Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Basketball's version of a corporate business retreat

Been meaning to get this up on the blog. It's a good piece about how playing on Team USA is paying dividends for the guys who spent their summer competing in the Olympics.

Cavs GM Danny Ferry likens it to a "corporate business retreat" where the players "got to talk the game, share ideas and see how each other was working."

For example, as Doug Collins points out, LeBron James was able to play "the four-man on their backline defense, and he was like a middle linebacker."

"His voice resonated through the team."

Before the Games, critics worried that players would wear themselves out before the long NBA season. But Coach K "kept practices short and played team members no more than 25 minutes a game. Ten of the 12 U.S. players averaged at least 11 minutes."

Says Dwyane Wade, for many players, defense became the focus:

"You have the best players in the NBA and put them on one team, great scorers. But you tell them, 'Look, the way we're going to win is to be great defensively.' Once you see guys buy into that, it becomes second nature. Guys understand they can be dominant on that end of the floor, as well."