An insight into the ‘diva’ basketball athlete

Posted by By at 22 May, at 08 : 25 AM Print

An insight into the ‘diva’ basketball athlete

‘You are the best player on your team (college, youth, pro). Everyone knows this and every game it can be seen.’ ‘In the final minutes of a game, your coach calls a play you don’t like and another player gets that play called for him–he misses. Your team loses the game.’

Do you blame the coach for not giving you the ball?

This NBA season more than any other, the ‘diva’ athlete has made his appearance before the season during the NBA lockout, during NBA games and off the court during contract negotiations with management. Fans all know the players–Dwight Howard and his season-long ‘ransom’ of the Magic vis-a-vis his departure by trade or free agency. Andrew Bynum’s insubordination of Coach Mike Brown when he shot a three pointer disregarding a play Brown drew up to be set. Carmelo Anthony’s ‘ransom’ of the Denver Nuggets last season and his subsequent trade to New York. Brandon Jennings’ quote to the press that he is researching big-market teams preparing for his contract negotiations, and so on, and so on.

The age-old argument has always been divided between two schools–1. If the man is the best player, he should always get the ball and 2. Just because he is the best player doesn’t make his needs more special than the team. The first school of thought is very basic and simple that if you have a great player and he scores resulting in the team winning, then that player should reap the rewards. He should be ‘top dog’ until he gets old, injured or someone better beats him. The second school of thought lies on the coach who guides the players, as to whether he should follow his profession and teach every player no matter who is better or worse on the fundamentals of team basketball or climb on the back of the star player and make his mark winning or losing with him.

The best way to see how a coach and team will choose the school of thought lies in the above scenario. In the end, a star player will be upset that he didn’t get the play called for him but the reason would lie on how the coach is observing a basketball game and its circumstances. Is the team down? How many timeouts do they have? What defense is the opponent playing? Will they double team the star player? See, outside of the star player’s mind, a dynamic sports event is taking place which presents constantly changing moments which are not simple to figure out. Will the star player realize this and work to either play his part for this game and be as effective as he can or pout, throw a temper-tantrum or complain to the general manager about the coach’s decision?

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