One question loomed early in the NBA season. What would happen first: a Warriors’ loss or Sixers’ win? The Philadelphia Sixers won their first game on December 1st against the Los Angeles Lakers. On Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors fell to the Milwaukee Bucks. One team has a 1-24 record while the other is 24-1.
These two teams traveled different paths. You can pinpoint the divergent paths to the 2012-2013 season. Both teams remained relatively in the middle level of the NBA; not the worst team or the best.
The Sixers decided to tank. They traded away or let go of the core players. In return, they accumulated draft picks. Following the 2012-13, the Sixers approached the season to receive the coveted number one draft pick. They would continue to lose until they found their future Michael Jordan or LeBron James.
Golden State took another path. Instead of tanking for talent, they began to build a team. Chemistry formed with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and an unheralded draft pick, Draymond Green. Steve Kerr started coaching the team last year, and they won the NBA Championship.
Beyond the statistics and numbers, you can observe the differences between these two teams. Stadiums fill up when the Warriors come to town. Each night of the winning streak ESPN highlighted this team. On the other hand, the NBA wants the Sixers to stop losing with the addition of basketball icon Jerry Colangelo (click here for the story).
Andy Stanley said, “What’s celebrated is repeated.” As I have observed the Warriors, you can see this wisdom expressed. The team celebrates not only the made baskets, but also the behind scenes rebounds, steals, and effort plays. Plain and simple, they have fun playing basketball and being on a team together.
Whether you follow basketball or not, we can learn from the Warriors. Fun has a place in our communities. Not just in what we do, but enjoying the people who are with us. We can begin to learn how to appreciate each other. I think watching the Sixers and Warriors cause us to ask two questions: What are we celebrating? Are we celebrating the right things?
What are your observations about the Warriors and/or Sixers?