Is it all about winning? ’97-’98 Jazz, ’60s/’70s Lakers, ’90s/’00 Mavs differ

Posted by By at 16 August, at 08 : 00 AM Print

Is it all about winning? ’97-’98 Jazz, ’60s/’70s Lakers, ’90s/’00 Mavs differ

The entire NBA rejoiced at the Miami Heat losing in the NBA Finals this past summer. Miami will, barring injuries, contend for the Eastern Conference crown once more and probably make it to the NBA Finals once again. But based on their glaring weaknesses at point guard and center, If they should not win a title and make it to the Finals year after year, would they be considered failures? Many professional athletes state that “all they want to do is win” but to solely ‘want’ to win is not enough. Many steps, sacrifices and trials need to be undertaken and passed during a grueling 82 game season to not only win, but to consistently win. Even more than consistently winning, to advance in the NBA playoffs and contend for a Conference Championship and NBA Championship. This journey is not easy at all.

Will anyone honestly say that the Utah Jazz were a bad team? or the Lakers with Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain because those teams didn’t win as many titles as was expected? The Mavericks before they won this year were given the burden of expectations and fell short time and again. They have fielded teams with All-Star caliber players, won 50+ games year after year and advanced deep into the playoffs before falling short in the Finals (2006). Dallas even shouldered a 2007 first round exit, monumental #1 vs. #8 upset to the Golden State Warriors. Utah in 1997 & 98 won the Western Conference beating Shaq’s Lakers, Duncan’s Spurs and the Olajuwon/Barkley/Pippen led Rockets but ran into the juggernaut Bulls of Michael Jordan.

The point is that competitive sports brings together athletes of all kinds and the games that are played, the rules enforced, give both teams an equal chance for victory. But not one of these teams would say, that sitting at home watching the playoffs on TV dreaming of being in the “big game” is the same as having a chance to contend in a raucous arena for the title. Every man on those rosters would say that the journey is better than the climax. No one who could advance to that point could comprehend the magnitude of reaching the mountaintop without falling short a few times.

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