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A very interesting read here from ESPN's Seth Wickersham on the the Spurs unparalleled success that comes thanks in large part to their international roster.
Wickersham argues, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich agrees, that the self-centered, self-promoting nature of AAU basketball and the system of coddling talented players at an increasingly younger age is eroding American basketball talent. Popovich said he seeks foreign players (the Spurs have seven different countries represented on their roster this year) because they are better coached and more willing to play team basketball.
I'm posting this here because I wonder if the football star-making, ego-fueling recruiting cycle, which is racing to catch up to its basketball counterpart, will have the same effect on America's most popular sport. Football abroad is far less popular than basketball, but I have written a couple times in the past year about the gradual increase of international players succeeding in college football. Perhaps this is a trend that will continue to grow.
The San Antonio Spurs are doing something right, writes Seth Wickersham in ESPN The Magazine. What if that something is avoiding American players?
That is really interesting, Dan! And you make a very good point. Most of those international players have little to no football playing experience. With the continued growth of football internationally (I have some friends that play professionally in Poland, for instance), it'll be interesting to see what happens in 10-15 years from now.
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