Mike Kueber's Blog

June 2, 2012

Aphorism of the Week #13 – Don’t Pump Fake the Money Shot

Filed under: Aphorism — Mike Kueber @ 6:38 pm
Tags: , , , ,

As I was riding a stationary bike this morning at Lifetime Fitness, I noticed a guy walk in wearing a plain Nike t-shirt with nothing but the following large-font statement – “Don’t Pump Fake the Money Shot.”  Although I played basketball as a kid, I’m no longer an aficionado and the meaning of the statement didn’t immediately occur to me.  But it was catchy, and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.

To determine what the statement meant, I first referred to Nike’s advertising copy, but that wasn’t helpful.  It said merely, “The Nike ‘Don’t Pump Fake the Money Shot’ Men’s Tee Shirt makes a statement without you saying a word.”  Other internet websites were similarly unhelpful, so I decided to do-it-myself by parsing the statement into “pump fake” and “money shot.” 

The pump fake has been around got a long time, and I knew it meant moving your body as if you were going to shot or throw the basketball, with the hope of getting your opponent out of position my reacting to the shot or throw that never happens. 

Traditionally, “money shot” has meant the most important or expensive scene in a movie, especially with reference to external ejaculation in pornographic movies, but the term has recently been extended in the basketball context to mean a shot, usually near the end of the game, that has a significant effect on who wins.  Some consider the term to be synonymous with “clutch,” and we all know the Jerry West was called Mr. Clutch and LeBron James is called Mr. Unclutch.  In fact, one website not only labels LeBron as Mr. Unclutch, it also lists his 10 most unclutch moments.     

So, what does “Don’t Pump Fake the Money Shot” mean?  In my humble opinion, it means that in a clutch moment, you don’t hesitate or think too much about your opponent is doing.  Instead you immediately do what you are good at, something that you have mastered with years of practice.  Don’t “ice” yourself. 

Kind of reminds me of the older Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”

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2 Comments »

  1. whew, that was a lot of work for something that seemed pretty obvious to me… though it is a phrase that i had not heard.

    Comment by q — June 3, 2012 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

    • I guess brilliant minds think alike. Why don’t you provide the statement to your wife or daughter and ask them what it means.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — June 6, 2012 @ 11:00 am | Reply


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