Individual Success, Team Success, and the Black Community


We've individualized success. Listen, nobody is a success who hasn't brought his/her community along with them.
The notion of individual success is confused. It was Michael Jordan in the 80s when the Bulls kept losing.
I actually think that basketball is a great analogy. You look at the players with the most rings, and it's the players of a particular era of the league, in a particular moment in history, and they weren't even the best players on their team. Sure. There is Bill Russell, but John Havlicek is also high on that list; Wilt Chamberlain isn't even on it.
The point is that success and failure are only partially about you. Moreover, individual success amid mass failure is only partial success. I guess the fear is that if you tell people this, they won't try. However, the greater fear is that if you don't tell people this, they end up blaming themselves for not being a Celtic in the 60s.
LeBron James, as great as he is, will never be a Tom Heinsohn. Because Tom Heinsohn wasn't Tom Heinsohn because of his work ethic, or choices, or consumer habits, etc. As hard as he worked, a whole lot of what went into the success of Tom Heinsohn is a matter of being born the year he was and playing next to Bill Russell.
The hustle is not individual, and it's not up to individuals. It's about teams and building teams. Some parts of that are out of your control. Some parts aren't.
Moreover, if you are a black community, your first priority should be changing the entire game; rather than trying to win in it. You need to be the one talking about caps and draft lotteries because you are the Indiana Pacers in a league with Golden State and LA, and those large market teams have a structural advantage and will kill you every time, so your first priority needs to be about trying to change the rules, not trying to compete. -Irami Other, 07/07/2018

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