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Deep Thoughts, By Malcolm Gladwell


A prominent thinkfluencer has some ideas to share:

GLADWELL: But I’m not done. So now I think, the last move I wanna make is, I think it’s fair, because Nigeria is just one little country [Ed. note: population 197 million], for them to also lay claim on neighboring African states. I think that’s fair. So who can I add from neighboring African states? Well, who grew up next door to Nigeria? Joel Embiid.

SIMMONS: Mm. You have a lot of centers on this team.

GLADWELL: But now so what am I missing? So now I got—

SIMMONS: You have no point guard.

GLADWELL: I need a point guard. Right? So where am I going to find a point guard?

SIMMONS: I don’t know. Just keep adding countries ‘til you’ve got a point guard.

GLADWELL: Bill, Bill. This is a great question. This is a creaky[?] question. Where am I going to find a point guard from subequatorial Africa, close to Nigeria? [Ed. note: Lagos to Johannesburg is a 95-hour drive] One of the greatest point guards in the game.

SIMMONS: Who’s that?

GLADWELL: You don’t know?


GLADWELL: Steve Nash. Born in Johannesburg!

[pregnant pause]

SIMMONS: Oh wow.


SIMMONS: Why don’t you just call it African? Why is it Nigerian?

GLADWELL: Well, because the heart, its heart is Nigerian.

SIMMONS: So it’s the capital.

GLADWELL: I mean this is really, this is about Nigerians owning the fact that they could put together the greatest basketball team of all time. I don’t think you can—try, just try and come up with a team that beats that, under my categories.

SIMMONS: So, part of this theory is you feel like Nigeria in general is underrated.

GLADWELL: Completely underrated.

SIMMONS: As an athletic powerhouse.

That is…something.

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