The Top 3 Reasons the Golden State Warriors Embody Innovation
Over the past several months, the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry have become the targets of criticism from former NBA stars such as Charles Barkley, Kareem Abdu-Jabbar and most recently Oscar Robertson – in his post here.
The criticism is not about character or foul play, but simply that the only reason Steph Curry is the MVP and the Warriors are the NBA Champs is because players aren’t as good as before and coaches aren’t as smart as before and everyone is generally “soft”. For a culture that widely accepts the fact that athletes are just simply better now because of advances in science and technology, apparently this fact only applies to every sport and every person in the world; except the NBA.
The simple truth of the matter is that Steph Curry and the Warriors have changed the game. A game that has historically been driven by size, strength, athleticism and hard-work just looks different than it did before. Michael Jordan isn’t considered the best player of all-time because he changed the game. He is considered the best of all-time because he was the best at playing the game everyone knew and recognized and Michael Jordan had an unquenchable desire to win. And he did. A lot. Now the game looks different to the all-time greats and they think different is somehow inferior. The goal is still the same: put the ball in the basket more times and score more points than your opponent. Steph Curry and the Warriors do that better the almost every team in history because of innovation and the simple ability to shoot a basketball better as a group than any team in the history of the game.
Here are the 3 reasons the Warriors embody innovation:
Reason #1 – Steph Curry has lived the entrepreneurial journey from the bottom to the top
He started as a little boy who wasn’t big enough or good enough to even play at a major NCAA school. So he played at Davidson. Where? Yeah Davidson. He proceeded to wholly dominate and capture the nation’s attention during a NCAA March Madness run. He then reinvented his game at the NBA level, outworked his opponents and changed the entire game itself (remember the one that is now “soft”). He also became the MVP and an NBA Champion – the highest achievements in the sport. All while being told the whole time he was too small and didn’t represent the NBA that all of the NBA Hall of Famers called the real NBA.
Reason #2 – If you don’t have important critics you don’t matter enough for them to care
We have all been there. “You’re not ready” or “You’ll never make it” or “That’s a terrible idea”. Keep your head down, have a clear vision and consistent execution of a plan, regardless of what the folks say. The Warriors and Curry have basically said “thanks for noticing us” but we know we are good and aren’t changing a thing until someone stops us. And if they do stop us, we beat them the next time by out-working and out-thinking them.
Reason #3 – You change the world by changing it – not simply by doing what everyone else has done
Don’t get me wrong, learning from mentors and smart people is critical is becoming the person you are capable of becoming, but simply “doing” and following is not leading and is certainly not innovating. Steve Jobs didn’t just follow and he didn’t just lead. He created. He looked at the world, saw something missing, and then created it. For those of you who have seen “The Men Who Built America” http://www.history.com/shows/men-who-built-america – these men had two things in common. Seeing a future that didn’t yet exist and being willing to put everything they had, both financially and otherwise into creating that future. The Warriors knew they had to create a game and a style of basketball that didn’t exist in order to reach the pinnacle. They did it, people hate it and it’s AWESOME.