From the moment LeBron James made his “Decision” to take his talents to Miami Beach last summer, the Miami Heat have been one big traveling ego show. The Heat have been all about “me, me, me” (James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh) and the Dallas Mavericks have quietly been about “we” (the team). While the Heat were conducting an over-the-top introductory press conference that included a laser show while James, Wade and Bosh were lifted skyward by a forklift, the Mavericks were working, trying to become the best team they could be.
“This is a true team,” said Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle after the Mavericks won the 2010-2011 NBA title with a 105-95 win over the Heat in game six of the NBA Finals. “This is an old bunch. We don’t run fast or jump high. These guys had each other’s backs. We played the right way. We trusted the pass.”
Everything that is right in the world of sports — from the playing field to the owner’s suite — is driven by a collective sense of togetherness; all that’s wrong is driven by ego, whether its greedy owners and self-centered politicians soaking taxpayers to pay for new sports palaces or selfish players putting themselves above the team.
“Not only will the Mavericks be remembered as champions, they’re the team that triumphed over the overdog — the Miami Heat and its luminous trinity of egos,” wrote NBA beat writer Benjamin Hochman in his game six postgame analysis. “The 2011 NBA Finals had a deeper meaning to basketball, for the Mavericks ascension showed that a team can’t just align stars and assume the title is already won. Dallas reminded all of us about what is right about the game — dedication, teamwork, the importance of role players and class.”
For decades, a favorite saying of coaches at all levels has been “There’s no ‘I’ in team.” Now the 2010-2011 Dallas Mavericks have given those coaches a new Exhibit 1A.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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