Ah, I had to chuckle last year when I read that 5’05” Earl Boykins was leaving the NBA to become the highest paid player in Italy. Way to go, Earl! Good for you! Hey, you can’t really blame the guy, can you? This guy has a chance to be one of the top guards in Italy, instead of an “average” guard in the NBA.
But, of course, you now have the “old school” people continuing to say that the international teams have ruined our game. They claim they take the America out of the NBA . . . and now they can claim that they are taking the Americans out of America, seeing how we’ve now lost Boykins and Josh Childress and various other role players. Personally, I could care less if these guys want to leave our country to play ball. None of the players that are leaving us will ever develop into big-time superstars in the NBA, so why not try another league to boost their ego . . . and boost their paycheck, too. Until we start losing guys like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James to other countries, I’m not worried one bit.
These old schoolers claim that the foreign players diminish the pride and history of our game. I say that these guys need to chill out. Sure, we have some foreign players, but it isn’t like this is the NHL. The majority of the players in the NBA are still American! It isn’t like the foreigners have taken over our game, either. Yes, guys like Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzki have made a great impact, but how many of those kinds of players do we normally get from other countries that can dominate games? Not many. Most of the players that come from overseas are one dimensional and/or are just used as role players. They either shoot the ball long range or they are tall, slow lanky men that just stand underneath the rim and hope to get a couple rebounds and blocked shots. With the exception of a guy like Manu Ginobili, the American players still completely dominate the “excitement” factor in comparison to the foreigners. They dominate the excitement and they dominate the games. If there are other foreigners like Yao and Dirk that can give us some sturdy competition, then I say, yeah, bring them on over! The more competition, the better!
The ironic thing is that these old schoolers (usually old ex-pros) say they want things like they used to be, yet, look at the games of Yao and Dirk. Yao and Dirk are probably as old school as you can get! Neither of them do any fancy passing or dribbling or showboating. Dirk is a pure set-shot guru and Yao is a pure post-up player and thrives on shots near the hoop. If anything, I would say the foreigners are bringing old school BACK to the NBA!
Folks, the NBA is still an American game . . . and it will stay that way for a LONG TIME!