The Portland Trailblazers success in many respects can be attributed to a “chip on the shoulder” mentality and the willingness of the players to put their individual agendas aside for the success of the team as a whole. No one expected anything of this team at the beginning of the season and as a result this team seems to be on a mission to shock the basketball world.
When people look at this team they would find it difficult to find any member who is considered a major star in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge, the star power forward on the team has always been deemed a talented player but he has not been deemed a superstar in the league. Point guard Damien Lillard is the reigning rookie of the year but he is not yet considered one of the top five point guards in the league. The team is a collection of veteran players who have been in the league for two to ten years with a couple of rookies who don’t play much. However, unlike many other teams in the NBA that are dependent on their stars the success of this team is due to their actions as a collective unit.
The Portland Trailblazers have embraced playing as a team and not worrying about the individual accolades but more about achieving the goal of winning. This is likely due to the fact that the majority of the players were never desired commodities by other teams in the NBA. One starter, Wesley Matthews was undrafted and one of the top substitutes, Thomas Robinson, has been traded three times in his short two year career and was considered a player who might be out of the league if he had not been kept by Portland. When a professional franchise brings together players who feel as if they have no other option to win or they may potentially be out of a career the result is usually a team that works together to accomplish a common goal.
Egos and selfishness take a backseat when the jobs of a common group are at risk. The players of the Portland Trailblazers are playing together as if they realise that the only they can win is if they play as a unit. When you compare the Trailblazers with a team such as the New York Knicks you see a Portland team that despite having less valued talent plays with the one common objective of winning and does not care who receives the credit. This is in complete contrast to the Knicks who seem more concerned about who is leading the team and less about doing whatever it takes to win their games. The Portland Trailblazers are the model team of the 2013-14 NBA season for team coaches of all ages who are trying to teach basketball players that consistent success and wins is more likely to be achieved when they play as a team rather than as individuals.