Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wake Forest's Prosser Dies

Wake Forest men's head basketball coach Skip Prosser died of today at the age of 56. Prosser, apparently, suffered a heart attack after jogging.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Antoine Walker Robbed at Gunpoint In His Home

Miami Heat forward Antoine Walker was held at gunpoint, bound and robbed in his Chicago (River North) home, Monday night.

More here.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Skills Before Thrills

One of the frequent criticisms of the current state of American organized basketball is that today's players aren't as fundamentally sound as players of previous generations were. It is often asserted that European, Asian and South American players have surpassed their North American counterparts in critical areas of skill development. That, in turn, is cited as a major reason why NBA teams are, increasingly, looking overseas for talent.

The stereotypical American high school and college player is athletic and can do flashy things with the ball, but is often deficient in the basics. That's not the kind of player that coaches and general managers prefer.

The culprit for the American decline in basketball skills is alleged to be the high school AAU and summer circuit. There, shady street agents and hustler/"coaches" entice young players to play for their teams by emphasizing flashy, fun, individual oriented basketball and by advising players not to worry about things as "boring" and "old school" as fundamentals.

Whether or not those are fair criticisms, the summer camps have taken notice, and changes are being made.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Manistream Media Discovers "World Wide Wes"

As Drive and Dish has noted several times, William "World Wide Wes" Wesley is, arguably, the most powerful man in the game of basketball. He exerts tremendous amounts of influence on every level of organized basketball, from the highest reaches of the NBA down to high school and the AAU circuit. World Wide Wes is tight with NBA executives, NBA GM's, NBA coaches, NBA players, sports agents, college basketball coaches, college basketball players, high school players, AAU coaches, entertainment executives, rappers, corporate CEO's, politicians, former Presidents of the United States, etc.

He was on the floor at last Thursday's NBA draft, congratulating lottery picks, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, etc.

But nobody knows exactly what he does. Despite his undeniable power, he remains a mysterious, shadowy figure.

Alex French investigates Mr. Wesley in the current edition of GQ.


Although Mr. Wesley appears to be shady, it isn't really Drive and Dish's intent to hate on him. Look, basketball is a ruthless, shady business. There are all kinds of questionable characters on the periphery of the game (not that there arent plenty of shady characters who are front and center in the game too).

And I should state that although I've never had any contact with the mysterious Mr. Wesley, we do share some mutual acquaintances. However, I've never actually discussed "World Wide Wes" with any of those individuals.

That said, I'm not at all surprised that a guy like World Wide Wes exists. I'm just curious as to what exactly it is that he does, and how it is that he wields so much clout (it looks -- at least from afar -- like he's the NBA's "fixer"). But don't confuse that with hatin' ... I could use a hook up like this guy.