Philadelphia is a city that seems to never get the credit it deserves when it comes to basketball. Historically, some of the game’s greatest players have been Philly natives â€“ does the name Wilt Chamberlain ring a bell? And if you haven’t noticed, there are plenty of modern day NBA players from Philly â€“ Kobe Bryant, Rasheed Wallace, Jameer Nelson, Tyreke Evans, Hakim Warrick – not to mention a slew of guys in the NBA summer League trying to make it to the next level. Also, if you were fortunate enough to witness the AND 1 mix tape generation, then you know Philly cats can flat out ball. With all that said, it seems like the City of Brotherly Love never gets mentioned when debating the various basketball hotbeds of our nation. This year, Philly has an opportunity to change that through Red Bull Midnight Run.
At the Philly event on Saturday, July 13, it was clear that many of the players were familiar with each other. Guys cracked jokes on each other and it quickly became a fun loving environment, until the games began. Once a basketball is tipped off, all that brotherly love stuff goes out the window. These guys came to compete for the right to represent their city, and that’s what they did.
If you’ve ever played at a top basketball camp then you know it’s difficult to showcase your talent while also being a smart and unselfish player. Finding that balance can be difficult, but those that do, prove that they’re worthy of being selected to the final eight.
Philly natives aren’t shy to make their presence felt on the court. If you’re from Philly, it’s almost as if it’s in your DNA to feel like the top dog on the basketball court. So when you put 100 A-type players in the same gym, the result is heated competition, high-quality basketball and, on occasion, flared tempers, even among teammates.
Philly players have the necessary talent to compete with the other cities, but what will be interesting is watching these guys try to become a team and build enough chemistry to compete in the Finals. Yes, they know each other off the court, but is their on-court repertoire strong enough to go up against the returning cities.
None the less, Philly ballers are a different breed. They play the game at a pace that other cities aren’t accustomed to and they have the individual talent to compete with anyone. But will they be able to muster up enough brotherly love to compete with the likes of a Chicago team with such a strong bond already in place? We’ll find out this fall at the Red Bull Midnight Run Finals in Brooklyn.
What city produces the best players?
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