It Takes A Team …

What can we learn from this year’s NBA finals?

LeBron James. Source: Wikipedia

LeBron James is awesome. The 6’8” forward dominated the NBA finals this year, scoring an average of 36 points per game. By some measures, he had the best performance of any player in any finals ever—leading both squads in points, rebounds, and assists. But his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, still came up short. They lost the series 4-2, giving the title to Oakland’s Golden State Warriors, the first team in 25 years to win an NBA championship without any Finals experience from any of the players on their roster.

How can someone so skilled fail to bring home the title trophy? The answer is teamwork. “King James” had a great series, but his team had only 16 assists per game—significantly less than Golden State’s average of 23. James put the ball up 33 times per game. There’s four other players on the court—one player can’t do it all.

It’s like that in any significant endeavor. We can do more together than we can individually. We’re social creatures. Whether it’s sports or investing or school or family, none of us is as good as all of us.

There’s no doubt that James is one of the best basketball players ever. This was his fifth consecutive NBA Finals appearance—something that hasn’t happened since the ‘60s. But success is a lousy teacher. It makes you think you can’t lose. Life is a team sport. As Magic Johnson, another great basketball player once said, “Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can do for your teammates.”

Douglas Tengdin, CFA

Charter Trust Company

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