For every basketball fan this comparison is something that happens almost on an annual base. Speaking from a personal perspective I’ve always wondered why the same sport is so much different in Europe and USA. Just to make it clear, watching both of these leagues gives you the sense of a different version of basketball.
So here are some interesting questions for this first article.
Why Europeans dominate NBA these years? For example you can see San Antonio Spurs, which are actually one of the most European teams of the league. Their mastermind, Gregg Popovich has one of the best floor generals on the court, Tony Parker has outplayed almost every point guard on last season’s playoffs.
A second example of this could be Dirk Nowitzki (2011 Finals MVP) of Dallas Mavericks (2011 Nba Champions). Nowitzki faced the big 3 of Miami Heat (James, Wade and Bosh) and won the NBA Championship along with the Finals MVP Award.
So we must wonder what is common between a floor general (Parker) and an all around power forward (Nowitzki)?
I think the answer is quite simple. Europeans begin from an early age to learn the fundamentals of basketball while Americans are focusing on the physical aspect of the game, which is important but not of as such level as the fundamentals are.
If you don’t believe me I can quote Kobe Bryant who admitted for Europeans the following:
“They are just taught the game the right way at an early age. … They’re more skillful. It’s something we really have to fix. We really have to address that. We have to teach our kids to play the right way.“