As the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors tip-off today in their third straight NBA Finals match-up, let’s look beyond what the average fan anticipates seeing. Sure, most will wait on the edge of their seats for the next intense moment between Draymond Green and LeBron James, the next show-stopper from Kyrie Irving or Steph Curry, or (new this year!) an emphatic Kevin Durant dunk or Kyle Korver catching fire.
But beyond that drama and rivalry lie often-overlooked similarities between the lessons that coaches, players, and leaders of both teams share with youth. Against the back-drop of several PCA events where Cavs and Warriors representatives have shared their insights, here is a deeper look at how each team teaches common lessons to coaches, parents, leaders and athletes to help make better athletes, better people.
We wouldn't be surprised if it's these same lessons for youth that help make the Cavs and Warriors successful at the professional level!
Lesson #1: They Keep It Honest With Those Problem Sports Parents
Steve Kerr (Warriors) and Phil Handy (Cavs) are very direct when it comes to parents on the sidelines.
Lesson #2: Maximizing Potential In People, On And Off The Court
Andre Iguodala (Warriors) and Trent Redden (Cavs) both have a passion and a strategy for helping youth reach their potential.
Lesson #3: Both Teams Keep It Fun
Steve Kerr (Warriors) and Koby Altman (Cavs) share that although sports can be serious business (especially in the NBA Finals), teams wouldn't get there (and do well) unless they kept it fun.
Lesson #4: Value of Coaches Teaching, Not Being Right
Both Steve Kerr and David Griffin know that the best teachers care less about being right, and more about developing their players.
Lesson #5: Building And Focusing On Team Chemistry
Establishing and maintaining team chemistry is never easy, but it can make or break a player's experience, and is often reflected on the scoreboard too.
Lesson #6: Warriors And Cavs Coaches and Players Exemplify Key Character Traits
Members of both the Cavs and the Warriors demonstrate and exude key character traits for fans in their communities to follow.
Beyond the commonalities between coaches, players, and leaders, each team has supported our Chapters with community events and more throughout 2016-2017.
In January, 2017, The Cavaliers helped the PCA-Cleveland Chapter host the Conversation With The Cavs, where building and sustaining a championship culture was one of several topics discussed by a panel of Cleveland Cavaliers executives.
The overall Conversation with the Cavs event was one in a series PCA-Cleveland is hosting to bring the best and brightest in Cleveland sports together with local coaches to share valuable insights and discuss skill development and coaching techniques. In addition to raising more than $14,000 to support delivery of PCA-Cleveland’s resources and workshops throughout Northeast Ohio, the event highlighted the Cavs’ expanding support of youth basketball development and the NBA’s partnership with PCA.
In October, 2016, The Warriors helped the PCA-SF Bay Area Chapter host the Silicon Valley Shootout at the Warriors practice facility.
Proceeds raised through the tournament help advance PCA’s mission of transforming the youth sports culture into a Development ZoneTM where all youth and high school athletes have a positive, character-building experience that results in "Better Athletes, Better People.”
PCA-SF Bay Area is also honored to have Warriors Assistant General Manager Kirk Lacob on its Chapter Board. Kirk is the son of Warriors owner Joe Lacob, and both sat on a panel for the PCA-SF Bay Area 8th Annual Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship and Awards Dinner.