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1218Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: white American players

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  • Michael K. Tamada
    Aug 26, 2002
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      On Sat, 24 Aug 2002, John W. Craven wrote:

      > I wonder when, if ever, non-American players will form a large enough
      minority in the NBA to make a USA vs. the World contest on All-Star
      Weekend a compelling battle. It's already happened in the NHL, but I have
      an inkling that by the time world basketball reaches the level of the US
      the Euro leagues will be competitive enough economically that they'll
      stop coming over. This is already happening to some extent.

      Yes, I think it'll become like soccer (not that it'll necessarily become
      as big as soccer but I think basketball will become the 2nd most popular
      worldwide sport -- if it isn't already). International championships,
      using either club or national teams, will become relatively more
      important. Will they become more important than the NBA championship,
      much as soccer's World Cup is more important than any league championship?
      That I don't know.

      As for the timing, I think a competitive "USA vs the world" is not that
      far away. Less than 10 years if the rate of improvement maintains. When
      France can produce a playoff-ready 19-year old point guard -- well that
      was pretty much the last hurdle from my point of view. The most complex
      position on the court, the one for which even American players usually
      need 2-3 years of NBA experience to master (check out Stockton's and
      Payton's early career stats) -- and here's this just-turned-20-year old
      outplaying Gary Payton.

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