How Not to Make a YouTube Highlight Reel

October, 6, 2009
10/06/09
6:18
PM ET

Earlier today I filled out a survey that asked me to name the best international player not in the NBA.

Tough one, right?

Just to jog my memory as to some candidates, I looked up at the players who won individual awards last year in the Euroleague. One of them was Panathinaikos big man Nikola Pekovic, whom the Wolves drafted 31st in 2008. I fired up some YouTube of him, and after less than a minute in to the first one, I was convinced he was not the best player in Europe.

Here's what I learned from that minute: When you lay the this is amazing video treatment -- the dramatic music, the slow-motion replays from multiple angles -- you are sending (surprise surprise) the message that this is your idea of amazing.

Watch. Sure, there's plenty to like there. He's big. He makes buckets different ways.

But it was not amazing. He shuffles his feet in the post, he avoids the use of his left hand, he camps in the lane, he looks generally earthbound ... this is your highlight reel?

I realize they're all plays from one key game in which he had a killer stat line. My point: Tone it down! Build some credibility! In being so eager to convince us YouTube viewers that Pekovic was not just good but amazing, they actually made me doubt their judgment entirely. In reality, he has won a ton and there's lots of reason to believe he can contribute to an elite team. But if I had to judge based on just this one short video, I'd be worried that this might be the best video there was of him. The producers want to convince us he's majestic, and I'm getting the opposite message. 

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