The Parking Spot: Breaking Talent

Joseph Park, Editor-In-Chief

Too many foolish teams in the sports world are running and building their teams on the notion of talent. Just talent.

Let’s break down some recent incidents.

The 2012-2013 Lakers is a prime example of why talent can’t buy success. Minus Kobe Bryant, the hard work factor and mentality was missing in action, especially from Dwight Howard, throughout the whole season, thus the infamous first round playoff sweep that ended the projected championship season. Although the current Cleveland Cavaliers isn’t as a shoddy example as the aforementioned Lakers, it clearly substantiates that talent can’t buy success. If you’re telling me there’s a better reason as to why a star-studded team with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love isn’t the first seed in the Eastern Conference right now besides the fact that it’s not as hard working as the less talented, first-seed Atlanta Hawks, I’m not buying it.

If that’s not enough, take a look at the Los Angeles Dodgers the past two seasons. Stacking up talent and a massive payroll, the Dodgers failed to realize that it takes much more than the highest salary cap in the league to win a championship. It’s hard to believe that a team with Clayton Kershaw and co. failed to win a championship, let alone make it to the World Series, but that’s the cold truth: the team that works the hardest gets the gold, not the team that acquires the most talent.

“Don’t just sit there and look at him, you’ve got to work,” Mike Tyson’s cornerman, Jay Bright, yelled. Predicting Tyson, number one fighter, as the winner in the 1990 match against no-name Buster Douglas was as clear as day. Although Douglas wasn’t as talented as Tyson, he brought the winning mentality, something the talented Tyson probably felt as if he didn’t need. It didn’t matter if Douglas contracted the flu the night before the match because the better mentality outlasted raw talent in this match, a feat Buster still cherishes to this day.

It’s depressing to see teams, usually the less talented ones, settle for less than the best. No teams should be “tanking,” that’s not what I call sports. Talent is overrated and too coveted; with just brute force and hard work, any team can make a name for themselves, with or without talent. In the end, according to superstar Kevin Durant, “hard work beats talent when talent fails to work.”