Arron Afflalo recently had a feature article written about him on the TrueHoop network, which is one of the best basketball blogs out there on the net for my money. A portion of the article talks about his experience at UCLA and what Coach Howland taught him that has allowed him to succeed in the NBA, which is relevant given the anticipated talent level that this team next year should have. Here's the original AA on CBH:
Here's where it pays to understand Afflalo's theory of UCLA players in the NBA. Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Jrue Holiday ... the list is impressive. Why so much success? Afflalo's theory is brilliant and logical and seems like it must be correct. He explains:
Most players coming into the NBA, you're not going to be asked to be the leading scorer on the team. With that in mind, Coach Howland has done a great job of at least preparing us to be mentally tough and to play defense.
When you get a fiery young player coming into the league that's willing to play defense, I don't think there's a coach in the NBA that won't love that.
So with that opportunity, there's still some talent in the players. With that, you can see a guy like Russell [Westbrook], whose got some energy and can defend, and he can turn into a good offensive player. The same with Darren [Collison].
Kevin Love was a specialist, seemingly, with his rebounding, but he turned into an elite scorer.
The same with Luc [Richard Mbah a Moute]. He has the passion to work. He got into this league and got a deal playing defense, being one of the premier defenders and as his offensive game develops he'll be even more valuable.
I feel like I'm in the process of doing the same.
Just something to keep in mind as we watch our fellow Bruins in the NBA -- AA does a great job representing us as a university and is the perfect ambassador for our school. I hope other recruits are reading what AA has to say -- offense may be fun and flashy, but once you get into the NBA as a rookie, you're going to see the floor if you can play defense and play it well.