Well Martin Rogers
FOX Sports Columnist
The composition of the assistant coach could hardly be better, it is truly a professorial collection of great man’s experience, all with Georgetown link.
At the Basketball Without Borders camp in Johannesburg, South Africa 11 years ago, in the Dikembe centers, Mutomba harassed them because of the work of their legs. He was then at Patrick Ewing Station to get tips on how to use the upper body for a defensive effect. Then to Alonso Marning for offensive moves and use of glass.
Among the vacationers was a skinny young man from Cameroon who had only been playing hoops for a few years. Perhaps that is why he did not stand out more than any of the other hopes, but listened to every word of the three NBA legends had to offer. He dreamed little, though realistically, of what had happened since then, ahead of even the wildest version of his basketball fantasies.
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Young, Joel-Hans Embid, has since lost Hans but gained much more. When Embid was named the center of the Second All-NBA Team on Tuesday, it was the latest chapter in the greatest success story of modern basketball on the African continent. And, combined with several other stories, the greatest proof that the NBA’s present, and almost certainly its future, is extremely international.
Embid, who helped c Philadelphia 76ers before the Eastern Conference semifinals, despite a fractured orbital bone, he would have been on the All-NBA first team if the only player to have received more MVP votes than he was also not central.
“Ambid, who is estimated to be one of the top three players in the league this year, did not make it to the (first team),” said a FOX NBA analyst. Chris Brussard said further “First things first.” “It’s funny. Embid deserves better than that.”
But Nikola Jokic also great, and Denver Nuggets The star’s second consecutive triumph in the MVP race two weeks ago led to another overseas scene that seemed far from the NBA’s hardwoods and its brilliant arenas.
Jokic, a lifelong horse lover, received his award at a stable in his native Serbia, where he was surprised by a group of family and friends, and where a curious pony watched as he conducted several interviews to celebrate the award. This is not what usually happens. Welcome to the new NBA, where geography matters, and skill sets (such as Yokich’s silky belt) are a universal currency.
This season there were seven stars of foreign origin. The NBA has launched a campaign involving 109 players from 39 countries. At least 11 of the last 27 best picks in the draft have been international, but in fact the explosion abroad at the top of the game has mostly started in the last few years.
Luka Doncic (Slovenia) also joined the № 1 All-NBA team. Pascal Siakam (Cameroon) took second place. З LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry headed towards the end of their careers, players who are currently seen as the toughest for team trophies and individual awards are mostly not from those shores.
But why? Well, it’s a big world, basketball is very popular, and the willingness and ability to discover and train young talent is real and present in far more places than before.
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The NBA has for many years tried to expand its reach and promote best practices around the world, a prime example being the camp where Embid was present. Siakam also competed in Basketball Without Borders in 2012. Moving on to today, and the NBA has been a major factor in the creation of the African Basketball League, a Champions League-style competition for the continent’s best clubs.
The influence of Europe is also an important factor, and if once the stars of the European Games were difficult to physically adapt to the NBA, now they are almost too prepared.
The ability to shoot light from 3 is a relatively new phenomenon in the US, but in Europe it has been so for many years. There are other nuances that should be taken into account, as Doncic stressed.
“Of course, here in the NBA, it’s easier to score than in Europe,” Doncic told the Washington Post shortly after joining the league. “In Europe, the field is smaller, and here the rule of three seconds in defense applies. I think it’s easier to kill here. “
The international influx has done a lot. He brought to the fore various skills, worked wonders for the global popularity of the NBA, and changed the systems of recruiting and identifying talent.
And most of all, it has broadened our perception of the superstar in the NBA, a tall perch who, as always, is hard to reach, but who can start his journey anywhere.
Martin Rogers is a FOX Sports columnist and author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. You can sign up for the newsletter here.
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