This isn't going to be entirely about the Spurs or basketball. It's just that LeBron and Wade maneuvering to form a new Big Three in Miami, and Chris Paul complaining to get traded from New Orleans got me thinking about something my first really good boss told me. (EDIT: There's also a San Antonio connection that I forgot to mention when I posted this originally. I worked for my first really good boss in San Antonio. Where I fell in love with the Spurs. Even though they didn't win a championship until after I moved away.)
We worked in a highly-competitive, high-pressure environment -- one in which billions of dollars were at stake, because it cost a company billions of dollars in capital equipment and facilities to build a manufacturing plant. As a result, managers were under constant pressure to bring up such plants quickly, and managers with such skills were extremely important and valuable to companies. But it was also an industry in which turnover tended to be driven from the top... a senior manager or VP would leave a company for another, and then recruit his key guys from his former employer.
My boss came into my company because he was a kind of key troubleshooter for a new VP who joined a few months earlier. When the VP eventually left (mainly internal politics), everyone expected my boss to leave and follow him. Certainly the VP asked him to join him at his new company.
He didn't. And he explained it to me as follows: When you're really, really, really good, you don't need to bring in your lieutenants from your old company to back you up. Bringing in your 'mafia' disrupts the new company and introduces unnecessary politics there. His feeling was the very best managers could go anywhere and be successful with the people already there, without having to resort to the wholesale replacement of personnel. Only if someone was entirely untrainable would it be necessary to replace him with someone else (possibly but NOT NECESSARILY someone that had worked for the manager before). And he just felt that the VP, with whom he was close to, was not really that good.
He was perfectly serious. And he proved his point by moving to another company years after I left, where I have no doubt that he was still quite successful without having to ask me or any of his former reports to work for him.
So when I heard "The Decison" or about CP3's demands to be traded to certain teams, I thought about my boss again, and wondered, who are the NBA players that I'd consider to be -- by my boss' standards -- really, really, really good?
The Big Fundamental would be one, imho. Not for his first championship -- joining David Robinson (even one past his best playing years) and Sean Elliott was lucky. But the subsequent championships -- staying here patiently as new players came in and developing with them into a team -- show to me how good he really, really, really is.
I have to include Robert Horry because in sixteen seasons, he has seven freakin rings from three different teams! OK, maybe some luck was involved and some smarts in picking the Spurs -- being lucky and smart does not preclude someone from being really, really, really good imho -- but he contributed to all of those championship teams. He's not called "Big Shot Rob" for nothing.
I gotta go now, but would like PtR'rs' thoughts on this. Who do you think is really, really, really good? (Doesn't have to be just NBA players)