat like "man, it took me years to play piano and you can pick up on it like that."

I don't know.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

I don't think work can give you to have a LeBron James body(Karl Malone with with perimeter player's speed).
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

I think talent is basically just ability. It includes natural abilities, developed ones, athleticism, and skills.

Ray Allen is a talented shooter. Kidd is a talented passer. Carmelo is a talented scorer. Howard is a talented shot blocker. Al Jefferson is a talented post player. Vince Carter is a talented dunker. Tony Parker is a talented penetrator. Kobe is a talented finisher.

Generally the most talented players are the ones that have the most talents. So LeBron James is maybe the most talented player in the league because he can defend as well as anyone, he can run the floor as well as anyone, he can finish as well as anyone, he can penetrate very well, dunk very easily, etc etc. He isn't really a highly talented shooter though. Kobe is probably equal or almost as talented as LeBron in many areas, but greatly exceeds his talent in shooting, so many people would say Kobe is more talented overall.

I think that size while important in the NBA is not really considered talent. Although, it is considered when evaluating other talents. Dirk is a very talented shooter for a big man. Shaq was very quick for a giant human being. Iverson was a very talented scorer for a player under 6 feet. Basically you get extra credit for being talented at something you are not expected to be talented at based on your size. You don't get credit for doing things that should be easy based on your size, but that really only applies to very few players. Like Yao Ming isn't considered a really talented rebounder. He might be good at it because he is 6 inches taller than everyone else on the court many times. Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley on the other hand were considered very talented rebounders because their height made it unlikely they would be so good at it.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Talent is just being able to do something right of the bat.

That is 'raw talent' I would say. But is not 'fulfilling your potential' some kind of talent? I mean... there are several really smart kids in school and some of them end up being really dumb adults, the majority will do OK, a few will be exceptional and a selected few will become Stephen Hawking or John von Neumann.

One may say Vince Carter had more talent than, say, Michael Jordan... but at the end of the day, MJ is MJ and Vince is Vince.

I really have a hard time understanding talent at the age of 36. When I was younger, it all seemed a lot simpler.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuer
I don't think work can give you to have a LeBron James body(Karl Malone with with perimeter player's speed).

Of course not. But it can give you Steve Nash. Nothing to be ashamed of, IMO.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Let's say a math problem: some people just catch the essence of problems faster than others, and are able to write clear, simple solutions. It's irrelevant if they had to put a lot of work to their solutions (or not): most people won't be able to propose such beautiful solutions.


When I was 10 or 15, I was considered to be talented in arts and languages. I did OK in school and my math skills were not 'bad', but others thought I would not make a scientist. My picture of myself was the same: I thought I would end up being a writer/musician of some sort.

And I am a physicist, and not that bad at it. To some extent you can learn things, it seems. But is that ability talent? What should I call it? Luck? I may as well call it having been lucky, after all it's true.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

...I don't think talent really takes player psyches into account. So while Michael Jordan was probably considered more talented earlier in his career, he might be considered better in his last 3 years in the league (with the Bulls), as some people think he took his drive to a whole new level.

Someone like Vince Carter can do many things as well as anyone, but many would argue his psyche has impeded him from becoming a really good NBA player.

Decision-making, drive, heart, etc. matter A TON in the NBA, but I don't think they are considered talents, nor do I think they should be.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Toine=MVP
Decision-making, drive, heart, etc. matter A TON in the NBA, but I don't think they are considered talents, nor do I think they should be.


Talent to you is 'natural physical ability' then?
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

talent to me is synomynous with potential. To fulfill that potential/talent you need to put in work. Also, if you're more talented than someone else, you reach the same level with less effort, and your ceiling is higher.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:08 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is talent? (Vince Carter related)

Quote:
Originally Posted by elementally morale
Talent to you is 'natural physical ability' then?

No, read my other post. It is developed physical abilities as well, including athleticism and other skills. Nash is a talented passer because he sees the floor very very well and is able to dribble to the area where he needs to be to make the pass. The fact that he makes good decisions might make him a better player, but it doesn't factor in to his passing talent.
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