The fight itself wasn’t the issue in my opinion. It’s the total lack of respect that an alarming amount of young players have for the game at the grassroots and college level. It’s a epidemic that has been infiltrating the game for a long time. This attitude that players take about fighting and being “harder than everyone”has a long lasting effect on them not only on the court but off of it as well.
Forget about the lack of skill that the players in this country have at a young age that is only the surface of the issues. This lack of respect for authority and needing to be harder than everyone else is an issue poisoning our youth. It effects our young players socially to hurt them not only as athletes but also in the real world. The more talented young players acquire a sense of entitlement at a young age. This trait is developed by being better than their peers at basketball.Shortly they start to acquire more friends and popularity than the average person would get at their age. People start coming into their lives that want to help them an make life easier. They’ll do things like drive them around, get them on an AAU team, and buy them things for starters. In some cases not only do they acquire things physically but also have coaches that are affraid to coach them.
This usually develops into an attitude that they are bigger than rules and their elders that our enforcing them.Soon they develop the attitude that they are too big to tell what to do and fight any criticism or accountability that others try to enforce on them. It’s at this young age where it starts.There are many forms of how it stars and who installs this upon them.
For most players reality sets in at an early age that they will level out and not become a great player past the high school level. Many players never live up to their “phenom” title past the 10th grade leaving them with a jaded sense of reality of themselves. They don’t know how to function in reality as far as working for people or dealing with others because a lot of the simple things were done for them. Most young people have an inflated sense of themselves growing up, but grow out of it with help from their peers. Unfortunately for young basketball players that go through the system of AAU, street people, unrealistic-uninformed parents, and others this process is a very tough one to break. For the lucky ones that he to play at the college level breaking these traits are almost impossible to do.By the time they get to this level they’ve been pampered for almost ten years by being told they can do whatever they want to do and the rules apply to everyone but them. The transition from this life to a school where the coach has a system as well as a code that their student athletes have to abide by on and off the court is such a tough one.
What about this attitude from young players that they have to represent where they are from? That everyone is their enemy and the littlest thing is a sign of disrespect. There is nothing wrong with players having chips on their shoulders. For some it is this chip that makes them great players. There is a difference between having a chip and being ignorant and I think we saw the difference in this game. Players talking about this is a way of life and where they are from. This fictional world where you have to hate people and constantly fight is setting our society back years and years. For some 20 year old kid to think what happened on the court is a positive is very concerning to me.
The lack of accountability for young people in this country is staggering. When I work with high school and college kids I’m just shocked at the amount of disrespect I see when you try to hold them accountable or critique them. It is this disrespect that is a direct result of the pampering and lack of accountability that they experience for most of their lives. This is why most of these players once their careers are done struggle in the real world.
Players don’t realize that the only reason that coaches and teams put up with their nonsense is because they can help a team win. The millisecond after they can’t do this, their inner circle of people trying to help them will shrink. Doors will close on them so fast that it will make their heads shrink. Why do you think that NBA players that have burned bridges with organizations,coaches,and management find themselves out of the league before the age of 35? Do you think it’s a coincidence for those players that are easy to coach and get along with continue to get contracts up until the ages of 39-40 even though they really can’t help teams physically? It’s easy to figure out that teams want players with winning attitudes to play and coach for them and they have no use for players with bad attitudes.They have no use for them unless they can help them win which still baffles my mind , but I understand it.
It’s really a shame that the young men in today’s fight probably won’t understand the way they are going is the wrong way until it is too late. Today’s incident is only the start of it. So many incidents from St. Johns, Florida, Arizona, UCLA, and other places involving suspensions due to team violations. There is a trend in today’s game that is scary. A whole generation of players think that they are above being taught or held accountable and it’s sad. We need to put a stop to it because not only is it ruining our sport, but it is effecting lives. Todays incident effected so many different people and set college asked all back as a whole.
Coaches, parents, administrators, and mentors need to take a stand against young people with these issues as early as possible. Stop recruiting bad kids and continue to suspend players that show disrespect. For some reason coaches think that these players are irreplaceable. Also Coaches continue to put their careers in the hands of some players that can care less about them. You know as well as I do is that none of them are irreplaceable and that finding the next player will be just as easy as finding the one before them. Players need to be held accountable off of the court. On the court no question you should give the more talented players more slack when it comes to some things, but of the court and behavioral no one is above the law. There is a line drawn in the sand that coaches need to enforce strictly. Once players know their boundaries and understand the punishment that goes with extending outside of these boundaries your job will get easier. Once you let players break rules and you look the other way that’s when you lose your team.
I understand that jobs are at stake with the high level teams, but sometimes integrity and doing whats right outweighs wins. I’m not a coach at the college level where winning effects my family, but I do know this I hold integrity much higher than financial gain and publicity. Hopefully there are others out there that share the same sentiment.
POST ARLTICLE THOUGHTS
The biggest worry that I have isn’t really for the NBA player or the kid that goes overseas and plays for 8 years and makes a couple of million dollars. At least they will have the chance to be around better people that try to help them a little bit. They will at least get the opportunity to get a second chance and mature into adults that can function in society. No the ones that I worry about are the ones that aren’t good enough to play professionally that have to go into the real world at the age of 23 and have that attitude.
I worry about the student athlete that has that gross disrespect for employers and fellow workers in the real world. Where the only way they know is disrespect and expressing themselves with abrasive behavior. I cringe at the thoughts of domestic abuse of their spouses and children because they lack the ability to communicate in any mature way. Some of these kids will ruin their lives before they even start because of this. They won’t receive the four or five chances that superior players will get to act foolish.For some they will mature too late in a life that is stacked against them. Understanding too late that the people that let them go through the system without installing values and accountability weren’t helping them but setting them up to fail in life.
Hopefully at some point we can turn this around, because for some it’s already too late and what these young people don’t understand is they are already replaced by the next generation of screw ups.