Post 2: Lessons Learned from just watching Basketball

In Post 1, I listed some observations from watching this season’s basketball. Please check it out to better understand the origin of this continuation Post.

In this Post, I’m diving into the Lessons Learned.

  1. Don’t give up: Persevere
  2. Be open-minded
  3. Change
  4. Believe
  5. Always put your best foot forward, and
  6. Speak / affirm your success.

Lessons

  1. Don’t give up: Persevere

The two teams in this season’s Finals got there as a result of perseverance and resilience. Not ever giving up means that your time will surely come if you continue to persevere. Most of us give up at the slightest turn of adversity and lose our dreams. Sometimes we give up at the edge of our breakthroughs.

Milwaukee Bucks’ back-to-back eliminations at the semi-finals rounds were both painful despite being the #1 NBA team both years. The team nevertheless did not give up, nor was the coach fired (a common theme with losing teams), nor did Giannis Antetokounmpo request a trade as a result. And, now, here they are at the Finals.

Another lesson came from Chris Paul who, and team, are also in the Finals now. But Chris has been in the NBA for sixteen years, in five different teams, but never once made it this far. Read more about Chris Paul here.

  1. Be open-minded

In basketball, or any sport for that matter, or in business, or at work, one may be required to perform in a different position, shift, or another job, or be offered a differing business proposal. It is important to be open-minded in accepting the shift or change and/or weighing the proposal. LeBron James though officially a forward, small and power, has played the point guard position and is one of a few players capable of playing all five positions. He wouldn’t have been if he had closed up on being tried on the other positions. True that sometimes one might try other positions and not excel at it. That’s okay; the attitude should be that “at least I tried it.” One would never know without trying.

  1. Change

Change is good. Yet some changes can be bad. It is a matter of attitude and perception – is the glass half-full or half-empty.

Changes for the players may occur as a result of trades or exercising their free agency options, and for the coaches by being fired. Both players and coaches could also not have their contracts renewed.

Trades are a part of basketball. It happens every season. NBA has designated a time frame for all trades to happen and the “deadline traditionally is in early February, about three and a half months from the start of the regular season.” While some players request the trade either because of friction / conflict or frustration not advancing as envisioned, most are traded because of non-performance. Also, most teams trade as a business proposition. An example is when the team desires a key player. To make it happen, the team might have to exercise some options that will trade (or let go of) an existing player or players in order to make room for the new player without exceeding the salary cap (which is the limit to the total amount of money that NBA teams are allowed to pay their players.). Good examples were when Golden State Warriors (GSW) and Los Angeles Lakers acquired Kevin Durant (KD) and LeBron James respectively.

I watched KD being an unhappy and aggressive player during his tenure at Oklahoma City (OKC.) But saw a “new” KD while at GSW. He didn’t show any unnecessary aggressiveness, but merely let out his super-elite skills. And he was happier in my opinion. The same observation goes for Anthony Davis formerly of New Orleans Pelicans (NOP), now with the Lakers.

  1. Believe

Faith is action. And faith without works is dead. Putting our faith to work produces result. And backing our faith with action, produces the desired result. Faith without action is merely wishful thinking. I noticed a lot of the players show, overtly or covertly, one form of faith or another. Some do the sign of the cross and others clasp their hands in a form of prayer. Notable among the players are Steph Curry and James Harden, The clasped hands might also connote “thanks.” Since I don’t know why the players perform the acts of faith or gratitude that they do, I’m unable to say whether their were praying or showing gratitude for answered prayers or not. But those forms of public actions demonstrate the players’ faith in a higher being.

  1. Always put your best foot forward

Some of us wait for things (or life) to happen to us then we react, rather than being proactive and going for the best and highest of everything we desire in life. I used to be so, too. There were areas of my life that I would not negotiate and thus was very proactive in those areas. A few others though, I just “accepted” when I should have denied.

In the Milwaukee Bucks-Atlanta Hawks Series opener, I witnessed Bucks playing reactively and thus not only lost to Hawks for Game 1, but had to thereafter “pant to win” though they were clearly the favored-to-win of the two teams. The win still happened for the Bucks in this instance, but sometimes it could have been the opposite. I hope that they learned a lesson from it, too.

Lesson: put your utmost endeavor at the onset of everything you do.

  1. Speak / affirm your success

This should actually be the Number 1 lesson but I left it here to match its placement with the first post.

Speaking your preferred outcome into existence is an act of faith though many call it affirmation. Whatever you call it, just speak it out specifically loud and clear. I know LeBron James spoke it out and pursued it relentlessly to the point of changing teams in search of the first Championship and ring. He’s done it thrice, has the three rings, and is looking on to the fourth.

Chris Paul has also declared that he has to win the Championship.

Note: your words must be specific. For example, “this is my year or season to win the Championship” is much better than saying “I have to win the Championship.” The latter is too general and has no set date attached to it.

It is akin to setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Target Date) Goals.

Questions and Comments

There you have my 6 Lessons Learned from watching Basketball. The lessons also apply to other sports. Do you watch basketball, too? Which of these lessons resonate with you? Do you have other lessons you would like to add? Please include in the Comments. Thank you for reading; like and share if you please.

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