Friday, February 27, 2009

The only thing that's going to define individuals is how the team does

Great quote from Ron Artest the other day in the Houston paper:

"That’s the only thing that’s going to define individuals: how the team does."

When Tom Crean coached at Marquette, there was a banner that hung in the practice gym with a quote from John Wooden that read, "The star of the team is the team."

Back in my CBA days, that was a frequent message. As a coaching staff, we'd work to convince players to worry less about their stats and focus on helping the team win. That's something coaches at all levels talk about, but in the minor leagues, where players use big numbers as a way to catch the eye of NBA teams, it can be difficult to get guys to buy in to that.

We'd explain that NBA coaches and scouts recognize that it's one thing to put up big numbers on a losing team. Making a contribution (and sacrifice) to a winning team is more significant.

As Joe Paterno once said, a team only reaches true greatness when its members aren't concerned with their stats.

"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality."