Spanked - v. past tense. getting beaten so bad that nobody wants to watch.
If I’ve learned anything these past few years it’s that the people around you have a big influence on your life and can determine not only if you reach your goals and aspirations but also what those goals and aspirations become. Our minds are built by feedback. We (yes, everybody) go out into the world everyday with a certain swagger that reflects our opinion of the world around us. The way we talk to others, walk down the street, attend to responsibilities, treat our belongings, strive for our wants, and everything we do transmits our opinion of the world. People and things around us react to our broadcasted selves (our opinions) and give us a different perspective.
The signals others give us can agree or disagree with our own opinions. When they agree we gain confidence in our view of the world and tend to put more effort into actualizing the selves we wish to become. In other words: We think we right, so we wanna show everyone the light. We begin to expand outwards, spreading our broadcasted views on the world.
Disagreement leads to questioning; we begin to question other views on the world as well as our own. First, we turn inward to examine our beliefs and see if they hold up in our world. Then, we look towards others; perhaps they see something we don’t. Perhaps they have experienced something unknown to us. Sometimes though, insecurity in our beliefs can lead to overly defending them, rather than opening up to amendments. We can sometimes become blind and lose ourselves in the cover of our shields.
This is what I saw as the difference between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat as they competed for the title of NBA Champions. For those of you who don’t follow, earlier tonight the Spurs kicked the Heat’s ass to take their 4th win of the best of 7 series, winning by a decisive margin of 17 points in the 5th and final game.
The Spurs exemplified teamwork unlike any team I’ve ever seen. It seemed like anybody on the team could score and play defense at an All-Star level, not just the stars (Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker). In fact the starting point-guard, Tony Parker, didn’t score until the 4th quarter. Parker’s backup scored more points than him! All in all I just saw a team playing like a team, sharing the ball and playing unselfishly with contributions from just about everyone.
On the receiving end of this butt whoopin’, the Heat seemed lost. Through most of the series, many of the Heat players lacked confidence as I saw players like Dwayne Wade (a great player and future hall of famer), Mario Chalmers (who I can still remember hitting the last second game-winning three of the NCAA Championship in Derrick Rose’s face), Chris Andersen aka “The Birdman” (a used to be feared shot blocker), and Chris Bosh (another future hall of famer) miss easy shots, playing lazy defense, and just not playing up to par. Even the great LeBron James seemed to give up on a few plays – though that may be just because he was tired.
When I watched these two teams play tonight, I just kept thinking about how well the Spurs’ system, which is the brain-child of the head coach, Gregg Popovich, worked even as they faced a very talented team which included the best basketball player in the league, LeBron. Pop’s system finds players with similar approaches to basketball, guys who are willing to give up personal achievement for the betterment of the team. And I think the emphasis on TEAM is what ultimately brought them together; it gave each player on that roster confidence to become the player the Spurs needed them to be. It brought the best out of them.
Now I know that was just a basketball game, but Ball is Life… I’m just kidding… but not really. I believe basketball can teach you a lot about life, and today it taught me that team work makes the dream work. There are a lot of things I want to do with my life (though they may not be clear yet), and I could use a team to help me get there.