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Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 2:00 pm  |  12 responses

SLAM #143

World Class

Originally published in SLAM 143

The 6th Man: For most of the last decade, we were forced to listen to and read a lot of noise about how the youth basketball system in this country is broken, how our top players are spoiled brats who wouldn’t know a bounce pass from a chest pass. Well, was anyone watching what happened in Turkey?! While world-class stars Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and LeBron James (the latter three complete products of this country’s high school/AAU feeder system, incidentally) stayed home, the USA “B” Team rolled to a Gold medal in the FIBA World Championship.

Yes, Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski deserve credit. And yes, role players such as Stephen Curry and Danny Granger went under the radar when they were in high school. But the bulk of the team-including pre-WBF cover subject Kevin Durant and this month’s cover star Derrick Rose, both of whom started all nine games in Turkey-epitomize the modern American baller. They were identified as major talents at age 14, sought after by sneaker companies at age 15, hounded by breathless recruiting gurus at age 16, fought over by colleges at age 17 and were millionaires before they turned 19. And guess what? These are two of the hardest-working, most humble cats in the NBA. And it isn’t just the US Senior National Team that is best in the world; did you know that all of Team USA’s men’s teams went a combined 44-0 in ’09-10, making the US the reigning champ in every age-level competition?

So, old school media and moralizing writers, why don’t you take on the NCAA for encouraging kids who may not even care about a college education to attend their insitutions? Or blast the NBA for its self-serving age limits and confusing Draft-entry rules. But whatever you do, stop talking shit about young men who do nothing more than work within the existing system to become the best players they can be.

Peace,

Ben Osborne

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  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    My man D Rose!
    Speaking of Rose, hey Slam fam, anyone know where I can get a frame for a jersey for under the cost of an arm and a leg? My autographed Derrick Rose jersey’s been chilling in my closet since moving up here to Alaska (he signed it for me back in May ’09, a few weeks after the Bulls/Celtics series and I moved to AK a few weeks after that).

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Kudos to the article and the up coming issue… but is D Rose REALLY Humble…?? Check out that cover for an example.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Dacre – Slam 143 is not an upcoming issue, it was the NBA Season Preview issue.
    And you’re gonna say Rose is not humble (compared to other NBA cats) just cause of one photoshoot cover? Really?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Enig – Probably the only way you could do it on the cheap is by getting a decent frame together yourself… there would be a DIY plan on the net somewhere surely – but getting someone else to do it always costs a pretty penny.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Enig – I didn’t say this article was the upcoming ish… And yeah I would I am saying that Rose doesn’t come across as a humble dude because of this stance. So if he doesn’t ‘feel’ this represents him truly what is he a poser? A fake?

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I’m sure D Rose is a lovely polite man.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I take it more as him trying to take on a “tough guy” pose, which if you’ve seen him play, you know dude is tough.
    Really though, I think most of the time these magazine covers are just a result of how the photographer asks them to pose.
    Slam seems to prefer to have players “ice-grill” on the cover, which comes off as wack sometimes. But that’s why you’ll see players like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant always rockin’ a thousand-yard stare on a Slam cover, but then they’re always cheesin’ on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
    And thanks for the hints, I’d probably F it up trying to do it on my own though. Think I might have to just cough up a hundred bones to get a frame from Amazon.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    DRose = Tough.
    —————

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com just bcuz

    what are yall talking about mann?? lol its a damn PHOTOSHOOT…they tell you to look a certain way at the camera

  • http://google c_cantrell

    any of my bros got some extra autographed stuff? if so let me know! there is a hospital near by where i live full of children who know theyre days are numbered.. sometimes athletes will come visit them but this is not always the case.. anything autographed by any nba players (or other sport for that matter) will make these kids day and put a huge smile on thier faces and delight in thier hearts! so holler at me and feel do good for doing something right

  • Evan Jenkins

    is there a way i can purchase old issues such as this one ?

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    @Evan Jenkins: Yes, just go to this site and scroll to the issue you want: http://www.primediabackissues.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=PB&Category_Code=SLAM

    thanks

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