The Perfect Tech Experience


Ever hear, “He sucks!”

Have you ever heard that an NBA player “sucks” on someone he knows, maybe at a sports bar while watching the game? Either way, someone somewhere has said or heard it before, I know I’m guilty. So here’s the deal; he usually talks about frustration, but some people think these professionals suck. I’ve personally heard many players claim that they could “cook” an NBA player if given the chance, while it’s bold, it’s also unlikely. Do you know how many people play basketball in the United States? Do you know how many men are playing Division 1 basketball? Do you know how many men are playing in the streets of America? So again, unlikely.

Basketball is the third most played sport in the United States behind baseball and soccer; it is the most casually played sport in the United States. There are a considerable number of basketball courts in almost every major city; you’ll find parks with basketball courts in small towns, and in the south, you’ll seem to find courts at church. Impromptu basketball is a beautiful thing for an inner city kid, or you know, someone from Hoosier land. Pickup is when a group of men/women get together at the local courthouse or park and have a fight. Games can range from 2 to 2 to 5 to 5, and play anywhere from 7 to 21 points. Aside from soccer, no other sport compares to the informal games of basketball in the United States. Soccer is the second most popular sport in the United States; approximately 1,085,272 students played soccer in the US during 2015-16, only 414,048 played football during those years.

Turning now to basketball, during 2015-16 approximately 26 million people in the US played basketball, of those 26 million, 4.1 million played organized basketball or men’s leagues, 5.8 million played for their school and college , and for the end; 15.5 million people played basketball in the United States. That seems to be a bit higher than football.

The NBA has the best players in the world, not in the country, but in the world. I’m sure some of the people you might be playing with at the local rec centers might even be great, but let’s face it, they’re no good in the NBA. The NBA currently has limited employment with only 450 spots, of those 450 spots only 390 players are active, what do I mean active? Active players are players who play in the game. When a player doesn’t have a good game or a good season, it’s natural to say that player isn’t good, so let’s put this in perspective. I told you 26 million Americans play basketball, 15.5 on the phone, so that guy who walks past people and takes the occasional dunk in the park might not be good enough to play with all 5 .8 million students who play college basketball. In that regards, the average basketball player has a 5 in 400,000 chance of playing D1, and a 3 in 10,000 chance of being drafted in the NBA, that’s the equivalent of getting a four of a kind in poker, in which is a 0.03% luck. I’m not saying you can never make it to the NBA, but the odds are stacked against the average player, and that’s why the NBA is the NBA.

If you still have doubts, or you are one of those people who hate numbers, let me explain it another way. Rafer Alston, aka Skip 2 My Lou, was a fantastic basketball player, almost godlike with his unnatural ball-handling skills and arrogant demeanor of his. Skip was a living legend of streetball during high school and to this day his name still reigns around the world as one of the greatest streetball players. However, when he entered the NBA, he was just old Rafer Alston from Queens. Like I said before, doing the NBA is hard, but it’s also hard to play Division 1 basketball, even for some people who are great. Skip was a star at Cardoza High School in Queens, and during his time there in the early ’90s, he was ranked as one of the best point guards in New York City along with Stephon Marbury. People in all the new Skip districts, from Rucker Park to Jersey City parks. Skip dazzled and hurt contenders as he bounded down the court before embarrassing you in front of the crowd, and with all of this, no scholarship was awarded for the AND 1 legend. Rafer attended two community colleges before getting the chance to play in Fresno State. During his community college days, he struggled to adjust from street play to organized play, but overall, he made sure there was an impression that would catch someone’s eye, and it did. After playing at Fresno State his senior year, he chose to enter the NBA Draft. With all of his success, with all of his hard work and fame across the country, Alston was still drafted in the second round, 39th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. He didn’t end there for Skip 2 My Lou. Skip found himself benched as the 12th man on the list, and he stayed that way beyond his rookie season. During his second season in the NBA, he only played 37 games out of 82 and averaged just 7.2 minutes. Rafer would continue to struggle to adapt from the street game to the pro game, and even with all of his skill and ingenuity, he found himself losing the ball. It wasn’t until he was traded to the Toronto Raptors that he got time on the floor, and later he found himself a starter for the watered-down Miami Heat. My point is that Rafer Alston was a household name, he was one of the top talents in one of the biggest basketball cities in the world and he struggled to get to the D1 level.

There’s a reason NBA players are NBA players, and there’s a reason D1 players play D1. These players are great! If you’re in the NBA, whether you’re the last man on the bench or not, chances are you were the best player in town, or maybe in the state, during high school or college. I think the casual basketball player needs to understand that no NBA player “sucks,” and that’s because they’re in the NBA. You should think of it like this, maybe the player you’re calling sucky isn’t lacking in talent, maybe the player you’re comparing him to is on another level.


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