For a while now, I’ve been seeing NBA players come out and criticize AAU and complain about how terrible it is for basketball. I never really thought much of it because AAU basketball gave me hours of entertainment during class in high school in the form of HoopMixtapes. After watching a game in it’s entirety (only the 1st half), I could not agree more with what these guys are saying.
First of all, the sheer number of people that were so interested to the point they wanted to go to this game, was insane.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) July 27, 2017
I could be wrong, but I feel like the average Drew League game doesn’t even bring out this many people. And it’s very reasonable to say you could expect more entertainment in a Drew League game. All these damn millenials just want to get a snap story of Zion Williamson doing a tomahawk dunk for the millionth time.
Anyways, before this game, I was under the assumption that Lamelo Ball only shoots threes from half court and Zion Williamson only dunks and plays defense every once in a while for the recruiting tape. I was pretty much spot on. I don’t get how any of the kids on the Big Baller team can keep playing with Lamelo. Lamelo plays like your average 2K MyPlayer. Right off the bat he just chucks up threes from a mile away and then once the teammate grade gets down to a D-, he starts passing a little but just so he can have an excuse to start chucking up more threes. He honestly might take 40 shots a game and the rest of the team probably averages like 3 shots per guy. The fact that this kid is going to play at UCLA is incredible.
Zion, on the other hand, is a little different. When the first videos of Zion Williamson throwing down came out, I was genuinely shocked. There’s no way a 16 year old should be able to do this stuff. The more videos that came out, the more I realized that he can pretty much only dunk and block shots. Like I said, they were pretty incredible initially, but he does the same thing every single game and it gets old. If you ask me, I think he is going to end up being the most overhyped player ever. Yeah he’s athletic, but 90% of the kids he plays are 5-10, 120 lb white kids. It’s like the basketball version of Danny Almonte, like yeah you’re gonna strike everyone out when you’re throwing 20 mph faster than them. I can’t help but feel that in college he’s gonna get eaten alive, especially because he’ll have a huge target on his back. He’s also like a 30% shooter when he isn’t in the paint. I will say on the off chance that he comes to play for the Illini, he’ll more than likely be the next Michael Jordan.
As for the actual game, Zion didn’t get a touch for about the first 5 minutes. I was starting to get tired of Lamelo shooting 40-footers without seeing anything from Zion on the other end. The game revolved around these two in the sense that they would try to do something spectacular and once they inevitably failed, a teammate would be there to clean up the garbage. Like I mentioned earlier, Zion spent the entire game just trying to swat the shit out of kids in the paint or jump the passing lane and get breakaway dunks on the other end. For the sake of journalism I tried to watch the entire game, but it was impossible. It went pretty much exactly how you expected and ended up being a 104-92 game. Keep in mind, this was played with 20 minute halves, the same as college. A high scoring game for a team in college is about 80 points, most games sit in the 60’s and low 70’s. This game totaled just under 200 points. Even in a defense-optional league like AAU, that seems like a ton.
So yeah, the AAU is probably ruining basketball.