On Friday, one reader submitted an email reaction to the lead item in this week's notebook (No. 217 in a project that began in the fall of 2006).
Here's the notebook:
Here's the reader's reaction to what Tim Greene, a quality referee with NBA exhibition game experience under his belt (as a replacement ref during the 2009 referee lockout) who sees the big picture and advocates real professionalism in the bj-league, said in the article:
"(This is) why nothing ever gets better in Japanese basketball."
My view: Seeing the big picture and embracing those with experience at basketball's highest levels ought to be priority No.1 for the bj-league. Annual officiating camps with NBA personnel ought to be requirements for all bj-league refs. Having big man's camps with a few current or former NBA centers should be mandatory for all Japanese forwards and centers each offseason, and the same should be required of the league's Japanese guards. Think big. Provide tough challenges. Don't settle for mediocrity, which is a major characteristic of the bj-league in all facets of the game.
In short, the "Japanese way" may not be the best way to grow the sport here, as evidenced by decades of failure in international competition.