What Coaches and Basketball Players Can Learn from the 2013 NBA Finals
Well, the 2013 NBA Finals are over and as most of us expected, King James and his Heat are again world champions. Back-to-back, and still the LeBron haters are scrutinizing him for how he played. But you have to give LeBron credit, because he’s learned to take the criticism in stride and just play his game. And that is what you can take away as a basketball player. LeBron knows no matter what he does, no matter how many championships he wins there will always be critics out there who say he’s not in Michael or Kobe’s league. They’ll keep saying he lacks the killer instinct to take over a game when he needs to, that he’d rather pass than shoot.
Here is a pretty good comparison of Michael Jordan and Lebron James by Numbers Don’t Lie:
Whether that’s true or not it is debatable, and only LeBron knows the answer to those questions. What you can learn from watching LeBron is that he’s able to bounce back from a so-called bad game, which according to his critics is when he only scores 20 points. However, look at what he does in addition to those 20 points. He usually has 10-12 rebounds and almost that many assists. What I notice about LeBron is he’s willing to take over a game if he needs to, but he also wants to get his teammates involved during the game. Nobody will ever accuse LeBron of being a ball hog like they do Kobe, and in that aspect he can’t seem to win. If he took all the shots, he’d be criticized just as he is when he dishes out the assists. He’s part MJ, part Kobe, part Magic and all that together equals one LeBron.
As for the coaching during the series, Miami’s Spoelstra and the Spurs “Pops” Popovich both showed how not to panic and keep their teams in the game. After the Heat were blown out in Game 3, Spoelstra could have panicked and changed his approach to the series, but instead he had faith in his team and stayed the course, earning himself a second consecutive championship. “Pops” is the consummate coach, never getting too high or too low. To watch him you’d never know if the Spurs won or loss, but he definitely has the inner fire to win the big game. As coaches, these guys are two of the best. Spoelstra is being molded into the Pat Riley style of coaching by the master himself, while “Pops” is his own man and shows every coach how to tune out the critics and coach his own game, win or lose. Both coaches know the series could have gone either way if not for a shot here and there, and a rematch between the two is very possible next year. Both coaches know their players and what makes them tick, from the superstars down to the last guy on the bench. If you want to know how to develop a game plan and stick with it, these two guys are writing the book on it for all coaches.
What I learned from this year’s NBA finals was that you have to be resilient. As a basketball player you have to be resilient when working out and becoming the best player that you can be. You have to be resilient when it comes to focusing on your grades so that you can become the best student-athlete that you can be. It isn’t all about playing sports because you may not make it to the NBA or overseas after all of your hard work. That’s just the reality, but you still have to become the best person to become accomplished and successful in whatever you do. Like Lebron James said in his pre-game speech of the NBA Finals’ Game 7, “hard-work pays off”.
2013 NBA Finals: Miami Heat versus San Antonio Spurs by Lamar Hull