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View Full Version : Let's talk Euro's for a min.



Peck
02-01-2004, 03:52 AM
Ok, were about 4 years into the invasion by the Euro players to the N.B.A.

Obviously there are some high impact players such as Gasol, Peja & a few others.

I gues I have a few questions for everybody.

1. Are the Euro's here to stay? In other words will they keep coming over from overseas?

2. Was the whole Euro invasion overhyped? In other words, while there are some players making impacts there are several others that are occupying the 11th, 12th or I.R.L. spots in the league. Do you think that the whole idea of Europeans taking over the game was overstated?

3. Will they make a bigger impact in the future? Those guys occupying the 11th, 12th & I.R.L. spots are learning the craft, in 2-4 years will they be more dominate than most U.S. players?

4. Will U.S. players start becoming more fundamentally sound in the future & if so will they then force out the Euro's due to athleticism?

5. Will Euro's become physically bigger & thus negate any gains the U.S. players might make?

6. Here is the sticky one. Are the Euro's really that much better now fundamentally or is this an easy way for NBA management to pay lower wages & have players that they can control better at the end of the bench?

Bball
02-01-2004, 04:32 AM
Damon Bailey made a comment in his last book that I happened to see. I believe I can summarize the relevant points and it might tie in with your thread. I think he was talking about the region BUT I think the thought is probably applicable nationally (and maybe he meant nationally).

He said that in past years there were more schools before consolidation. More schools meant more basketball teams. More teams meant more coaches. That is the key right there. You had players playing in a team concept with real coaches (not just wranglers). Kids grew up with parents (or uncles or cousins or brothers) that had played structured ball in school when they were younger.

Nowadays we've reached a point due to consolidation where there are fewer schools and therefore fewer coaches. And thus fewer kids playing structured ball. And it's been that way for a while. So kids these day are less likely to have family members who have any real background in organized and structured basketball. Their parents may still try and help them (or even push them) with their games BUT that parent may be basing his teaching more on Sportscenter and/or the flash of the game and not the substance since he/she never played for a real coach (maybe playground ball or maybe just watched ESPN).


IOW, fundamentals just aren't getting taught at home to a wider base of potential future players.

I dunno... it makes as much sense as anything else I've heard on why American's are losing ground to the Euro's.

I think the 'invasion' was a bit overhyped altho that may not be intentional. I think NBA coaches would like to have players well-drilled in fundamentals. OTOH, they also need to be prepared for the speed of the game and the physical nature. So it ends up being 6 one way... a half-dozen the other. A wash.....

That said... a signal has been sent. Perhaps some will take heed.

It is also possible that when some of the fundamentally sound Euros get used to the speed and physicality of the NBA game they might progress quicker from the end of the bench than someone like ummmmmm ohhhhh say....uhhhhhhh Bender.

-Bball

dipperdunk
02-01-2004, 06:26 AM
1. Are the Euro's here to stay? In other words will they keep coming over from overseas?


Yes. But I think your going to start to see him hesitation from GM's before gambling on Euro's in the future. I think Milicic will be a key factor; if he turns into a star then the Euro trend will continue strong but if hes mediocre or a bust then you'll see less GM's willing to gamble on Euros especially with high picks. But there will still be some Euro stars that make the NBA.



2. Was the whole Euro invasion overhyped? In other words, while there are some players making impacts there are several others that are occupying the 11th, 12th or I.R.L. spots in the league. Do you think that the whole idea of Europeans taking over the game was overstated?

Yes I believe it was way overhyped. Below is the last 6 years of 1st round NBA drafts and the Euros selected in those drafts. In those 6 years of 1st round picks there is only one player whos been an allstar and thats Nowitzki. Only 1 allstar in the last 6 1st round NBA drafts. In 1998 Nesterovic and Turkcan were drafted ahead of Al Harrington. Last year in the lottery Tskitishvili was taken ahead of Caron Butler and Amare Stoudemire. I bet Denver wishes they would have drafted Stoudemire. :o

1998
-----
Nowitzki
Nesterovic
Turkcan
Stepania

1999
-----
Radojevic
Weis

2000
------
Turkoglu
Bagaric
Brezec

2001
-----
Gasol
Parker
Radmanovic

2002
------
Tskitishvili
Nachbar
Welsh
Krstic

2003
-----
Darko
Pietrus
Carbarkapa
Pavlocic
Diaw


3. Will they make a bigger impact in the future? Those guys occupying the 11th, 12th & I.R.L. spots are learning the craft, in 2-4 years will they be more dominate than most U.S. players?


No I don't think so, I believe when your a great player even if you aren't getting big minutes you still show flashes of greatness. The only Euro that would fit this category would be Darko he could become great but the rest of the Euros in the NBA holding 11th or 12th roster spots I don't see any of them dominating U.S. players in 2-4 years. I haven't seen enough of Pietrus maybe Kerosene can tell us what he thinks of Pietrus has he shown anything that would lead you to believe he can be a great player?



4. Will U.S. players start becoming more fundamentally sound in the future & if so will they then force out the Euro's due to athleticism?

No I don't think so, I think the young U.S. players fundamentally won't improve and I think the young Euros will become more athletic with dunking etc.,, and they will become fundamentally weaker as the same trend that hit young U.S. players will hit the young Euros as our basketball cultures become mixed together.


5. Will Euro's become physically bigger & thus negate any gains the U.S. players might make?


No I don't think so if your a talented player you can negate size; Iverson and Barkley being great examples.


6. Here is the sticky one. Are the Euro's really that much better now fundamentally or is this an easy way for NBA management to pay lower wages & have players that they can control better at the end of the bench?

Some of the Euros are better fundamentally offensively especially in terms of shooting but most Euros when they come into the league are poor fundamentally on defense although there are exceptions to this and I hate grouping people together with generalizations as most players are different individually just like some U.S. players have weak fundamentals and some have terrific fundamentals etc.,, . Also I think there are plenty of American kids who are easy to control sitting at the end of the bench and are willing to learn. You guys have 2 in Indy with Brewer and Jones although Jones isn't at the end of the bench anymore; we have 2 kids in Philly in Korver and Green who just work hard in practice and are willing to learn and listen to the coach and their not making much money.

Also I just want to mention that even though my post may have sounded negative I think international players have been good for the NBA. I enjoy watching Yao, Dirk, Peja, Nene, Ginobili, Gasol etc.,, so its a positive for the league and for fans.

DisplacedKnick
02-01-2004, 09:11 AM
I've got one for you - and I think it'll happen within ten years.

American families start sending their highly talented kids over to Europe at age 15-16 to play pro ball (they can get tutors for school) so they can be ready to play pro ball here by the time they're 18-20.

I don't know for sure that'll happen but right now the AAU system is broke. There is SO much pressure on teams to qualify for the summer tournaments (incidentally because that's where the scouts will be for college teams) that they concentrate on winning instead of fundamentals.

I can just see it though - parents haven't been shy the past 15 years about transferring kids to different HS programs so they can play for a "basketball power." With all the scouts going overseas plus the opportunity to learn basketball the "right way" I can see this being the next trend.

I can also see it as a way of getting around prop 48.

edit: I should add that I see agents as being the driving force behind this. They can send a kid to Europe, get a small commission (it'll be peanuts really because the European teams won't throw money at them right away) but they'll also get the kids hooked with them for when they do come over here for the pros.

Peck
02-01-2004, 09:31 AM
I've got one for you - and I think it'll happen within ten years.

American families start sending their highly talented kids over to Europe at age 15-16 to play pro ball (they can get tutors for school) so they can be ready to play pro ball here by the time they're 18-20.

I don't know for sure that'll happen but right now the AAU system is broke. There is SO much pressure on teams to qualify for the summer tournaments (incidentally because that's where the scouts will be for college teams) that they concentrate on winning instead of fundamentals.

I can just see it though - parents haven't been shy the past 15 years about transferring kids to different HS programs so they can play for a "basketball power." With all the scouts going overseas plus the opportunity to learn basketball the "right way" I can see this being the next trend.

I can also see it as a way of getting around prop 48.

edit: I should add that I see agents as being the driving force behind this. They can send a kid to Europe, get a small commission (it'll be peanuts really because the European teams won't throw money at them right away) but they'll also get the kids hooked with them for when they do come over here for the pros.

Actually this has already happened to an extent, although not that young. A kid 6'11" tall (I don't remember his name) left high school & went to one of those club/team systems in Europe to learn to play the right way. He would be a freshmen in college now if he were here.

I saw this on realsports with Bryant Gumbel

Anthem
02-02-2004, 12:15 AM
I think the "Euro Invasion" had less to do with the total amount of "old worlders" in the league and more about the fact that the number increased dramatically.

From two to 8? That's a 400% increase!

Also, I think the need for newspaper articles (more electronic than print) plays heavily into this.

kerosene
02-02-2004, 01:08 AM
1. Are the Euro's here to stay? In other words will they keep coming over from overseas?

Yes

2. Was the whole Euro invasion overhyped? In other words, while there are some players making impacts there are several others that are occupying the 11th, 12th or I.R.L. spots in the league. Do you think that the whole idea of Europeans taking over the game was overstated?

Yes, for now. If Basketball is indeed becoming the world's second largest sport then you figure a lot of kids will be playing, and quite a few will be pretty good. Not every Euro pick will be a home run, but we'll see how some of these guys (Darko, Welsch, Lampe, Tskitishvili, Pietrus, Chupacabra) pan out. The more that turn out to be servicable/good/really good players, the more we'll see drafted. Also, it's not just a Euro thing, it's an international wave. South America, Asia, and Africa will be sending more players in the future too. We might as well lump those guys in too.

3. Will they make a bigger impact in the future? Those guys occupying the 11th, 12th & I.R.L. spots are learning the craft, in 2-4 years will they be more dominate than most U.S. players?

They'll make a bigger impact in the future yeah. I don't know about dominating because there's so few NBA players that actually dominate. Take someone like Diaw. If he continues to work on his game he could be a decent player, never an All-Star, probably not his teams best player, but a good 4th guy or possibly 3rd guy.

4. Will U.S. players start becoming more fundamentally sound in the future & if so will they then force out the Euro's due to athleticism?

I doubt it. What Knick said is pretty right on. The system here doesn't encourage fundamentals and talented kids generally get by on talent and athleticism alone at lower levels. You have colleges teaching fundamentals to these kids if they actually go. I don't see the Euros being forced out either. Teams are going to draft players they think will be good players (even if it takes a few years); some of these players are going to be Euros (or from other places). The genie is out of the bottle so to speak and ain't going back in.

5. Will Euro's become physically bigger & thus negate any gains the U.S. players might make?

Maybe. The style they play over there doesn't really encourage that so I guess that depends on how they're playing over there.

6. Here is the sticky one. Are the Euro's really that much better now fundamentally or is this an easy way for NBA management to pay lower wages & have players that they can control better at the end of the bench?

Some of them are. I don't think there's a leaguewide conspiracy anything. I would say that Euros have a reputation for being more coachable and a lot of that probably comes from kids here having their hangers-on and AAU coaches telling them "You're the man", "You're unstoppable", etc. Then they get to college or the pros and someone says "You know what? You need to work on some things." Some people don't like to hear something different like that. The Euro kids don't have that sort of environment at present and many of these kids don't play a bunch on their Euro league teams (they're not "the man" and know they need to work). As far as controlling cheap players at the end of the bench, you can always waive them and let them enjoy the bus rides in the NBDL or CBA.

Hard to talk about the whole Euro subject with generalizing a bunch. I dunno, I think it was overhyped but the phenomenon is here to stay.

I haven't seen enough of Pietrus maybe Kerosene can tell us what he thinks of Pietrus has he shown anything that would lead you to believe he can be a great player?

Hard to say, he doesn't get to play much. He has the tools to be a really good player, I don't know about great.

When he has played he's shown some flashes. He's very athletic, long, lanky. Can put it on the floor, can go left to the basket. Shooting needs some work. Already a better defender than some guys the Warriors have who've been playing two or three years (this means you Jason Richardson and Mike Dunleavy). Sometimes he's out of position on the floor but doesn't really look lost (like he doesn't know what's going on). Probably more a result of not getting enough minutes to be comfortable with everything and still not used to the speed of the game. Jump shot definitely needs work though, esp. the midrange (he's alright at shooting 3s already; I don't flinch when I see him taking one anyway).

Great? Dunno, he has the physical tools but how many players actually become "great"? He could be a really good player given a few years and some hard work. I would've thought that given his defensive skills he would've played more this year but he hasn't (then again, the W's defense has not been as bad as it was the past few seasons). I would like to see him in the regular rotation next year (or this year once the possibility of an 8th seed dies).

Jose Slaughter
02-02-2004, 02:05 AM
1. Are the Euro's here to stay? In other words will they keep coming over from overseas?

Yes, without a doubt. If you keep an eye on any of the mock draft baords (http://www.nbadraft.net/index.asp) or ESPN Insider you will see that the European invasion is far from over.

2. Was the whole Euro invasion overhyped? In other words, while there are some players making impacts there are several others that are occupying the 11th, 12th or I.R.L. spots in the league. Do you think that the whole idea of Europeans taking over the game was overstated?

It was just different, that's why the press ran with it so hard. The same thing could be said about those making the jump from HS or after one good season of college. But that story was getting old so they needed something fresh.

3. Will they make a bigger impact in the future? Those guys occupying the 11th, 12th & I.R.L. spots are learning the craft, in 2-4 years will they be more dominate than most U.S. players?

I would lean toward yes, but only slightly. I hate do generalize, but as a group, Euro's are viewed as having a better handle on the fundementals of the game. Most have more of a "team first" approach. Add that to the fact that many are outstanding shooters & I think once they learn the American game, many will excel.

4. Will U.S. players start becoming more fundamentally sound in the future & if so will they then force out the Euro's due to athleticism?

Doubtful, there would have to such a large influx of Euro's into the game to tip the scales to where the whole way of teaching the game changes.

5. Will Euro's become physically bigger & thus negate any gains the U.S. players might make?

Again, doubtful. If you are talking Euro-Shaq, it aint gonna happen. The game is getting away from the dominate big man anyway. There will always be one or two guys like that in the league but mostly you will see more Jermaine O'Neals instead of Shaquille O'Neals

6. Here is the sticky one. Are the Euro's really that much better now fundamentally or is this an easy way for NBA management to pay lower wages & have players that they can control better at the end of the bench?

I would say yes the Euro's are that much better fundamentally. You could always get 2 or 3 guys playing in the CBA, NBADL or ABA to come in & set at the end of your bench. Money is not an issue here.

A side note to what Displaced Knick refered to.

Unless the NBA developes a minor league feeder system like MLB has I think you will see more clubs drafting players to either leave overseas or send them over there to play for several years.

Much like what the Pacers did with Antonio Davis.

I'm not saying that sending 15 year olds to Europe isn't going to happen, but I don't see it being an option for a vast majority.