Just a quick follow up to my 4/25 post on the subtle and growing shift in the NBA to identify and draft foreign players as their frustation grows over trying to work with the American Hip-Hop B-Baller who typically arrives with underdeveloped fundamentals, overemphasized athleticism and a MC Hammer-sized entourage. Over on ESPN.com, league commish David Stern says he's 'appalled' over the state of the game. Oooo - pretty strong words that get stronger after the jump...
Seems D-Stern's feelings on the matter have gotten to the point where he's considering using the NBA clout to start developmental leagues in America similar to the European-style basketball factories that are cranking out more and more players that NBA GMs are desperate to bust a slob over.
D-Stern's feelings were a little hard to read given this quote:
"The roster of NBA teams is going to be enriched by huge numbers of international players, and it's going to happen."
Wow - if you've got that statement coming out of the league Commissioner's mug, I'd be a little nervous if I was a biddy-bop, neighborhood baller, faking like I was D-Wade and saying 'All day, baby. All day." everytime I dropped a shot over my boy in the driveway.
It's no doubt that stories like this ESPN joint will become more common and the league will undergo a fundamental change - no doubt. It already has - *two* Frenchmen in the NBA playoffs (Tony Parker and Boris Diaw) - Sacre Bleu! A German being the most dominant big man in a finals that also features Shaquille O'Neal? Ach du lieber!
Have no fear - it will all settle out in the end with the end result being a return to fundamental American basketball which will result in a better, more exciting product on the floor. As with most things - competition is good. But make no mistake, my southside, b-ball homeys - school is definitely back in session in the NBA.
Shaq - free throw practice is calling brother...