Anthony Davis, Chicago native and Los Angeles Lakers star recently made claims that Chicago, not New York is the Mecca of basketball. Today, Los Angeles Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers and guard Patrick Beverley echoed those comments and agreed with the rival big man.
Here’s a look at the initial comments from Davis, courtesy of ESPN’s Eric Woodyard.
Though Davis may be biased since he’s from Chicago, the city did birth many great basketball players including Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Isiah Thomas, Doc Rivers, Jabari Parker, Juwan Howard, Tim Hardaway and Patrick Beverley. New York is often recognized as the Mecca of basketball, but Davis strongly disagrees. He went as far as saying it “doesn’t even come close,” in comparison to his hometown.
Patrick Beverley’s Thoughts on the Chicago vs. New York Debate
Beverley agreed with Davis as well, stating saying that “over the years, due to the violence [in Chicago], basketball has sort of taken a step-down, but it’s coming back up,” per Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points.
When asked what qualities Chicago had in comparison to other cities when it came to basketball, Beverley gave a well-thought response. He said, “for us to come out in rain, sleet, snow, and go out there and grind. I remember days when I used to go out there and grind in the snow. You know, it just shows the passion for the game.”
Though it does show passion for a player to continuously go out and practice no matter the circumstances, one in favor of New York being the Mecca of basketball could argue that players from there also do the same.
Beverley grew up in Chicago, in not always the best of conditions. As reported by Josh Martin of CloseUp360, due to his father’s struggle with drug abuse, Beverley grew up with just his mom, Lisa Beverley who had him at 18-years-old.
Growing up Beverley said he’s, “lived in motels, I’ve been in hospitals. My grandma had cancer. I’ve seen it and been through it all, so I lived it.”
It has always been important for Beverley to represent his city and be an inspiration to children who grew up in environments like his.
Doc Rivers’ Input on Debate
As previously mentioned, Doc Rivers is another great basketball player that came out of Chicago. He too made comments that reflected those of Davis, stating that “yeah, he’s right. It’s not even a question.”
Rivers doesn’t even think New York comes close to the Windy City when it comes to which one has produced better basketball players. Doc Rivers made his debut as an NBA basketball player in 1983 and played 13 seasons – eight of those with the Hawks. The Clippers coach is still the team’s all-time leader in assists with 3,866. He has a career average of 10.9 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.0 rebounds.
Rivers credits Chicago for everything that he has become, as NBA.com revealed.
“I think everything that I am is because of Chicago,” Rivers said. “My dad, mom. It’s where I grew up. It was the only city I knew.”
The Other Side
There are a lot of people who believe that the Mecca of basketball is New York. This is a fair argument to make, as there have also been many amazing basketball players that have come from there such as, including names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Carmelo Anthony, Bernard King and Stephon Marbury. And, how can one forget the greatest basketball player of all-time in Michael Jordan, who is from Brooklyn, New York.
Chicago and New York have been home to some of the best players in the league. It’s hard to say which one has produced the most or the best. It’s also hard to believe that those are the only two places in the conversation. What about California? Among the names from out West are Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, Russell Westbrook and Paul George, just to name a few.