If you take the idea of collectivism seriously, you need an answer to this question: What will collectivistic basketball actually look like?
One answer is that it looks like the way San Antonio Spurs play.
Another answer is that collectivistic basketball should be “brilliant basic basketball”.
Topias Kauhala and Gert Remmel used the phrase “brilliant basic play” (loistava peruspelaaminen) in their excellent Finnish-speaking article in Urheilulehti after the soccer Euro championships 2012. They referred to the fact that, most of the time, modern soccer stars do not seem to do anything miraculous.
In the same vein, brilliant basic basketball is an inevitable consequence of playing collectivistically, isn’t it?
Collectivism means that the only thing that matters is the good of the team. Everything individual players do is measured against that standard and that standard alone.
In other words, they are to do the task at hand as efficiently as possible. Efficiently means e.g. avoiding unnecessary risks.
Since spectacular individual actions involve risks – otherwise they would not be called spectacular, would they? – efficiency and collectivism mean that the number of spectacular individual actions is to be kept to a minimum.
Most of the time, brilliant basic play within the collectivistic network will get the job done. If not, the play will be too risky and the team will lose.
In other words, players should have a lot of skills, yet they should use them as sparingly as possible. If someone shows off his skills without serving the collectivistic purpose, he is demonstrating an individualistic mindset.
Obviously, there will always be a need for flashes of individual brilliance because sometimes the network will break down and individual heroics are needed in order to e.g. beat the shot clock.