The Most Crucial Aspect of a Team, The Bread

Athletes Go Pro is a staffing firm that is dedicated to introducing well-rounded athletes to desirable employers across a wide range of industries. From our screening process to final interview prep, our team strives to find ideal employment matches for our candidates in their career search and clients seeking talent.
 
The NBA is one of the hardest professional sports to play and have a great career in.  About 3 in 10,000 high school seniors will ever get drafted by an NBA team, while those three players averaging about 4.8 years in the league on average.  That means statistically speaking, the making it in the NBA is equivalent to getting a four of a kind in the very first round of a draw poker game – virtually impossible.
The current NBA landscape has shifted, a new wave of incredibly athletic, skilled and talented offensive players are starting to form the new stars of the league.  The new generation of NBA stars this season have begun to solidify themselves as the most elite of the most elite.  Players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden are averaging over 27 points a game while recording around 9 to 10 assists and averaging 7 to 8 rebounds a game. To Matt Bonner, a recently retired NBA veteran that played the remaining 10 years of his career with the San Antonio Spurs has a different spin on the most elite of the new wave of NBA greats.  He relates them to sandwiches.
Sandwiches are a commodity that is loved by people around the world.  When a person thinks or looks at a sandwich, what lies at the core is usually the most sought after aspect of the food.  The meat, protein or core food that lies at the heart of the sandwich is very important to the overall well being of the sandwich, it can be described as what brings attention to it.  Matt Bonner relates that core of a sandwich to an NBA player.  Each player has a drive and physical stature that allows for them to be the best at what they do and excel in a sport that is truly the best of the best, it is what sets them apart.  They are prized meats and cores of a sandwich.
A sandwich however, is not liked by individuals because of just single meat, protein or core food behind it.  The fixtures, toppings and accessory items are what bring life and a personality to the sandwich.  Matt Bonner uses this imagery to relate it to players like Russell Westbrook and James Harden.  They have an offensive presence, a skill set that allows for them to dominate at the offensive end and be that special fixture to any team that shines and will attract attention.  These fixtures garner attention due to their attributes that allow for them to stand out from the pack and take over games.  The one part left out in Matt Bonner’s visual imagery of relating a sandwich to an MVP caliber player is the outside and equally as overlooked as it is uncommon in the NBA, the bread.
 The bread however – the bread is what a person bases their sandwich off of. The bread is the mold in which a person chooses the meat, topping and other fixtures.  A sandwich is not the same without the bread, it is simply a pile of assorted foods stacked on top of each other.  Matt Bonner uses this analogy to justify his reasoning for why Kawhi Leonard is the real MVP during a season in which the two front runners are only offensive juggernauts. Kawhi Leonard has been the league Defensive MVP twice, on pace to make it again for a third season all while averaging 25 points a game in an offense that is centered around team basketball.  Kawhi not only is the best offensive and defensive player on his team, but he elevates the team to a level in which they are also the top tier in their division, a statistic that is not shared with the other two front running candidates for league MVP.
The reason this article should speak to every person that reads it is not because of the comedic analogy that relates a sandwich to NBA players or even the fact that Kawhi Leonard is a terrific basketball player.  The reason that every person who reads this article should gain something haven read this is that it speaks on multiple levels to the skills and attributes that a highly effective team member and athlete has.  Every person should have expectations for themselves that should make them want to be above average. Every person should want to do something that allows for them to stand out from the rest in order to achieve happiness in life.  In order to do that, a person should want to also acquire skills that allow for them to attack life and propel them into environments in which they can be the best possible version of themselves.
The difference maker however is that not all people have the bread, the overlooked demeanor and will to day in and day out grind and do whatever is necessary in order to achieve a successful future.  The bread, the Kawhi Leonard trait that few people have is an innate sense that few people have that allows for them to be well balanced people, in their life, social environment and other facets that make them who they are.  The reason this article is so intriguing is that it provokes the want for a person to look inward at themselves and see, “what is my bread?”.  What they do on a daily basis that allows for them to be better than the rest, balanced in the different facets of their life and begin to achieve what they personally view as success.
Athletes Go Pro is a staffing firm that is dedicated to introducing well-rounded athletes to desirable employers across a wide range of industries. From our screening process to final interview prep, our team strives to find ideal employment matches for our candidates in their career search and clients seeking talent.

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