Sports

Dear Dwyane Wade: An Open Letter From HEAT Nation

By Rey Valdes

Dear Dwyane Wade,

I’m going to start this off with a disclaimer because no man should be this sad about another man moving to another state.

Obviously there are worse things in this world, far worse. But sport is our escape from all that, a distraction from our lives.

And you were the embodiment of sports in Miami for 13 years. You helped us forget about everything that was bothering us, for a couple hours each night, 82+ nights a year, over more than a decade.

That’s what makes us fans, the term “fanatical.” While I shouldn’t rationally feel this way, I identify myself as a Miami HEAT fanatic, and you were the HEAT. Forgive me for being a little emotional.

I went through all five stages of grief after SportsManias gave me the alert that you had signed with Chicago.

I looked for a conflicting report.

I was furious at you, at Pat Riley, at Mickey Arison, Lebron, Chris Bosh, everyone.

I offered to pay for your contract with money I don’t have, to no one that was listening.

And I’m currently between depression and acceptance.

Let me get back to the anger for a second.

Some Miami HEAT fans will be really mad at you. Some will be really mad at Pat or the HEAT or whoever else. It’s part of the process.

Both of you were using our emotions as leverage.

“You don’t want to piss off the fans,” is exactly what I could imagine you guys silently mouthing every time a “report” was “leaked” from either side. I fell for it, although I’m not sure what and how much is true at this point.

What I do know is that you felt slighted, and that there is likely a reason you decided not to continue playing here.

I won’t try to guess what it was or what took it over the edge. I’m only sorry that it happened. I’m sorry you felt the way you did. And I’m sorry that you left because of it.

However, you should know that we appreciate you. We never took you for granted. We loved it when Lebron was here and watching you guys win two titles was incredible.

But you were introduced last for a reason. You always got the most applause. You weren’t the best player on those teams, but you were (are!) our favorite.

You piqued our interest when you, Lamar Odom, and Caron Butler beat out Baron Davis and the Hornets your rookie year.

You stole our hearts when you and Shaq won in 2006 in one of the greatest finals performances of all time.

I will never forget being at Game 5, down 12 to the Mavericks with 5 minutes left, and watching you put the team on your back and lead us to one of the best comebacks of all time.

Then you worked with Pat to bring Lebron and Chris down here for an unforgettable four years.

That Mavericks game is second only to Ray Allen’s shot out of the corner in Game 6. Finally, you cemented your legacy when you, again, sacrificed for us and came back once Lebron left.

This hurts, but it will not change all the good memories we have of you.

I’ll be there when we retire your number and when we unveil the statue of your fade-away jumper outside the American Airlines Arena. We will not forget.

But we aren’t Wade groupies; we are HEAT Nation.

Forgive us for not becoming Bulls fans.

We will not make a villain out of Pat, or Mickey, or anyone associated with our team.

We need them now to help us get through this.

We will figure something out and hopefully beat the shit out of the Bulls next time we play.

We only wish you would have been on our side.

I promise we’ll give you the loudest ovation you’ve ever heard after the video on the jumbotron is over, and only boo you after our tears have dried and Hassan Whiteside has won the tip.

Now someone play Seven Nation Army!

Wish you the best of luck in Chicago Dwyane.

Thank you for everything.

Yours Truly,

HEAT NATION

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Giancarlo Stanton Crushes Competition With Record-Setting Home Run Derby Win

SAN DIEGO — Not too long ago Giancarlo Stanton was struggling just to hit a baseball consistently. On Monday night, Stanton repeatedly sent them soaring and speeding out of the park more times than anyone in the history of the Home Run Derby. Stanton blasted the better part of 61 home runs overall to win his… Read More

College Football Playoff Semifinals Will Remain On New Year’s Eve For Now

HOOVER, Ala. — No significant changes are on the horizon for the College Football Playoff, the four-team tournament that determines college football’s national champion. “Our model works — 13 high-integrity people, football experts (who are) evaluating, studying, debating, frankly working their tails off during the season and producing a ranking that, while someone will always be… Read More

Lionel Messi Given 21-Month Sentence For Tax Fraud

Barcelona football star Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after a Spanish court found him guilty of three counts of tax fraud. A court statement on Wednesday said the sentence could be appealed through the Spanish supreme court Judges also sentenced the Argentine forward’s father, Jorge, to 21 months in prison for… Read More

Messi Resigns Argentina National Team After Losing Copa América

After nearly a one-month long tournament, the Copa América came to an end with a re-match game between Argentina and Chile. History repeated itself Sunday night at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as both soccer teams played head-to-head for the Copa title in its 100-year celebration. Similar to the 2015 games that were hosted in… Read More

5 NBA Trades That Should Happen As Soon As The Season Ends

By Rey Valdes

With the NBA season drawing to a close, there are bound to be some big roster changes over the offseason.

And while most of the talk will center around free agency, there could also be some blockbuster trades. But forget about Kevin Durant!

Here are five trades that totally make sense and should happen:

Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks

Philadelphia receives: Dennis Schroeder, Mike Muscala

Atlanta receives: Nerlens Noel

Photo Credit: Bryan Horowitz/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Nerlens Noel. Photo Credit: Bryan Horowitz/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

It’s been reported that the Hawks and Sixers have had conversations about a multi-player swap. With the Hawks set to lose Al Horford in free agency and the 76ers set to draft Ben Simmons, we really have a perfect marriage here. Philly needs to trade away a Center to acquire a PG, and ATL needs to trade away a PG to acquire a Center.

However, it has also been pretty universally reported that the PG going to Philly is actually Jeff Teague. I don’t buy it; and if I’m wrong, then Philly is making a mistake. Jeff Teague is a good PG in this league, but he’s already reached his ceiling. Is Schroeder better right now? Probably not, but for stretches of the season and playoffs, he was playing over Teague. More importantly, Schroeder has the potential to improve and grow with this Sixers team. Here, Philly get the young PG they coveted at the deadline and Atlanta gets the Center they need to replace Horford. Muscala helps the contracts fit and can actually provide floor spacing depth at the 5.

Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics

Philadelphia receives: Jonas Jerebko, Terry Rozier, James Young, and 2016 #3 overall pick

Boston receives: Jahlil Okafor and Kendall Marshall

Philadelphia is trying to trade one of Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor to make room for the arrivals of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Although they may hold on to Okafor as insurance for Embiid’s surgically repaired foot, in this scenario they trade him for another top 3 pick. Jamal Murray, who they like a lot, would be a great fit at SG for their new look roster. Boston gets the Center they covet without affecting their free agency plans. Okafor gives them an offensive centerpiece down low, and their team defense (thanks to the genius of Brad Stevens) is strong enough to hide Okafor’s deficiencies in that area.

Like this? You can write for us too

Let’s talk about the supposed throw-ins of this trade for a second. First of all, I don’t think Jerebko and #3 are enough for Okafor, a franchise Center. While I really like Jerebko’s fit as a backup big that can defend and shoot next to Simmons and Embiid, adding Rozier is key as it gives Philly a nice developmental PG. Moreover, Young gets to go to a perfect spot to play and improve as a scorer, an opportunity he won’t get in Boston. Finally, though an add-in money-wise, Marshall intrigues me in a Celtics uniform. If anyone can utilize Marshall’s passing ability to the fullest, it’s Stevens. His contract is unguaranteed and he’d be the 3rd or 4th PG on the team, so he’ll likely be waived, but I keep having visions of him being the Eric Snow to Isaiah Thomas’s Allen Iverson in some rotations off the bench.

Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns

Milwaukee receives: Tyson Chandler

Phoenix receives: Greg Monroe

Whereas the Bucks are just as likely to give Monroe another year and eat his contract if it continues to not work out, they could look to move him. In this scenario, Jason Kidd gets the rim protector he wants, and he just so happens to be a former teammate. Chandler will assume the role of veteran leader that this young team needs and his abilities as a defensive anchor could have them back in the top of the defensive rankings after falling way down last year.

Phoenix is not as close to competing as they thought, and Alex Len showed impressive potential after the All Star Break. So why trade a Center to acquire another one if they already have Len at the position? Well, Len also played really well at the four, in a sort of anti-small ball lineup. Furthermore, Len’s a free agent after next year, and if he continues to improve, he will be due a big pay raise. Monroe’s contract is a year shorter than Chandler’s, and because the third year is a player option, he could conceivably come off the books two years earlier, at the same time as Len. If the twin-towers lineup works this year, they could resign both big men. And if it doesn’t, they could resign whichever of the young talented Centers they like best, without worrying about having too much money tied up in one position.

Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets

Milwaukee receives: Boban Bogdanovic

Brooklyn receives: Michael Carter-Williams

Giving up a 2017 first rounder for Greivis Vasquez, signing Greg Monroe, and especially trading Brandon Knight to acquire MCW; Milwaukee has made a few costly mistakes recently that will soon be erased because of the greatness of Point God, The Greek Freak, The Alphabet, and my favorite player Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s basically the Daenarys Targaryen of the NBA, with the tough spelling, numerous nicknames, and how they’re both slowly getting more and more dangerous in some far off land. But before he becomes King of the NBA and unites the two conferences, we need to continue purging the players that are poor fits next to him in Mereen, err I mean Milwaukee.

MCW is a non-shooter, and now that Giannis has taken over the offense, his role and opportunity are greatly diminished. Although MCW is a young, cheap player with upside, he’s probably not worth much to other teams as the PG position is flooded with talent and he’s seemingly regressed. Vasquez and Jerryd Bayless are both free agents this year, so they could wait on MCW and pray he develops a jump shot in the off-season. However, they’ll likely resign one of the two and potentially draft a PG (Wade Baldwin IV would be an awesome fit), so priority number one for the Bucks is to surround Giannis with better shooting threats. Luckily they find a Brooklyn team desperate for… well, just desperate. With Jack, their only PG on the roster, still recovering from an ACL injury, they can afford to take a chance on MCW and hope for the best. Milwaukee gets a shooter they need, and one that really blossomed toward the end of last season.

Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers

Denver receives: Monta Ellis

Indiana receives: Kenneth Faried

Denver has two exciting bigs in Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic that they want to develop, and still have Joffrey Lauvergne. Mike Malone struggled to find minutes for both Faried and the youngsters last year, and they’ll welcome back talented forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari this year from injuries. With all these players in the frontcourt, Faried may have to accept an even smaller role if he wants to stay in Denver. If he doesn’t and Denver wants to facilitate a trade, there may not be a better match than Indiana. The Manimal would fit perfectly next to Myles Turner because Myles can stretch the floor offensively and protect the rim defensively, two areas where Faried struggles.

Using Paul George as a full-time PF failed, and with the Pacers likely to let one of Ian Mahinmi or Jordan Hill walk in free agency, they could use a talented frontcourt player to keep George at SF. Furthermore, Larry Bird wants more pace this year with Nate McMillan (despite that being the opposite of Nate’s style), and Kenneth Faried thrives in an up-tempo offense where he’s able to use his athleticism. Some combination of Rodney Stuckey, CJ Miles, and the enticing Joe Young can pickup most of Monta Ellis’s minutes at the 2. Meanwhile, in Denver, Monta would provide a needed 3-point threat and ball-handler that can help take some pressure off of Emmanuel Mudiay.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: KT King/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Muhammad Ali And The History Of Public Courage In America

By Eric M. Harris

The most important date in Muhammad Ali’s life was April 28, 1967.

No this was not the date of one of his amazing bouts with the great “Smokin'” Joe Frazier, it was not the date of the “Rumble in the Jungle” against George Foreman, it was not the day that he converted to Islam, nor the date he lit the Olympic Torch in Atlanta.

On this date, Muhammad Ali refused induction into the United States Army.

Muhammad Ali’s life is well chronicled.

He was born in Louisville in 1942.

He became a Gold Medal Winner in Boxing in the 1960 Rome Olympics.

He shocked the world in 1964 when he captured the world heavyweight boxing championship from Sonny Liston. His boxing career and life was off to a tremendous start.

Three short years later, his life took a drastic turn that showed courage on a level that has been unmatched by public figures in American history.

He was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. He went into an unknown position of possibly not being able to box again all because he took a moral stand.

But he’s not the first to show massive amounts of public courage on the national stage.

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female with a medical degree in the United States. She was able to get medical books from a local reverend when he was a young woman.

She was met with “No’s” at almost every possible opportunity.

Many physicians suggested that she move from the United States to Paris, because she would have better opportunities.

Like this? You can write for us too

Blackwell studied in secret. In 1847, she was brought in to study medicine at Geneva Medical College. She was voted in unanimously by all male students at the college and became the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln’s story is well known by most. He was the President during one of America’s most difficult times- the Civil War.

He had the courage to not only have the Union fight the Confederacy in the Civil War, but he also wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and freed the slaves.

Slavery had been an institution in this country for hundreds of years. It was the driving force for the economy in the South and made many southern plantation owners very wealthy.

Although many other elected officials and leaders said that slavery was wrong, he was the first to actually do what it took to end it.

Some have pointed out however, that Lincoln’s decision to free the slaves did not have as much to do with the actual freeing of the slaves, but more to do with keeping the Union together. Lincoln said so himself.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was another President during a challenging time in American history.

He was the president during the Great Depression and World War II. He was following in the foot steps of his distant cousin Teddy Roosevelt, who was one of the greatest presidents in our nation’s history.

Not to mention, he did all of this with a challenging disability, the disease of polio, which prevented him the use of his legs.

Read More: What Young People Can Learn From Muhammad Ali

Many people to this day do not know that while he was President, FDR did not have the use of his legs at all. He is a true inspiration to many, especially people with disabilities.

FDR had extreme courage to create new programs to help low income Americans in his New Deal program. He had to make difficult military decisions that would change the United States and the world forever.

Although his bravery is unquestioned, and the times might have made this difficult, he was not out front with his disability show others that disability is something that should be accepted and embraced.

FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: Matt Wade/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C. Photo Credit: Matt Wade/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

He also did not have the best relationships with people of color for no other reason than they were of another race.

Jackie Robinson is an example that can be used to show another athlete who had extreme courage. He was the first African-American to integrate professional team sports. Boxers had integrated professional sports, but this was the first time where an individual had joined a team sport that had been exclusively white.

To many, Jackie Robinson integrating baseball in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers was the start of the Civil Rights Movement.

Jackie was chosen by the Brooklyn Dodgers and Branch Rickey to be the single representative in that season and as someone who could take it after playing four sports at UCLA and being in the military.

As brave as that was for Robinson to do, in my opinion, he did not necessarily risk the way that Muhammad Ali did.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a strong progressive voice. She is a Democrat from California and has been in the House of Representatives since 1998.

One of the most powerful signs of courage was displayed by Congresswoman Lee in the Fall of 2001.

After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the United States Congress voted to give President authorization to use any force he sees as necessary and appropriate under the circumstances as a response for retaliation against the terrorists who killed thousands of American citizens.

Congresswoman Lee was the lone no vote in the House of Representatives.

She was shocked that she was the only no vote that day.

She talked about in later interviews that she received angry letters for years after her decision.

Photo Credit: Peter T/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Peter T/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Previously, while in the California legislature, she was one of very few no votes against the Three Strikes Law, that puts people in prison for 25 years to life after a third felony conviction.

Many Californian’s lives have been destroyed because of this law. Congresswoman Lee has shown the courage to stand by her decisions even when she knows that she might be one of very few who feel a certain way.

She understands how important it is to represent her constituents in the beset way possible, regardless of how others might decide to represent theirs.

Now lets look at Muhammad Ali’s decision not to step forward to join the United States Army.

He famously said:

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother or some darker people or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what, they never called me Nigger, they never lynched me, they never put no dogs on me, they never robbed me of my nationality, they never raped my mother or father. What am I going to shoot them for what. How am I going to shoot them. They are little poor people women and children. How am I going to shoot them poor people, just take me to jail. If I’m going to die, I’ll die right here fighting you, if I’m going to die. You’re my enemy, my enemy is the white people, not the vietcong, or Chinese or Japanese. You’re my opposer when I want freedom. You’re my opposer when I want justice. You’re my opposed when I want equality, you won’t even stand up for me for my religious beliefs. You want me to go somewhere and fight but you won’t even stand up for me at home.”

Muhammad Ali had just won the Heavyweight Title of the World in Boxing, and had that title stripped from him.

It was the first time any boxer in history had had his boxing title stripped from them without losing it in the ring. Ali was 25 years old, in his athletic prime.

He had only been a boxer up to that point and had no realistic way of knowing how he would provide for himself.

He knew that he was potentially taking a chance where he might not be able to box ever again.

Ali knew that he was giving up years in his prime, while he was the heavyweight champion of the world. To put this in some context, this would be like if Steph Curry decided to leave basketball, go to jail for a political stance and not able to return to the sport.

Ali did all of this in the height of the Civil Rights era in the 1960s, a year before Martin Luther King was assassinated. His level of courage and pride stands above any public figure in American history.

Ali also knew that the backlash for this decision could be even more serious and drastic. After the statement, “I have no quarrel with those vietcong … No vietcong ever called me Nigger.” He saw millions around the country call him unpatriotic. This was only the beginning. Ali could not have known what the reaction would have been like with his fans and supporters, military veterans and supporters of the war and military throughout the country.

Ali could have moved on through life disliked by nearly everyone in his own country. He did not care.

He had already rubbed many the wrong way by joining the Nation of Islam. He rubbed his father and many in his family the wrong way by changing his name from Cassius Clay.

Ali showed another example of being able to make a difficult decision without caring about the possible repercussions, despite understanding what they could and likely would be. That is true courage.

Finally, it has been great to see so much support for an athlete that many, including myself look up to as a role model and a hero.

However, I find it interesting, because many of these same people coming out to support the Greatest now, will talk bad about outspoken athletes like Serena Williams, Floyd Mayweather and Lebron James when they make bold statements that are not as humble as many might like.

I understand that Muhammad Ali was a tremendous person and athlete that makes him different in many other’s eyes from the previous examples, but I hope we can give young superstar entertainers the benefit of the doubt the way many did with Ali as he was growing and becoming the greatest and letting us all know how great that was.

As we go through this election season, one can only hope that Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump can show powerful elements of courage in their actions and stances moving forward.

I will hope for our country’s sake that they are not just in this game to get recognized, elected and then reelected. One would hope that the person holding the highest office in the land is doing so with the type of courage that the Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali showed on April 28, 1967.

There is not a single athlete, entertainer or elected official that I can think of who displayed more powerful courage in American history than Muhammad Ali on that date.

He impacted a generation of 20 and 30 somethings who did not even get a chance to see him fight live.

His story and passion resonated with all of us and I hope that his courage rubs off on an American society, which is in desperate need of some true courage in its leadership.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Elizabeth Blackwell/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

NSU Advances To Division II College World Series For First Time In Program History

The Nova Southeastern University Sharks advanced to the program’s first ever Division II College World Series after beating the Delta State University Statesmen in a winner-take-all regional game in Tampa on Monday afternoon.

Nova advanced to play in the World Series after beating Delta State by a score of 3-1.

Pitcher Jonny Ortiz earned his sixth win of the year on Monday while Devin Raftery shut the door on the Statesmen by picking up his 14th save of the season.

“This is a monumental accomplishment for the NSU baseball program,” Nova Director of Athletics Michael Mominey said in a press release. “It’s great to see the Sharks are finally going to Cary, N.C. with the chance to win a national championship.”

WATCH: Nova celebrating the victory that sent them to Cary, NC.

Nova will play the Franklin Pierce University Ravens, on Sunday, May 29 at 1:00 p.m. in Cary, N.C.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Nova Southeastern University/ Facebook Video

Swish: These Wharton Profs Show Us Three Business Lessons Learned From The Golden State Warriors

By Mario Moussa and Derek Newberry

On a balmy night in Oakland last October, the energy of the sell-out crowd at the Oracle Arena was flagging.

While the die-hard Golden State Warriors fans had high hopes for the season, their team had lost two of their first three pre-season games, and they were struggling to get momentum against the Houston Rockets early in the first quarter.

Trying to spark some life into his team, Steph Curry took the ball from Draymond Green at the top of the key and dribbled past four defenders on his way to what looked like an easy lay up.

At the last minute, he whipped a no-look pass to Brandon Rush for an open corner three.

It swished.

The crowd jumped to their feet. Players on the bench laughed and high-fived each other as a grinning Curry jogged up the court.

It is fitting that the play happened against the talent-rich Rockets, a team that, for many experts and insiders, represented the future of the NBA. But the Warriors may actually be the team of the future. Their current season has featured similar scenes of flawless teamwork that may well produce the best season in NBA history.

The top player passes up a good shot for a great shot, tossing the ball to a bench player with a better look, while the rest of the team cheers.

Just a few years ago, the Moneyball model of talent management seemed poised to sweep the NBA. Led by luminaries like Sam Hinkie, who instilled this approach in the Rockets before moving to the Sixers, front office executives have become increasingly focused on acquiring “undervalued assets” rather than worrying about intangibles like chemistry and character.

The Golden State Warriors are the ultimate team. Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors/ Facebook

The Golden State Warriors are the ultimate team. Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors/ Facebook

Now, as our own hometown Sixers are in the NBA basement and the Rockets are underperforming, the Warriors appear to be ushering in a new era of basketball.

The Warriors’ philosophy is deceptively simple, but it confirms what we know from our own research on collaboration at the Wharton School of Business: High-performing teams trump collections of talented individuals.

In a league driven by lone superstars and individually-focused metrics, the Warriors are succeeding by putting in place what we have found to be the three foundations common to all high-performing teams: goals, roles and norms.

Define simple, clear goals

In a recent interview, center Andrew Bogut recalls how shocked his teammates were when they started their first practice with coach Steve Kerr by doing basic passing drills that they hadn’t seen since high school: “Guys were kind of like, ‘Ugh, we don’t want to do these petty little drills,’ but after a couple of weeks I think guys understood what he was trying to relay onto us. And it was genius in a way, because it’s just instilling the little things.”

Kerr believed that an overcomplicated strategy had caused the team to lose sight of the basic fundamentals.

According to Bogut, he told them: “[if we] just turn it over four or five times less per game, we’re going to win a championship.”

The prediction proved to be true, and it came from an insight shared by all leaders of top teams:

The best goals aren’t about big, abstract visions, but small, manageable steps.

Turn the ball over a few less times. Make a few more passes.  Goals need to be clear and straightforward to be achievable, as Kerr himself has explained: “Run six or eight things really well, instead of 20 things in a mediocre fashion.” The Warriors’ success demonstrates the power of simplicity.

Define roles that work for individuals and for the team as a whole

When Kerr decided to bench Andre Iguodala and start Harrison Barnes last season, most people thought he was out of his mind.  Iguodala had been acquired by the team as a franchise player, not a $12 million a year bench warmer.

But Kerr believed Barnes had struggled after a promising rookie season because his confidence was hurt when he was moved to a reserve role in his second year.

Barnes needed the security of having a consistent role on the team, and he would improve by being forced to keep up with better players.

Iguodala would provide a solid veteran presence for the bench unit and a boost of energy later in games when starters rested.

Steph Curry is at the heart of the Golden State Warriors success. Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors/ Facebook

Steph Curry is at the heart of the Golden State Warriors success. Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors/ Facebook

As it happened, both players excelled in their roles. Barnes returned to form while Iguodala became a serious candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award, on their way to winning their first title in 40 years.

Kerr understood that team roles don’t work in isolation—their effectiveness depends on how they interconnect and this will be different for every group.

As the better player, it would normally make sense to have Iguodala in the starting role with Barnes on the bench, but given the team dynamic, Kerr had the insight to switch them.

Establish shared norms by building trusting relationships

From top to bottom, the Warriors organization has built a culture around trust and transparency, to the point where owner Joe Lacob installed glass walls throughout the team offices to reinforce his message of openness.

The trust the team has built starts with a shared set of norms that encourage everyone to voice their opinion.

For Kerr, it began with one-on-one conversations he had with the team after he was hired.  He impressed his players by visiting each one individually, even flying out to Australia for Andrew Bogut, and explaining to them how he thought they would fit into his strategy.

In fact, it was this process of sitting down face to face, being transparent, and asking for feedback that convinced Iguodala to go along with being moved to the bench.

This norm of honesty is reinforced in everything Kerr does, as Green noted in a recent interview: “Earlier this season I yelled at him during the game…[Later] he said, ‘Nah, you’re fine. I love your passion; why would I try to stop that? That makes you the player who you are.”

Transparency infuses the entire organization, as Lacob himself is known for inviting dissenting opinions from his staff, rather than running the team like a dictatorship as many owners do.  By creating shared norms, the Warriors have built a high level of trust that makes their signature style of unselfish play possible, even on a team with big egos.

Kerr once described his coaching philosophy as being 90% team environment, 10% strategy.

At a time when the dominant trend in the NBA has been about analyzing players as individual assets, the Warriors are creating a counter-revolution based on group dynamics. As Lacob told writer Bruce Schoenfeld: “It’s not just Steph Curry. It’s architecting a team, a style of play, the way they all play together.”

It starts with putting the right foundations in place for collective success.

As they head toward a historic season by multiple measures, the Warriors are bringing the team back to basketball.

Dr. Mario Moussa and Dr. Derek Newberry are the authors of Committed Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance. They both teach at the Wharton School of Business. For more information on their work, visit, www.committedteams.com

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Dwyane Wade Cried On The Court After Finding Out That Prince Said He Was His Favorite Player

Dwyane Wade is a lot of people’s favorite player, especially in South Florida.

But it turns out that Prince was quite the fan as well and that got to the “Flash” before the start of Game 7 of the first round on Sunday.

Wade was caught by ESPN cameras shedding a tear, which prompted speculation as to why he was crying.

Well Wade cleared it all up yesterday on Twitter:

Listen to the part of this interview where Prince says that Wade is his favorite player:

 

H/T: Rolling Stone

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Scroll to top