Blind optimism runs rampant in sports. When certain people come together folks seem to think there is going to be some type of mystical fusion and everything is going to work out perfectly. Sometimes the stars align. Others not so much. This logic is always weird to me. It’s amazing how people abandon facts and seemingly insurmountable evidence when it applies to a situation that they want to see end favorably. But in all these instances there is always one common denominator, some mythical creature that apparently has the favor of the gods and performed miracles in the past. But believe it or not, even the greatest architects need the proper tools and building materials.
Let’s get into some examples shall we? Last year when KD went to the Warriors because people were pissed, they came up with every reason why it wouldn’t work and they wouldn’t run through the season and win the championship. When in actuality, that was as beautiful a sports marriage as we’ve ever seen. Fast forward to yesterday. Chris Paul is traded to the Rockets. So now we have two ball pounding, iso-heavy players on the same team that play the same position and what are the magic words I hear over and over again………….”D’Antoni will make it work.” Weird right?
Don’t get me wrong, the guys we laud as “Mr. Fix It” have definitely earned it. Their track record speaks for itself. That’s why we believed Phil Jackson was going to be successful as an executive. That’s why every player that’s ever rumored to be going to the Spurs is automatically stamped a winner. Gregg Popovich made it that way. And that’s also why all his players’ success is attributed to his “system”. It’s why John Calipari has been linked to nearly every high profile NBA coaching vacancy in recent years (although this one is confusing as his last foray into the pros was disastrous). It’s why we think Mike D’Antoni is going to make a 12 yr NBA vet totally change up his game, reinvent himself and emerge for the cocoon of the offseason an entirely different player to fit his scheme. But since these guys have gotten it done they have earned a lifetime supply of “benefit of the doubt”. D’Antoni’s last two coaching ventures have been the equivalent of a dumpster fire. Yet and still, the congregation remains faithful.
What we have to understand is these guys don’t have a magic wand, a book of spells, they can’t chant any incantations and POOF!!! success. It doesn’t work that way. There’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of things that have to go right to achieve at those levels. But acknowledging the grunt work takes away from the mystique of it all. Guess it ruins the trick if you know all the secrets……………