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The Problem With USA Hoops

I don't want to say that J.R. Smith represents everything that is wrong with the state of basketball in the United States, but J.R. Smith represents everything that is wrong with the state of basketball in the United States.

Look at his shot chart from last night.  He was 8-16 on the game, 4-11 on three point attempts.  His other 5 shots?  4 dunks and one missed layup.

So here we have a 20 year old kid, who did not play college hoops, who shoots EXCLUSIVELY threes and dunks, plays no defense, and has what can only be described as a 'bad attitude' (he got one T and I thought he deserved another one).  

I mean, I don't mean to get all 'back in my day' on you guys, but c'mon!  This kid has obviously been under the influence of the sneaker companies and AAU teams, participating in dunk contests and three point shoot-outs, watching And-1 mix tapes, and has NO IDEA how to play the game.  

And we wonder why we can't win the World Championships.

Meanwhile Carmelo Anthony, one of the supposed saviours of the National Team, has been reading all summer about how much better he is than people knew (OK, he wasn't reading, but somebody from his posse might have said something like that between bong hits).  But every time I watch him, it's the same immature bonehead.  

Last year, he got kicked out of a close game at Staples in the final minute, probably costing the Nuggets that game.  Last night he got 2 T's in 4 minutes, and both of them were ridiculously childish (btw, he's up to 5 T's in his last 7 Clippers games).  The first one, he's arguing over an obvious foul.  You foul somebody, they blow the whistle, you get ready for the inbound pass.  What was he arguing?  That he didn't hit Mobley?  What was that thing you hit Carmelo?  As for the second one, I can see being frustrated by that call, and being frustrated that you have to sit with 4 fouls - but you throw your headband at the ref, and you're going to be ejected.  Period.  

I have lots of other problems with Carmelo's game.  He's a pathetic rebounder for a guy his size, a poor passer, and a terribly weak defender.  He likes to overplay passing lanes, and he'll get some steals and he may fool some people into thinking he's playing decent defense, but it's no substitute for moving your feet and keeping your body between your man and the basket, which Carmelo doesn't really, well, do.  

Maybe the Clippers just bring out the worst in Melo, but if he wants to be a leader of the Denver Nuggets, and (FSM-forbid) Team USA, he has got to GROW UP.