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LeBron James: AAU coaches don’t give a damn about kids

November 11, 2019 / BasketballCoaching
LeBron James is a vocal critic of the NCAA’s treatment of student-athletes, and it appears he’s also no fan of how young athletes are treated on the club circuit.

Photo: Keith Allison

James, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports, took aim at club and travel basketball organizations, specifically for the volume of games and tournaments they schedule. The four-time MVP was discussing the “load management” trend in the NBA, and he said part of the blame needs to be directed at club coaches.

James has two kids who play club basketball, and he went as far as to say “AAU coaches don’t give a f—” about a player’s well-being. Here are a couple of his comments from the article:

“Because a lot of these tournaments don’t have the best interest of these kids, man. I see it. It’s like one time, they had to play a quarterfinal game, a semifinal game and a championship game starting at 9 a.m., and the championship game was at 12:30 p.m. Three games. I was like, ‘Oh, hell no.’ And my kids were dead tired. My kids were dead tired. This isn’t right. This is an issue.”

“You know that old saying. It’s like, ‘Boy, you ain’t tired. What you tired for? You’re only 12 years old. You don’t even know what it means to be tired.’ Nah, that’s bulls–t. Those kids are tired. And they don’t eat great too. The nutrition part. They don’t eat well at 14, 15, 16. They’re taking all that pounding and then they’re not putting the right s–t in their body. It’s tough.”

James elaborated on his thoughts a great deal, so take a moment to check out the full Yahoo Sports article. He talked about the differences between club sports today versus his own experiences as a young player. He also talked about the NBA’s role in regulating amateur basketball, saying the responsibility rests more with the parents.

Former Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson took to Twitter last week to weigh in on the “load management” trend.

“Load management isn’t the toll of the NBA schedule, it’s the toll of youth travel basketball playing 12-15 games a weekend to keep the monthly fees validated!” he tweeted. “That hurts the players later in life & rookies are entering the NBA hurting! Youth hoops needs less games & more teaching!”

Read the story from Yahoo Sports.


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Kent Robinson

I agree I have been coaching travel basketball for 20 years it’s asking to much of the kids but I want say that we don’t care I can only speak for myself I’m doing the best to get these young men a scholarship 2 games in a day is more than enough.