LAST TEAM STANDING
“No one ever remembers who came in 2nd place.”
We are here, finally. The NBA championship starts tonight. Game 1 Miami Heat vs the Dallas Mavericks in Miami for all the marbles.
Many are billing this matchup as ‘LeBron vs Dirk’. But it’s actually a lot more than that. There are many fantastic players on both sides.
What started as a circus last June (The Decision) has now ended with a team that has found the formula in Miami. The Heat are learning the secret that Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird learned, but not by talking about it. Playing together and sacrificing for the good of the team. In case you didn’t know it, that’s how you win championships.
You need players who buy into the team concept. You don’t need selfish players who only care about themselves.
If I’m a reporter at the NBA Finals, I ask Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, “if you think Dirk Nowitzki is in top 10 of all-time, where would you rank LeBron James?” Speaking of reporters, did you know Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s grandfather used to be a sportswriter and covered the Detroit Tigers?
Everyone knows about the players who score all the points and the one who grabs the rebounds but do you pay attention to who is out on the court the longest? James plays 44.0 minutes per game in the 2010-11 playoffs. He’s tops in that category.
Someone on Twitter mentioned that LeBron has to add a cross-over, inside-out dribble and a jab step to his game. Yeah sure, how about adding a teacher’s certificate too, so he can teach 7th grade Math. Some people will always nit-pick. If anything, James should add a low-post game before he adds those dribbling moves.
With the NBA draft right around the corner, which is more difficult? Recruiting HS players for your college program or drafting players for your NBA team?
I had to laugh yesterday when I read someone write that the Penn State men’s head coaching position is a bad job. Do you know how many coaches would love that gig? If the A.D. at Penn State wants to hit a home run, they should hire Jim Boylen as their new coach.
You want an outstanding non-sports book to read? Pick up ‘Alphaville’ written by Michael Codella. He’s a retired NYC cop who talks about his days working on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. You will not put it down, trust me.
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore