I think I have been called more names by more people in the last week than even I thought possible. The beauty is in the irony of it all.
In the first year I owned the team, I was called the same names and media wrote the exact same things they are writing today. Everyone then, like now, wanted to tell me what to do. How to do my job.
Back then it was how the Mavs could never be turned around with someone like me owning the team. Then it was the Mavs could never win with someone like me owning the team. Then it was, The Mavs could never be real contenders, etc, etc, etc. You get the picture, and the irony of it all.
My response ?
No suprises. I dont expect anyone to say anything differently.
To me, the proof is always in the details. No matter what business Im in, most people work in headlines mode. They think that if they say or write something that makes a good headline , then there must be substance to their point. That’s not the way business works. Which is why most people never get further than the middle.
Substance comes from detail. Luck comes from detail. Winning comes from being willing to do the work on the details. Learning comes from investing in details.
In the sports media world this past week, the most work I have seen someone do is Chris Sheridan going through 20 minutes or so of tapes looking to see what words I mouthed to fans in the stands after a game. Beyond that, it was all about deadlines, not substance. Thats fine. It is what it is.
No one does the work. They do “their jobs”. Nothing more. Which is why , despite all “he is the best, he is the worst” commentary from people, none of it matters in the least bit.
The easiest thing in the world for anyone to do is Tivo a game and then break it down. What any of the 13 participants on the court did and how they did it is pretty easy to document for 99.9 pct of the time on the clock. The other .01 can be grey. It doesnt really matter. Aggregate data from a lot of games over a lot of seasons, and all of the sudden you have a database with value.
Once you have information, then you can add brainpower and try to do things better.
Once you have information, then you can start to define excellence and strive for it, measuring your progress along the way.
This certainly isnt a new concept. There are untold number of QC , Process Improvement and Optimization techniques out there. Pick one, pick them all.
Excellence is defined is excellence demanded. Its not always easy to fulfill, but there is one constant in my approach to the Mavs that hasnt changed since the minute I walked in the door in January of 2000. That my job was to put every single one of our players, and the organization in a position to succeed. That I would work hard, continuously, to get better at doing so, and I think I have. I think we have become a much smarter organization. We have learned from what we have done right, and what we have done wrong.
Its also why I get so angry when it comes to certain aspects of the NBA and how they do business. I think there is more politics that optimization. Thats my opinion from the data. And Im not talking about officiating.
One of my favorite books is The Innovators Dilemma. It basically talks about how new technology can destabilize companies and industries if their impact isnt acknowledged and addressed early on.
The NBA is at an interesting crossroads. There are unique situations today that can enable it to lever up and thrive and push its media customers to new heights, or that could destabilize it.
Its all in the data. And I wish I could tell you about it. But i would get fined for it.
And for the record, I have nothing to say about the finals. That was last season.
For the record, Im not turning on comments, they have devolved to the point where they add no value.