The mission comes first

A roadmap for the Cavaliers, Knicks, and Bulls to be great again.

BY DAVID THORPE

When Anthony Davis first got to the Lakers, it was clear they had a plan. He announced that he expected LeBron to make first team All-Defense. Coach Frank Vogel came with a reputation for defense and preached it all season. Their roster featured a number of dedicated performers, racing all over the floor and hitting people. And that’s precisely how they won the championship. They didn’t just have amazing stars, they had a mission.

Most great teams have ways to rally around a cause bigger than any individual. Doc Rivers talked about Ubuntu in Boston. Gregg Popovich says he likes guys who are “over themselves.” He’s talking about players who think about us instead of me. He said Kawhi Leonard made his big jump as an impact guy when “he learned that if I call a play for him, it’s designed for us to score, not him.” Steve Kerr has had rosters full of players with names like Curry and KD, and is forever shining a light on the incredible hard work of players like Kevon Looney.…

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