In the Atlantic there is an article (subscription required) that is an ode to the one-hand backhand, which is how I was taught to play tennis, but is rarely used today because tennis, like most sports, has devolved into all power. The author extends this point to basketball and the three point shot and he could have also made the point with pitching in Major League Baseball. All are examples, in an innocuous topic as sports, of how the ends now justify the means.

Even an unguardable move such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s iconic “skyhook” would lose its luster in today’s money-balled NBA, where the statisticians have proved that the smartest way to play involves enormous quantities of three-point shots. There have perhaps never been more talented athletes and marksmen and less variety of gameplay. Everyone leverages the same generic (if often impressive) step-back three.