Carmelo Anthony may not be a familiar name to everyone.  He’s an incredibly talented basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association.  And I mean “incredibly talented”. It’s hard to clearly define but he’s got to be one of the top 5 talents in the NBA, maybe even top 3.  But he’s what we used to refer to on the play ground as a “ball hog”.

Being a “ball hog” means he wants the ball in his hands all the time.  He wants to dribble it up the court.  He wants to take the majority of the shots.  He wants to be the one who dominates the floor with his prowess.  This perhaps sounds critical and in Carmelo’s defense, he IS the most talented guy on the floor.  And over his career, he has consistently performed both on a college level and in his professional career as the most capable player on the team.  He is just doing what he has done for his entire basketball experience.  He is a TOP talent.

But up until yesterday his coach wanted to change that picture and make the New York Knicks a better “team” by implementing a system that required all players to “pass the ball” more.  Mike D’Antoni quit as coach yesterday afternoon.  Though he said the polite things going out the door most everyone knew it was over a struggle with his star.  Mike wanted one approach, Carmelo wanted another.  Mike wanted Carmelo to “pass the ball” and Carmelo wanted to “hang on to the ball”.   At the end of the day Mike was unemployed, Carmelo wasn’t.

Interestingly, last evening the Knicks went out and blew up the Portland Trailblazers by 30 points.  Carmelo didn’t lead the team in scoring as it was shared with a number of players.  Carmelo tied a season high by marking 7 “assists” in his game.  He passed the ball.  And the team won.

I guess my point is that in life, it’s not always talent that wins situations.  Talent helps.  But “team” wins.  Who else is on my team?  Who is “open” that I can pass the ball to them?  When do I take the initiative and when do I pass the ball?  Here’s a thought, you really do look like a winner when you can find someone who is a little behind you in the development curve and you can help them succeed (even if it means you play a set up role).    On a different angle, who is on your team that sets you up?  That takes less limelight in order to give you more?  Do they know that you know that?

Pass the ball…