Blah Blah Blog

9.01.2006

LeBronze James


The worst thing about Team USA's loss to Greece in the World Championships is the disappointment in finally having to admit that we just don't play the world's best basketball. A dominating performance by the Americans could have kept hope alive, but our style of play, our brand of ball, just isn't effective enough.

Team USA's new approach to international competition breathed new life into our struggling program. An actual former NBA General Manager was hired to run the team much like he would have run the Suns. A top-notch college coach was hired to guide the group, hoping to connect with the more youthful, selfless side of the players. The team featured a balance of "traditional" position players and defensive assets, not to mention the cast of the second-coming including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade. But at the end of the day, we couldn't shoot (FT or from 3) or defend and Greece, with a population of 11 million people (half of that of Texas alone), beat us in the quarterfinals.

It turned out that the focus of our new approach was too focused. Before the top 5% of NBA players can play the most effective basketball in the world, this nation needs to prepare millions of kids and young adults to play the most effective basketball they can. What's keeping that from happening? What makes us different from other countries? Here are a few of many possibilities...
  • Too much playground in our game?
  • Capital-driven society?
  • More focus on winning than teaching in youth programs?
  • Are we putting in the gym time?
  • Unwillingness to refine the fundamentals of those with great physical gifts by coaches and players?
  • Not enough trapezoid keys at our parks?
I don't care about gold medals. I care that we aren't reaching our basketball potential as a nation. We should be the best. My ego takes a hit because if our pros aren't the best pros in the world, then our suburban church-leaguers probably aren't the best suburban church-leaguers in the world either. Some dude nicknamed "Garcon-Blanche" would probably drop 53 on Westminster in the quarters. This problem needs a resolution... we need a Gap Analysis!!!

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Teach me Obi One
 

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