Did Utah Jazz Hear Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali? They should


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Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder said his goal in every game, every night, and every day is for his team to get better. Win or lose, he emphasizes the question and answer of the question: Is the team getting better? That’s what he’s focused on, he said, even more so: Does the team win the freak game?

Two things: 1) Do you believe he actually did it? 2) Is it some highfalutin concept placed at the high end of NBA basketball? Because, you know, in that space, winning is all that matters.

The whole improvement deal seems a bit late here, like something the Junior Jazz coach might have rightly said to his 11-year-olds.

Or, to some, it sounds like an excuse or a rationalization.

Hear what many NBA coaches have to say after their teams lose a game or series in the regular season. They talk about needing better communication, better focus, better execution – all things mental.

What they almost never say is, “You know, my team isn’t good enough. We are not talented enough. We might as well pack it, because this group of people is going nowhere. “

They don’t say it – even if it’s true.

They can not.

But the Jazz track is different. They are truly one of the most talented teams in the NBA. Meaning, they might be good enough – if they stay fit – to win the title they seek.

If that’s true – some will think they’re talented enough, some think otherwise – the more you consider what championship coaches and players claim about winning those championships, the better. It is easier to believe that once a team is at least in the playing field. , talent-wise, it’s really the spiritual approach that makes the difference.

Snyder is a smart man. He saw his team finish with the best of the regular season and get knocked out in the second round. He is fully aware of the importance of staying healthy and… yes, better. Prepare for the battle ahead. And if you look at past champions, that preparation is a big deal.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an article for USA Today a decade ago, discussing what it takes to be a champion and his words will take most readers, especially skeptics. , go back to the amateur ball level.

Come on, Kareem. Reality.

The funny thing is, he’s being real. He acknowledges the benefit of having excellent players on a title team, how important that is, but he says there’s more to the equation. His reliability in this regard can hardly be doubted.

The first word he used was… persuasive.

“If you don’t have faith, no matter how physically fit you are, you will never rise to the championship level. … Belief is about dedicating yourself to being the best athlete your mind and body will allow you to be. … You have to see yourself as a champion long before you actually become one. Certainly, it is a great advantage to be born with countless material gifts. But even competitors who are physically weaker than others can reach the top through hard work, determination and preparation.”

Yes, that sounds like an exhausting motivational speech. And what’s worse, Jabbar quotes from John Wooden’s list of 15 qualities that lead to success, which includes everything from diligence to loyalty to partnership, but the six-time champion swore. with those principles, individually and collectively.

He cited two boxing champions.

Jack Dempsey said, “A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.

And this, from Muhammad Ali: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t give up. Suffer now and live the rest of your life like a champ. ‘”

Jabbar also stresses the importance of an unselfish attitude for any championship-aspiring basketball team, which is essentially doing what it takes to be a living, active organism that allows the talents to play. individual abilities, but also benefit from them being connected to the whole.

Two additional questions, then: 1) Is jazz music talented? 2) Do they have the mental capacity to learn from the lessons of the past and work collectively and sacrifice under pressure to win it all?

Answer those questions in any way you see fit.

Jazz has three All-Stars – one, the best defender on the planet, one, a veteran point guard who has seen pretty much everything that can be seen, and one, a rising young presence no longer young, who has absorbed the lessons of the past, who is leading Jazz forward.

None of those people – Rudy Gobert, Mike Conley or Donovan Mitchell – seemed content in any way to sit back and allow the achievements and acclaim and bank accounts of the past and present. now is enough.

In addition, they have the boys who finished first and second last season in the sixth Man of the Year poll. And they have strengthened, deepened and more varied, their bench.

Everyone knows all this.

Everyone understands, the other top teams are also very good.

Everyone understands that Jazz is not perfect.

But talent wise, they are in that ballpark.

They have experienced the disappointment and heartbreak of the past, damaged in one way or another in the post-season, in the short term to come.

Listen to Mitchell, the team leader, and the message is clear: Nothing has been good enough so far, much work remains to be done, much work, focus, and sacrifices needed, all the things that aren’t good enough. my friend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar mentioned. n: Worthy. Turns out, he came true.

Jazz players point to the ascent of the Milwaukee Bucks as an example. Learn, climb, punch, learn, climb more, get punched, learn, climb and punch someone, punch everyone else.

Translation: Improve, get better, swallow all that Snyder is serving.

And then, as Ali, a great boxer, said, “Live the rest of your life like a champion.” Did Utah Jazz Hear Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali? They should

Beth Allcock

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