ROD STRICKLAND “Bronx Jelly” Unblock-able Lay Up Package.
A few months ago I made a youtube video called “Jelly 3”. I was the third installment in a series of NBA highlight videos showcasing finger roll layups by the three players (Gervin, Dr Jay, Jordan) best known for mastering the move and making it popular at the time. However, one player I regret not including in this series was the Bronx’s own Rod Strickland.
Born and raised in New York city, Rod played many seasons in the NBA for various teams including the Knicks. During his peak with the Portland Trail Blazers he was one of the games best point guards. Although not well known or respected by basketball fans today as he should be, Rod did make a strong impression with his NBA peers if not in his overall game but specifically in the way he finished around the rim. Despite being only around 6′ ft tall and not an explosive athlete he had a skill of finishing in the paint in traffic, through contact and over much bigger and taller defenders without getting his shot blocked. His influence can be seen today in guards like Kyrie Rose and Derrick Rose who are two of this generations best finishers under the rim with a array of acrobatic layups that are referred to now as “Jelly” in style. They’re basically finger rolls with a lot of english and a distinct style and creativity to it.
Although seldom mentioned today as one the NBA’s best guards, those who played with Strickland (like Shaq) have nothing but respect for his game and have recently make the connection between his skill and that of Kyrie Irving, who grew up close with Strickland who was a close family friend. In a sense, I see Rod as the bridge or connection between the older generation of finger rolls, and Kyrie who clearly inspired today’s youth who have taken the move to another level and made it a large part of the online hoops culture. That’s why he deserves a spot in the “Jelly” layup video series and some much needed shine.
I had originally intended on featuring Rod in the Jelly 3 mix among other players from the 90’s but that video would’ve been too long. Luckily I still had enough footage save up for a solo video and finally got around to putting it together. Check it out below.