New Delhi, Sep 11 - Seven-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion Robert Horry said three-a-side is the way to promote the game in India.
The 42-year-old Horry is here in India to promote NBA 3X presented by Sprite to help the sport grow in the country.
“The three-on-three game is fun and fast too. I think it is the way to get individuals to understand the game. It is a more of a competitive way to play the game.
“I think this is the basis from where it should be carry forward. Basketball Federation of India has taken an aggressive approach and this is the first step,” said Horry, who has played 16 seasons in the NBA for four difference teams and winning with three.
“These clinics which are being conducted are not a major ones but small to learn the basics. It is a platform from where you can take it forward,” added Horry.
Horry said of whatever Indian basketball he has seen he believes that they are competitive.
“I recently saw some basketball in Bangalore and I think they are very competitive and play very hard. If they have the passion then they can go forward.
“The main problem is they don’t put in the time. You need to put in a lot more time to keep getting better and be aggressive and passionate simultaneously about the game,” said Horry, who won the NBA championship with Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.
“The players here have to put in a lot of time. Not just three-six years. I was seven when I started and was 21 when I made it into the NBA. It is not an overnight sensation. They have not been playing that long competitively.
On the topic of when an Indian will make it into the NBA he said: “I can’t tell you.”
Horry, however, said that teenager Satnam Singh Bhamara, who is being tipped to be the first India, who can make it big, has a lot of potential.
“This 17-year-old has got a lot of potential. But he has so much pressure on him being the first. If I had to coach him I would tell him to believe in himself and practise hard but not make basketball his priority. Education should be his priority and if basketball comes along and provides him a future, then take it up. It is always hard to be the first as there is a lot of pressure and a lot of scrutiny on you,” he said.