When most people think about the mecca of basketball, the first place that comes to mind is New York. A handful of legendary players like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving and Bob Cousy all grew up there, and even Madison Square Garden is nicknamed "The Mecca." The New York Knicks might be terrible, but New York is widely considered the epicenter of basketball.
That is, of course, unless you're talking to someone from Chicago. Similar to New York, Chicago has produced a lengthy list of NBA talent, from Isiah Thomas to Dwyane Wade. The Bulls have struggled in recent years, but there's no doubt that the South and West sides of Chicago have continued to produce talented NBA prospects.
Lakers star Anthony Davis, a notable Chicago native, made headlines when he recently said that He's said it before, and he's doubled down on it since, and while most may disagree with him, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers agrees with him.
"Yeah he's right, it's not even a question," Rivers said while talking to reporters at practice. "I really believe that. New York gets all the rub, which I don't get, but Chicago, it's not even close."
While at first it appeared that Rivers might have been kidding, he then went on to further make his point as to why he believes Chicago is a superior basketball city compared to New York.
"How many kids can say -- unless you grew up in Chicago -- you can have a pickup game out on the park with Isiah Thomas, Terry Cummings, Maurice Cheeks, Mark Aguirre and Darrell Walker. There's not a lot of pickup games like that in your same grade. That's every year, and that's called Chicago basketball."
Yes, Chicago has a plethora of talented ball players that have gone on to play in college and the pros, but it's not just about that. New York also has streetball culture, housing some of the most exciting playing atmospheres in the country. From Rucker Park, Dyckman Park and The Cage, in the summertime, New York plays host to some of the top streetball tournaments in the world, and in the past, players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have made an appearance.
"Of course it is," Beverley said. "Over the past years, we've had a lot of basketball players come out. Due to the violence, basketball has taken a step down, but it's coming back up. The South Side is steady putting out pros, and whether it's the South or West Side we're connected in the city."
After agreeing with Davis' sentiments about Chicago being the mecca of basketball, Rivers later poked fun at his comments regarding playing for the Bulls in the future. When asked if this would be the only time he would agree with Davis this season, Rivers said, "Yeah, finally that was a good answer out of A.D." Then, when asked what wasn't a good answer by Davis, Rivers responded, "all the other ones."