Getting Everybody the Ball

With the NBA playoffs reaching the conference finals stage, it’s clear that the league, more than ever before, is driven by stars. Franchises are trying to acquire two or even three stars around which the entire team is built.

The rest of the roster is made up of role players who rarely are called upon to do anything of consequence.

has become a showcase for individual talents, which is fine if that’s how they want to market it. Maybe that’s the most effective way of doing it, I don’t know. My concern is the trickle down, even all the way to youth basketball.

Maybe it’s just coincidence, but I’ve heard more than a few coaches lately talking about fashioning their offensive strategy after the pros. None has a star triangle along the lines of the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics, of course, but they seem to be hoping to take a similar approach – have a few players handle the ball most of the time and take most of the shots.

Which means that the majority of players are not getting as much playing time, and even when they’re on the court they’re role is to get the ball to the stars.

I don’t know how they’ll be expected to develop their own skills, and I doubt it’s fun to feel that you’re less important to the team while you’re riding the bench or only setting picks.

No matter how talent or skillful they are, all kids should play approximately the same number of minutes at the youth level. As they get older and play in high school, sure, the wheat will separate from the chaff, but highlighting two or three top players at the expense of others at the youth level just isn’t fair.

Forget about the NBA trends. That’s a completely different game, with different demands and expectations.

We’re not professional coaches and our goal isn’t to win games as much as to teach kids how to play the game and enjoy themselves while playing it, learning a bit about themselves along the way.

Featuring two or three players will only divide your team, making it less fun for everyone. Even the featured players will enjoy it less because they probably will feel more pressure to succeed while carrying more of the scoring load.

When everyone gets the same minutes, everyone gets the same experience, which is what they signed up to do. Let the NBA stars have the nightly TV limelight. Kids are in it to learn and enjoy.


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