If anyone knows about the dynamics of an NBA super team, it’s Shane Battier, who won two NBA titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. It look LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others time to gel in Miami, but once they did, they were almost unstoppable.
How does Golden State do that? Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have played together for several years, but when you add someone like Kevin Durant, the dynamic changes.
Which Warrior will have to sacrifice the most to make sure things go smoothly from the start?
“That’s a trick question. It’s all of them,” Battier said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Look, you can’t win any professional sport without talent. Talent gets you in the front door, but you need a shared sacrifice. This isn’t about one guy (sacrificing) for the good (of the team). It’s everyone. Everyone has to do their part. When I played in Miami, the only reason it worked – the only reason – was that every single player on the team look less money, took less years, took less shots, took less shine for the sake for championships. So when we’re in the locker room and things were going badly, there was no one saying, ‘Hey, well I’m sacrificing, and you’re not.’ No, everyone was from the jump. When you have that shared sacrifice (and realize) the only reason we’re here is to win a championship, you get through those rough patches a lot smoother.”
The Warriors are lucky in that their three home-grown superstars all have a reputation for being selfless, as does Durant. So if any other Warrior doesn’t buy in or refuses to sacrifice for the good of the team, well, that player will be dealt with accordingly.
“You have to have peer pressure in the locker room,” Battier said. “Peer pressure is the greatest force – I would say greater than coaching – in a locker room. You guys know this: Athletes are really insecure individuals, actually. Their biggest fear is being the outlier and being different from everybody else. When you have a group of knuckleheads and you are Mr. Joe Team and running over walls for the team, you look like an idiot. So the tendency is I’m not going to go all out for my team because I look like an idiot. Well, the same thing happens on great teams. When you have a team like the Spurs with Duncan, Ginobili and Parker, you look like an idiot if you’re a knucklehead. If your culture is strong, if your top three or four guys are strong, everyone else falls in line because no one wants to look like an idiot.”