I've got so much stuff running through my head, that I have to do a separate blog to ensure my tantrums aren't too long on Tuesday. So here's one take:
Hey Gabbers, I was riding around in the B.O.B. mobile Saturday and I almost ran off the friggin road from laughter. I actually heard a talking head this weekend on the radio have the audacity to say that the greatest NBA players of all time have played in this North Carolina/Duke rivalry. That's fine everybody is entitled to their opinion, but he justifies it by running down the names, including that noted Hall of Famer in waiting Psycho T himself (Tyler Hansborough) and Jay Bilas, along with Antawn Jamison, Sam Perkins, a frequently injured Grant Hill, and a guy whose unbelievably bad car accident shook the Sacramento Kings to the core in Bobby Hurley? Really? If that’s who you have to name to sell it at an NBA level, you are an ignorant fool.
Now, I'm not stupid. I recognize that North Carolina/Duke is a great rivalry for College Basketball, probably the best. I can't even imagine a 2nd best rivalry in CBB (maybe Kentucky/Louisville?). But his take is so full of holes it might as well be swiss cheese.
So this ass-clown delayed my trip to the gym because I got to thinking and I took a look at the top 50 NBA players of all time as voted on and added a few I thought belonged, and this is what I found, a minimal (at best) connection to these UNC/Duke superteams:
Russell (San Francisco), Chamberlain (Kansas), The Big O (Cincy), Maravich, Bob Pettit, and Shaq (LSU), Magic Johnson (Sparty), Kevin McHale (Minnesota), Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes, and Clyde Drexler (Houston). Havlicek and Jerry Lucas (Blow-hio State), and what about UCLA (Coach Wooden, Kareem, Pothead Walton, Cheryl (err, Reggie) Miller and others)?
Mix in the fat Chuksta (Charles Barkley – Auburn) and even fatter Wes Unseld (Louisville), Tim Duncan and Chris Paul (Wake Forest). Bernard King (Tennessee), Dominique Wilkins (Georgia), and Gary Payton (Oregon State).
How about Georgetown: Ewing, Mourning, Mutombo, Iverson?
How bout High Schoolers like Moses Malone, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant?
Don't forget the small schools: Larry Bird (Indiana State), Bob Cousy (Holy Cross), Karl Malone (LA Tech), John Stockton (Gonzaga), George Gervin (Eastern Michigan), Robert Parish (Centenary), George Mikan (DePaul), and Dr. J (UMASS). How ‘bout Rick Barry (Miami), David Robinson (Navy), Elgin Baylor (Idaho and Seattle), and Nate Archibald (UTEP). And while these guys aren’t “great”, they’re listed so I have to say Scottie Pippen (Central Arkansas), Earl Monroe (Winston-Salem), Walt Frazier (Southern Illinois) and Willis Reed (Grambling).
HELL GUYS, THE LOGO OF THE NBA IS FROM WEST VIRGINIA (JERRY FREAKING WEST)!!!
So outside of Michael Jordan, can somebody please tell me who are the greatest players in NBA History are that played in this rivalry?
The Talking Heads need to keep UNC/Duke at the College Level and leave it there.
While still at loose ends with the high school basketball season over for me...
The Celtics season continues along it's sub .500 way. I know that normally that would be considered a snarky remark, but for a change it is just a simple statement of fact.
It's not like they are truly horrid. They have their moments. They aren't as bad as people hoped they would be but they aren't a real threat to anyone either. The season has moved towards the end and the Celtics have morphed into the role of a spoiler team. If a playoff bound team comes into a game against them and gets caught looking past them, they just might be in for an unwelcome surprise loss.
With the Rajon Rondo birthday party tempest in a teapot behind them, the focus is back mainly on the court.
While the Pacers are the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics took their full measure before losing 102-97 last week. Jeff Green led the team with 27 points and Kris Humphries added 18 points of his own.
Sadly, the Celtics have had to deal with an injury bug as of late. First they lost Gerald Wallace and before Friday's game against the Nets, the new came out that center Vitor Faverani is done for the year as well. Both had surgery for a torn meniscus.
Speaking of the Nets, the Celtics ended up beating them on Friday night. I saw the first half of the game and Boston looked decent. The 91-84 win saw Rajon Rondo lead the team in scoring with 20 points. He had 9 assists, but also finished with a slightly disturbing 7 turnovers.
Jeff Green had 15 points and Jerryd Bayless added 14 points. Kelly Olynyk scored 13 points and grabbed 7 boards. Jared Sullinger had just 5 points but led the team with 12 rebounds.
Did you see this ridiculousness that passes for a spring training controversy? Apparently the Red Sox sent a mostly minor league lineup to play the Miami Marlins in a game. While a minor violation of the rules that call for four "regular" players or players under serious consideration for the major league level, the Marlins executives were more pissed off because they had the gall to charge a lot more for game tickets because it was the Red Sox.
What a joke! The Miami Marlins trot out major league rosters that aren't even good Triple A teams and they get pissed about the Red Sox lineups?
Even more galling was how Red Sox GM Ben Cherington actually apologized for the lineup they sent. If I was him, I would've told the Marlins, "I sent minor leaguers to play against minor leaguers."
Red Sox owner John Henry said it best when he tweeted out about the Marlins "They should apologize for their regular season lineup."
The Marlins apparently are the class tattletale and seem to be hellbent on continuing to be an embarrassment to organized baseball again this year.
If you aren't one of those who follow bracketology from Midnight Madness practices onward, the NCAA men's tourney bracket fever might set in about the time the first team seals a bid to the tourney.
Well, set your brackets up because Friday night Harvard beat Yale to clinch the Ivy League title and seal their automatic bid to the Big Dance. No one is really expecting a national title out of the Crimson, but it would be fun if they got to advance once again this year.
But keep in mind that only one side of the story is presented in the article. And given how the Boston Globe is notorious for ignoring facts in favor of fantasy, I want to hear a complete story before launching into any kind of diatribe.
Some teams are headed for conference tournaments while others have yet to finish their regular seasons.
Missouri State - The Lady Bears lost to Evansville 72-65 this week. Now 13-15 (8-9 in conference), they close their regular season today. They trailed by 19 points in the first half of the game but rallied back to make the score closer, unable to fully complete the comeback.
Katie Palmer had 15 points to lead the team while Bry Snow added 14 points.
Hartford - The Hawks closed out their regular season with a 57-49 win over Vermont. They finish with a 12-17 mark (9-7 in the America East Conference). Deanna Mayza scored a career high 22 points to lead the team to victory.
Shanish Bultron added 10 points and 6 boards.
The highlights are below.
It was Senior Day and the four graduating players were honored before the game. The photo below in order: Diamond Doe, Taylor Clark, Alyssa Englert and Milana Gilbert.
As for their conference tourney, Hartford opened up with a 63-62 overtime thriller, knocking off Maine in the quarterfinals. Amber Bepko led the team with 16 points, but it was Deanna Mayza's 4 points in the final 14 seconds of overtime that powered the Hawks to the win. Mayza finished with 12 points. Alyssa Englert had 10 points and 5 assists.
You can see game highlights and the post game press conference below.
The win advances Hartford to the semifinals where they will face top seeded Albany this morning.
Tennessee - The Lady Vols closed their regular season at 24-5 (13-3 in the SEC) with a 73-81 upset of #4 South Carolina. Isabelle Harrison scored 20 points and grabbed 15 boards. Meighan Simmons (pictured below) had 16 points and was honored before the game as the only senior graduating this season. Andraya Carter added 14 points.
Ball security was a big factor in Tennessee's win, they only turned the ball over 7 times for the game and outrebounded South Carolina 48-39.
Things weren't easy in the Lady Vols first round SEC tournament game. They trailed LSU by as many as 15 points in the first half, but a late 19-0 run in the second half helped fuel their 77-65 comeback win.
Isabelle Harrison (pictured below) had 21 points and 12 rebounds. Bashaara Graves added 14 points and 9 boards. It wasn't a great shooting night for Simmons but she finished with 14 points. Cierra Burdick (10 points, 11 boards) and Carter also played a big role in the win.
In the semifinals, Coach Holly Warlick (pictured below) saw her team go down by 10 points in the first half. But like the LSU game, they rallied back again and took an 86-77 win over Texas A&M. Now 26-5, the Lady Vols got 20 points and 13 boards from Isabelle Harrison. Simmons added 15 points and Graves had 14 points and 9 boards. Mercedes Russell had 11 points.
BOSTON COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Men's Basketball - The Eagles got 20 points from Olivier Hanlan but it wasn't enough to hold onto a late game lead and BC fell to Florida State 74-70. They are 8-22 now with a 4-13 conference mark. Their regular season still has some games before the ACC tournament starts. Patrick Heckman added 13 points and Joe Rahon had 11 points.
Women's Basketball - The women's team closed out their regular season on the road against Georgia Tech. Playing with just 7 available players (senior Kristen Doherty was out with the flu), the Eagles lost 84-74. They finish at 12-18 and 3-13 in the ACC.
The ACC women's tournament is in Greensboro, North Carolina and the Eagles were playing in the first round. That's where there season came to a sadly merciful end. Virginia beat them 74-59 ending the careers of Katie Zenevitch and Kristen Doherty (didn't travel with the team).
Zenevitch (pictured below) finished with a team high 14 points. Lauren Engeln and Kelly Hughes had 12 points apiece and Kat Cooper added 10 points.
The fact of the matter is that despite having talent on the team, the Eagles don't have enough of it to compete in the ACC. There needs to be a major talent upgrade if you ever want to be a REAL factor in the conference. I know the football money is the primary reason Boston College is in the ACC, but they just aren't good enough.
Also, coach Erik Johnson needs to find a true point guard. One that can actually handle things when teams throw pressure defense at them. The post game is going to need a lot of work with the loss of Zenevitch and Doherty. I'm not sold on Karima Gabriel or Victoria Lesko as capable replacements for either of them.
By the way, I did well enough in the two games I provided commentary for that both the guy I worked for and the UCT coach want me back to do more games next season. The first game I did is available online. You can check it out here: http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01161&video=187485
Oh, and Sports Illustrated's website had an article by Chris Ballard about the Gunderson High basketball team in California. The coach kicked a number of players off the team and then more quit in protest. The story goes into the details of what happened next. I like that the coach did what he did, but he also comes off as a bit of one of those holier-than-thou types as well. Check out the story and decide for yourself: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/highschool/news/20140305/gunderson-high/
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Linebacker Brandon Spikes is hitting the free agent market next week and given the remarks he made during an appearance on the NFL Network show NFL AM, it would seem a foregone conclusion that he will not be returning to the Patriots next season.
The damning comment was "I would never say never -- everybody (says) you never want to burn a bridge," he said of returning to New England. "But I just feel like both sides would benefit from a fresh start."
As if the Patriots didn't have enough problems finding a defense without their own players heading off to parts unknown.
TV - Thanks to having a bit extra money I was able to order my copy of the Shout! Factory release of L.A. Law Season 1. Back when the series was airing on TV, it was one of my favorite shows. But I haven't really seen it since it left syndication on the Lifetime Network. It will be interesting to see how the show holds up to my memories of it.
I also took advantage of a huge bargain deal and got my hands on the first two season of the sitcom Wings. It cost me less than 10 bucks so it was well worth the investment.
Oh and of course there's this little awesome "24: Live Another Day" trailer.
Movies - This week I got the DVD release of the movie Riddick in the mail. I saw it in the theater and liked it enough that I wanted to add it to my collection. It was an inferior version of the Pitch Black movie that started the series but better than The Chronicles of Riddick film.
Books - I finished reading the novel Robert B. Parker's Wonderland by Ace Atkins this week. I found it rather enjoyable despite my reluctance of reading Spenser novels written by someone other than Parker himself.
I'm also trying to get my review of the book I Am Pilgrim done. I'm finding that doing a review of book is a bit of a challenge.
Do you remember the band Winger? I certainly do. I got to see them when their first album came out and met them after the show. Well, they are due to release a new album called Better Days Comin' and the first song from the album is called "Rat Race". You can see the video for this far heavier sounding song from the band below.
Goooooooooooooooooood morning and welcome Gabbers and others to my NASCAR updates and other fast stuff. Looks like The Danica and Tony are bidding you all to climb in for the ride. The Danica has already called shot gun though. I hate sitting in the back. Are we there yet? Pass me a Coke Zero and that bag of chips.
Got all kinds of stuff going on. Martin Truex Jr in the #78 has his 300th start this week. Two time Nationwide Series Championship winner but not so lucky in Sprint Cup. He's lost his ride at MWR because NAPA walked and now Furniture Row Racing has had 2 ugly issues. A blown motor on lap 31 at Daytona and a 22nd place finish at Phoenix. Always hoped for more for this guy but luck is not on his side.
Paul Menard is on baby watch this weekend. If his wife calls Matt Crafton ( last years Truck Series Champ ) is on standby. Says he's been buds with Menard for a while now and it's awesome that he'd trust him to take over the #27 if the baby shows up during race day.
Kyle Petty has announced that the 20th anniversary ride for the Victory Junction Gang is on. It will start May 3rd in Carlsbad, CA and end May 16th at Daytona Beach, Fla. The first time they're going coast to coast. Dad Richard, Donnie Allison, Matt Kenseth, Geoff Bodine and Herschel Walker are just a few of the notables to join the 700 plus bikes to ride.
Kurt Busch has finally gotten his ride. His ride for the double that is. On May 25th Kurt will be driving an Indy Car for Andretti Motorsports in the Indy 500 at 12 pm and then if all goes well he'll hop on over to Charlotte to drive in the Coca Cola 600 at 6 pm. That's 1100 miles in 2 races. That's not counting the time in the air between the 2 tracks to qualify and practice. He'll be logging some serious air miles to do it. Good luck Kurt. Baby brother Kyle says that some day he too wants to do the double.
The Danica will be sporting a new sponsor and paint scheme in Vegas this week. Aspen Dental's blue and white colors will grace her car as she traverses her way to some where in the back. Maybe this is the week folks. Green has always been a bad luck color in vehicles. So maybe a color change is in order. Although John Force kind of throws that green is bad luck on your car out the window with his 16 championships.
Smoke is the Bandit. Stewart and Mobile 1 have teamed up to do a video series which is quite entertaining, spoofing the Smokey and the Bandit movie. Stewart is the Bandit of course. They put a huge Burt type mustache on him and away it goes. I watched 2 of the videos already. Very funny. Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Hammond and Ricky Craven were in the ones I saw.
You can watch them on www. YouTube.com/Mobile1 or www.Facebook.com/Mobile1.
Stewart says that Smokey and the Bandit is his all time favorite movie and that he had a blast doing this video series and hopes the fans like them too. I know I do but then again that's my most handsome Knight of the Mobile 1 we're talking about here.
So it's the 2nd week of this in my humble opinion is the stupidest unsafest qualifying I've ever seen. Bowyer said he almost smoked Dale Jr. Which he said is not good for business if he gets hurt and can't race. I tend to agree with Bowyer. He got in trouble for the spin gate thing last year and the last thing he needs is to hurt the sports most popular driver and have Jr Nation breathing down his throat.
McMurray said he texted Robin Pemberton about the unsafe qualifying and Robin said it's only the 2nd week of this qualifying and they want to let it play out and see where it goes. No tweaking yet.
When I read the new qualifying rules I knew there'd be some dangerous situations on the track and I'm not a driver. According to the rules the guys can come into and out of the pits all during the qualifying sessions while you have drivers out there by themselves and in packs going at top speed and while you have those at slower speeds cooling their motors down or entering and exiting pit road. Is that not a recipe for disaster? Sounds real unsafe to me.
YO!!!! NASCAR get you head out of your tail pipe.
Ok. So the Nationwide race was Saturday and Mr Keselowski won. Followed by KyBu, Larson, Dale Jr, Chase Elliott and Kenseth. Kyle was very dejected but said that Keselowski had the better car. All Sprint drivers except Chase. He's doing well finishing up there with the Cup guys. Look out.
We started out with Keselowski on the pole. Harvick started 13th but made a bee line for the top spot. By lap 74 he was on point. He pretty much stayed there leading a dominating 224 laps out of 312. Through it all we had Danica get into it with Allgaier and Kvapil some where in the back of the pack. Allgaier is a rookie and she's had run ins with Kvapil before. If only she could get up to say the teens. New friends and fresh faces await her arrival with the same top notch quality equipment she has. If only. She did call Allgaier a jackass.
Ku Bu lost a cylinder and managed to make the motor hang on for over 100 laps to finish 39th minus 20 laps.
Stewart was on his way to a top 10 finish but he had to stop a couple laps too soon from the end and he as well as Hamlin, Biffle, and Kenseth had to go back in for fuel. Logano pitted at 80 laps to go and must get some awesome fuel mileage because he came home 4th.
Top 15 Finishers - Harvick - Dale Jr - Keselowski - Logano - Gordon - Johnson - Newman - Edwards - Ky Bu - McMurray - Kahne - Kenseth - Bowyer - Mears - Almirola
LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY PREVIEW
Last years winner was Kenseth. Kahne led the most laps at 114 but Kenseth took fuel only on the last caution with 44 laps to go and that was the difference maker. Kahne was on Kenseth butt doing all he could to take the lead back but ran out of laps. I look for a rematch this year.
Logano and Keselowski are 1 and 2 this week again. Is this Groundhog Day again? Both were top 5 last week. Looks like they'll be there again.
McMurray won final practice. Top 10...I don't know
Gordon has been quietly there so far. Top 10
Dale Jr has a D 500 win and a 2nd. He's on a roll. Top 10
Harvick is on a tear. Top 10
Kahnes in a slump but could make this the race he announces he's back.
Kenseth has 3 W's, a pole, 6 top 5's and 7 top 10's......Top 10
Ky Bu top 10
Edwards has 2 W's and a 5th place here last year.
Stewart has a W along with 6 top 5's and 9 top 10's. So he should bring home a top 10
The highest placing rookie is Austin Dillon in 4th and Kyle Larson in 17th position to start the race. The Danica starts 22nd. Could be the day folks. Jeff Burton will drive the MWR #66 this week. Expect a 20 something finish from him. Mears has been doing well lately. A 10th in the D500 and a 14th at Phoenix. Looking good. I picked up Sorenson in my salary cap league as a $5 bargain and he has been just that. Not spectacular but he finished both races. I'd recommend Bowman too. Not a great finisher but he finished last week a head of Sorenson.
Ragan, Gilliland, Bayne and Allmendinger are good fillers as always. Expect high 20's. McMurray was fastest in last practice. Top 15 for him. He's due for a top 10 or win. He starts 7th today.
So there you go. Hope this helps those in a fantasy league.
By now you should be looking at your clocks and thinking something ain't right. Well it's not. It's time to move that hour forward. Some times our fore fathers could be such a pain in the butt.
I'm moving on though. Blurry eyed but functioning. Onward to breakfast and ready to fire up Twitter for the race. You all have sweet dreams thinking of springs arrival and
How do you run a sports franchise in this day and age? You have problems no one dealt with decades ago, unions, CBAs, absurd payrolls, lawyers and their incessant liability suits, salary caps and player attrition just to name a few. It's a hard question to answer. But some have succeeded even in this millenium. How'd they do it?
The Red Sox have been a model of success in baseball, but their methodology hasn't been consistent. It's been modeled to fit necessity.
In the early part of the 2000s things were as they always had been. The Yankees had more money than anybody and, not coincidentally, the best teams and a seemingly unceasing dynasty. Not that it's over. But throwing money at a problem is the obvious solution. Boston began to mimic the strategy early on, though not at the same scale. Their 2004 team wasn't perhaps the strongest in baseball, and their miracle comeback against New York wasn't something you can buy. Maybe it was the Law of Averages.
Their 2007 win was more in line with Yankee strategy. The star-studded team with the astronomical payroll was hardly an underdog. True, they still had to overcome teams (like the monster in their own division) that spent as much or more. But they had clearly become identifiable with the penthouse set.
That all came apart famously in 2011. For 2013 Boston came up with a new manager, several midprice free agents, some holdovers and a ton of kids from their fruitful farm system. And a lot of beards. The results were beyond anyone's expectations, including theirs. It didn't seem to be the model that had worked before. Maybe the disarray of the clean-shaven leviathan in New York made it possible. Whatever --- it worked.
But those other two winners, the 2004 'Idiots' and the 2007 all-stars, both had something in common with the latest edition. They had harmony and team spirit. Regardless of payroll status, those factors proved to be the overwhelming strength. That's hard to do these days.
Note: This past week the Marlins' owner was reportedly furious at Boston for bringing a squad of AAA players to his field. He ranted that his fans (who paid through the nose for tickets) were being robbed. Robbed in preseason by a still-rebuilding team using the opportunity to evaluate potential roster additions? In one long breath, he demonstrated one difference between a loser and a contender.
Side note: When the game was called after 8 innings due to a thunderstorm, the game was tied 0-0 and Boston's AAA squad had 7 hits to Miami's 2.
How about the NBA? The current edition is a joke, of course, with players grouping to whatever warm, glamorous site they choose to form superteams. The Lakers had it all until recently, but who doesn't want to play in the glitz capital? Maybe it's the Clippers' turn. Oh, I hear it's warm in Miami too.
The one fly in that ointment has been San Antonio. Multiple champions, their supposedly crumbling dynasty remains competitive. How, when everyone keeps waiting for the dust pile to settle?
Aging stars like Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are a large part of it, forming a consistent core for the peripheral players to fit into. Sheer pride, class and effort make up no small part. Teamwork is a given with them. Maybe they don't have enough endurance for the long haul anymore, but that they should be where they are this very day is a testament to their success.
That all reflects strongly on Pops. Clearly the best coach of the past decade and more, he has kept his teams in the running consistently, all the while keeping the face of the franchise classy, avoiding the trashy image put forth by recent editions of the Lakers and others. Having class helps in a league where it's become a rare commodity. Class precludes selfishness too.
Football? Since nearly the turn of the millenium one franchise has dominated the success meter. No, they haven't won the big one in years, but their record of success is unmatched in the Cap Era and goes toe to toe with success stories from more manageable times. That franchise is of course New England. How do they do it?
Notably, its not by throwing money at problems --- well, not by pro sports standards. Quite the opposite. The Patriots have become the league's most notorious cheapskates. Pundits blame them incessantly for not 'going the extra mile' to get that one perceived piece that could have put them over the top in so many recent seasons.
But pundits aren't paid to think, they're paid to talk. One might better ask how the Patriots keep coming so close so often to put themselves in such a position.
There are two schools of thought on that. One is that they have Belichick and Brady. No one will argue that they help (a lot), but there's still that other 95% or so of the team on the field to deal with. And more than most franchises (far more than some), the Patriots want business-first players who fit their system. And they insist on 'value'. They've cut more Pro Bowlers than a bad razor. They treat it like a business, trying to maximize their resources. Really? How shocking.
Does that mean they never bring in a bad seed? Anyone who's watched the news over the past years knows they are just as susceptible to bad character as anyone. But it's hard to name a team that hasn't been. And it's not the 'character' issue anyway. That's for the pundits to hash over. It's all about whether they can fit in. In other words, T-E-A-M, the overriding factor in most sports. This alone makes New England a savory success story for an age in sports beset by me-me-me celebrity. And the league is responding, not only by coveting every water boy on Belichick's sideline, but by trying to structure their own teams in similar fashion, much like the NBA of the '80s went at once from dunkarama to teamwork with the advent of Bird and Johnson. They had to if they wanted to compete.
Last we have the most difficult league of all to analyze. The NHL isn't the most highly-paid, though no one can possibly cry poverty. It doesn't have near the revenue of the other sports, being regional in nature. Not coincidentally, stories of slackers do not abound. Here, players don't make it because they're not good enough. Anyone who doesn't try as hard as possible finds himself elsewhere even if he's a can't-miss draft pick like Tyler Seguin. All this makes the NHL the best all-around example of the way a league should be --- if only on the field (or ice).
Gone are the dynasties of privilege. Montreal no longer gets a special shot at the French skaters. The flood of Soviet players into Detroit (whose uniforms were a dead ringer for the Central Army's and whose name waxed patriotic to said players) that put the Wings on the map again was a one-shot deal. Nowadays it's about drafting and acquiring players wisely, managing the pocketbook, and fostering strong teamwork. Some do it better than others. But everybody does it, at least to a strong degree. Money isn't a huge factor. If it were, the Rangers would have won a ton of Cups.
Yet even if the NHL is harder to pigeonhole it terms of its success secrets, it shares the big one with the rest --- team spirit, and its offspring teamwork. Even in baseball, it matters as Boston showed the world last season. The Cardinals, the NL's most successful franchise of the millenium, have been showing that for years now. If it didn't matter in the NFL, New England wouldn't be what it has become, and Peyton Manning would have a ring instead of Russell Wilson. The NBA may be dominated by all-star squads, but the elite tier at large still has more strong examples of teamwork than of anything else.
It will be a sad day in sports --- and it may be coming --- when that doesn't matter anymore.