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 #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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