Basketball is a team sport — no doubt about it. Without a cohesive team, championship dreams fall apart.
But it is also true that great teams need great individuals. Without individual commitment and dedication to greatness, a team does not become, well, great. A group can be unified, but ultimately it falls to an individual who makes the game-winning steal or shot, who can move her teammates to force the comeback, or to keep holding on to the lead. At the free-throw line, a team cannot make shots for you.
What bonds the athletes in these pages? They were committed team players, but they achieved group success by drawing on their own dynamic talents. They wanted the best for the greater good, but they also knew they couldn’t be just a face in the crowd. They were leaders, standouts and players worth remembering.
In those moments when great teams need outstanding efforts, these were the ones who delivered. And their teammates — and basketball fans who were lucky enough to be watching — were better for it.