We all know that NBA players are undoubtedly the most talented bunch of hoopers we have in the whole world. But there is also a whole different world out there, in the parks and streets. Streetball has been around for some time, and we have seen some amazing stuff from guys there, but the question always gets raised: could some of these guys play in the NBA? Well, NBA players don't believe so.
AND1 Mixtape Tour
Nicknames like "Hot Sauce," "The Professor," "Escalade," "Baby Shaq," and many more are just some of the icons aliases of the streetball game. The AND1 Mixtape Tour and its rise in the 1990s and 2000s brought a level of popularity to these talented basketball players that never quite made it to the professional ranks.
It is all about flash, style, and toughness, epitomizing the streetball game the fans love so much. You can definitely call it a different world compared to the NBA, but even so, fans and streetball players themselves often claimed they could have made it to the league if not for certain events happening.
Well, in a short snippet that got leaked online from the newest ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary, named "The Greatest Mixtape Ever," we got to see a few big names from the NBA world share their opinion on streetball players and why they couldn't play in the NBA.
"We're just trained professionals. We play basketball on days we don't wanna play basketball."
Lou Williams, ESPN "The Greatest Mixtape Ever" 30 for 30
"No, you couldn't. You were not taking care of your body. You were not taking the game seriously. Everybody jumps high, everybody is fast, everybody thinks that they're the world's greatest player. There's only been 5000-something people in the NBA total, ever!"
Kyrie Irving, ESPN "The Greatest Mixtape Ever" 30 for 30
"I remember Hot Sauce going to the Pro-Am, getting his a** busted. He came down there and they was calling that man ketchup by the time he left."
Iman Shumpert, ESPN "The Greatest Mixtape Ever" 30 for 30
When you get on that level, everybody is supremely talented, and you have to find a place for yourselves. You need to learn to play your role and contribute to a team. Even the 10th man in the rotation is a straight baller that can cook anybody if he played on the streets, but with the amount of talent the league has, you have to accept your spot, utilize it and earn a living from it.
Also, dedicating yourself in every way to the game implies living a healthy lifestyle that isn't that popular in the streetball world. Some of these guys maybe even have the talent and skill to make it, but a lot more goes into becoming an NBA player.
The only one to really make it to the league is Rafer Alston, also known as "Skip To My Lou," who managed to have a respectable 11-year NBA career starting from the AND1 Mixtape Tour. But he is one in a million. That's why it seems that all these NBA stars are right. Being in the league is no easy feat, no matter how talented you are.