Damn Shame

(Ed. Note: This entry appears in "Ball Talk" as well)We are getting it all wrong as far as player development goes.  How?  By spending a helluva lot of time worrying and working on team-play and systems when skill development is what's needed and sorely lacking.  

When was the last time you sat watching TV while leaning back during commercials to 'shoot' the ball upward toward the ceiling to practice your line and backspin?  When was the last time you saw a player at the local playground working on his handle?  (For that matter, when was the last time you saw a Halifax court busy with more than one ball player on it?) 

We gotta' get back to basics, literally.  This means means improving on dribbling, passing and shooting - and not spending so much time on plays, and then executing ad nauseum on these structured systems during boring basketball games.  Putting the emphasis on the wrong aspects of play stifles immediate development and overall creativity.  

To pick on one aspect of the game, players, young ones especially, need to be much better at dribbling.  And (call me if this ever happens) when a kid feels he's able to dribble in a telephone booth like Steph can, challenge him or her to learn to pass as effectively as Bob Cousy, Pete Maravich or Jason Williams.  

That's right, guys from years and even decades ago, where doing things way better than we are today.  Want proof?  Just type in Williams' name into Google and watch "White Chocolate" spin and pass thru his top 10 plays of all time.  It's stuff you NEVER see players do - let alone even try - anymore.  Damn shame.