Which one of these guys would I rather have on my team? The answer may surprise you...

I thought about this idea after seeing the reactions from my recap of the Cavs game a couple weeks ago. I said that I'd take Anderson Varejao on the Celtics in a second. I've since retracted that statement because seeing him every game for six months would make me sick to my stomach. However, it brings up an interesting argument. Would you rather have someone less talented but more likable? Or someone more talented that is a head case?

Look, I'm not talking about whether you'd want Ron Artest or Leon Powe here. I'm also not saying that it only has to do with how good a player is. For example, we all love watching Ray Allen play and he is the consummate professional. However, a lot of people around Boston were begging to trade him for Caron and Jamison a couple months ago. Not that Caron and Jamison are headcases by any means, but I think most of us would rather watch Ray play. Does that count anymore? Does enjoying watching another person play count for anything or is it just wins and losses?

For me, at least for non-superstars, I'd rather have a high character guy. It makes winning a lot better and losing not as bad. For example, and this is hard to say in words, but if somehow we had traded for Kobe instead of Garnett a few years ago (all theoretical here) would you have felt as happy winning the title? I sure wouldn't have. It made it so much better that 3 deserving older stars won it for the first time. I will never forget that moment for as long as I live and frankly wouldn't trade that for 5 titles in a row with Lebron or Kobe.

Maybe, I'm crazy here. Maybe I should feel that winning titles is the most important thing no matter who is on the team. After all, it's the team not the player you should love, right? But I don't think this is necessarily the case, especially in basketball which is a league based on players not teams. In football you identify with teams more because you can't see the players on the field with all their equipment on. In baseball and hockey it's the same way pretty much. But in basketball the players are right there in front of you. I would have a hard time ever cheering for Kobe, Lebron,  Ron Artest, or Derek Fisher even if they were in Celtic Green.

What do you all think? Does simply enjoying watching someone play mean anything anymore or do you just care if they help the team win games? I'm thinking a lot of people will say the ladder here. Look forward to seeing the responses!

Karl Dillinger 3/26/2010 01:19:00 PM Edit
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7 Responses so far.

  1. Have to agree on the Kobe part. I really can not stand the guy. If he was a Celtic, I'd enjoy the success, but would still never like him. There are some players that I don't like because they always torch us but on the Celtics, I like him, like Nate. And there are players like Kobe that I dislike so much that even as a Celtic, I just couldn't bring myself to like him.

  2. Oh, and Red was always big on taking the high character guy over a slightly more talented guy with character issues.

  3. tb727 says:

    I hope Derek Fisher dies a painful death.

    Nice article Karl.

  4. Jenda says:

    that is one great article and I have to add "as I've grown to expect here". I couldn't really be a fan of a team if there was a key guy I hated. I don't know about the bench players. Like I am really disappointed in 'Sheed so far but it doesn't make any difference for me as a Boston fan. I think players make the team and it's history and reputation.

  5. Jenda says:

    And team picks the players so they fit.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I would take Leon Powe any day of the week. I miss his hustle and quiet contributions.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I think we like the individual player a whole lot more if he is a star and helping our team win, win, win!!!

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