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Pop: Foreign players fundamentally harder workers

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07:04 AM ET 06.12 | As far back as the 1970s, Gregg Popovich, who played overseas while in the armed forces, saw Europe as an untapped resource, which helps explain why nine of the Spurs' 15 players this year were raised and trained outside of the United States. Consider Pop's brutal assessment that foreign players are "fundamentally harder working than most American kids," and it's no wonder the Spurs want to avoid the fate of so many NBA teams, which are, as [R.C. Buford] says, "the end of the road for the developmental habits that are built in the less-structured environment in the U.S." ... [When Popovich] looks at American talent he sees many players who "have been coddled since eighth, ninth, 10th grade by various factions or groups of people."

ESPN.com

Gregg Popovich, Getty Images Gregg Popovich, Getty Images
June 12, 2013  08:05 AM ET

Pop's right.

June 12, 2013  08:24 AM ET

If only the foreign players could put on more mass and have a little more speed, they would be flat out better than us over here. Those guys are mainly tall finesse players but can shoot the lights out the gym. Guys over here only want to be in the next SportsCenter highlight reel for a crossover dribble or dunk.

June 12, 2013  08:25 AM ET

Pop may have opened a can of worms that our society has to tackle. It's not limited to basketball... it plays out in other sectors of the economy as well - just teach a college or high school class. No wonder our corporations are quick to outsource anything that can be done outside.

I wish there's a solution...

June 12, 2013  08:53 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Pop may have opened a can of worms that our society has to tackle. It's not limited to basketball... it plays out in other sectors of the economy as well - just teach a college or high school class. No wonder our corporations are quick to outsource anything that can be done outside. I wish there's a solution...

While you have a point to a point, the main reason corporations outsource is because others are willing work for pennies on the dollar. Its all about maximizing profit, while reducing overhead. Add to that the difference in labor laws, lack of expectation or necessity for medical benefits, no disabilities legislation, unemployment insurance, Family Medical Leave Act of 1990, absence of unions and therefore reduced or eliminated threat of strike etc.

Yes. Some of the American work force can be lazy, but that's just a small part of a much larger picture.

June 12, 2013  10:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

If only the foreign players could put on more mass and have a little more speed, they would be flat out better than us over here. Those guys are mainly tall finesse players but can shoot the lights out the gym. Guys over here only want to be in the next SportsCenter highlight reel for a crossover dribble or dunk.

Are you talking about Bosh???? Oh, I forgot he is not a foreign player!!!!!! LOL.

June 12, 2013  12:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

While you have a point to a point, the main reason corporations outsource is because others are willing work for pennies on the dollar. Its all about maximizing profit, while reducing overhead. Add to that the difference in labor laws, lack of expectation or necessity for medical benefits, no disabilities legislation, unemployment insurance, Family Medical Leave Act of 1990, absence of unions and therefore reduced or eliminated threat of strike etc. Yes. Some of the American work force can be lazy, but that's just a small part of a much larger picture.

Thing is, you don't really hear about jobs being outsourced to European countries. Pop is talking about Europe here.

June 12, 2013  12:31 PM ET

Pop has a point! I recall watching the draft film for Tony Parker and laughing because I had never heard of him and some of the footage was what looked like a cell phone camera! I thought San Antonio at the time was making a mistake on a no name versus so many players I watched flourish in College. Now look at him and how he compares to those players! Well, as a kid, he like other Euro stars was playing semi-pro ball...not being used by some AAU program to hopefully be the next kid they can eat off of. It's sad, but coaching AAU and seeing my son play, I see this EVERYDAY! No one wants "skills" anymore, they want the NEXT... I used to play with D'Andre Jordan everyday when he was in High School training to get to College and was shocked to see that his game is EXACTLY THE SAME now as it was then....because everyone was cool with him jumping out the gym and dunking, but never developing any skills as a big man! Sad that this is very true!

June 12, 2013  03:00 PM ET

The foreigners play more of a team concept than the home grown. Can't argue about the Spurs...

 
June 12, 2013  04:27 PM ET

Can't argue with Popovich!

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