Harvey Araton, of the New York Times, has an article which does a much better
job than we did of explaining why DaJuan Wagner's 100 point game was
not such a great thing. We've gotten some mail from readers saying
we're out of line, but we stand by our comments.
Araton spoke to Jeff Van Gundy, who said "[I]f the score's 123-119, it's
different. But you have a hard time rationalizing why he's even in the game and
the 12th man isn't. Now, I have to say that in the pro game, I don't think
there's such a thing as running up the score, but on that level, what are we
teaching when we say records and points are more important than sportsmanship
and team excellence?"
Araton goes on to connect the dots, and points out how the attitude which is
killing the NBA and poisoning college basketball starts in places like Camden
High. DaJuan Wagner is a kid, and kids are prone to excess and exuberance
and don't always see the big picture. That's where grownups are supposed to step
in. In a broad though certainly not universal sense, adults are failing
young basketball players. For every Mike Krzyzewski, John Chaney, and Bob
Hurley, there are dozens of coaches like this, and this is how you end up with
Isaiah Rider, Duane Schintzius, and Derick Coleman.
As always with the Times, you have to register, but since it's free, why