Kevin Durant: What Separates the Thunder Star from the Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay?

September 20th, 2010 by ken park Leave a reply »
In Bill Simmons' wonderful Book of Basketball, he reveals "the Secret" to obtaining team success in the NBA.

Championship teams have players who understand the need of putting the collective above self. Players must be resistant to the "disease of more" and curb their inherent desires to take more shots, gain more recognition, and individual glory.

So long as the team comes first, champions can be born.

Simmons' theory is intuitively appealing. Case in point: If only Delonte West could have contained his lust for Gloria James, mother of LeBron James—who knows?—he might have been an NBA champion last season.

But if "the Secret" explains why some teams succeed and others fail, what factors cause separation among individuals? For instance, why is Kevin Durant so much better than Rudy Gay? Is it because of Durant's freakishly long wingspan? Does he play harder? Practice more? "The Secret" to individual success remains unclear.

The answer cannot be superior physical attributes. Consider the following table that shows basic ...

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