Unlike those in the blogosphere who might see little value in the decision which was made this past weekend by the basketball brain-trust in New Jersey:
FanHouse’s Matt Moore knows his D-League inside and out, and he doesn’t appreciate the developmental organization being used so flippantly:
Williams is a problem child for Johnson. And maybe he’s completely justified in his approach to punish the youngster to get him in line. But using the D-League seems like a creative solution for them, when in reality, it’s a reckless maneuver that only hurts Williams, the Nets, the D-League, and the NBA. Use the D-League for what it was designed to do: develop players. Don’t use it as your own personal timeout corner. You’re only hurting yourself.
Moore is right. There’s nothing that the D-League can do to make a person like Williams more punctual. If the guy can’t be bothered to make the bus on time in the big leagues, what’s a trip to a developmental league going to do? And shouldn’t it be New Jersey’s job to try and instill a sense of professionalism into this, um, professional?
That said, I wonder if the D-League can’t help but do something for Williams as a player, if not a person. And, actually, wouldn’t a rebirth as a player help change Williams, the person?
yours truly would suggest the exact opposite.
What Avery Johnson & Co. actually did, in this instance, is wholely justified and an appropriate course of action to take, given these specific circumstances … if you are operating a professional team sport franchise with a minor league affiliate that’s designed to create a “training environment” for those with legitimate aspirations to eventually “make it”, as an actual pro, in the best basketball league in the world.
- showing up for work on time
- being prepared to do your job properly
- adhering to the instructions of your immediate supervisor
These are simple attributes which can quite readily be re-inforced to a required degree of performance by, either, a short or a long stint with a major league team’s minor league affiliate … where there are no Five Star hotels, no First Class Travel Sections, and only sparsely attended regular season games.
Part of what is sorely lacking in the NBA today, in far too many different situations, is the high degree of personal discipline and integrity required to actually function as a Consumate Team Player, who is trying his very best to win the most number of games possible … and, thereby, gradually improve the performance of the team, overall, to the point of being able to compete for and win a League Championship … rather than merely being an isolated individualist who just happens to be an adjunct member of a “troup” that is trying to provide an innocuous form of “entertainment” to its paying customers.
Kudos to the Nets for taking this approach to effectively address their problem, and for using the resources at their disposal to help a young person improve his degree of professionalism in a pro team sport environment.