Levis In The Green Room
Former Kentucky QB, Will Levis, sat in the green room last night and never heard his name called. For all the people calling this "embarrassing," stop for a second. This kid is going to be an NFL football player next year. Once training camp starts, you think they divvy up the jerseys based on draft round?
Sure, I'm sure it stings a bit to sit there as name after name was called. We all have an ego. But, if you're going to command a fourth quarter two-minute-drill comeback in the league, you're going to have to learn to roll with the punches. Life isn't fair. He should still celebrate tonight the same way as he was planning to last night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo's response to a reporter's question about whether he considered this past season a failure went viral. If you haven't seen this video, you can watch it below.
My take: Losing in the first round of the NBA Playoffs as a #1 seed is an objective failure. Being blunt: you were a better team all season, played an opponent that was supposed to be worse than you, and you lost. But, upsets happen all the time.
I actually really liked Giannis's response. Here's why: playing professional basketball is a grind. The season is so long that games blend together. NBA stars get hot, and games can turn like that. Take a look at the past 4 NBA champions. Curry, Giannis, LeBron, and Kawhi. After each championship, what did the media say: the guy that won it all is the best player in the world.
We all live for the moment, and when the moment isn't ours, we lose our minds.
Milwaukee Bucks fans should appreciate who Giannis is, his thoughtful answers, and his wisdom. You don't hear guys from the US that grew up being told they were God's gift on the AAU circuit talking like this.
I've found a lot of value in Chip Clark's commentary on NBA officiating during the NBA Playoffs. One thing I would love to see the NBA change is its traveling rule. If you watch the move above, you'll see two things:
1. A legal move per NBA rules
2. A travel per NCAA and high school rules
The NBA's rule is advantageous to the offensive player. This allows for more creativity, and ultimately, more scoring.
The issue I have with this is that kids around the world saw this move and thought, "I want to be able to do that." They then go and practice it. The problem, though, is that they'll never be able to execute it in a game. In fact, if they execute it too much, they probably won't be playing anymore in their youth game.
Coaches from grade school through college show NBA clips to players (and for good reason). There are so many good things to be taken from how the best players in the world compete.
However, the rules should be the same at all levels. Should the NBA adjust down or should the other levels adjust up? Frankly, it doesn't matter to me.
Some would argue that the NBA is an entertainment business, with the key word being business. Again, no arguments there. But, the very core of your product is the game itself, and when 99.9% of your fan base has never played in the NBA, it's no surprise when most fans yell "travel!"
Let's play the same game globally, where young and old alike know and understand the rules. I think this would lead to better coaching, better players, and frankly, better fans. It would lead to better basketball.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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