Observations from Curt Schilling

Sitting beside the Lakers’ bench during last night’s match-up between the Lakers and the Celtics, Curt Schilling (pitcher for the Red Sox) had a chance to watch an NBA Final’s game ‘up close & personal’.

His observations are certainly intriguing … 

Manny, JD, Papi, Lester and the NBA Finals.
… it was a fascinating bit of insight for me to watch someone in another sport who is in the position of a team leader and how he interacted with his team and teammates. Watching the other 11 guys, every time out it was high fives and “Hey nice work, let’s get after it” or something to that affect. He walked off the floor, obligatory skin contact on the high five, and sat on the bench stone faced or pissed off, the whole game. Just weird to see another sport and how it all works. I would assume that’s his style and how he plays and what works for him because when I saw the leader board for scoring in the post season his name sat up top at 31+ a game, can’t argue with that. But as a fan I was watching the whole thing, Kobe, his teammates and then the after effects of conversations. He’d yell at someone, make a point, or send a message, turn and walk away, and more than once the person on the other end would roll eyes or give a ‘whatever dude’ look.

==========================

There are several specific reasons the Celtics are going to win this series.

What Mr. Schilling observed last night … even as a self-professed basketball ‘neophyte’ … is a revealing portrait of the inner workings of two divergent NBA teams, each operating at an elite level, and a prime example of more than one of these specific reasons.

Rebounding Differential, We not me … and, Ubuntu!

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11 Responses to “Observations from Curt Schilling”

  1. Jack Says:

    The series is not over by a long shot.

  2. khandor Says:

    Jack,

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. fluxland Says:

    It must be hard to understand genius.

    The guy may be an a hole, but I hardly doubt he doesn’t know what he is talking about… and why would you not do everything in your power to ride the wave of one of the best players on the planet or someone who has already won 3 rings, I don’t understand.

    You can’t like everyone you work with, but it’s sad dudes can’t put their personal opinions aside in order to accomplish a common goal.

    Maybe it’s wrong to assume that all of the Lakers want to win, as I’m sure they think they will only be adding to his legacy while getting nothing in return. Not to mention how for some of them, unlike Kobe, this is a job and paycheck, not something they love.

    I wish Kobe would retire or fake an injury and let the bastards burn out there. Pathetic Mr. S didn’t have the gull to reveal who these clowns are. I mean, he can point out Kobe but not the parties rolling their eyes? Whatever.

  4. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    IMO, this is also a key part of Schilling’s message:

    I am not making this observation in a good or bad way, I have no idea how the guys in the NBA play or do things like this, but I thought it was a fascinating bit of insight for me to watch someone in another sport who is in the position of a team leader and how he interacted with his team and teammates.”

    According to Schilling he was not passing judgment on Bryant or his ways.

    The person passing judgment here, on Kobe, given what Mr. Schilling observed in Game 2 “up close & personal”, in addition to what I’ve seen myself, thus far this season … is me.

    Kobe is the best player in the NBA.
    Kobe has come a long way this season as a Team Leader.

    The Lakers, as constructed, are a terrific team.

    The Celtics are the better team, this season … when the Lakers are without Andrew Bynum and a fully integrated Trevor Ariza … and will win the 2007-2008 NBA championship.

    Next year will be the season that Kobe & the Lakers, as a team, take the next step up the ladder toward Greatness.

    Time will tell if I’m Right or Wrong. 🙂

  5. fluxland Says:

    Oh, I think he was passing judgment..

    I know very little about baseball, but it strikes me as a sport where playing together doesn’t play much part in team success, more of a do your job i do mine situation.. like a factory assembly line. Do they really need leaders on teams?

    I haven’t read that link but

    I hardly expect many people to understand the intensity and focus that is Kobe.. non alpha males or non type A personalities are confused by such types and label the a holes every chance they get. These people (a types) expect much more out of people then they are probably capable of (umm.. sound familiar? : ) ) and don’t spend their time babying them and praising them for things that are expect of them as part of their job.

    Also, if the Lakers lose this series, I don’t expect much from them in next years post season. Kobe really should retire or go play in Europe as he said he would when he was much younger. The damage that has been inflicted in these last two game is not something they will as team mates be able to recover from, IMO. I hope Kobe just gets his in the next few games and the Lakers get swept… the rat bastards he plays with don’t deserve his efforts at all.

    Andrews injury has be rumored to be much worst then the Lakers are letting on.. I for one am not expect much from that team next year. Lamar Odom needs to be traded.. this guy is so frustrating to watch.. I’d take Slava over him anyday.. he looks like he has never played bball out there sometimes.

  6. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    It took Michael Jordan (and his teammates and his head coach) a long time to learn these same lessons (in Leadership) Kobe is going through right now.

    When Bynum returns healthy, and Ariza is there, in whole … to go along with Fisher, Odom, Radmanovic, Gasol, Farmar, Vujacic, Walton, Turiaf, Mihm, Mbenga, Newble & Karl

    there is no question, in my mind, that the Lakers will be the best team in the NBA … as long as Phil Jackson is their coach.

    I would simply caution anyone who is down on the Lakers & Kobe to this point that perhaps what you are not understanding fully is JUST HOW GOOD THIS CELTICS TEAM IS …

    in part because you were taken aback initially by how easily they were beaten three times by a ‘lowly’ team like the Atlanta Hawks

    and then taken to 7 games by a less-than-stellar group of Cavaliers

    … which is to be focused on the wrong things, IMO.

    This Celtics team just went from worst to first in the NBA regular season, amassed 66 W’s … and could easily have succumbed in Round 1 to the bottom-seeded team in their Conference, just like the Dallas Mavericks did last year … but DID NOT … nor did they succumb to the supreme talents of the 2nd best player in the world when he went off on them in the pivotal game of their series against Cleveland, unlike the Detroit Pistons did last year.

    This Celtics team … with Doc Rivers, Thom Thibodeau, their 3 star players and the remainder of their squad IS A TERRIFIC BASKETBALL TEAM which

    does a great job

    rebounding the ball
    defending the ball

    and

    sharing the ball.

    These Celtics now know

    who their go-to player is offensively … i.e. Paul Pierce

    and

    what their team defense & team rebounding is BUILT UPON … i.e. Kevin Garnett.

    This is one heck of a basketball team that is talented, deep and has an abiding commitment to WINNING … together.

    There is no shame in the Lakers being 2nd best to THAT … this year. 🙂

  7. fluxland Says:

    Why do the Celtics get a pass on the the “learning process”?

    How to all these players that have never played together before manage to figure it all out with lesser caliber coach and win it all?

    I’m not so much down on the Lakers then I am on the Celtics getting favoured by the refs.. the first half of the last game was a disgrace to the game of basketball.

    The only thing I can think of, besides the refs, is that the Lakers are not focused from game to game enough to be consistent. They beat the Spurs and Jazz to get here..teams much better then the Cs in my opinion.

    And I really doubt that the Lakers team will look like this next year… there is more then a few player IMO that they need to get rid of, if they plan on doing anything next year. Plus Phil is a big question.. I don’t know how much some of the players will listen to him after getting out coached by a former TV analyst. And if they didn’t figure it out this year.. some of these dummies never will.

  8. fluxland Says:

    Also it this the pitcher that keeps insane amount of data via excel sheets on hitters and is an accountant or something?

  9. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    IMO, Phil Jackson is not getting out-coached by Doc Rivers.

    What Phil isn’t doing, however, is out-coaching Doc by a wide margin.

    There’s a big difference between those to statements.

    ===============================

    The Celtics’ ‘learning curve’ in their situation is different than the ‘learning curve’ Kobe and the Lakers are experiencing at this time.

    This might not be an easy answer to accept … but it is an accurate observation, IMO.

    What’s been put together this season in Boston isn’t similar at all to what’s happening with the Lakers this year.

    Kobe & the Lakers are experiencing something similar to what MJ & the Bulls experienced during the growth years in Chicago, prior to their extended run of Greatness.

    This is what I see ahead for the Lakers … who are very much a young & developing team with 1 quintessential Supernova at the core of their team, a terrific head coach, and considerable room to grow for a burgeoning superstar like I think Andrew Bynum is about to become in the next year or two, depending on his recovery from this injury.

    In my experience … much like the old saying which goes,

    “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”

    so, too, does this sentiment apply to young, cocksure crew of ballers in LA theat thought (mistakenly?) they had the goods already to climb this Mount Everest against a force like these Celtics and their Ubuntu!

    Ahhn, ahh.

    They are finding out first-hand that they are not quite there … YET.

    If their management does the right thing, and keeps this bunch together … then, look out next season.

    What you are going to see then is the full fury of a woman scorned … who is coming to GET WHAT SHE WANTS, BY HOOK OR BY CROOK … or by any means necessary!

    At that point, even Ubuntu won’t be able able to spot it!!!

    In contrast, what the Celtics have right here & now is a very special moment in time … that is simply not going to last in perpetuity.

    Yes, the Celtics are going to be good for a number of years to come, after winning the title this season … but their Core Group is not going to be able to overcome what the Lakers bring to the table next season and beyond, as Mr. Bynum continues to mature, alongside Misters MVP, ‘Picasso’, ‘Poisson’, Odom, Ariza, Vujacic, ‘Radman’, ‘Hearttransplant’, Farmar, ‘Son-of-Bill’, etc.

    The Celtics are a great team, no doubt … with the Zeitgeist at their back this year.

    The Lakers are a going to be GREAT-team-for-the-ages that … once they line-up

    Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol & Andrew Bynum … together

    with

    Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Trevor Ariza, Ronny Turiaf, Vladamir Radmanovic, Chris Mihm, DJ Mbenga, Koby Karl, Ira Newble & Sun Yue (22 yrs of Age, 6’9, Guard, China)

    coming of the bench, and coached by the ZenMaster, are not going to be stopped for a good while.

    ===============================

    This Lakers team needs to get tougher physically, mentally and emotionally … which losing this year’s final will help them to do.

    Then … it’s all over for the rest of the League … until

    Lebron’s management team can solve the riddle in Cleveland, or GREG ODEN’S team in Portland begins its inevitable ascent to the top of the league, etc.

    ===============================

    It’s a great time to be alive … and a hoops aficionado. 🙂

  10. fluxland Says:

    What I meant was that some of the players will believe that Phil got outcoached and will stop listening to anything he say. Some of the comments Odom has made in the press, for example, leads me to believe this. Vujabitch can’t stand Kobe, Radumbovich doesn’t even like basketball and I have no I dead what Karl, Mihm and Walton are doing playing basketball. Waltons skills have diminished year after year since he came into the L. Farmar is a poor mans Rondo.

    Also, I don’t see what is happening NOW with Kobe is what MJ went thru.. I thought he went thru that in between the last year he was in the Finals to this year. It’s a shame that he got stuck with a few of these players that have no business playing in this league, let alone the Finals.

    He will fail at this quest not due to failing to do everything right.. but due to some of his teammates not being on the same level as he is and thinking that making it to the Finals was mission accomplished. I think this will cause much damage to his mental state and the game of basketball and I don’ t know what Phil will be able to say to motivate him. He will go back to old ‘get my own’ Kobe.

    Also, I highly doubt many of these players will learn anything from this experience.. the are just a bunch of trailers let by Kobe the truck. How can you not recognize this moment for what it is… seize it and leave your soul out on the floor is beyond me. Rolling your eyes and mocking the best player on the planet… I don’t care if he said that he will dunk from halfcourt or do a cartwheel in the the middle of his next jumpshot.. you don’t do that shit.. “whatever, dude?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!! I hope he doesn’t take one shot tonight and then rolls his eyes at these a holes. They simply don’t deserve to be playing with him.

  11. khandor Says:

    Flux,

    1) What’s happening to Kobe right now is no one else’s fault but Kobe’s.

    2) Sport is Talent Driven.

    When the Talent Level is relatively even then the side with the better attitude can/will win more than its fair share of contests.

    When the Talent Level is titled drastically one way or the other, in almost all cases, the team with the significant Talent Advantage is going to come out on top. Which is not to say that major upset specials can’t happen still, cause in fact they do, once-in-a-blue-moon, e.g. Miracle On Ice. This is not the norm, however.

    When the Talent Level is tilted drastically to one side of the equation + that same side possesses THE KNOWLEDGE of what it takes to WIN … then you get a run like the old Celtics and the Bulls put together, punctuated by Chicago’s 72 Win season.

    ===============================

    Add Andrew Bynum (and a fully integrated Trevor Ariza) to this current group of Lakers’ and … IMO … there would be no/very little disharmony on the Purple & Gold, no eye rolling, and no “Whatever, dude” cause their Talent Level would simply be ‘Off the Charts’.

    What you’re seeing on display, right now, isn’t actually that ‘bad’ in the grand scheme of things … it’s only being made to appear that way in juxtoposition to the Ubuntu! on display by this group of Celtics.

    The Lakers have, in fact, come a long way together this season … and their collective esprit de corps is being tested ‘here & now’.

    Even if they come up short, it will not kill them … cause this group is still very much on the ascent in their learning curve … it will only serve to make them stronger as a unit down-the-road.

    3) Kobe is the one who has to learn how to accomplish his goals without Shaq there beside him … with Bynum at his side now, instead; and, with Gasol as the #3 Option (which is a scary thought in and of itself); with Odom as the #4 Option (can you picture that?); with a 2nd Man-2-Man defender who is almost as athletic as Kobe, and as good a Wing rebounder, in Ariza; a terrific spot-up shooter, who just happens to have quick feet, is a hard worker on D, is 6-7, and goes by the name ‘Machine’; etc., etc., etc., …

    IMO … when this crew puts it all together, next season … it is going to be a thing of beauty to see.

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