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Basketball was created a simple game. The primary objective was to place a ball, without dribbling, into a peach basket. However, like Darwin's theory of man, basketball has evolved into the most exciting exhibition of athletic ability. Basketball has seen many rule changes, because of the increasing ability of the players. Basketball is a melting pot, where black, white, and European people excel. This is a sport that is color-blind. This sport requires complete control over one's body and mind. Pure strength is required to fight through opposing teams picks, and to gain position for rebounds.
Speed is necessary to create space for a shot attempt or a pass. Concentration is vital to dribbling a ball up the court, with an opposing defender harassing you. With as much physical prowess that is required for success, basketball is a mental chess match.
"Thurber, make the smart play!" yelled Coach Balderama all last season.This game is only "ten percent" physical as Duke's Coach K explains it. For those who deny the mental aspects of the game, John Stockton is an ideal example. He is not the fastest, strongest, or best player on the floor. Stockton uses angles and his understanding of basketball to quietly and consistently outplay much more talented opponents. There is a growing problem in the NBA, and it is evident in the "Pop Warner" leagues also. Basketball is not the same game it was ten years ago, and ESPN's Sportcenter, the lack of fundamentals, and the influx of teenagers into the professional ranks. "Vince Carter on the baseline… He raises up… Boo-ya, all in Alonzo Mourning's grill!" States an exited Stuart Scott. Every day ESPN gathers the most amazing highlights from the games the night before, and creates a visually appealing collage. As a religious viewer I am fed a steady diet of no look passes, monstrous slam-dunks, and impossible fade-away shots that only NBA caliber players are capable of making. This, almost unknowingly, has assisted in creating a new mentality towards the sport. Last season I would find myself in situations where I was trying to execute a spectacular play, instead of completing the easy one. Why do I try to imitate the sweeping crossover dribble glorified by Allen Iverson? ESPN has made "Playground" basketball in style. Allen Iverson is the pioneer of this ghetto re...

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...aliber, and he educated himself about the game and life off of the court. Many of these players who jump to the pro's after little or no college are ignorant. The NBA, these days, has a combined IQ of fifteen, and we wonder what is wrong. The NBA is in a limbo, and is tripping over it's own clumsy feet. The game will not get better until the players improve their levels of play. But improvement comes with experience, and it is difficult for players to gain experience and confidence when they are only children trying to master a complex game. In conclusion, ESPN's Sportcenter, the lack of basic basketball fundamentals, and the decreasing age of players entering into the league is a recipe for disaster. It is a cycle that is going to be hard to break. Today's kids are presented with options that are too difficult for them to comprehend. So instead of doing it the right way and going through school and listening to their coach, agents are give utter control over these exploited children. However, with all of the negatives surrounding the game, basketball will survive. David Stern is a competent commissioner and there is too much money involved for people to let the NBA self destruct.

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