This is a little late but the dominance of foreign players is pretty surprising. I thought we played the best basketball in the world, that last world championship thing notwithstanding. Actually not. As Tom Knott, sports columnist for the Washington Times pointed out in a recent column, foreign players tend to be fundamentally sound, team oriented players who also can shoot the ball, all skills in severe decline in America. We produce awesome halftime show, slam dunk contestants; they produce guys who know how to play team defense, hustle and hit foul shots. I have long thought the decline in basic skills has been caused by the endless team competitions our young players endure. School teams, AAU teams, summer camps, traveling squads, the list is endless. What is missing is the hours of individual shooting practice that produced a Larry Bird or Jerry West. High school and particularly college coaches bear a lot of the blame too. They cannot resist the eye candy of an athletic, leaping, slam dunking, high flying MJ wanna be. Most of these foreign players probably could not get Div I scholarships. They don't fit the profile. If John Stockton was 18 years old, do you think any top college program would recruit him? Too slow, doesn't have a dazzling spin move or ankle-breaking crossover dribble.