Friday, October 31, 2014

Chicago Bulls' Mindset Dictates Success

“If you work hard one day and you improve, and then you don’t work hard for three days, well guess what? You’re not going to be very consistent, The good teams establish how they’re going to go about their business. They do it day after day. That’s how you build your mental toughness, that’s how you build your conditioning, that’s how you build your discipline, and that’s how you win.
“You start off the season, and you have everybody saying they want to win a championship, but very few are willing to pay that price every single day. When you study championship teams, you see the drive that they have. I know what Michael [Jordan] did when he was here. I know his mentality. I know what [Kevin] Garnett did in Boston, I know what Larry Bird did in Boston, I know what Isiah [Thomas] did in Detroit, I know what Magic [Johnson] did with the Lakers, and you don’t sneak around. You’ve got to earn it.’’ 
 --Tom Thibodeau, Chicago Bulls head coach, discussing the team mindset entering the 2014-2015 NBA season.

The Chicago Bulls are one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference of the NBA and contend for the Finals Championship this year.  To that end, the Bulls opened with season with a win over the New York Knicks, 104-80.
The Bulls spend the summer upgrading their team talent.  They signed Pau Gasol, giving him a contract for three years, worth $22 million. In his debut with the Bulls, Gasol scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. They drafted a collegiate star, Doug McDermott and brought in, Nikola Mirotic, arguably the best player in Europe. They have ex-MVP Derrick Rose, back from two years of injuries, at point guard.
Despite the talent upgrade, what may determine their standing this year is their success at developing the mental toughness that Coach Thibodeau is speaking of.  The desire to win must be followed by the will to put in the work and the daily preparation that is required to excel and succeed.   
All NBA teams and players want to win.  Who will put in the time and energy to make it happen?  
The season has begun.
Taken from Chicago Sun Times (October 29,2014).