Shower Thought: “Role Players”
I remember in high school at the end of year football banquet, nobody wanted the "Most Improved" player award.
Coaches love to give that award, but players hate the distinction of being most improved.
"Last year, you were turd out there, and this year you were almost not...a liability. Here's a trophy!"
There's some other labels in sports nobody wants. A "blocking tight end". That means you're a skinny offensive lineman. You can't catch.
"Role player" in basketball. At a certain point in a basketball player's career they stop being a basketball player and they start being a role player. Don't dribble too much. Don't shoot that early in the shot clock! Don't call for the ball in the high post.
Look at Kevin Love. All world at UCLA, mr 20/20 in Minnesota. Goes to play with Lebron in Cleveland, becomes a role player, loses his will to live. Chris Bosh, same thing. Stand in the corner, if you miss the wide open shot LeBron creates for you, you're going to the guillotine. You used to be a basketball player, not anymore. Russell Westbrook, the ultimate basketball machine, triple-double do everything guy. Role player! He's already finding excuses to sit out and we're four games into the season.
What happens to these players that have to shed being a basketball player to go play with LeBron, is the complete opposite of the situation Jazz players find themselves in right now. They were role players and they've come to the Jazz and have been told they can be basketball players again. It's like the Field of Dreams. No one cares if you shoot a bad shot, turn it over, whatever, be a basketball player. Fun to watch.