Kobe Bryant is one of the many current and former NBA players that have lamented about the way AAU basketball has hurt the game. AAU basketball is by far the most powerful entity in youth basketball, far more than high school hoops, and many have concerns that the style of play that is prevalent in AAU ball is causing kids to skip steps in becoming great basketball players.
“AAU basketball — horrible, terrible AAU basketball,” Bryant said. “It’s stupid. It doesn’t teach our kids how to play the game at all, so you wind up having players that are big and they bring it up and they do all this fancy crap and they don’t know how to post. They don’t know the fundamentals of the game. It’s stupid.”
Those concerns about the AAU circuit have led Bryant to his latest entrepreneurial venture since his retirement with the creation of the “Mamba League,” a 40-team co-ed league in Los Angeles for players age 8 to 10 that will be played on 9-foot hoops in an effort to let players grow with the game.