Mind Over Sports

LAKERS FORWARD METTA WORLD PEACE: IS HE COMMITTED TO WINNING?

Posted on: April 17, 2013

As an athlete or coach, when you are committed to winning, there is no such word in the English language as “hope” or “try.” Either you are committed, or you’re not. It’s somewhat like being a little pregnant. Either you are or you aren’t. So you can imagine my surprise when I read in today’s USA Today that Lakers forward Metta World Peace said “We’re going to try to win this thing this year.” Does Metta World Peace believe they can win? Is he committed to winning? From my perspective, I would say no. But fortunately for the Lakers and their fans you didn’t hear similar words coming from Coach Mike D’Antoni. His comment was: “Yeah, they (his players) are a very confident group…And now we’ve shifted the focus, and that’s OK. It’s one of those things where it’s (like) ‘OK, it’s too bad (losing Kobe), but let’s go forward and see what we can do.” Notice Coach D’Antoni didn’t use the words “try” and “hope” – and that’s a good sign for the Lakers.

When Joe Namath was quarterback for the N.Y. Jets, he didn’t say we hope to win or we’re going to try to win the Super Bowl. He said: “We are going to win the Super Bowl. We are going to win.” Total commitment.

So If you’re an athlete and you ever hear your coach say, “We’re going to try to win this game” – forget it – he’s not committed to winning. In fact, he doesn’t believe his team can win. And do you think his team picks that up from him? Absolutely. There’s no way he can hide it.

If I were Coach D’Antoni, I wouldn’t give Metta World Peace much playing time. I would concentrate on Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Antawn Jamison because they are the players who are most likely to step up to the plate.

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