BY HENRY ABBOTT
I can only imagine what watching Friday night’s incredible Bucks-Celtics Game 6 was like for Joel Embiid. That game had five, ten, fifteen players who burn with Embiid’s brand of wild intensity. Before tipoff, they asked Marcus Smart how he felt, and he said “desperate.” Then, like Embiid, Smart launched his body all over the court, and the Celtics forced Game 7.
The Heat’s Jimmy Butler plays like that too, and Butler used to play with Embiid in Philadelphia. After the 76ers were eliminated, Butler said he wanted Embiid to know that “I love him,” and that he wished they could still play together. Embiid said “that’s my guy.”
Love is more central to winning than you might think. Courage and success in battle follow soldiers who love each other. Sebastian Junger summarized extensive military research in his book War:
That choreography—you lay down fire while I run forwa…
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