As time expired in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and the celebrations began, utter joy came over Lebron James and the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in Oracle Arena. The Cavs completed the first ever NBA Finals comeback facing a 3-1 series deficit against the defending Champion and NBA regular season record holders, the Golden State Warriors.
Being a sports fan, what more can you ask for? The 2 best teams in the NBA, featuring arguably 6 of the best players in all of the NBA battling it out for 7 games. King James, the games best, pushing for his 3rd Ring, while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson looked to defend their 2015 title and keep the momentum from a record setting season. The story lines were incredible and the 2016 NBA Finals will go down as one of the best ever.
During the game, I was thinking about the magnitude of the situation and was struck by how calm everyone looked, even in the early minutes. With all the pressures of the outside world, the fans’ signs, the home crowd, the expectations, the records, the media, how do the players focus in on the moment? And the answer is the Grind.
The Steph Currys, Lebron James’, Kyrie Irvings, and Klay Thompsons of the world are more than just elite gifted athletes. The elite are the quintessential Grinders. Yes, they have more God given natural ability than most, but that’s not what creates a champion. It’s the Grind. Day after day after day of working on their game, sharpening their skills and honing their craft. Thousands of misses and mistakes, countless hours of film work, and pushing their bodies to the limits physically so that in the end, they’re stronger. They’re prepared.
For most people, the professional sports world is all about what they see in front of them. Headlines, highlights and live action. The season standings and playoff pictures are what it’s all about. For the athletes that live it and people that truly know the sports world, it’s much more. The offseason holds as many opportunities as the games. It’s a chance to grow and push yourself and develop your talents to a whole new level. Hours and hours of work that no one ever sees, just to put yourself in a position for potential greatness.
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights” – Muhammad Ali
Words of wisdom from The Greatest.
No matter which team you were rooting for last night and during the series, we all got to witness something very special. That elite group of talented athletes left it all on the court for 7 straight games. They battled back and forth and each faced tremendous times of adversity, but in the end the team that was most consistent hoisted the trophy.
Today is the first day of the offseason for the Warriors and Cavaliers. Don’t you know they’re working towards getting back to the Finals in 2017. Grind On.