Oh sure there have always been "stars" in basketball but before they were surrounded by a team not sycophants.. Consider this what was Magic Johnson famous for? His free throws? Nope, His shooting? Nope. His Rebounds? Nope. HIS PASSES.. the man could pass a ball like nobodies business. He was a site to behold. To be famous for your passes meant he had to what? That's right PASS the ball! That meant while he had a superior ego (and yes I did meet him once) he also understood the game. And his ego was matched by his talent and his concept of the game.
Magic also had an amazing cast of athletes surrounding him, they weren't his back up or his posse.. they were his team! Each an integral member of said team. Check out this roster...
|Byron Scott||Guard||6'4"||200 lbs.||Mar. 28, 1961||Arizona State, 1983|
|Magic Johnson||Guard||6'9"||220 lbs.||Aug. 14, 1959||Michigan State, 1979|
|Ronnie Lester||Guard||6'2"||175 lbs.||Jan. 1, 1959||Iowa, 1980|
|Michael Cooper||Guard/Forward||6'7"||170 lbs.||Apr. 15, 1956||New Mexico, 1978|
|A.C. Green||Forward||6'9"||230 lbs.||Oct. 4, 1963||Oregon State, 1985|
|James Worthy||Forward||6'9"||225 lbs.||Feb. 27, 1961||North Carolina, 1982|
|Jerome Henderson||Forward||6'11"||230 lbs.||Oct. 5, 1959||New Mexico|
|Kurt Rambis||Forward||6'8"||215 lbs.||Feb. 25, 1958||Santa Clara, 1980|
|Larry Spriggs||Forward||6'7"||215 lbs.||Sept. 8, 1959||Howard, 1981|
|Maurice Lucas||Forward||6'9"||215 lbs.||Feb. 18, 1952||Marquette, 1974|
|Mike McGee||Forward||6'5"||205 lbs.||July 29, 1959||Michigan, 1981|
|Mitch Kupchak||Forward||6'9"||230 lbs.||May 24, 1954||North Carolina, 1976|
|Chuck Nevitt||Center||7'5"||250 lbs.||June 13, 1959||North Carolina State, 1982|
|Kareem Abdul-Jabbar||Center||7'2"||267 lbs.||Aug. 16, 1947||UCLA, 1969|
|Petur Gudmundsson||Center||7'2"||260 lbs.||Oct. 30, 1958||Washington, 1981|
How many of those names do you recognize? Maybe almost 30 years later not many but for the Laker fans of the 80's, believe me we appreciated a lot of those players.. There was so much more to the Lakers than Kareem's skyhook and Magic's infectious smile. They played the game!!!
Ever wonder how it is that the current Chicago Bulls are winning WITHOUT Their star? Guess.. yep you got it they have created a team of players who work together, rely on each others strengths and understands their own weaknesses.. Again, sure there are egos.. shoot they play professional sports in the 12's but they actually play the game.
When I watch these showboaters, these headline grabbers I think back to a kid who used to play little league with my son. Now my son was not the greatest baseball player.. he might very well have been the worst. BUT he loved being a part of the team.. This other young man was awesome, he could hit, he could throw, he could pitch, he could catch.. Yep that's right he could do it all. What he couldn't do was play on the team. One mother once said.. "I wish my son could play baseball like ______" my response was "why? He doesn't know how to play baseball.. he knows how to hit, catch, pitch and throw. But when he is playing shortstop he shouldn't be making the catch in right field.." needless to say that went over like a ton of bricks.. But my point is, you don't win team games for long without a team.
Why do the Spurs consistently win? Well, they are a team.. right now the "famous" teams are lacking the concept.. They just aren't getting it. Learn to play the game..not just master the individual skills.. well they all could learn how to shoot a freethrow but that's for another time.