Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf made the shooting look cool long before Stephen Curry did, and the resemblance in their game is astonishing. Abdul-Rauf, formerly known as Chris Jackson, was a vicious scorer capable of dropping 30 points against almost every defense in the league. Unfortunately, because of his political activism, his career was cut short. He believed he got blackballed from the league during his prime years.
Despite the fact he didn’t have a long NBA career, he made an impact, and if you watched him play, you could tell his game was so smooth and effortless at certain times. Abdul-Rauf was a hard worker who approached the game differently than others around him, and in an interview with Courtsmith Basketball Industries, he shared some of the things he did before the game to get ready. He had a rigorous diet, and he didn’t even drink water during the game because he believed that gave him an edge against the opposing players.
“I eat well in advance. I don’t like to eat heavy. I eat maybe 4,5 hours before the game, so when I come to the game, my system is light, I’m almost empty. If you have a lot of food in your system it relaxes you and makes you lazy. I’ll drink before the game; usually, during the game, I don’t drink even though it might not be the healthiest I don’t drink anything until the game is over. It’s something about physically being hungry makes you mentally hungry. The worst people to fight are the people who are scared or hungry. So when I go, and I’m kind of empty because your thoughts are clearer. I like to rest before the game; my body has a biological clock. “
Apart from his eating and drinking regime, Abdul-Rauf approached the game differently from the mental perspective, as well. He would play the game in his mind over and over again. Abdul-Rauf believed when game time comes, he can predict plays happen before everybody else. Abdul-Rauf is also a very spiritual person who has a deeper understanding of life itself, which means he would switch up a few things here and there because he believes life is not the same, and you need to learn to adapt.
“I like to think about the game, especially during the season, just constantly the mental imagery. You’re imaging plays, the toughest defenses on you what you can do to escape that defense and get your shot up. You have to play the game back in your head all the time. You’re constantly thinking about that, and you’re envisioning the shots go in. Finally, when you get into the game, you played it so much you see two, three moves ahead. You see it because you played it. So these are the rituals I have before the game, and I’m always switching it up because life is not the same all the time.”