A team’s success is based on the system, and how well the pieces fit together, as they are on the level of talent. As the Lakers have shown on two separate occasions, simply getting a group of future Hall of Fame players does not necessarily ensure success (see 2003 – 2004 season and the current rosters).
As Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili’s time in a San Antonio Spurs uniform starts to come to an end, there are a few current superstars that could seamlessly fit into the Spurs' system. One player who could slide in, with little disruption would be Miami's LeBron James.
Those same qualities that get James so much flak from critics are the same qualities that R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich use to determine if a player is a good fit for the Spurs' system.
Critics always criticize James for passing off shots at the end of games to teammates who had a better shot. Funny how people can negatively view making the right basketball play.
James always looks to get his teammates involved. How many times have we seen Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, Mario Chalmers, or Mike Miller hit big shots or take over games when Miami’s "Big 3" is off the floor? Anderson Varejao went from a person who was good hustle player to a key cog that the Cavaliers had to keep after James “took his talents to South Beach." James makes sure that they are constantly in the flow of the game making it easier to hit those big shots in rhythm or in a position where they feel comfortable.
Critics also questioned whether he was able to lead a team to a NBA title. They thought his team-first manner would be his achilles heel. Anyone who watched last season’s NBA Finals clearly knew who the leader of the pack was.
To James' credit, he realized early that he did not want to continually face the frustrations that came with trying to carry a team to the title alone. James saw that a complete team was needed to achieve his ultimate goal. James is content with carrying the load in the first, second and third quarters, and then allow his teammates to get some of the game winning shots.
Critics questioned whether James had the desire and work ethic to get to take the next step and get his hands on the Larry O’Brien trophy.
James has an incredible work ethic and is looking to improve his game after hearing numerous critics have a field day questioning his ability to perform in end of game situations after the Heat’s NBA Finals loss to the Mavericks.
Instead of throwing his teammates under the bus, James went back into the lab and worked on his low post game with Hakeem Olajuwon. The offseason work paid big dividends during the NBA Finals making him hard to handle on the block and an effective distributor. This time spent on the court resulted in him being named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
Seeing James working hard on improving an under used aspect of his game made his teammates feel like they had to match his level of commitment. They knew they had to come in to the 2011-2012 season ready, in shape and in top form and be ready to write the next chapter with them standing up on the podium at the end of the NBA Finals.
After James' contract expires, he can go to any team he wishes but seeing him wearing a silver and black Spurs uniform just has a nice look to it.
All I can say to Buford and Popovich is “Go Spurs Go” and court "King" James. Though, admittedly, it would be a long shot!