垃圾報告:樂透、湖人和足球

27nash-600

以下是最近的讀報心得,和各位分享。未來我也打算繼續下去…

Landing top draft pick can lift NBA team to new heights, and also fill arena

Memphis Commercial-Appeal

這篇文章說明,選秀─特別是高順位選秀─還是球隊改變命運的主要關鍵,而不是自由球員或交易。而今年是連續第二年,前兩順位的球隊都可以閉著眼睛選,反正都不虧本。

This is the second straight year that two prospects are interchangeable with the first or second pick, meaning the top two teams could have equal satisfaction. This year’s version of Oden-Durant sweepstakes features Kansas State’s Michael Beasley and Memphis’ Derrick Rose — dynamic players with marketing and game-changing appeal.

對於有時被批評的樂透選秀,NBA籃球營運總裁Joel Litvin則有這樣的說法。他認為,只要爛隊能夠透過樂透制度選到具有強大影響力的球員,樂透制度就算有發揮它的功效:

If you look over the entire (lottery) period, the team with the worst record has won one of the first three picks 70 percent of the time. Sometimes there’s only one player who can change a franchise and sometimes two. If a team winds up with one of those picks, then the lottery has done its job.

樂透新秀對球隊的影響,灰熊助理教練Lionel Hollins是這麼說的:

The biggest thing is that it’s an energizer for the organization when you talk about fans getting excited. Look at what happened in Portland last year (landing Oden). It energized a whole city. When you’re down you need something that will enthuse the fan base. It just becomes a bigger-than-life situation. There’s so much interest. It’s a catalyst to having season ticket holders.

And what’s at stake basketball-wise is getting a player who can come in and play right away. They can’t have a guy drafted this high sitting on the bench waiting to develop.

他強調,最主要還是要選進馬上就能打的球員,高順位新秀並不是選來培養的。這讓人想起Kwame Brown…

LA Lakers have universal appeal

Los Angeles Daily News

純粹是幾項數據,根據NBA自己進行的市調,湖人是最受全球歡迎的球隊…

— 湖人隊官網今年的被瀏覽頁數(page views)達到5100萬次,全NBA最高。
— Kobe Bryant個人網頁被瀏覽次數270萬次,全NBA最高。
— Pau Gasol個人網頁被瀏覽次數140萬次,全NBA外籍球員最高。
— 湖人82場球賽中有77場在全球各國轉播。
— Bryant的球衣預計將會在中國和歐洲銷售排行榜排名第一,在拉丁美洲則有前五名。

接下來這一篇文章是篇精彩好文,來自紐約時報,很值得花時間一讀。主題是說明足球和籃球的相似性,以及歐洲球員進入NBA之後,也將足球和籃球以一種奇妙的形式拉近了距離:

Soccer as NBA buliding block

New York Times

20060810-nash2

鳳凰城太陽進行的季外訓練課程,如今已經納入足球的課程,Steve Nash、Boris Diaw、Grant Hill、Leandro Barbosa等人圍成一個小圓圈,就像足球隊那樣,以大腿、腳、胸部和頭頂的方式,作足球掌握的訓練。目的在於訓練敏捷性、手足協調等等,而負責指導的不是別人,是1998年世足賽冠軍法國隊陣中的大將Frank LeBoeuf

相當有趣的一點:NBA近幾年來的MVP,都和足球有點關係。Kobe Bryant在6-13歲時住在義大利,踢的就是足球。Dirk Nowitzki以前也踢足球,加拿大出生的Nash也一樣,他的老爸和弟弟還都是職業足球員。去年總冠軍戰的MVP Tony Parker,小時在法國也踢足球。

其他例如爵士中鋒Mehmet Okur,小時在土耳其一支職業足球隊的青少年隊踢球,後來因為長太高,成為門將;繼續長高之後,只好去打籃球。而今年即將進名人堂的傳奇中鋒Hakeem Olajuwon,小時在奈及利亞擔任門將。湖人的法國前鋒Ronny Turiaf在法屬Martinique島長大時,也曾經是足球門將。

本身在歐洲混了很久的前太陽、現任尼克教練Mike D’Antoni就說,歐洲足球的概念,很注重傳球、分享、團隊,助攻的人和得分的人有著相同的功勞,球員也比較不計較統計數字,整個文化和美國有很大的不同。他是這麼說的:

The whole culture is they appreciate the guy who passes the ball to the guy who gets the assist and passes to the guy who scores. They appreciate the work that went into it. Even the guy who is not getting the stat is important in the whole function of the team and the goal that is being made. That, to me, is fundamental.

高齡86、三角戰術的發明人湖人助理教練Tex Winter則說,他不是足球專家,也未曾研究過,但是他可以約略看出足球和籃球,以及triangle offense的相似性,幾乎都是「幾何學」的問題,強調空間、距離、直線、強弱邊等等。他說:

Soccer is a lot like basketball. It’s a game of geometry. Spacing, distances, direct lines — they operate on these angles and reverse sides of the court with the ball, just as we would in the triangle. Not being a soccer coach, I can’t really address it with intelligence, but a lot of the concepts are similar.

Okur表示,足球讓他學到如何以身體去擋住防守者(using his body to seal off a defender),以及空手走位(move without the ball)。Olajuwon則說,足球訓練是讓他擁有footwork的原因。

另一方面,也有人認為是這些接受過足球訓練的歐洲球員,將假倒風氣帶進NBA;其中最知名的當然就是前湖人、國王中鋒Vlade Divac。目前享有此盛名的,則以阿根廷的Manu Ginobili和法國的Tony Parker為最。

湖人隊來自斯洛維尼亞的後衛Sasha Vujacic就說,在歐洲足球中,大家都擅長假倒,這已經成了一項藝術。

縱然Kobe Bryant不同意歐洲球員比美國球員聰明的說法,但歐洲的運動文化確實是和美國有很大的不同,我很同意D’Antoni的觀察。無論如何,如果能把足球的訓練加入籃球,我相信會有很好的成果。或許大家都會跑起來、動起來,更能享受傳球的樂趣也不一定。

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