Word on the Street

Whirling Dervish (wurl’-eeng dur’-vish) noun. A term used to describe a player immediately after he has performed a spinning, twirling, or otherwise gravity-defying move to score.

Usage example:Did you see that 360 degree slam dunk?! LeBron James was a whirling dervish!!

Word trivia: If you watched professional basketball from the mid-1980s into the early 1990s, you probably heard guys like Dick Stockton and Brent Musburger call someone a whirling dervish at least millionbajillion times. If that was before your time, go watch Michael Jordan’s 63-point game (which the Bulls lost to Larry Bird and the Celtics) on NBATV sometime. It was used a record 42 times that game. While it may sound like the name of a roller coaster or maybe a piece of farm equipment, the term “whirling dervish” is actually used to describe the Muslim equivalent of a monk or friar, some of which perform whirling dances and vigorous chanting as acts of ecstatic devotion. How it came to be used to describe anything related to basketball is a mystery modern science has yet to answer.

For the record, Greg Ostertag is not, nor will he ever be, a whirling dervish.

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Labels: Greg Ostertag / LeBron James / Michael Jordan / Larry Bird / Chicago Bulls / Boston Celtics / Word on the Street

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