Listen now (61 mins) | PODCAST: David's tales from working out players in Los Angeles
I love David and I don't think he's that sort of person but something he said in this podcast really bothered me - "I'm sorry but Giannis is African" when they were talking about the best Europeans ever. I'm sorry, what? Because his parents are from Nigeria? By that token Jeremy Lin isn't American either but just Asian, and Bam Adebayo is only half American? Or is it only Americans that are also allowed to have additional ethnicities?
I have no issue with saying Giannis is African, but to say he's not European is simply offensive. He was born in Athens, grew up in Greece and speaks fluent Greek. What else does he have to do to qualify as Greek? Exactly this kind of mindset is what right wing politicians in his country and elsewhere in Europe weaponize to stoke anti-immigration and anti-refugee sentiment and deny people like him visas, citizenship and basic human rights and it's *really* surprising to hear from someone as open minded and anti-racist as David. I really hope you can issue a correction on that.
Regarding David's comments about wishing he had watched more women's basketball: Thanks for acknowledging this.
I was a bit of a fan of women's hoops in the beginning and played with some college women so I knew they could hoop, but never truly understood how amazing the pros were until I was asked to fill in for a friend on the practice squad for the Seattle Storm one day. This was when Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson were in their prime.
The physicality, professionalism, decisionmaking, and competitiveness were clear from the moment they walked in the gym.
First, I noticed their strength. Every one of these athletes had been training for years and it showed. You don't really see their superior fitness level on TV.
On my first post up, I got a forearm in my upper back that pushed me out of balance so far I had to pass it back out. That forearm was there every time and always affected my balance, even when I knew it was coming.
Then, we were asked to run a 2-3 zone that they just shredded. I was a wing and had to decide whether to cover the corner or not when the ball was swung. They never chose wrong based on which way I leaned, and they made every open shot.
Finally, I got to defend Jackson in the post. She was as big (6' 5") and strong as I was (I was a personal trainer at the time and in very good shape), but her motor was incredible. Every moment of every play was maximum effort for her.
I have played a lot of basketball in my life, much of it with college level men. But this was by far my best basketball experience. To play with pros for an hour and a half was amazing.
I have always thought since then, if the women's game was covered in a way to capture the physicality, intensity, and incredible skill being displayed more accurately, it would be more popular. Using the same camera angles from up high that is used for men's hoops doesn't do them justice, and only diminishes the perception of the game because they don't play above the rim in the same way as the most elite men. But I am convinced they are every bit as good as professional male basketball players (I played with Martell Webster once which is my only experience with an NBA player, so I may be biased).
Not a mention of the 21 year old who nearly hit 25-5-5 and was 3rd in steals. Smdh