The Pro- Basketball Theory: A Story of 3 Worlds

Jeremy KaufmanSenior Analyst IApril 8, 2008

            One of the most unique characteristics of the game of basketball is the varying styles by which the game can be played. In the game today, one can see players with drastically different on- court temperaments, ranging from the street- ball style of a Stephon Marbury to the fundamentalism of a Manu Ginobli. With this in mind, I will now explain my cultural basketball theory.


1)     The Street Ballers

The first group of professional basketball players, many of whom are the most publicized in the NBA today, are the street- ball style players. These players typically hail from urban cities and have grown up playing basketball in the streets all of their lives. The positives for such players are their superior athletic ability and on- court toughness. However, these players also tend to have a selfish style of play, which could be detrimental to the team if they are not utilized properly. (Examples: Stephon Marbury, Rafer Alston, Sebastian Telfair)

2)     The Collegiate Style

For some players, even after their degrees are already hanging on their walls, the college style of play is the only way to play. These players tend to exude the greatest on court effort and also tend to be the most effective team players. While some of these players may not have the same athleticism as the players from the Street- Baller category, their winning attitudes and unselfish play tend to make up for any physical lacking. (Examples: David Lee, Joakim Noah, Chris Paul)

3)     International

Many fans of the gain would argue that the international style of play is completely different from that of the U.S. Overseas, basketball tends to put much less emphasis on athleticism and stardom and much more on teamwork, fundamentals, and efficiency. There is no doubt that the style is effective in the NBA, as teams that tend to utilize the style the most heavily, such as the San Antonio Spurs, have had great success in recent years. (Examples: Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, AndersonVarejao)


            So these are my 3 theories of basketball. I believe that every single player in the NBA can be placed into AT LEAST one of these categories. In fact, I believe that most of the game’s brightest stars belong to at least 2 categories. Overall, I believe that today’s NBA is essentially an eclectic conglomeration of these 3 entities.