Athleticism or Well Polished Game?
A lot of times we hear about how this guy is very athletic or very long and is something that makes that player a top pick rather than having a well polished game or a high basketball IQ. I am a big fan of athleticism, but a bigger fan of a well polished game. I think for the NBA to have a well polished game is a much better asset than athleticism because with a well polished game a player can adapt to struggles they experience while with athleticism not always the same. Athleticism on the NBA level to me is not that relevant because most of the league has a lot of athleticism, very rare can a player get by on there athleticism throughout there whole career. More than anything people harp too much on athleticism as an end all be all in a player when athleticism is just one of many things.
It's a good thing you weren't picking for the Magic in the 2004 NBA draft then. You'd have selected Okafor over Dwight.
I think it all depends. Are we talking about a Gerald Green or a Tracy McGrady? Both athletes who came into the league without a polished game or high IQ, but one was dedicated to becoming well rounded/developing his skills and the other wasn't.
If I had to choose between a Tracy McGrady type and a well polished player with no athleticism, I'd pick McGrady every day of the week. And I think that's a GM's goal. To pick those athletes who have the drive and dedication to work on the rest of their skills. GM's start messing up when they pick a player off of athleticism alone and ignore other key qualities in that player.
To sum it up... A freak athlete with the dedication and drive to work on his game is GREATER than a well polished player with no athleticism every day of the week. The freak athlete has more potential to be a dominant player.
You can't make the assumption that I would have taken Emeka over Dwight. I was surprised by the pick, but I never thought it was a bad pick.
I agree with your last statement about dedication, I would too. Though what is a player w/athleticism, but lacks dedication then?? Probably a player I would not want to have on my team.
I would rather have a well polished player than a more athletic player. You don't win by athleticism. Yeah you can be tall all you want but if you can dribble, shoot, pass, rebound then your not going to be good. Look at Yao Ming he is 7'6'' he has never averaged 10 rebounds in a season.
it also depends on who you have on your team already. For example, if i'm the heat, in this coming draft i would take stanley robinson because of how well wade plays with athletic guys (marion, moon) but if i'm the knicks i would rather have a skilled guy like wesley johnson or someone. by no stretch of the imagination i'm i saying Robinson is better than Johnson, just trying to give an example.
This has to do with more than who teams should draft and how they work with a superstar on that team. This is more about the mindset that many scouts, gm's, and coaches have when there focuses should be directed elsewhere or equally to athleticism, and not see athleticism as the only thing in a player.
An athletic freak of nature with a little skill and the dedication to expand it is more valuable than an unathletic player with a well rounded game any day of the week.
The only way I even think about taking a player with a well rounded game over an athletic freak of nature is if that well rounded player has above average athleticism. Example Pau Gasol.
i think there are exceptions like howard and say shaq but for the most part the a well polished guy is gonna be better if they both have nba ability
i look at some of the guys who came into the leauge who were just so athletic but on the low scale of on the skill level recently
then i look at guys who had skill more then athletisim
most are still young so the jury is still out as far as that but i cant think of a player who was very atlhetic and came into the nba so raw and then turned into a star or very good player. there arent many who came in with average athletic ability but high or above average on skill and got better and better and turned into a star
This is an area of American sports where one has to be careful because of the racial implications. One of the codes for white players who aren't very athletic is describing them as having a "High Basketball IQ". You see this happen so often it's almost laughable. It came up today in the thread on Luke Babbitt who apparently isn't very athletic, so the guy who initiated the thread, GreenLantern, described him as having a "high basketball IQ".
The one name that comes to mind in this discussion is Steve Nash. Why do I bring him up? For years people always said he wasn't athletic, but he somehow managed to repeatedly drive around opposing point guards as if they were standing still. Anyone who knows basketball realizes that NBA point guards are some of the quickest athletes on the planet.
So tell me, how can someone constantly drive around opposing point guards unless they are also very athletic? In addition, Steve Nash is about as polished as anyone could be on the offensive end.
Another guy who comes to mind is Magic Johnson, another point guard who wasn't very athletic, but was he ever polished and smart. He's the prototypical guy who comes to mind when you talk about "high basketball IQ.
There you have it, two elite point guards who don't fit into the mold of guys you think about when talking about a sport where great athletes dominate.
This has nothing to do with race unless someone brings up race. I am sick and tired of hearing about race being brought up in everything. To my knowledge Athleticism and Basketball IQ are raceless. You can be black and lack athleticism while having a high basketball IQ, or you can be white and very athletic while having a low basketball IQ. The color of a player's skin is irrelevant to me. As long as a player is dedicated to getting better as a player is all I care about and if he happens to be black then he's black, so what who cares.
can we please not get into the racial thing and just still to the topic at hand. when the topic says white vs black or something of that nature lets go into that
I understand your desire to avoid the subject but that's part and parcel of this discussion. It's been ingrained in the analysis of basketball players for as long as I can remember. White guys are usually described as smart, heady, and they have that infamous high basketball IQ while black guys are often described as great athletes. I'm sorry but there's no way to talk about this subject without bringing that up.
That branches into a different topic, which is... What is your definition of athleticism?
Steve Nash isn't that fast or quick, nor can he jump out of the gym, but... He's very athletic. He can play any sport. Have you seen the way he dribbles (with his feet) a soccer ball? His hand and eye coordination is off the charts. Timing is off the charts. He anticipates well. The same goes for past players like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson who weren't very athletic in regards to the way most individuals describe being "athletic".
knicksfan7, we agree that the color of a player's skin should be irrelevant. There are great white athletes and black players who aren't elite athletes. There are smart and dumb players everywhere. I truly wish we could talk about this subject without race coming up but it's so ingrained in the analysis of basketball players that it cannot be avoided. Just read through some of the evaluations of white and black players on this and other basketball draft websites and you will see those code words far too often.
Durant, Beasley, Evans, Lopez, Love and Randolph do have more skill than athleticisim, BUT they're not unathletic. Durant is very athletic not to mention he has arms that go down to his knees. Beasley is an above average athlete. Lopez is a very good athlete with a huge body. Love is probably the least athletic on this list, but even he moves very well. Randolph isn't as athletic vertically, but moves very well also.
Not one guy on that list is unathletic. I'm taking an athletic freak of nature with a little skill over an unathletic player with skill any day of the week.
tezo 83 wrote, "I'm taking an athletic freak of nature with a little skill over an unathletic player with skill any day of the week."
Would you really take the athletic freak over two guys like Magic and Steve Nash, whom most people think of as very mediocre athletes by NBA standards?
ok lets do this..make anothe post that branches off and talks about race along with this topic and the people who want to talk about this topic without going into race can stay and do that
plus as i see not one person mentioned or even implied race. youre the one who came in here and started bringing up race and implications liek starting a problem where there isnt a problem to begin with. if no one brings up race and white vs black then why would you even open that can of worms? no one is even insinuating race here
As long as the subject was at least mentioned at some point in the thread I'm satisfied. As I wrote above, I wish we lived in a culture where race and racial attitudes were completely irrelevant, but unfortunately that isn't the case. So yes, from here on unless I see something blatant, I'll try my best to avoid bringing it up in this particular discussion.
Let me add that the subject itself has racial overtones in the context of basketball in America, so when you say no one else brought it up, I disagree. But I'm OK with keeping it out from this point on.
where was it even hinted about? because peopel talked about athletic ability vs skill?..
Honestly... I don't have a problem with you bringing race into it. Most of us are adult enough to discuss it in a respectful way. I do understand what you're saying though. Unfortunately it's always going to come up when talking about this because of the nature of this whole thing.
To answer your question... I don't think Michael Jordan was as skilled as a Magic Johnson when he came into the league. Jordan wasn't a great shooter. Wasn't really a great passer or defender AT FIRST. He was primarily an athlete. Definitely a better athlete than he was skilled. I dare anybody to say he was as equally skilled as he was an athlete when he came into the league lol.
Jordan had the dedication, drive and focus to develop the rest of his game though. He became an all-around, well rounded and skilled player. I'd pick a player like that (obviously not every player is of Jordan's caliber, but you get my point) over a player with just skill any day of the week.
You're just interpreting racial overtones. That does not mean there are not any, but you're trying to make this thread centered around race when it is not. Your posts have only took this thread off topic.
Quincey, I know you have mentioned players currently in the NBA, but I am thinking more so on scouting level of what should scouts truly look for in a player.
Lakeshow, it constantly lingers under the surface when basketball players are analyzed and described. I'll bet a lot of money that if you read through the draft profiles of the white guys on this and other draft websites, you will almost always see the following.
1. They're compared only with other white players [& black players are only compared with black guys].
2. They're described as guys lacking in athleticism but they compensate for it with a high basketball IQ.
I've seen that so much it almost makes me want to throw up. Like you and many of the other guys on this website, I want to see a color blind analysis without the racial undertones that dominates this kind of discussion. Unfortunately we don't live in a fantasy world.
On the other hand, I definitely understand and empathize with your desire to keep it out of this discussion.
And to KnicksFan7, I don't want to make it a discussion of race, I just brought it up once as a reference point but everyone jumped all over me. I understand why they jumped all over me, but it really is part of this subject in America.
jordan is different say demar derozen or some other players. he had enough skills to drive past people any time he wants. he wasnt just pure athlete liek some of the other players. we all would pick a player like that over skill but what other player thats a great athlete but low on skills fall even near to that catagory
quincey you put Kevin love on your athletic list but anyways
heres how it "generally" goes:
an unathletic player is at a disadvantage unless he polishes other aspects of his game
athleticism can be a game changer despite lack of "skills"
generally "certain" players are "unathletic"/slow footed example Kevin Love/Luke Babbitt
tezo83, you made some great comments about Michael Jordan but that wasn't my question to you. Would you really take an athletic freak over guys like Magic and Steve Nash, who by NBA standards, are very mediocre athletes? But their games were and are very polished.
You can not measure one's dedication, but one can tell when a guy exhibits a lot of it. As to your question I would take Magic and Steve Nash over the athletic freak because I would go by this quote. "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
if you are unathletic/slow footed and have no skills (up and under, jump shot etc)
then you are doubly disadvantaged,
if you are "athletic"
then GMs are willing to overlook those weaknesses
see John Wall
jordan was skinnier and quicker than everyone
when he got older and bulked up his mid range jump shot was consistent
move without the ball like Rip Hamilton
some of these athletes are in the weight room too much and will never squeeze through defenses like Jordan
plus Jordan had those big hands so he was a better finisher
Of course I too would take Magic or Steve Nash over any of the super athletic point guards in the game today.
I've watched the NBA for many years, and over that long time frame I saw a number of great athletes come into the league and fail to make it, or at least fail to live up to the expectations of their freakish athletic skills. So there's a lot to be said for being polished.
By the way, except for some of the big guys who are slow footed and cumbersome, I think almost every player in the NBA is a great athlete.
No, I wouldn't take JUST an athletic freak over Magic Johnson or Steve Nash.
BUT... I'd take an athletic freak who has some skill and the work ethic, dedication, drive and hunger to improve the rest of his game over those guys. I think a player like that is what's dominating the NBA TODAY.
Good bringing that up because I feel the NBA is losing the game as a team game. If you look at championship teams of a decade ago they were deep, like the benches could start on other teams. Besides a select few teams today in the NBA many of the teams are not focused on basketball being a team game which I feel makes bench players simply bench players rather than players who have the ability to be starters on other teams.
Steve Nash didn't come into the league a MVP, so it's unfair to compare a young player to him at this point. Steve Nash came into the league as an unknown out of Santa Clara. He had the time, drive, work ethic and hunger to work on his game. He wasn't as skilled as he is now when he came into the NBA.
If I had the opportunity to pick an athletic freak of nature who's going to work on the rest of his game like Nash did... Give me that athletic freak. Imagine Steve Nash as a freak athlete. I want that guy.
Tezo83, Steve Nash didn't come into the league with that big time reputation because he played for Santa Clara, a school no one ever mentioned or thought about when it came to college basketball. I was living in Maryland when the University of MD played Steve Nash's team in the NCAA playoffs back in the 90's. Prior to that game I never heard of him. But after that game I immediately called my brother to tell him about this unknown point guard from Santa Clara who destroyed Maryland. They put everybody they had on Nash and he still buried Maryland. I don't remember who won the game but I think it was Santa Clara.
tezo83 of course we agree, the best combination would be a guy who is a fabulous athlete with the skill set of a Steve Nash or a Magic Johnson.
the teams that play good team ball usually have a superstar (or 2) to draw attention away from them would you agree?
That's a completely different topic right there. That needs to be in a new thread lol.
Yes I would agree. The Lakers are an example.
I wouldn't mind it one bit if you made a seperate thread regarding race in baskeball, etc. Just air it out in one sepearate and respectful thread. Air out what you see. Put examples in it and all of that. Let's just talk about that and get everyone's opinion.
That's fine by me, I am more than willing to discuss it.
Although there were some teams, like Knicks of the 70's and the Celtics of the 60's, who played like a well oiled unit, most teams had an offense that was based upon guys going one on one. That team game style is a myth just like the saying about cars, they don't build them like they used to. Of course they don't, today's cars are vastly superior to vehicles built 10, 20, and 30 years ago. Today's cars are built by robots with precise fittings and they have an array of safety features that were unheard of in the past. Old cars regularly broke down for a variety of reasons.
The same analogy applies to the NBA where I think team basketball is more wide spread than it was in the old days. Keep this in mind, in the old days players salaries were based upon their ppg average. That changed after the advent of free agency.
Having said that, I agree that there's far too much "one on one" play in the NBA, especially at the end of the game. But that doesn't mean it's any worse than it was years ago. With the exception of the Knicks, Celtics, and one or two other teams, it's a myth just like the "they don't build them like they used to" myth about cars.
well not entirely different topic
Lakers, Spurs, Celtics
Lakers have Kobe with his all around skills and Pau's skills so they play off each other
Spurs have good team chemistry bcuz they all play off each other
Derrick Rose has no Ben Gordon but he is still a good IQ player AS WELL as an athlete
its just no Ben Gordon to help draw attention
athleticism and skills and team play go hand in hand
its called balance
if D Rose didnt have athleticism he would have to have worked on his 3 pt shot more to get to NBA
micheal jordan would fall under this topic as well...example would be d.jordan and brook lopez. one is very athletic and the other isnt but skilled. jordan had some skills as well as athletic. you dont win player of the year in college in that class by not having skill. plus hes was better aat the things you name then hes given credit for. he was average at worst as a defender and midrange shooter(free throw line) all 35 points didnt come from drives and free throws i remeber alot coming from free throw line shots as well. and yeah i ment dutant under the skills part. i though i put him there
i think if you have the chance to get a guy with athletic ability with little to no skill but a good work ethic you should take him over an unathletic player. if that athlete develops his skills he could be a superstar kind of player.
Prashanta...You didn't like my trade offer in Fantasy? Wanna keep your guy?
you have to have SOME sort of basketball skill/instincts
yeah if you are a guard. of courseno one means zero skill liek the guy at the ymca but if youre big and athletic and dominated in hs you can get drafted and peopel try to see if you can get better and reach the potential think you have. the thing is everyone doesnt have the potential that you think they have. sometimes they are what they are and they become what they are ment to become even if they have raw ability. its alot less likely that a skilled player will become a bust then it is a athletic low skilled guy becomes one. if yu think of the bust they all have somethign in common...they werent very skilled. some pan out like tyson chandler who was a more higly thought of player then brook lopez, bynum, duncan out of hs. these great athletic big men seem to always hit a certain ceiling. amare is good but is anyone thinking he will ever be as good as tim duncan who couldnt be a good as him athletically on his best day? who thinks tyrus thomas is gonna be as good as paul gasol? or as good as zach randolph. i think its obvious as a sf,sg,pg you have to have a great deal of skill to get to the nba but as pf,c youre skill level doesnt have to be as high
tyson is so skinny he gives up a lot
those guys are all already 260 etc brook lopez, bynum, duncan
that big weight helps them a lot down low
if only Tyson had a 10 foot jumper :(
skinny big men need a jumper to reach their potential
but I think GMs are trying to find next Dwight (athletic and hope in the NBA theyll eventually hit the weights)
hope is not a plan though and I am skeptical of these low skill big men eventually becoming DEFENSIVE game changers in this draft class
it seems every big man is soft/unaware on defense and wants to shoot the perimeter J on offense
i never heard anybody say the best thing about a player was their iq in a draft and that player went on to success, except for maybe steve nash or back in the day. after the MJ era most gms would rather go for athleticism than iq. i mean a polished game can be developed and players with a polished game dont get much better. however, athletcism cant really be taught. and sometimes, players developed other parts of their game that their athletic skill makes better, like kobe or lebron. plus gms would rather gamble on guys who do have athletic skill than having a guy without much of a bright future.
who said anything about iq. we are talking about skill. and skinny has nothing to do with it. there are plenty of players who were skinny and end up being good like a kg,tayshaun, randolph...if you are skilled then you can still be a very good player. just liek there are guess who are tall and big who sucked like darko,kwame,candy man