Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. Mark 10:43
Shockwaves went out across the NBA horizon yesterday as Kevin Durant made his decision to transition to the Golden State Warriors. Soundbites and social media chatter abounds as to whether or not he made the right move. Now I must admit that I’m a bit of a NBA nostalgic. It’s hard for me to fathom what it would have been like to have Magic, Michael or Larry unite for a NBA season or two. However the purpose of this post is not to give my own opinion as to whether it was right or wrong for KD to leave OKC.
First of all I give him much respect for doing what he thought was right for him amid all the criticism that he knew would come with it. In addition, his courage has caused me to ponder a few questions which I hope you will also consider:
Is he weak for joining a winning team?
Can he be just as great by uniting with a great team?
Obviously KD felt this move was the right move for him as a player. (BTW remember what’s right for you may not seem right to everybody else). I’d like to share how we like KD can make the right move and have a new definition of greatness.
1. Can't I be great if I'm allowed to add value to a great team? Ironically, the same Warriors fans that were hating on KD a couple of weeks ago, are now celebrating him because of what he will bring to the team. But I submit to you that great players not only bring their amazing ability level, but also an amazing attitude that says, “I choose completing you over competing against you!” They do not feel the need to strangle the spotlight to be a star or hog the headlines to be a hero. What would our world look like if individuals prioritized making things better over being bigger?
2. Can't I be great if my desire is to develop my potential? Is it possible that joining the Warriors will not shrink KD but actually stretch him? In fact, KD mentioned that one of the main reasons for the move was his growth not only as a player but as a man. We often fail to remember that great players have a need to be challenged not only by the predicaments they encounter but also by other great players. Imagine what will arise from the daily conversations and competition among championship caliber teammates.
3. Can't I be great if I'm willing to emphasize that the end game is what really matters? After the colossal defeats that KD and also his new team experienced by both blowing 3-1 leads, they now have one thing on their mind- an all-out desire to win. When this desire is prevalent, it’s no longer about personal agendas or accolades but what really matters is accomplishing the goal of winning.
In conclusion, our culture continually emphasizes only one characteristic of greatness which is, having the ability to carry others on your shoulders. It’s the trait that many are delighted by and can no doubt be defined as great. ( If you don’t believe me just look at what Lebron just did for the Land), However we must also recognize that greatness can be achieved when great players combine their efforts and sacrifice for the greater good. We must communicate to individuals that it’s ok to team up and be terrific. Our churches, classrooms, careers, and communities need to know that when we have a synergistic perspective, the scope of our possibilities is limitless!
P.S.- Interestingly the Warriors now have the last 3 MVP award winners. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the first CO-MVP’s of the NBA this year?