Monday, April 13, 2009

The death of teamwork in basketball caused by the NBA

I have been playing basketball for over 15 years and for this reason, I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about the sport.

This weekend, I went for a pickup game with someone that I had recently met. Out of the 8 people there, I was the oldest by a good 5 years. The youngest person of the lot was actually half my age!

All the guys had good basketball and athletic skills and I had to rely totally on experience rather than strength and athleticism while playing the game.

It soon became obvious to me that most of these guys in the other team (the kids picked out a strong team for themselves - or atleast that's what they thought) looked to shoot rather than pass. They would only pass if they could make a fancy pass. Eventually their plays became predictable and my team was able to beat them easily.

Moral of the story - most of these guys have never had formal coaching. They have learned the game by watching the NBA on TV. In an effort to emulate Kobe and Iverson, they have become ball-hogs.

Is the NBA responsible for creating "showtime" players and promote individual showmanship rather than teamwork. Is the game suffering? After this weekend, I am seriously looking at my life-long idol, Michael Jordan, in a new light. Is he the one responsible for the death of teamwork in basketball?

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