Have ball hogs killed the game?
I have played with a lot of ball hogs in my time but something has happened to the youth of today which is hugely detrimental to the game of basketball. I have for the most part chalked it up to being apart of the game, but in a recent church ball run I was finally frustrated enough to write this article. A new breed of ball hog has emerged that I have titled the “super hog” which threatens one of the beautiful parts of the game, that is ball rotation.
What happened to tip me over the edge?
I was unfortunate enough to be placed in a team with a couple of players that possibly need to be educated about the fundamentals basketball.
First instance was due to a big guy (not that big when compared to proper basketball standard ) trying to dribble the ball up the court when the other team was pressing. I was wide open. I called for the ball and he decided to dribble the ball up the court anyway, and surprise surprise, he turned it over. Result, other team scores. Maybe it could be down to poor judgement, but this happens a hell of a lot.
All big guys should get the ball to the point guard on the open court and take his/ her place in the offence. Giving the ball up to the player who sets the offence is the easiest way of getting a GOOD shot within an offence. I understand church ball doesn’t have offences, but a big guy relocating to a position to score is far better than him putting the ball on the floor and turning it over. Just pass the ball!!!!
The next instance is a point guard hogging the ball and not passing to the open man. In more than one instance this particular point guard looked at me when I was wide open and still decided to force a bad layup. You are a guard! Hit the open player! It is better to rotate the ball or penetrate and pass the ball to an open player than randomly driving and throwing shit up. It may work sometimes, but its still a bad shot even if it goes in!
POINT GUARDS SHOULD NOT HOG THE BALL! A point guards role is to create for the team. Maybe it’s the current state of the NBA that is causing this problem but this is not the way this position should be played. Good example of point guards: John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Chris Paul. They look for their team mates first before looking to score.
All players, especially point guards should rotate the ball to the open player to get a good shot. Team before ego, wins before personal stats.
Example of good ball rotation
The talent at the church ball isn’t all that great and added to the fact that it’s meant for a social run I shouldn’t be that critical right? Wrong! Basketball is a team game and a lot of people have forgotten that. Good example of a team with excellent ball rotation is the San Antonio Spurs. The ball touches multiple times before a shot is put up.
What does passing and good ball rotation mean when I’m trying out for a team?
During tryouts everyone is out to impress. Unfortunately these days in tryouts players think they need to be the one scoring all the time to get a looking into. Not true. Good coaching staff will notice players doing the little things.
Take for example Dellavedova during last seasons preseason scrimmage with the Cleveland. He was always on the winning team. The coaching staff noticed this and decided to check the recording of the training session. Mind you Dellavedova wasn’t tearing it up by scoring all the time. What the tape showed is that he made the right decision all the time. He passed when he needed to, rebounded, screened and most importantly took the right shot. The good open shot!
The Cleveland coaching staff were so impressed with what they saw on tape. Good coaches will always notice solid players. I have time and time again said this in my articles. Good coaches will ALWAYS notice the little things.
If you are trying out for a team don’t be a selfish player. Don’t go to training sessions thinking you are going to put up all the shots. More often than not you will be faced with a whole heap of super hogs having that same mentality. Want to stand out? Do it differently, hustle and create for your team mates, but if you are left open by all means shoot that ball.
Basketball is a beautiful game if played correctly. Passing is a lost art; if the beauty of the game is to continue, ball rotation has to be as important to players as scoring is. Something has been lost with the youth basketball players of today, don’t be the one that drags this game down. Pass the freakin ball!