Earn Your Stripes

Every player wants to win. What most players lack however is what they are willing to do or give up in order to win.


Do you want to succeed or do you deserve the success? Have you worked hard and earned your triumphs or are you just hoping that they’ll come to you…


Here’s how a championship team does it…


Kawhi Leonard – The night after the draft, Leonard went straight to the practice ground in San Antonio and started putting up shots to begin his journey in the NBA. 3 days later, NBA lockout puts a stop to that. That just gives everyone a glimpse of the 21 year olds’ work ethic. His improvement in the last two years and determination is what has shut down LeBron James this series.


Gary Neal – Neal was bounced around as nobody wanted to pick his contract up. Turkey to Spain to Italy and yet Neal was able to stay focused and worked on his game. Eventually he found himself on Poppovich’s bench. Accepting his role and playing within the team, he’s performance in game 3 was spectacular.


Danny Green – Green was the sixth man in North Carolina, coming off the bench to Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington. he got some minimal minutes with the Cavs when LeBron was there, but ended up getting cut. He was then cut by the Spurs. Played in the D-league for a while, then Slovenia. Danny then practically begged Poppovich for another chance with the Spurs and has not disappointed. Accepting his role within the squad, he is now a key player and starts ahead of Manu Ginobli.


Manu Ginobli – Manu is the type of player that could walk to any team in the NBA and get a starting spot. But he understands his worth with the Spurs. He trusts his coach and plays for the team and not for him. Has been coming off the bench for the last 13 years, but still realises that he is a key player. That’s maturity and being a great teammate.


Tim Duncan – Speaking of great teammates, no one is better the Tim. Tim wants to win and will do whatever it takes. If that means that he has to sit and defer to his teammates, then so be it, that’s exactly what he’ll do. Tim showed great leadership when he volunteered to have his wages cut in half so that his teammates Manu and Tony Parker could stay with the Spurs.


Tony Parker – Playing for a great coach for the last 12 years can certainly help, but Tony Parker’s leadership on and off the floor keeps the Spurs engine running smoothly. He realises that he is in charge on the floor and keeps his teammates composed and together at all times. Does this mean he doesn’t make mistakes? Of course not, he’s still human and will make mistakes, but he recovers well and finds his teammates and puts them in positions where they’re able to succeed.


Thiago Splitter – From a soccer crazed nation, comes Thiago Splitter, who at 15 was a ball bag carrier in Brazil. After playing with Brazil’s U21 squad in FiBA Americas, he got drafted by the Spurs in 2007. He struggled, but kept working at his game. Splitter played in the Spanish Leagues and eventually got brought back into the Spurs rotation in 2010.


Then we have Matt Bonner, DeJuan Blair, Patty Mills and Cory Joseph are still working on earning their stripes. Players will never get what they want, rather we will always get what we earn!!


Learn from this Championship team and accept your roles to allow team success.

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