Word on the Street

Wilsonburger (wil’-suhn-bur’-guhr) noun. A blocked shot that is forced back into the face of the offensive player, thus forcing him to “eat” it.

Usage example:Tim Duncan fed the Grizzlies a steady diet of Wilsonburgers last night.

Word history: When Bill Russell entered the NBA in the late 1950s, he revolutionized the way defense was played. In particular, he turned the blocked shot into an art form. And while Russell certainly didn’t invent the blocked shot, he dramatically changed the way it was used – both to intimidate the opposition and to initiate a fast break. So proficient was Russell at sending back an opponent’s shots, his Celtic teammates began referring to his blocks as “Wilsonburgers” (the Wilson brand basketball was the official basketball of the NBA at that time). Now that Spalding makes the official NBA game ball, blocked shots should be referred to as “Spaldingburgers.” You can still use “Wilsonburger” when discussing college hoops (the NCAA still uses Wilson brand balls), and many gyms and pickup leagues use Wilson, so the term may apply there as well.

Bill Russell serves up another Wilsonburger, keeping the hot side hot and the cool side cool.

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Labels: Tim Duncan / Bill Russell / Memphis Grizzlies / Boston Celtics / NCAA / NBA / Word on the Street

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