March Madness, Tax Season and the Team

Open Look Pic

April 3, 2019 - By Mike Bossy

We likely have all heard of March Madness. For me, it’s that crazy time of year when tax season at BNG overlaps my love for basketball.

Every year during March Madness, I read a book on coaching basketball or some player’s or coach's biography. This year was no exception. I just finished reading Jay Triano’s biography called “Open Look: Canadian Basketball and Me.” (Follow the links to learn more about Jay and his book).

Jay relates a story about his experience as an assistant coach of the U.S. Olympic Team under Mike Krzyzewski, the legendary head coach of the Duke University Blue Devils.

I am going to quote verbatim right from the book.

“I still remember one practice that Mike led in the buildup to the World Championships.

“Lamar, come up here,” Mike began, pointing randomly at one of the guys around him. He poked Lamar Odom in the chest with his index finger. “Does that hurt?” he asked.

“No,” Lamar said.

“Exactly. But I see that in games sometimes. When things go wrong, we point the finger. Pointing a finger is a sign of weakness in this world. You will never see one of my Duke players do it. Just remember, when you point a finger, another three are pointing back at you. Now, Lamar, try and do a push-up on one finger.”

Lamar struggled to hold himself up on a single digit. “I can’t.”

“Exactly. Get up.”

I could see where that was leading, but I also recognized how Mike was holding everyone’s undivided attention. He had a room full of future Hall of Famers transfixed.

“This is weak,” Mike said, holding up his index finger. “But we still point it at other people before ourselves. What I love about the game of basketball is that a team is made up of five people. And if you take all five and put them all together, they will always be more powerful than one.”

Mike made a fist and punched Lamar. “Did that hurt?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Lamar said, rubbing his chest.

“A lot more than that finger, right? Now make two fists and get on the ground and give me ten push-ups.”

Lamar ripped them off, no problem.

“That’s right,” Mike said. “The game of basketball isn’t about this – one finger, one individual. It’s about this: a fist, five as one. So when we come together in a huddle, our fists are raised as one. Now bring it in.”

This reminded me that I couldn’t do what I do without a team. We are a fist. At BNG, we are in the growing game, not the blame game.

Back To News