What’s Worth Reading
This article on Grantland gives rare and unique access to Greg Oden’s trials and tribulations in his life. There are some pretty amazing stories and quotes in here, highlighted by this:
“For starters, Portland isn’t a great city to live in if you’re a young, African American male with a lot of money,” Greg explained with an embarrassed grin. “But that’s especially true if you don’t have anybody to guide you. Since I was hurt the entire season, I was on my own a bunch and didn’t have veteran teammates around to help me adapt to the NBA lifestyle.”
Most times headlines like this don’t interest me, but I checked it out and it is a good read. Kerr gives some great rationale for why moving the age limit to 20 is a sound business move, as well as improving the game.
My favorite quote:
True story: I once had an extremely young teammate ask me when our Christmas break was. He then became visibly shocked and saddened after learning that we didn’t get to go home for a week or so.
My second favorite:
The process of growing as a team basketball player — learning how to become part of a whole, how to fit into something bigger than oneself — becomes completely lost within the AAU fabric.
And for elite players who play one college year before turning pro, that process remains stunted. That’s the single most important part of a player’s development and we ignore it like it doesn’t totally matter — basic foundation points like learning how to commit to a team, embracing the unity of a group, trusting your teammates, and working within a larger framework.
I don’t always agree with Cameron’s take on managerial decisions. I believe that often times Cameron takes the path of the analysis without understanding the aspect of being on a team or coaching a team. I’ve coached teams where there is plenty of talent, but they don’t win when it matters because the players are….human. With human beings comes emotions. A manager or coach must execute a plan or vision with this in mind. Yet in this case, Cameron makes some great points. I am not sure where I fall in line with sacrifice bunting overall, but Cameron is making a great argument.
Mattingly and Wedge put on their teflon shields, pointed to the fact that managers have been doing this for hundreds of years, and laid the blame for these losses at the feet of their players. The problem is that they repeatedly took steps that made it less likely that their team would actually win the game, and had they just sat on their hands and done nothing, they would have had a better chance of congratulating their boys on a victorious come-from-behind win. Instead, they sat there and just waxed on about a lack of execution.