Bobby McDermott

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Robert "Bobby" McDermott (January 7, 1914 in Whitestone, Queens, New York – October 3, 1963 in Yonkers, New York) was an American professional basketball player, in the 1930s and 1940s.

He was known as an outstanding shooter and has been called "the greatest long-distance shooter in the history of the game" by contemporaries.


During the 1940s the most common offenses were motion offenses that were supposed to open up players close to the goal. This was because most players were awful shooters. The most common defenses were zones, that clogged passing lanes and packed the paint. For zone defense to be successful, all the defenders have to be close together and close to the goal.

Bob spread the defenders like nobody ever did before or has since. He was an accurate shooter for his day but not legendarily accurate. His free throw percentage was below 80% most of his career and he used a two-handed set shot from the chest that was easy to block. However, he could score from anywhere within the half court. Al Cervi, a great defensive player who often had to guard him, said of McDermott, "Oh, he could shoot! If he shot ten times from thirty feet, I'd guarantee he'd make eight in game conditions."

Through sheer athleticism, and power he could shoot from almost anywhere on the court. At a time when most teams played a deliberate slow-up style and scoring less than 30 wasn't just common, it was expected, Bob McDermott frequently scored...
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