Taking that many shots is a tough workout, especially as trier shoots a lot of them on the move, after a couple of dribbles and a juke, as if he’s trying to get around a defender. stopped several times for short breaks and a few shots of a sports drink. each time, his mother rubbed his knees with herbal ointment which, unsurprisingly, made him sore.
but this was just the beginning of his basketball day. After he reached his shooting quota, which took about 90 minutes, Marcie took Allonzo to another nearby gym, where a local high school coach who works as a private basketball tutor put him through an hour-long workout. which included more ball handling and shooting, followed by a vigorous session of one-on-one play. (These workouts happen twice a week.) From there, they drove about 20 minutes to downtown Seattle, where he practiced for another two hours with his A.A.U. team.
as the session was drawing to a close, around 9:30 p.m. basket. in football jargon, he was “dressed in clothes”. In the N.B.A., such a foul would be considered flagrant and the offender would be ejected from the game and fined. Trier got up and continued playing. marcie, watching practice with other parents, explained to me that his son’s fame makes him a marked man, even among some teammates. She felt that the perpetrator in this case was not a friend of her son and might have acted maliciously.
when trier came for a drink of water a few minutes later, she said, “he didn’t even tell me he was sorry. Don’t you think he should have apologized? he had tears in his eyes and said his neck hurt, but mostly he looked like an exhausted little boy who needed to go to bed.
elite basketball is distinguished for two main reasons. Prodigies exist in the first place and game insiders like to believe they can identify them. If a child is highly skilled, athletic, and seems likely to grow large enough, and appears to possess the artistry and imagination that are the components of true basketball genius, he may be anointed by the sages of the hoop. and sometimes, they will even be right. (Scouts are less tempted to project greatness in football and baseball, where it’s often only the bigger, faster, or more coordinated kids who excel early.)
The other reason basketball is different has to do with economics and incentives. many of the best players come from poor neighborhoods and single-parent households. Shoe companies, notably Nike and Adidas, along with clothing manufacturers like Under Armor, pour money into the system, hoping to win the loyalty of kids who could become the next LeBron James. finance the best a.a.u. teams and find ways to funnel gear to the most promising players. It’s a relatively small investment for these companies, even if they bet on hundreds of children, but for families it can seem like a lot, not only the material goods, but also what the attention and gifts seem to portend. think of it this way: youth soccer can seem out of control, and here in the us. uu. There isn’t a lot of money at the end of the rainbow, and few suburban families believe their children’s talents will get them into a better subdivision class.
Basketball has a different DNA. it’s a city game, an intimate sport filled with colorful characters, some of whom invariably turn out to be nefarious. Since the 1940s, and as recently as the mid-1990s, college basketball has survived periodic point-shaving or gambling scandals orchestrated by experts with connections to top players. last year, an n.b.a. referee began serving a 15-month prison sentence for criminal charges related to betting on games.