Why is Bob Myers Crying over Kevin Durant?
The Toronto Raptors are NBA champions after defeating the Golden State Warriors. But the enduring image of the basketball playoffs may not have taken place on the court or in the victory celebrations. It was a post-Game 5 press conference where Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers continually held back tears over injured star Kevin Durant.
What’s Behind Bob Myers’ Tears over Kevin Durant?
The question is why? What’s behind it?
Kevin Durant is out. He’s out for 8-12 months, recovering from having his ruptured Achilles Tendon repaired. So, what’s the big deal? Players get injured all the time. Injuries are part of the deal. And, while we all feel badly and hate to see anyone hurt, it happens.
After all, Golden State won game 5. Game 6 was at home. The Warriors were favored by two and a half points. And, Kevin is going to make over $30M next season, regardless of his ability to play and which team he is a member.
If you like many others are asking yourself “Why is Bob Myers crying?”, it would be worth our collective while to look below the surface. Something much deeper is going on here that says something important about what makes great teams great and Leadership.
In Eric Schmidt’s new book, “Trillion Dollar Coach”, Eric outlines the secrets to why Bill Campbell (Silicon Valley’s Executive Coach to Google and many of the winningest tech companies in the world) was so successful. According to Bill, a key ingredient to winningest teams is the community they create. The energy to win is generated in the community. Community is the force that creates team alignment. Team members feed off the energy of the community.
To Bill, the strength of the community and the performance of that community toward goal achievement comes down to the individual bonds between the members of that community. What makes strong bonds? Strong bonds are forged by caring for each other. And, strong bonds are forged by caring for the common good of the community or team. At the root of it all, those bonds are formed by love.
Separating Good from Great: Love and Strength of Community
All the NBA teams have incredible basketball talent. All the NBA teams have skilled coaching staffs, great medical staffs and great front offices. So, what separates good from great teams? As we got a glimpse of in Myers’ emotional interview, Golden State has built an incredibly strong community. Clearly, the team has made massive investments in creating a living network of real, emotional bonds. And, those bonds are stronger and run deeper than we all thought.
In fact, think about what great coaches, great GMs, and those with titles like President of Basketball Operations do. Yes, they create strategies, hone fundamentals, recruit outstanding professionals at every position, and do all the executional things that managers and leaders do in the business world. But, they also create an environment, a culture, conducive to the formation and maturation of the bonds that connect the community or team…and create massive trust.
For Golden State, community goes beyond the tight bonds between the starting 5 players and those that make the usual rotations in and out of the game. The bonds extend to everyone. They extend to everyone in the front office, the coaching staff, the medical staff, the PR team…everyone, including and in this case, Bob Myers, the GM.
I couldn’t be prouder of Bob Myers for his post-game interview. He helped us see into the community that we don’t see, typically. He showed us what it is like to have championship-caliber team bonds. Like a true leadership practitioner, he stood up for Durant amidst harsh criticism and even accepted responsibility when he didn’t have too. And, I would be willing to bet that Bill Campbell is smiling down, happy to see a strong community, rallying around Kevin Durant and supporting Bob Myers.
So, if you found yourself asking or are still asking yourself the “Why is he crying?” question, you might consider asking some different questions. You could ask yourself questions like the following that might just be the thing that puts your team on a path to incredible, championship-caliber success.
- “What investments am I making to create a community like THAT one?”
- “If I am not currently getting the results that I want, should I be looking for more ways to understand how Championship teams are built?”
- “Amidst all the strategies and tactics and policies and systems, am I devoting enough time to nourish the bonds that connect me to my extended teammates?”
- “As a leader, am I truly creating an environment…a culture… where bonds among team members can flourish and grow?”
- “Knowing that concepts like love and truly caring about our community are key secret ingredients, how can we get comfortable bringing those into the workplace?”
- “If I’m not sure how to create such a community in our company or team, where can I find help?”
Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors, winners of game 6 and NBA Champs! Down to the last possession. Two amazing communities. Full of heart.
Best of luck to you, KD, on your recovery. Much love.
(See Matt’s video: “Who hires an executive coach?” below, plus his bio and a complimentary offer for an executive coaching conversation)