When you’re a multimillionaire who is going to get paid win or lose, where does your motivation come from? The real athletes will appreciate all of the dollars in their bank accounts, but will want to play for a championship, which could prove elusive for their entire career. That’s an easy one to figure out. But what about the days in between games when your team isn’t playing well and you just got embarrassed on your home court? Is there enough pride in the Raptors
to come out ready on Sunday? When things like championships seem so far away, is there enough desire to come out and take that one baby step towards a championship?
First, maybe we should take a look at the link between desire and ability. You don’t have to have the ability necessary to have the desire for something great. You can be the ugliest guy in the world, with no discernible talents and a negative bank account, but you can still have the desire to end up with an A-list woman. Once you have that desire, you might make a damn fool out of yourself, but sure enough, you’re eventually going to find what works for you and that might translate into success (landing the A-list woman). Laugh if you will, but we’ve all seen it. When you’re out tomorrow, take a look at some average or below average dude who’s with a hot chick…then think back to what I just wrote. Thanks.
So back to the Raptors. After getting their asses handed to them on their home court and seeing their starting PG go down in the same game, will there be enough desire to come back out and show some heart? The thing is, it is going to take some COLLECTIVE desire. This can’t be individual desires resulting in wins. Just like good old Plato said, individual desires must be postponed for the good of the higher ideal (or something like that…I was mixing vodka and water in a plastic water bottle for most of that semester). Will Solomon is going to have to stop thinking about when he was a scorer in Europe and realize that the Raptors
need him to just distribute the ball. Jamario is going to have to stop this insane desire to be a 3-point champ.
Growing up playing rep hockey, if we had an ugly loss at home, the next practice, we knew as soon as we stepped on the ice, we would hear those two dreaded words, “NO PUCKS.” Now as a former goalie, this was even more dreadful. But with the Raptors, we are dealing with grown men. Does punishment such as windsprints still work? Does it just suck the life out of your team and create a disconnect between the coach and his players? Who knows? At this point, a few sprints might do the Raptors
some good, because a) they don’t run during the game…no transition game whatsoever; and b) they look woefully out of shape come crunch time in the 4th quarter.
So in the end, when you have a few days off before stepping back onto your home court, at the start of the season, are you able to get into that mindset where you’re thinking, “We must defend this house?” Does it come down to having some pride? Is pride tied to what you expect of yourself and your teammates? I guess we’ll find out on Sunday.