Friday, December 5, 2008

A sacrifice from top to bottom

Earlier this morning, just after posting on the subject of a player's attitude and how it affects the locker room, I came across a good article about CLE's Wally Szczerbiak, who attributes the Cavs' 15-3 start to the players' willingness to give up certain things:

"This team makes that sacrifice from top to bottom. In order to achieve what we want to achieve – which is the NBA Championship – a guy like LeBron, he may not be asked to score 30 a night. He may be asked to do what he does in 24, 25 minutes and get some rest and save himself for the Playoffs. That allows other guys to step up and take on the bulk of the load. It’s all about winning ballgames; it’s all about being deep; it’s all about a team effort."

According to the 31-year-old Szczerbiak, who has played for four teams over his 10-year career, age has something to do with it:

“I think as you get older, you realize that winning is the most important thing. And when you’re in a situation like this after being in a situation like Seattle last year, you kind of count your blessings. At the same time, you never know what the next day is going to hold – you just live for the present and take one day, one practice, one game at a time."

The team's success also has a lot to do with chemistry.

According to this Cavs beat writer, after a recent game, the players lingered in the team's locker room, "leaning against walls, sitting on counters and enjoying adult beverages all in towels. They were talking, making fun of each other, hanging out. It may seem like normal locker room behavior, but it isn't. In my six years covering the Cavs I'd never seen that after a game. I have not seen chemistry like this before. The team is more than just winning, they are enjoying doing it with each other."