A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
David Stern…Your Product Is Flawed!
NEW YORK – This may not come as a surprise or even something that is of remote concern to some, but to the many brotha’s from the hood this should open some eyes. The NBA with its Tour across America philosophy with NBA teams and coaches and executives and the like are giving the Europeans the keys to the store.
It started out with a few coaches going overseas to run camps and such in the mid to late 80’s. Donn Nelson, the son of Hall of Fame coach Don Nelson was really big over in Russia/Soviet Union as a coach and instructor.
Globally, it is now very safe to say that the American influence on basketball has done wonders. The real explosion came in the early 1990s (the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona to be exact) with the Dream Team led by Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. The opposing teams abroad back then were in awe that they were having their relatives take pictures of them while they were playing…yes even while getting dunked on. And with that, the average loss margin was well over 30 points. And the 30 points were when the Dream Team took their foot off of the pedal. As a matter of fact, the coach of the Dream Team, Chuck Daly never once had to call a ‘time-out’ to get his team together.
That was then, this is now. What’s going on overseas now would make Dr. James Naismith (the founder of basketball) probably want to turn over in his grave. But, he wouldn’t be alone in that. For the founder of baseball, boxing and I wouldn’t doubt football (in the future) will be joining him in the turning over stuff.
Americans are no longer the dominant force in sports as we used to be. Take for instant boxing. In the heavy weight division alone; of the 4 championship belt holders, not one is American…Eastern Europeans or the 7-foot and 300 pound Russian hold those belts respectively.
In baseball this past summer the Americans featuring a Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriquez came away with too many ‘L’s. That team didn’t even qualify for playoff rounds.
Just this past week overseas two NBA teams have lost exhibition games. The Philadelphia 76ers were bested by 5 points and the Los Angeles Clippers were slaughtered by 19 points. Sure, it was only an exhibition but it wasn’t as if the NBA teams were trying to lose or they were playing and shooting the ball with their feet instead of their hands, they wanted to win.
The fundamentals of the game are being mastered by the Europeans. They are playing the game for keeps and they’re not coming cheap. And the people who need to be concerned are the brothas from the hood that are so enamored with the And-1 brand of basketball.
That type of ball may look good in the playgrounds or in the summer but, in playing in college, NBA or overseas even that stuff will not fly.
Brothas master the pick and roll; the high screens roll; learn to shoot jumpshots and not just three’s…the mid range shot and rebound. Do these things well and you won’t be left behind when the NBA decides to expand overseas. That will probably happen within the next 3 to 4 years.