Should leagues mandate equal playing time for youth basketball?

When I coached junior varsity girls basketball and freshmen boys basketball, I committed to playing every player in every half of every game. Initially, the varsity coach instructed me to play everyone in every game with the JV team, but I continued to play everyone at the next school, even when I felt that the varsity coach disagreed with the egalitarian approach to playing time. To me, these are developmental levels, and playing everyone fits with a developmental model. […]

The evolution of basketball, play, and practice

Kobe Bryant’s comments earlier this season about the lack of skill development in American players highlighted the angst felt by many who are involved with basketball in the United States. Whether right or wrong, basketball has changed over the last generation. I find it hard to argue that the U.S. cannot produce skilled players anymore when I watch NBA games with Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and others, but when I watch recruiting videos of 18 and 19 year-old non-elite players from the U.S. and Europe, I find myself favoring the European players (Of course, part of the argument that is missing is that I am comparing players who play for the junior national teams in their home countries to players who would be ranked well outside the top 250 players in the United States).  […]

Matt Barnes and two styles of coaching

What is the job of a coach? At the professional level, an argument could be made that the coach’s job is to put the team into position to win. How does one accomplish that goal? There seem to be two approaches: One limits players in an attempt to reduce mistakes, whereas the other attempts to develop and expand players.  […]

Post Play: An Endangered Species?

This week’s men’s Final Four has many excited because of the potential for a low-post dual between Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns. In a preview of the potential matchup, and the upcoming NBA Draft, Sports Illustrated’s basketball writers wrote about their preferences. Chris Mannix wrote:

True centers are an endangered species and Okafor has 15-year franchise pivot potential.

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