“By design and by talent the Celtics were a team of specialists, and like a team of specialists in any field, our performance depended on individual excellence and how well we worked together. None of us had to strain to understand that we had to complement each other’s specialties - it was simply a fact - and we all tried to figure out ways to make our combination more effective … the Celtics played together because we knew it was the best way to win.”

“Star players have an enormous responsibility “beyond their statistics—the responsibility to pick their team up and carry it. You have to do this to win championships—and to be ready to do it when you’d rather be a thousand other places. You have to say and do the things that make your opponents play worse and your teammates play better. I always thought that the most important measure of how good a game I’d played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.”

Bill Russell on the secret of winning in "The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons

A team championship exposes the limits of self-reliance, selfishness and irresponsibility. One man alone can’t make it happen; in fact, the contrary is true: a single man can prevent it from happening. The success of the group assures the success of the individual, but not the other way around. Yet this team is an inept model, for even as people marvel at its unselfishness and skill involved, they disagree on how it is achieved and who is the most instrumental. The human closeness of a basketball team cannot be reconstructed on a larger scale.

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“I believe that basketball, when a certain level of unselfish team play is realized, can serve as a kind of metaphor for ultimate cooperation. It is a sport where success, as symbolized by the championship, requires that the dictates of the community prevail over selfish personal impulses. An exceptional player is simply one point on a five-pointed star. Statistics—such as points, rebounds, or assists per game—can never explain the remarkable interaction that takes place on a successful pro team.”

2016

Bill Bradley speaking on the secret of winning in "The Book of Basketball" by Bill Simmons

the class of

=

MY BUTTON

Be, be-fore we came to this country

We were kings and queens, never porch monkeys

There was empires in Africa called Kush

Timbuktu, where every race came to get books

To learn from black teachers who taught Greeks and Romans

Asian Arabs and gave them gold when

Gold was converted to money it all changed

Money then became empowerment for Europeans

The Persian military invaded

They heard about the gold, the teachings, and everything sacred

Africa was almost robbed naked

Slavery was money, so they began making slave ships

Egypt was the place that Alexander the Great went

He was in shock that the mountains had black faces

Shot off the nose to impose what basically

Still goes on today, you see?

If the truth is told, the youth can grow

Then learn to survive until they gain control

Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes

Read more learn more, change the globe

Ghetto children, do your thing

Hold your head up, little man, you're a king

Young Princess when you get your wedding ring

Your man will sing "She's my queen!"

 

I know I can (I know I can)
Be what I wanna be (be what I wanna be)
If I work hard at it (If I work hard at it)
I'll be where I wanna be (I'll be where I wanna be)

 

I know I can (I know I can)
Be what I wanna be (be what I wanna be)
If I work hard at it (If I work hard at it)
I'll be where I wanna be (I'll be where I wanna be)

 

"I Can"

Nas

(2002)

(back to class)