So with all the Ben Simmons hype ive been watching a lot of NBA basketball and i reckon there are lots of lessons to be learnt from the way they approach performance and success.
Yes I realise that Basketball and football are very different sports but there are also many similarities.
Probably the most interesting thing about studying basketball is that more than any other sport the games and the individuals are 'hyper' analysed.
Its all about stats, stats and more stats. Football there is more 'room' for bias and opinion because the stats are seen as less meaningful.
Anyway here are some things that i think we can learn.
1) In the NBA in particular although Basketball is a team sport a huge emphasis is based on the performance of individuals. Even the way each team is spoken about forcus' on the individuals. Eg. Each team has one or two 'franchise' players. Which teams has the most 'all stars', which team has a potential rookie of the year, defensive player of the year - etc etc etc...
To speak like this in the football world is sacrilege. Football is a team sport (full stop). There is no 'i' in team etc etc
2) As far as I can tell - if a team has a franchise player that is a high scorer eg James Harden or Lebron James - just about everyone elses job is to get the ball into this players hands as many times as possible - and let the player drive to the basket, slam the ball or hit a 3 pointer. When James Harden scores 60 points from a teams 90 - who says their is no I in team?
The team may win but the recognition and ultimately the responsibility sits with the stars of that team.
3) During a game there is a huge emphasis on getting the ball into the hands of the player who is 'hot'. So players have ups and downs and on any given night some are on fire and some are cold.
3) Do we as football people over estimate the stuff that coaches and the other 8 players do - and disregard the importance of a teams best 2 or 3 players?
4) Should for example Melbourne cities entire (and simplified game plan) be to get the ball to Arzani or Fornaroli asap. I reckon this is what Barcelona does with Messi. He does whatever he likes and the rest of the team play important parts but ultimately Messi is the guy creating things more often than not.
This is not complex
So from a recruiting perspective and a player development perspective should we be promoting team players or emphasising the individual talent of those that can change a game? I reckon we can do both but I do think as a footballing community the team is always put before the individual.