It’s championship week in the NBA. We’re just one day away from game 1 of the NBA finals. On Tuesday I wrote about the importance of ‘Team’ and how critical it is for all winning teams. Today I will touch on a trait which has been tossed around a bit with Boston and LA.
Derek Fisher didn’t think toughness was important in an interview yesterday-but I have watched Fisher over the years and I know he wasn’t serious. A lot of his success is due to his toughness; he’s one of the toughest guards in the league.
David Lassen of the Press-Enterprise on what some of the players are saying about the series.
We can get into who’s tougher, who’s bigger, who’s faster, who shoots the ball this way,” he said, “but it comes down to which team wins the game.
“We don’t really need to get caught up in some of the little things that really don’t have much to do with executing and playing basketball.”
At this point in the season; both teams are talented and skilled. If there is one ingredient the championship team has, make that must have, is toughness. Both the Lakers and Celtics are tough. But the ‘tougher’ team is going to hoist the trophy.
When we talk toughness in basketball, we’re not talking punching someone in the face or winning a fist fight on the street. Toughness on the hardwood is not boxing in the ring, this concept is misunderstood by most people. Sure everyone was saying the Celtics were tougher back in 2008 when LA went down, but don’t be fooled. LA is tough.
You start with Fisher, then you have Kobe Bryant. This starting backcourt alone is probably the toughest in the league. They also have Ron Artest another tough guy. But Boston’s front line is where their toughness shines; Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Rasheed Wallace. Shoot, even Boston’s head coach Glen Rivers is tough.
Toughness is someone who loves the heat of the battle. Who will not back down and hide when their team needs a bucket. Toughness is being competitive at all times when you’re on the floor. Toughness is having the confidence to step up and make a shot. Toughness is guarding your man, pressuring the ball, and being in position to help your teammate
Toughness is finishing drives in traffic. Toughness is rebounding. Toughness is not backing down when the going gets tough.
So don’t listen to Fisher when he says it’s all about winning over who’s the tougher team. Before we can win, we need to be tough. Because the weak never win; just ask the G.O.A.T., Michael Jordan.
“There’s more to basketball than being able to run, jump and shoot.”
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