Germany Finishes What Klinsmann Started

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

There’s universal agreement that Germany was the best team at the World Cup and deserved to win it. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was absolutely superb, giving up only four goals in seven games. Of course, it helps that the defenders in front of him, Jerome Boateng and Philipp Lahm in particular, were air-tight, thus making things a touch easier in what is considered the zenith of the national team’s decade long journey to get here.
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A journey that began in 2004 with the hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann. The current U.S. Men’s National Team manager came in and shook the very foundation of German soccer to its core, changing the joyless, stringent approach often associated with the team for a more progressive, attacking style of play.

Klinsmann needed to establish young cornerstones to see his vision through: Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker. That’s 4 players on the current roster of this year’s World Cup winning team, although the latter two were reserves. Mertesacker was quick to give Klinsmann credit saying they were only continuing what he started, but not everyone agreed as evidenced by the German media’s brutal treatment of him. Perhaps with time and now signature hardware, Klinsmann will be judged differently. He certainly deserves it.

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What You Really Get in Carmelo Anthony

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

The Knicks, Lakers, Bulls and Rockets are furiously elbowing each other out of the way to get Carmelo Anthony’s signature on a contract. The unflinching and relentless pursuit by these teams for Anthony’s services is mostly warranted. He brings instant name recognition and knows how to fill out the stat sheet as evidenced by his scoring title.

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As pointed out by Elias, the 30 year-old star is averaging 25.3 points per game in his career, the 2nd-highest average in NBA history by a player who has yet to get a whiff of the NBA Finals. You wonder if the teams doggedly chasing Carmelo truly realize the impact his signing will have on overall chemistry.

With the high volume of scoring you get with Melo comes the reluctance on his end to share the ball. He needs touches. Lots and lots of them and it comes at the risk of clogging the offensive flow. He’s not one to distribute the ball like LeBron James does. It’s true that he’s never had the strongest of supporting casts, but if he goes to one of these teams, who’s to say that he’ll be OK playing second banana? Besides, Melo does not elevate the play of other teammates. He doesn’t make them better, a staple of a true superstar. If that was the case, maybe one of his teams would’ve gone further in the playoffs. Asking him to buy in for the greater good of the team seems a bit of a stretch at this point in his career. His defense is practically non-existent. Always has been. Always will be. Just ask his former head coach George Karl. I understand teams going crazy for Melo, but buyer beware.

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