Next Generation

The reality is, the next best player in the NBA is some seventh grader in South Carolina. The fact is, Kobe Bryant’s predecessor is an adolescent PSP addict with skis for shoes and a wingspan like a 747.
Doesn’t it seem as if the greatest ones come from nowhere? Who ever heard of Akron before LeBron? Certainly, Wilmington, N.C. wasn’t a destination spot. Who would’ve thought some random kid sitting in a sparse crowd at an Italian League would eventually be the world’s best player.
You would think the “greatest” players in the world would come from New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia. Instead they come from French Lick (Larry Bird) and West Oakland (Bill Russell).
With the way media works these days, the future of basketball will wind up in Faces in the Crowd on the cover of SLAM magazine as a sophomore. He’ll be offered shoe deals, cars and houses, and he’ll have his morality questioned for even thinking about taken them. He’ll be used, lied to, exploited and targeted, all because he can jump out of the gym and shoot from anywhere on the court.
There’s a kid out there who is going to put Kevin Durant to shame, make Greg Oden second rate, belittle O.J. Mayo. Right now, he’s buying a Choco Taco off an ice cream truck near you.

Marcus Thompson