This week is the National Turn off TV week, but I did not participate as usual. I spent some time watching the NBA playoffs. Although I am not a big fan of NBA and those super stars, and I always think we should only watch the last 5 minutes of the 4th quarter. Because in a close game, that’s when the result gets decided; in a not-so-close game (one team beats another easily), it’s no fun to watch anyway.
But I think I saw something new in those last 5 minutes in past 2 games: the Sacremento vs. San Antonio game, and LA Laker vs. Phoenix game. San Antonio pulled up an unbelievable win because Barry made a 3 point shot in the last second of regular time and Manu Ginoboli is unstoppable in the overtime. Sacremento’s star player Mike Bibby could not match that. For the Lakers, as usual Kobe is their star in the crunch time. And he did very well.
The thing I found is: in the crunching time, the leaders (superstars) take over the game. Their performance decide the outcome of the game. And they took responsibility of the outcome to a large extent. This does not mean the team work does not matter. I think the stars should give more work to their teammates in first 3 quarters and have some fun. But in the last quarter and especially last 5 minutes, it’s their show.
I think there are very similar situations in the work places. There are also leaders (suparstars) and supporting cast. In non-critical times, new people can have some fun and get some experience. But in the crunching time, such as a critical project for a big customer, by all means put up the best player/card.
Back to NBA, we all know Yao Ming has done fairly well in his 4 years in the NBA. But Yao is not a crunch time player yet, Tracy McGrady is their leader for now. I remember Yao played as leader and did well in the last portion of regular season when Tracy was out of game. Many people think Wang Zhizhi is a good player, and wonder why he did not play well in the NBA. I have seen him played in Shanghai many years ago and was impressed by his 3 pointers. But again this NBA is not just technical thing. A lot depends on the mental toughness. In this aspect, although I am not a fan of Kobe personally, I admire his toughness very much.