Each different week in The Coach’s Field, Timothy Thomas explores the assorted classes that may be realized from the world of sports activities.
We’ve already written about Ja Morant’s off-the-court troubles. However after a disappointing Memphis Grizzlies season, it’s value revisiting his total staff—which confirmed a lot promise at first of the season—and their failed expectations. Sadly, the teachings the Grizzlies realized got here the exhausting method. Overconfidence mired in egotistical, unrealistic, and disrespectful notions led to the staff’s demise. In the long run, they have been all made to look silly.
Nonetheless, suppose the Memphis Grizzlies group can study to accurately survey the skinny line between ego and confidence. In that case, their exhausting classes can grow to be the catalyst that helps them create one thing nice sooner or later. The way in which their season imploded may also grow to be a useful reminder for us to prioritize humility when going through the overwhelming prospect of success.
Coaches need their athletes to strategy competitions with confidence. A self-doubting athlete is tough to teach. Once they study to belief in you and themselves, errors might be fastened. However serving to athletes discover that line between ego (i.e., a scarcity of each humility and consciousness of self-limitations) and reasonable confidence might be simply as irritating.
These frustrations for Grizzlies’ head coach Taylor Jenkins might have began mounting across the season’s midway level when ESPN‘s Malika Andrews asked Ja Morant who he was most centered on going into the playoffs. “Who do you take a look at across the league as you’re learning and say, ‘We’re gonna need to run via them?’” Andrews requested. “Celtics,” mentioned Morant. “Nobody within the West,” Andrews requested. “Nah, I’m superb within the West,” Morant mentioned. When requested about his feedback a number of weeks later, Morant doubled down. “Like I mentioned, man, if I wanted to say it like this, the Grizzlies are superb within the West and there ya go,” Morant retorted. “That’s the arrogance.”
This “confidence” rolled alongside the remainder of the season regardless of the Grizzlies lacking important items of their offense and protection as a consequence of damage. First, their defensive anchor, Steven Adams, went down with a season-ending injury. Subsequent was 6’ 8” ahead Brandon Clarke, who suffered a lower leg injury in February. Regardless of these key losses, although, the Grizzlies entered the NBA playoffs seeded in second place and have been slated to play the red-hot LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.
Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks—who had his own timeline of controversial antics all through the season—told reporters that he “wouldn’t thoughts taking part in” Los Angeles and LeBron James in a first-round sequence. He added: “The legacy is there. First time again within the playoffs, knock him out instantly within the first spherical,” he mentioned.
The Grizzlies misplaced the primary sport of the sequence.
After successful the second sport, Brooks called LeBron James “outdated,” including, “I don’t respect anybody till they arrive and provides me 40.” He dismissed James as “simply one other participant” and prompt he would have offered extra of a problem throughout his prime with Miami or the Cavaliers.
The Grizzlies misplaced the third sport, the place Brooks was ejected for elbowing James in the groin. (Brooks blamed his ejection on the media’s try and villainize his picture.) Then they misplaced sport 4.
After the Grizzlies received sport 5 at house, ahead Xavier Tillman, Sr. confidently told the house crowd, “We’ll come again for Sport 7 for positive!” Likewise, Memphis guard Desmond Bane mentioned, “I mentioned it on the market [in LA], and I’ll say it once more. We’re going to be again [in Memphis] for a Sport 7.”
The Grizzlies could be again in Memphis after sport six, however not for a sport seven. As an alternative, their season ended as they lost in blowout fashion to the Lakers. Now all that continues to be is a season of “might’ve’s” and Dillon Brooks primarily being advised that he wouldn’t be returning to the staff beneath “any circumstances.”
J. Cole cautioned us that “Pride is the Devil.” The Bible warns that satisfaction comes earlier than the autumn. The Grizzlies in all probability wouldn’t name their bravado “satisfaction” however quite, “confidence.” But, in the long run, it was ego—that’s, an overinflated sense of self mixed with disregard and disrespect for his or her opponent. Their lesson can be ours, although. It’s an much more wonderful reminder for believers to put our confidence within the Lord quite than ourselves, and to respect the enemy who prowls round like a lion searching for to eat us with our personal units (Psalm 49:12–13; Proverbs 11:12; 1 Peter 5:8).
As a coach analyzing the Memphis Grizzlies’ downfall, I can see how their path of self-destruction might grow to be a path to redemption. When a staff just like the Grizzlies learns to worth their wins whereas respecting their opponents, too, they will strategy each competitors with the very best diploma of focus and consistency to recover from the hump of mediocrity.
The identical is true for us in no matter we do. Whether or not we work, play, or compete for a residing, we intention to glorify God, drawing consideration to Him as a substitute of ourselves. So we should get rid of ego and self-sustaining efforts to maintain us above the competitors. However even when we do and we nonetheless discover ourselves falling from grace, we have now an out. The answer to our fall from grace is to fall into the grace of God, and that may solely occur if we place our confidence in Him to catch us.