Re: [APBR_analysis] Re: white American players
- On Sat, 24 Aug 2002, John W. Craven wrote:
> I wonder when, if ever, non-American players will form a large enoughminority 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.