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Youtube Education

Why Are the NBA's Best Players Getting Better Younger? YouTube (wsj.com) 72

An anonymous reader shares a report: This is happening across the entire league. The best NBA players are getting better younger. They were born with advantages that weren't available to older players and had access to more information than anyone before them in the history of basketball [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. Justin Tatum, a high-school basketball coach, could tell his son to watch clips with three words: "YouTube this guy." Which sounds totally normal until you remember it wasn't possible until very recently.

NBA players who grew up watching Michael Jordan couldn't even watch clips of Michael Jordan. LeBron James didn't have YouTube. He's been in the league for longer than YouTube has been a company. But today's young players have spent their entire lives watching basketball on demand. The extraordinary amount of knowledge at their disposal is one of the reasons they're entering the league with polished skills and making their influence felt immediately. YouTube allowed Kristaps Porzingis to admire Kevin Durant all the way from Latvia, Joel Embiid to emulate Hakeem Olajuwon and Tatum to geek out about Bryant.

Why Are the NBA's Best Players Getting Better Younger? YouTube

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  • Not that unusual (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @11:25AM (#56627162)

    This is happening across the entire league. The best NBA players are getting better younger.

    That's actually happening in a lot of sports. I coach another sport (wrestling) where the average age of an Olympic champion has gotten 2-4 years younger in the last 10 years. A big part of that is access to opportunities train and compete and information that older people like myself simply didn't have access to.

    My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot? This is definitely not news for nerds or stuff that matters. While I'm sure there are NBA fans reading slashdot, this is pretty far away from what this site is supposed to be about.

    • My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot? This is definitely not news for nerds or stuff that matters. While I'm sure there are NBA fans reading slashdot, this is pretty far away from what this site is supposed to be about.

      This is more about having easy access to unlimited information than it is about the sport. This type of easy access is having an effect on everyone, not just NBA players.

    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @11:37AM (#56627254)

      My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot? This is definitely not news for nerds or stuff that matters.

      Normally I would respond with something like You must be new here regarding this observation, but your UID tends to imply that you didn't fall out of the bit bucket yesterday.

      So I'll just kindly say Welcome back. I see you've been gone a while...

    • by oneneo ( 987547 )

      That's actually happening in a lot of sports.

      And not just sports, but arts and music too. What some kids on America Got Talent do is just mind blowing.

    • This is happening across well every skill set beyond sports.
      It is more to the access of information from the internet and YouTube is one source to get some information.

      20 Years ago when I started my career. What I could program and how to program it was isolated to the knowledge-base in the Documents that gets shipped with the product+any wisdom from the people I work with+any thing I learned in school.

      So my skills back then was in a bubble. Looking back there are lot of things I could had done better with

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        On a more broad level, I've noticed that myself and all of my friends have dramatically better cooking skills than those of our parents, or especially our grandparents. I grew up with disgusting casseroles and tough dry steak, which is what my mom learned from her mother (my grandmother) who lived mostly in isolation in the country.

        My friends and I on the other hand, grew up watching pirated episodes of Good Eats which not only is taught by a trained professional chef, but gives you the physics and

      • Such as how the Supreme Court had ruled that a Tomato is a vegetable, for Tariff and taxing purposes.

        People wonder why I am a Libertarian, and this is one of those points that clearly indicate the government is overreaching. And this is such a "silly" point, that it it really doesn't matter, except it does. It is a key indicator of what is wrong with our view of governance.

        If it didn't matter, it wouldn't have gone to the SCOTUS. The fact that the SCOTUS ruled on it (taking your word on it), is evidence that it takes itself too seriously, making my point; it is what with our view of governance.

    • My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot?

      It used to be that slashdotters were interested in and enjoyed talking about the impact of technology. Not so much anymore.

      • My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot?

        It used to be that slashdotters were interested in and enjoyed talking about the impact of technology. Not so much anymore.

        That's to be expected. Ten years ago, this would have been a little bit mind blowing. Now, most of us reference Youtube to hang a door or change our brakes, so the conclusion of the article is already intuitive.

        • My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot?

          It used to be that slashdotters were interested in and enjoyed talking about the impact of technology. Not so much anymore.

          That's to be expected. Ten years ago, this would have been a little bit mind blowing. Now, most of us reference Youtube to hang a door or change our brakes, so the conclusion of the article is already intuitive.

          Perhaps, but that doesn't mean we recognize the breadth and depth of the impact. Hanging a door is, or at least seems to be, a completely different kind of thing from being an NBA basketball player. It's not so obvious that YouTube videos can cut years off the time it takes to develop a top-tier basketball player, which is what we are seeing.

        • Now, most of us reference Youtube to hang a door or change our brakes, so the conclusion of the article is already intuitive.

          No, I wouldn't call it intuitive at all... Because there's a vast gulf between performing a one-off task and mastering a complex set of physical and mental skills to a professional level.

          What blows my mind is that such a blindingly obvious difference goes unnoticed.

    • A big part of that is access to opportunities train and compete and information that older people like myself simply didn't have access to.

      This. Also, almost all colleges and even many high schools have 'professional' training methods and facilities. Coaches learning how to coach better is just as much a part as individual players learning how to train.

    • This is happening across the entire league. The best NBA players are getting better younger.

      That's actually happening in a lot of sports. I coach another sport (wrestling) where the average age of an Olympic champion has gotten 2-4 years younger in the last 10 years. A big part of that is access to opportunities train and compete and information that older people like myself simply didn't have access to.

      My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot? This is definitely not news for nerds or stuff that matters. While I'm sure there are NBA fans reading slashdot, this is pretty far away from what this site is supposed to be about.

      I can definitely see that. Instead of being stuck with a single worn VHS tape by a clinician with a different body style than you, you can find wrestlers who actually have similar strengths and learn from them.

      I'd also suspect that the vastly greater resources on diet and conditioning (and cutting weight) probably have made a big difference.

    • Why is this news for Nerds?
      Well I find a lot of activities that people find common and popular 20+ years ago use to be Nerd behavior and a lot of the stuff would be too nerdy for many nerds to do publicly.

      Back in the 1990's that kid with a Digital Assistant, Watch Calculator, who on his free time dialed up on the computer to chat with other people on different computers, posting on message boards about those particular interest of the time. Who used the computer and this Internet thing to to get research f

    • My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot? This is definitely not news for nerds or stuff that matters. While I'm sure there are NBA fans reading slashdot, this is pretty far away from what this site is supposed to be about.

      The pervasiveness of information at your fingertips has caused such a massive and fundamental change to how people live their lives that people are becoming highly skilled in complex activities that take years to master at a younger age than ever seen before in history. And we have conclusive proof of that direct effect in professional sports such as the NBA due to aspiring athletes ability to analyze great athletes of today and the past via websites like Youtube.

      That's not news that matters? It's affecti

    • Shouldn't this phenomenon be happening across ALL human endeavors? Heck even the nerds should be getting better, sooner.

    • it doesn't get much nerdier than that. Thanks to the internet kids have information they didn't have before. A bad couch can be shown to be a bad coach by a skilled student and they can move on or learn on their own.

      When I was a kid learning to code I hit a wall over something silly on my old C64. Years later I went back to it and had a good laugh that I couldn't understand it (It was just C64 basic data statements, it didn't make sense to my 11 year old brain that I could enter the statements at the en
    • My question would be WTF this article is doing on slashdot? This is definitely not news for nerds or stuff that matters. While I'm sure there are NBA fans reading slashdot, this is pretty far away from what this site is supposed to be about.

      As others have said, it's about the effects of increased access to information. The first analogue I thought of is science. All of us here have learned about how increases in access to information, particularly the speed of dissemination, have triggered major advances in science. This article is just demonstrating that scientific research isn't the only field that shows the same effects.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    john madden pro nba

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I also grew up watching basketball on demand, but I never really got any better.

    Signed,

    Short White Guy
  • Errr Okay (Score:4, Funny)

    by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @11:39AM (#56627276)
    Maybe some rebranding in Slashdot is going on. "Slashdot: News for athletes and other boring trivial stuff."
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Slashdot: Political rantings for cranky old men. Plus a story that mentions a website now and then.

    • Maybe some rebranding in Slashdot is going on. "Slashdot: News for athletes and other boring trivial stuff."

      But, it's athletes ... on the internet!!! (YouTube)

      These young folks are so "techie"! All we oldsters knew how to do was program our own games on our Vic20s ... but these kids know how to use YouTube!!! Skills!

      You can see why age discrimination happens, I mean come on.

  • by Subm ( 79417 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @11:41AM (#56627290)

    Similarly, Magnus Carlsen attributes his greatness to having access to more games than his role models, at least in part, owing to the games all being online.

    • Similarly, Magnus Carlsen attributes his greatness to having access to more games than his role models, at least in part, owing to the games all being online.

      I'm sure that's true, but he has also has access to greater computing power for analysis than his predecessors did. That's a huge difference maker. Computers can brute force a lot of chess problems and come up with interesting ways to play them that humans didn't think of before. I used to really keep up with chess years ago and don't so much these days, but I do see to recall that one example where computer analysis and some new approaches paid off was that they figured out a way for black to play the B

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        I'm sure that's true, but he has also has access to greater computing power for analysis than his predecessors did. That's a huge difference maker. Computers can brute force a lot of chess problems and come up with interesting ways to play them that humans didn't think of before.

        While that's absolutely true, other chess players have taken more advantage of that than Carlsen. Particularly Anand that he had to beat for the world champion title in 2013 was famous for his prep work, he had a whole team of top players exploring opening possibilities. The goal for Carlsen was just to get him out of prep while staying even so he could use his immense memorization/pattern recognition skills. Watch him do simultaneous blind play games, most of us would get totally lost on where the pieces a

  • They used to sell VHS tapes (it was that long ago) with highlights, interviews, etc. Titles included NBA Superstars, NBA Jam Session, and a lot of player and team specific tapes. For a while, highlight clips cut to music and sold as Basketball Music Videos were also a thing. If you were in the basketball community those tapes were everywhere as were bootleg copies of games and episodes of NBA Inside Stuff. Players, parents, and coaches were watching and studying those things.

    What makes today different is th

  • It's not really Youtube so much as it is the competition has simply been getting better younger. In the case of basketball you have national AAU tournaments allowing kids to play in a competitive environment year-round. This can also be seen in baseball with the increase in national tournaments, both metal and wood bat. The competition level is also improving because kids are simply getting bigger faster. Whether through better diets, increased knowledge of exercise and strength training, or simple evolu
  • Back in the early 90's, when I was trying to figure out the whole 'fitness' and 'weight loss' thing, before the Internet became an easily and cheaply accessible thing, access to good and recent information wasn't anywhere near as easy, so I got sent down the wrong roads by bad information or just a plain lack of information. I doubt I'm the only one who had that experience, either. Since the Internet however there is plenty of information available easily and quickly; sadly you have to have a 'let the buyer
    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      Pro sports are great at demonstrating what changes in society without having to wait decades to take new measurements.

      The NBA did not have a lot of foreign born players in Jordan's day. The Bosman ruling in Europe confirmed that a football club with a broad talent pool for its recruitment will have an advantage in relation to regional/local clubs.

      Looking at photos of what were considered strong players in the 1980s, I get the impression that now any semi-pro is bulkier. The NBA slam dunk contest apparently

  • A lot of it is based on better training and club teams for younger players.

    A coworker of mine has a 9 year old in a Premiere club league sponsored by a large company. Their soccer field area has about 15 fields and several buildings (it is professional level for adults, they have Dr.s on staff). And the team is very good, they play regular games and even tourneys with kids a year older (called "playing up", and they win 95%+ of the time).

    They have been visited by Olympic representatives and other teams ar

  • Wow, I have no idea who most of those people are. Could you give me a car analogy, please?

  • The rule changes have had a big effect on the modern NBA game. Hand checking is no longer allowed. Same for zone defenses. Travelling, at least for star players, is almost never called anymore. The fans want to see dunks, not plays halted by travelling calls.

    The modern game is a lot more about isolation plays and 3 point shots.

    Better shoes, better training and nutrition certainly help. With expansion, the talent is more watered down so the star players can exploit that.

    If Wilt Chamberlain were playing today

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