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The internet has undoubtedly changed how sports are covered and consumed around the globe. Austin Rivers isn’t feeling one particular aspect of that phenomenon.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ veteran guard said on his podcast that he doesn’t like the “highlight culture” that has been created at every level of basketball:
Mixtape legend 🔥 pic.twitter.com/50vNJR6wye
While Rivers focused on how kids seeking highlight-worthy moments and only watching them has changed the game of basketball, it isn’t hard to find examples of how the sport’s culture has perhaps been changed by 24/7 access to highlight reels online:
Evan Fournier @EvanFourmizz
Smh. We need to set a better exemple for this new generation man https://t.co/pbzShPlIDt
Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard
Facts . It’s getting out of control https://t.co/jJVNdaF2s0
Ultimately, youth sports are meant to be fun, so young kids mimicking the celebrations of the athletes they look up to isn’t a big deal, or unsurprising. But Rivers’ larger point seems to be that it’s spreading to how the game itself is being played, with the flashy moments and subsequent celebrations overshadowing things like fundamentals and basketball IQ.
It isn’t a new argument. Generations past have lamented the changing of the sport too. But Rivers, who was a mixtape darling himself growing up, has a unique perspective on this particular aspect of basketball culture.
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