As Jackson said, "They got great talent,” "There's no question about their talent they have. But, talent doesn't always win.”
Jackson of course was referring to the newly crowned Miami Heat Trio known as the Super Friends. A summertime construction that has two of the leagues top five players in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade not to mention a very talented Chris Bosh.
Jackson continued, “The team that shows the best teamwork will win it. We think that [the Lakers] have established something. But, if [the Heat] can unite -- and build quickly -- they might be able to do it."
Coach Jackson should know of what he speaks, as he was a player during the time when the Lakers were loaded with the top scorers in the league in Chamberlain, West and Baylor.
Of the late 60's, early 70's Lakers powerhouse Jackson said, "I always refer to when Wilt Chamberlain was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and that put [Elgin] Baylor, [Jerry] West and Chamberlain together -- three of the top scorers in NBA history -- and they never won a championship together the four years they were together."
Is such a thing possible? Is talent truly not enough to equal championships?
One has only to look back a few short years ago to 2004. The Lakers fielded a super team of their own comprised of perhaps the most star studded team in recent NBA history - a still dominant Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, as well as the aging but still potent tandem of Karl Malone and Gary Payton.
The Lakers manhandling of the Dallas Mavericks in the season opener prompted then Mavericks Coach Don Nelson to say "Awesome," "They [Lakers] have enough firepower to dominate the league."
It was a heady time and everyone was drunk on the possibilities...
"Unbelievable. All that firepower. We've got cannons, rockets, missiles, you name it," Lakers forward Bryon Russell exclaimed.
Even Coach Jackson got caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar stating, "I kind of miss the ring ceremony we've had the last couple of years, and we hope to provide you with a team that will get us another one."
Of course we all know how that team fared. The Detroit Pistons, a team with far less talent, but brimming with chemistry embarrassed them for all the world to see.
Not that anyone believes the Heat will suffer the same fate. Many may hope this, as the trio's collective Q-ratings would suggest, but none truly expect it. Rather, this is potentially a foreshadowing from a sage coach who's been there done that straddling multiple eras and donning 11 championship rings.
Jackson's final words on the matter, "It's not always scorers and talent that wins it. But it's teamwork that does it."
When the Zen Master speaks, perhaps all would do well to listen.