Sunday, October 05, 2008

BC United & Knicks Divided?

It was a storied championship run for the Boston Celtics last season. The team hadn't won a title in about two decades, but bring in big time players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to help out a longtime Celtic, Paul Pierce, then pepper the bench with veterans and great role players. That was the recipe for success in Boston as they managed to take out the Los Angeles en route to a season of basic dominance. The Celtics managed to defeat every team in the league in 2007-08, and even though they stumbled against playoff opponents Atlanta and Cleveland, Boston kept on pushing all the way to the trophy.

A recent New York Times article William C. Rhoden examines the concept of team unity amongst this Celtics squad, which is something the author says New York's Knicks team clearly lacks.

Rhodes writes:

As Rivers spoke about team and unity, I thought about a brief but poignant visit to the Knicks’ camp two days earlier. That trip underlined the necessity of quality leadership and the perils for teams — and franchises — that fail to develop it. The atmosphere at Celtics camp was a sharp departure from the mood in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where the Knicks opened camp at Skidmore College.

While the Celtics’ best player was talking to his teammates about maintaining an “all for one and one for all” mentality, the Knicks’ best player, Stephon Marbury, was embroiled in a controversy that had nothing to do with winning or losing. Would Marbury stay or would he go? Was he the cure or was he the problem?

Rhoden continues his article discussing how the Celtics team put aside individual goals and contract talk to achieve a common goal: The NBA title. The Knicks continue to suffer because they are a sum of many individuals who seem to want to outshine each other. Many facelifts have been given to that squad, but instead of a Big 3, the Knicks continue to be a Big Mess.

In 2008-09, the Celtics will definitely have targets on their backs as will the Knicks. Smart money would be on the team with the target on its back instead of the team with its backs against the basement walls.

Read the NY Times article "Celtics Wearing the Banner of Unity" here.

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