On Monday I linked a David Aldridge column about the rise of Canadian basketball; specifically in the number of Division 1 and NBA prospects hailing from Canadian cities like Toronto.
Today, I have to link to a fantastic Grantland feature story from yesterday about New York City basketball. The Mecca in Decline, by Jordan Ritter Conn, analyzes the degree to which The Big Apple is no longer the hotbed of hoops talent that it once was. It produces fewer NBA players than at any time in history. It produces much fewer pros than other parts of the country, and that’s without even controlling for its massive population. Conn talked to many New York hoops junkies to get insight and theories about the cause of the city’s decline. (Or is it not a decline, but simply everyone else catching up? Is there a difference?)
What is the ideal environment for kids to become great basketball players?
It’s well worth your time to give that a read.
Along those same lines, Ethan Sherwood Strauss wrote a piece for TrueHoop last year about the influx of second-generation NBA players (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Love, to name a few) and why that might be happening. I remember thinking Strauss was on to something with that piece, and it fits well as a follow-up read to Conn’s, from yesterday.
Oh, and if you’re in that sliver on the Venn Diagram of Punch-Drunk Wolves readers who have never seen Hoop Dreams, then go watch Hoop Dreams. I watched it for the gazillionth time on Saturday. It’s on Netflix Instant right now, if that helps. It’s required viewing for any self-respecting hoops junkie.
That is all for today. Happy Friday. Only 22 more days to go.