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AAU Coach Responds To KG’s Negative Comments: “They Didn’t Know You In Chicago Until You Played AAU”
A few days ago, Former NBA player and future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett stated during an NBA TV interview with Kevin McHale that he believes AAU basketball has killed the NBA. His reasons were the program’s lack of teaching and its culture of entitlement.
“Our league now is at a point where you have to teach more than anything. AAU has killed our league,” Garnett said. “Seriously, I hate to even say this, but it’s real. From the perspective that these kids are not being taught anything. They have intentions and they want things, but the way they see it is not how our league works. You earn everything in this league. You’re not entitled to anything. And it’s more entitlement than anything.”
Kevin Garnett on how AAU has ruined the NBA because it’s created entitled kids pic.twitter.com/M9kDuJCHsn
— Jimmy Knutson (@JimmyKnutson) February 21, 2017
Mike Duncan, CEO of the Ohio Basketball Club and a former coach of Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell, was not happy about those comments from KG and he fired right back at him.
“You can’t make it to the top and forget what part of life got you there,” Duncan said. “I know for a fact AAU had a part to do with [Garnett’s] life. They didn’t know you in Chicago until you played AAU. Come on! You’d still be stuck in lil’ South Carolina.”
“A lot of these guys, once they make the pros, they get amnesia,” Duncan said. “There are too many benefits that are helping kids [to talk about the negatives]. For him to say that, like, come on, man. You were in South Carolina. You played for Boo Williams. How do you get from South Carolina to Chicago? That wasn’t a benefit?”
Duncan recognizes that are some bad things that can be improved, but he chooses to focus on the positive aspects of AAU basketball.
“I’ve seen the good of it, I’ve seen the bad of it. The good part is this—I had a couple of kids who had never left the state of Ohio,” Duncan said. “To go away, to stay in a hotel, if you get to see some of their faces, kids that would never get on a plane, it’s great.”
Larry Butler, whose resume includes coaching the likes of Dwyane Wade, Andre Iguodala and Darius Miles during their AAU days, wanted it to be known that stars have no right to complain about players coming out of the AAU system.
“KG, this is the wrong time for you to be talking smack about AAU guys,” Butler said. “I saw it benefit a lot of kids that played against lesser-known schools and didn’t play great competition all of the time in a school setting.”