In late August, Caron Butler said, “people shouldn’t be scared to mention championship.” On Tuesday, Antawn Jamison followed up with his own championship talk. You can read it covered by Michael Lee in the WaPost and Mike Jones in the WaTimes.
Good sound-bites, but should the Wizards really be talking about a championship? Of course they should, and here are the top four reasons why:
#4) If you’re setting goals, why not set them high? …and we’re not talking about setting goals while you’re getting high, a la Allen Iverson, and some sort of god propelled (probably Jobu), dream of marching the Larry O’Brien down Beale Street.
#3) Talking title sets a tone. The Wizards aren’t here to hope, they’re taking the court to want and desire. As soon as players start talking about maybes, shouldas, couldas, and wouldas … those big ‘IFs’ (looking at you health bug), they’re already psychologically putting themselves behind the eight-ball. The seriousness of backing up expressed championship aspirations brings an air of focus to the table.
#2) The ability to compete starts with believing you can. Just as Jamison says, “I believe we can compete with Boston, we can compete with Cleveland, we can compete with Orlando. If you can compete with those teams, you put yourself in the category of the teams that can contend for a championship.”
#1) Doubter fuel. Last but not least … for those who’ve heard the words of Jamison and Butler and have reacted snidely with a “yea, riiiiight,” or are perhaps reading this very post, snickering in a sea of snark.
Doubters only bring the core group trying to achieve the ultimate goal closer together. These aren’t some kids on a playground who are going to take their ball home crying when picked on or questioned. These are professional basketball players. And likely, as the usually case with people at the top of their profession, someone has doubted them along the road, and it’s only made them want to succeed more.
So doubt the Wizards and make it vocal. That’s what they want you to do.