“I want to win.”
This summer ever free agent will say his choice is about wanting to win and where he can help a team do that. We know it will be all about the money.
However, for some, it will be about the money and winning. It’s just that winning often comes with conditions, not sacrifices. They selfishly need to win on their terms.
The Golden State Warriors are the defending NBA champions and won 73 games because they are the most unselfish team in the NBA. Yes, that means making the extra pass on the court, but it also means sacrifices off it in terms of roles and, in some cases, money. Andrew Bogut talked about it with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe and put it perfectly.
“It’s not a secret. We’ve had a lot of guys who have given up roles and bought into different roles on this team and are happy to do it for the greater good of this team and win games,” Bogut said. “That’s rare for younger guys to do that. Younger guys usually don’t buy into that because they want to get their numbers and get their contract up, but this is a strange league. There are a lot of leaders on other teams, you’ll hear them say in the media, ‘I want to win,’ but a lot of times it’s on their terms.”
Has the NBA become more selfish over the past decade? Bogut believes so.
“That’s the problem with the league today. It’s ‘I want to win but I need my 30 shots to win.’ Theoretically, you probably need 10 and need to get other guys going to have a chance to win,” he said. “Not many guys are willing to do that. We have two absolute bona fide scorers in Klay and Steph that are willing to do that. They are willing to give up the open shot, willing to pass, willing to make the right play. That’s the reason why we’re successful. Only a handful can do it. You have to have a strong-minded coach that can reiterate that every day, you have to have a strong GM, strong ownership group that are on the same page.
“If you don’t have that . . . you’re just floating in the middle.”
A lot of teams are trying to play smaller and shoot more threes, trying to replicate what the Warriors do. It’s the unselfishness that will be harder to replicate.