- Media pressure
- Individual psyche and mental state during a game
- Personal life and stability
- Team performance and chemistry
Admittedly, it’s hard to juggle and balance these factors because some of them can’t be controlled. Take Allen Iverson for example. Iverson is one of the greatest players in NBA history to never win a championship.
Iverson’s talent and passion for basketball is unquestionable but his work ethic is debatable. In an interview after losing to the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs, Iverson said, “We’re sitting here, I’m supposed to be the franchise player, and we’re in here talking about practice.”
Evidently, Iverson valued “the actual game” more than he did “practice.” If he focused more time at the gym to work on his terrible defense and overall game-play, he may have improved enough to win an NBA championship. In Iverson’s case, practice would have been the key to greater success as a player.
But enough of that, I’m sitting here writing about practice and not the actual article. How am I supposed to help readers understand working by writing about practice?
If you admire hard work ethic, watch this clip of one of the NBA’s elite point guards, Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets.
Even though he is regarded as one of the best point guards in the league, Paul understands that he must constantly improve his game. If he’s not putting in hours at the gym practicing, he knows that other players are:
“I think a lot of times guys get to the NBA and they become content. ‘I’m good, I’m here, I’m getting paid. And I have nothing else to prove.’ But that’s not the case with me, I love to play this game, and I still have a lot to prove, most of all to myself that I really belong here.”
Paul’s love for the game of basketball propels him to constantly work at getting better above the rest of the competition on both the offensive and defensive ends. As a result, he built a stronger foundation for himself to win than Iverson. Paul also thinks differently than Iverson : Paul’s urgency and priority to become better than the rest comes from the mindset that other players are working just as hard, or even harder, than he is.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Chris Paul is a better basketball player than Allen Iverson. I am merely comparing these two athletes from the perspective that they both are, or were, elite NBA point guards, they are about the same height and weight, and they are both individuals that strive to win.
If the factors or pieces that affect an individual’s capacity to win all fall correctly into place, Chris Paul would hypothetically have a better chance at winning a game, or even a championship, than Iverson would. Why? Because Chris Paul puts in the extra time and goes to practice. But then again, we’re talking about practice.