Is [artist id="3187077"]Justin Bieber[/artist] actually a baby baller? In a recent clip from “The Diary of Justin Bieber” (airing Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on MTV), we saw him put on a dribbling display, drive the lane for two, and — perhaps most notably — drain a shot from half court.
It was a performance so impressive that it led Newsroom blog editor Kyle Anderson to compare the Biebs’ skills to those of Steve Nash, Mookie Blaylock and Lil Romeo — a pretty impressive trio, if you ask us. But what does an actual expert think of Bieber’s basketball abilities?
We decided to find out. And since no one at MTV News can even dribble with their left hand, we had to go elsewhere — all the way to the hallowed halls of ESPN, where we made contact with Page 2 columnist (and ESPN the Magazine contributor) Scoop Jackson, a man who knows more about hoops than we’ve forgotten in our collective lifetimes.
We showed the clip to Jackson, and here’s what he had to say about Bieber’s skills. From the sound of things, he’s got a ways to go before turning pro.
“I guess if he used the Internet and homemade videos to get discovered in music, why not do the same to get into the NBA, right? I mean, the guy that put him on/ discovered him, Usher, does have some connects with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Who knows?
“Let’s see what the kid can do: By looking at this, you can tell that Justin at least went to basketball camp with this ‘two-hand dribble weave’ drill. This is one of those things that you learn at about 11 or 12 years old. It’s something you use to work on your coordination, nothing you ever use in a game situation. It also seems like he’s spent a lot of time watching And1 mixtapes. Let’s call it ‘Canadian Hot Sauce.’
“The half-court shot was legit. But you couldn’t see any wrist action, so it’s hard to tell if he has a good form or a legit jump shot. The wrist is always a dead giveaway. If he came down with a ‘goose neck’ on that half-court shot, I’d conclude that the kid could shoot. So, although impressive, it didn’t show enough to gauge how nice his game might be.
“I’ll say this: Justin Bieber looks like he probably has a little game. But on both fronts — music and hoops — I don’t think Justin Timberlake has anything to worry about. At least, not yet.”
What do you think of Bieber’s skills? Is he NBA-bound? Let us know in the comments!
MTV News will be rolling out previews from “The Diary of Justin Bieber” all week — don’t miss the full show, airing on MTV Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET!