I was fortunate to work at St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia under my basketball mentor Jim Lynam. Jim played for the legendary Dr. Jack Ramsay at St. Joe's and with many degrees of separation have been influenced by Dr. Jack. I later spent years working for the Portland Trail Blazers, a team Dr. Jack coached to the 1977 NBA championship so once again I felt a connection to him and his coaching tenants. The following is a reminder of the uniquely great way he thought about the game from his 1978 book. The Coach's Art.
What is this game that runs through my mind? It is a ballet, a graceful sweep and flow of patterned movement, counterpointed by daring and imaginative flights of solitary brilliance. It is a dance which begins with opposition contesting every move. But in the exhilaration of a great performance, the opposition vanishes. The dancer does as he pleases. The game is unified action up and down the floor. . . . It is the solidarity of a single unifying purpose, the will to overcome adversity, the determination never to give in. It is winning; it is winning; it is winning.