There wasn’t a sliver of daylight through which he couldn’t thread a pass. The geometry of the game was different for him. He saw angles, acute and oblique, that nobody else saw because they were only there for a second and then they were gone. – Charles F Pierce on Ernie DiGregorio
I love this quote, but it is incomplete. It suggests the slivers of daylight exist independent of DiGregorio, and that only his unique geometry could find and exploit them. It ignores completely DiGregorio’s subtle, but vital role in creating the geometric angles through which he threaded his wonderous passes.
Creative passing involves vision and manipulation of time, space and minds. It is holding a ball for an extra instant to keep a defender’s attention or position and create a space or angle in another place, or to split the defender’s attention between two options and exploiting the indecision. It is thinking, processing and executing. Below is a video that does as well a job as any in explaining the subtle manipulations that go into even simple, but productive passes.