Mike James bashes ALBA Berlin for their choice of defense against him: 'Have some balls'

2022-12-17 14:39

Mike James didn't like the way ALBA Berlin decided to defend him on Friday night. The American guard took to Twitter to express his indignation. 

Credit: IMAGO/PanoramiC

In AS Monaco's game against ALBA Berlin on Friday night, Mike James was held down to only 8 points on 3/5 from the field.

The 32-year-old guard still managed to add 7 rebounds and as many assists to his stat line, impacting the game and helping AS Monaco reach a hard-fought, last-second win over the German side, thanks to Elie Okobo's buzzer-beating 3-point shot.

But James wasn't at all happy with the way coach Israel Gonzalez chose to shut him down offensively. The Spanish tactician decided to apply a box-and-one defense which essentially consists of a mixture of four men playing zone and another one guarding James throughout the entire game. J

James stayed on the court for almost 32 minutes but scored in single digits for the first time this season.

Some hours after the contest was over, the prolific scorer took to Twitter to vent out his frustration for the way ALBA defended against him. 

"Ok, the day is passed, and the game is over…. Can we all agree that playing box-and-one for 40 minutes in a professional basketball game is ridiculous?" James wrote in his account. 

"We are grown, professional basketball players. Have some balls and play defense. Bad defense, bad strategy, and bad basketball," he repeated. 

When BasketNews' commentator Rytis Vysniauskas pointed out that Sergio Scariolo used the same type of defense in the Olympics against Luka Doncic and also won the EuroBasket with high usage of box-and-one, James responded:

"I didn't say high usage. I said 40 minutes. The entire game. I can see at points or if I’m hot but 40 minutes is insane, scary, and just nasty basketball. Come up with better game plans, man!"

When Vysniauskas added that ALBA actually came close to winning Friday's game in Monaco and James was reduced to 8 points, which means the idea wasn't so bad, the player would have none of it. 

"So, under 10 points is all we looking at here? Me creating about 15 open shots is their defense 'working'?" he wondered. 

Kristaps Valters, a Latvian former player-turned-coach, noted that "box-and-one is the perfect defense against selfish players who want to score all the time and never pass the ball."

"In the second-best league in the world, box-and-one is terrible," James insisted, adding that he could tolerate it for the last quarter of a game, but not for the entire 40 minutes.


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