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Cavaliers goosing the Association

Mar 16, 2010, 2:09 PM EDT

It’s all about the goose eye.

You already see the goose eye all over the basketball landscape — college games, NBA benches, even that geek in your rec league — and you can thank the Cavaliers for that. Everybody is doing it.

Wait, I see that confused look on your face. Let’s let the people from the Cleveland News-Herald explain (via TrueHoop).

The origin of the gooseneck is traced back years ago, when players stopped shooting two-handed set shots. In a normal shooting stroke, a player’s hand extends forward after releasing the ball.

Careful examination of a player’s hand after the shot resembles what the Cavs’ resident comedians thought looked like a goose’s neck.

“I guess when you shoot, it actually looks like a gooseneck,” Cavs forward Jamario Moon said. “Way back in the day, they say when you’re shooting, you leave that gooseneck up.”

Cleveland took it a step farther — their players close the thumb and forefinger to form sort of an eye on the side of the goose. And there you have it — another of Cleveland’s team signs of unity. That and overly complicated pregame handshakes.

Now every time a threeball goes up, the bench gives it the goose eye — that’s 19 times a game on average (more like 22 a game in the last 10). Which is a lot, but clearly the goose eye works, because Cleveland is shooting an impressive 39% as a team from beyond the arc.

Sure, somebody is going to tell you that what the bench does has no bearing on the shot falling, that it’s about the shooter. We know that’s crap — rally caps (or even monkeys) work in baseball. Goose eyes work in basketball. It is indisputable fact. What other reason do you have for the Cavaliers having the best record in basketball? Because they have the best player? Whatever. We know the real reason.

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