Translation (with further detailed explanation below in the Tuesday Newsletter Extravaganza): Only in defeat are you remembered
Loved your interview with Nikola Vucevic, Marc. Would be awesome to see if the Mavs could land him to pair with Luka, considering they are friends. Having Coop on was also a nice treat since I don’t get to listen to him much outside of Mavs games on the radio.
Love having the pod to listen to on the weekends. Definitely adds to the anticipation of the weekend to come. 📻
I’m at an NBA crossroads. My favorite young players are almost all European. I keep telling myself I need to start growing serious fandom for an American player but ain’t nobody feeling like a Curry, Durant, or LeBron.
JJJ has averaged 5.5 rebounds per 27.4 minutes over his career. He averaged 16.5 minutes a game for FIBA so his expected rebounds per game would be roughly 3.3. 3.3-2.8= 0.5, half a rebound less a game. I am baffled how often JJJ is the leading example used to illustrate USA's rebounding issues. Maybe because the roster didn't have any rebounders to begin with to blame, the most common sense thought goes "rebounds=defense"..."dpoy"..."JJJ".
I'd really love to learn more about the failure of the American big man. Every weekend lately, when I take my son to a Plano Sports Authority for a youth game, there are big tournaments going on. And the kids are just ENORMOUS. There's the photo of LeBron at EBYL surrounded by these teens that are bigger than he is. Where do these kids go? How do we not have more talented bigs that make it to the NBA level?
I have a range of theories that start with heliocentric play and an emphasis on games over skills. Baxter Holmes had that great piece a few years back on how many games kids play and how thats led to more and more injuries. Bigs develop later and with how teams are structured now, I suspect many get relegated to play garbage man to a pack of more skilled/developed guards and they opt out. I also wonder how much has to do with how the American game is called vs the physicality of European basketball. We talk about "playing Gobert off the floor" and if any amount of perimeter contact was allowed, I think that happens less. That then trickles down to how/who plays at a youth level. Get the switch, beat the big man, etc.
I'm rambling. The point is: there are a lot of potential reasons why the US has lapsed in specific player development. But to address the problem, there has to be acknowledgement that it exists.