I want to talk a little bit about Mike Conley, George Hill, and Avery Bradley. All three are players that epitomize the positive things that can happen when an organization puts unwavering faith in a young players’ abilities.
No one would question that all of these players have talent. They had brilliant college careers and were touted as special from a young age. Yet, none of them showed their true potential at the professional level until they were given the full royal jelly treatment.
The “royal jelly” refers to the food that certain honey bees eat that allows them to develop into queens. The larvae destined to become queens are fed a different substance than the rest of the bees. If they don’t get this food, they can’t become queens. (The name invokes images of some sort of delicious caviar crossed with Smuckers. In reality it an ooze secreted from the heads of the worker bees. Royal jelly certainly sounds better than brain pus.)
The idea that special treatment during different stages of development can affect who succeeds has been applied to athletes. I first read the term royal jelly on Truehoop, and they have discussed it at length. I’m not reinventing the wheel, just continuing to point out that circumstances and minutes are often the only difference between a player being a star or a bench warmer. Continue reading “Royal Jelly”