The game of basketball has changed and evolved rapidly over the years. With so many different styles of basketball nowadays, the question remains are the fundamentals of the game still being utilized for up and coming talent during their early stages of playing ball? Are coaches still stressing ball handling, passing, defense, footwork, and proper shooting techniques?
High school phenom LaMelo Ball recently scored 92 points in a single game, which had a lot of critics questioning his style of play to put up those types of numbers. For example, cherry picking, lack of defense, hustle, effort, etc. 92 points in a game is outstanding, and let’s not forget the fact that regardless of how the kid was able to put up those stats, he’s exceptionally talented. The future star just inspired another kid at the recreation or middle school level to try and make the same history by putting up those types of numbers.
Just like LaMelo, guys like Stephen Curry, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, all great basketball players with outstanding traits to their games, inspire a lot of today’s rising talent. The only concern would be are the rising talent missing out on the basics of the game because they’re too busy trying to mimic the pros? Don’t get me wrong — it’s awesome to shoot like Steph, dribble like Kyrie, or even be crafty like Harden, however, in order to have the complete package players should focus more on mastering the fundamentals of their game before mimicking styles of play.
It’s been spoken on numerous times how the game today has changed from decades ago. For example, a lot of players today are getting spotlight attention based off of their athleticism. Many high school teams today cannot shoot the ball as well as teams in the past. It’s either poor shooting selection, dribbling the ball way too much, one-on-one, relying on the three-point shot, etc., which typically leads to poor basketball decision-making.
Today’s game is not much of basketball players playing basketball, but rather athletes playing basketball. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great coaches out there on all levels that simulate their coaching styles off fundamentals.
The point I’m trying to get across to coaches, parents, players, trainers etc. is to continue to stress the importance of the fundamentals. Even some guys at the pro level lack the need of fundamentals. Make sure your players understand the importance of the basics, as it will only benefit them in the long run and take away some of the pressure once they get to the collegiate level or even pros.