Loners Are Seldom Winners

The end of the current NBA season is upon us, and this is the time of year I actually pay attention to what’s going on.  I grew up absolutely loving basketball. My grandfather had played throughout school, and since he was my hero, I wanted to mimic him.   I eventually became hooked, and by the 7th grade the sport of the hardwood floor had supplanted the red dirt diamond as my favorite sport.  It helped that a guy named Michael Jordan had burst onto the scene as a global phenomenom.  Me and my buddies watched his games, wore his jersey, and begged for a pair of his “Air Jordans.”   Alas, after his retirement, I have lost much of my passion for the ole orange ball.   But, I do enjoy the semi-finals and finals.   As I watched last nights Pacers win to tie the series with the Heat, I made an observation I’d like to share.

Lebron James is his generation’s Jordan. He is a ridiculously gifted athlete, and also a ferocious competitor. Clearly, Lebron is the star and leader of the Miami Heat, even though his teammates are superstars in there own rights.   The fact remains, he is just that much better.   At the end of the game, a game that Lebron arguably had single handedly kept Miami in, he fouled out and was sent to the bench.   The game was tied up, with just a few short minutes left to play. All of Lebron’s talent, charisma, and competitiveness couldn’t help his team one bit. He was done, out of the game. So what happened?   The Heat fell apart in his absence.   They missed shots, couldn’t rebound, couldn’t defend, and superstar Wade was called for traveling!!   Total choke on the part of the Heat.   It was as if Lebron was the only fuel the Heat engine could use.   They lost the game.

I’m reminded by this situation that we all need a team.   Whether it’s your family, your staff, or your circle of friends, you need a team!!   Well, that is, if you want to accomplish anything of significance.   Jesus, the greatest leader of all time, built a team.   The early church was led by a team.   All great churches and ministries are led by great teams.   Lebron needed his team to step up. His individual accomplishments mean little if the TEAM loses.   And they lost. If you’re a leader, then build a team.   Train them, love them, and serve them.   When you build a great team, chances are together you will get some numbers in the win column.   And, the journey will be so much more fun than if you go at it alone.