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 #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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon