It is amazing to think that today’s young school age basketball students do not know the greats of the recent past and barely know pro players of the present. There are only a few names which stand out among young athletes; names such as Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose, Colby Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Rondo and maybe Paul Pierce, or Dennis Rodman.
When a name like Kareem Abdul Jabbar is mentioned to young basketball players one would expect they would know who he is and why he was one of the great college and pro players of all time, but unfortunately that is just not the case. It is disillusioning and incomprehensible that just a decade ago or less means nothing to young players of today. There are so many traditions and great inspirational athletes and other people being whitewashed over. As a community and a nation, our sports history is at a loss to uninformed arrogant and shallow minded athletes of the future.
This was unheard of for recently past generations. Young athletes of the past and general fans knew all the great and average players of the major pro sports teams, especially basketball fans. Being able to name all the players on home teams and championship teams was common. Kids collected playing cards of all their favorite players, some of which rewarded them handsomely, financially as a result.
There just does not seem to be that kind of enthusiasm anymore for yesterday’s players who made the game what it is today.
Basketball basics are lacking among many young players (both boys and girls) and it shows on the local courts with a self-serving caviler approach to game basics with more emphasis on celebrating small gains with silly accolades and antics which contribute nothing to actual player development. Discipline within the game has virtually become nonexistent and is a word that the young athlete just does not relate too. The growing lack of the games fundamentals is the big minus in the big picture which may also contribute to some of the injuries (due to the lack of conditioning), and the game suffers of continuity and often becomes random in nature. Therefore players become one dimensional and repetitive in play. After all when young players have no idea what a sky-hook shot is that is just disheartening.