Ever since LeBron James made the ‘decision’ to play in Miami, the focus shifted to Carmelo Anthony and his impending free agency. Would the Denver Nuggets trade him before the deadline and get something in return, or would they keep him until the end of the season and risk coming out empty handed like the Cleveland Cavaliers did last summer? The Nuggets finally pulled the trigger on Monday night by trading Melo to the New York Knicks. While the Knicks are clearly the winners for landing the coveted superstar, the Nuggets did a great job of acquiring good players and draft picks as they begin the rebuilding (or as George Karl said, “reinventing”) process.
The fact that the Knicks were willing to gut their team for one player shows you the importance and value of the superstar in the NBA. In fact, any team that wants to be competitive in the NBA nowadays must have at least two bona fide superstars on their roster. But at the end of the day it’s not the superstars that win the championships, it’s the team. And now that the Knicks have the superstars in place, they need to build the rest of the team around these guys to make them legitimate championship contenders.
In the Hebrew language the words ‘team’ and ‘individual’ have the same root; and it’s not by coincidence. ‘Yachad’ means to do something together and ‘Yachid’ means to do something alone. Judaism has always preached the importance of the individual, stressing that each person has unique qualities that must be cultivated, sowed, reaped, and shared with others. In order to achieve greatness, however, the individuals must come together as a cohesive unit as they aspire to reach their goals.
Melo and Stoudamire are great Yechidim, tremendous individual players who will give opposing coaches nightmares. But championships are won by all 12 players on the roster coming together as one, B’yachad.