I think it’s important for all players to remember that basketball is a team sport and not an individual sport.  I can remember watching the movie Hurricane Season, which is about a high school basketball team in Louisiana that is dealing with the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The city was leveled, and this particular high school had to merge with another high school which meant merging the remaining players from the two basketball teams. I remember a scene vividly from the movie, in which the team was having a normal practice and one of the players was being what we call in basketball circles a “ball hog”. He thought he was the best player on the team so he would not pass the ball at all. He would literally take every shot and not attempt to make the best play possible for the team, meaning passing to the open man or running the play the coach called. After doing this numerous times during practice, the coach decided to have the player who thought he was so good play one on five, full court to prove a point. The player ended up getting very frustrated to the point of tears because he realized his coach was right.

Being a great teammate is not just about passing the ball or running the right play. Being a great teammate is all of that and more. A great teammate holds the rest of the team accountable, motivates his or her teammates, pushes them to be better in every aspect of the game, and leads by example. A great teammate does not have to be the so called “leader” of the team or the most outspoken individual.  I think a great example of a great teammate is Bruce Bowen. Bruce Bowen was one of the best defenders in the NBA, but he also was a guy who was willing to do a little bit of everything in order to help his team win. Being a great teammate does not mean you have to be the best player on the team, rather an example for your other teammates to follow.

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