In the late 1970’s, the Pittsburgh Pirates had one of the best teams in baseball. They had big names like Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente but it was their sense of team unity that made them a special team. For a while, sports seemed to lose this concept of team and instead tried to have an all star at every position. Names like Gary Sheffield are now dubbed “role players” for the New York Yankees. In addition, the stars like Shaq and Kobe have won the NBA title.
Recently however while the Yanks keep spending and the Lakers add names like Malone and Payton to be role players for them something has changed. The sense of “we” and “team” has come back. That was never more evident than watching the Detroit Pistons dominate the Lakers. You can argue that the Pistons don’t have one player nearly as good as the Lakers top two. While that may be true, the Pistons also showed something that the Lakers couldn’t fathom, heart.
The NBA is not the only place this sense of team is becoming a trend again. Looking at the last year only the super bowl champion Patriots had a real “superstar” in Tom Brady. The Tampa Bay Lightning don’t have any real notable names other than Martin St. Louis and the Marlins biggest name was Ivan Rodriguez and a year before that he wasn’t even the most popular Rodriguez on his team.
So, you must be asking yourself what’s your point. My point is to have faith in your teams. The Pistons proved last night that the odds makers in Las Vegas have no idea what they are talking about when they give the Lakers 5:2 odds to win the crown. Winning these days is all about heart and determination not which team looks the best on paper or who has the most hall of famers. As Chris Berman says, “that’s why they play the games”