Kevin Pritchard use's the term so much, he should have it tatooed on his arm, "Culture". But I think he has proven that it is a factor with him, when evaluating the talent, character and impact of any player he is thinking about adding to The Blazer Roster.
I for one, am glad that we sincerely have a management team in place that values Team Culture and individual character. Plus, I'm not just happy for the relatively selfish personal fan reasons. It goes beyond my feeling that I can "like" the team. Personally, I don't feel it is important I "like" every single member of The Blazer roster.
I think we have already seen benefits of building with an eye towards team culture and individual character. Not only does it facilitate connection between fans and the team but I believe ultimately it translates to higher plateaus being able to be reached. I believe the character "individual" will respond better to the adversity that one will come upon within the competition of the N.B.A..
To simplify, if there is 8 seconds left in a game, trailing by a point, I'd already rather have a Brandon Roy taking the shot to win it than a Rasheed Wallace. Sure on any given night Rasheed or Brandon are both game winning quality players. But under pressure, I'm going with the intangibles of the instant karma shown by the player that through words and actions off the court has shown desire to win and professionalism. Even if Brandon misses, I know he will try harder next time, review his final move, and improve...so ultimately in defeat it will make himself and the team better. Where if Rasheed swishes for the win, I might get the falling confetti from the rafters, the "W" and shirtless run into the locker room but ultimately I will also get, just Cut The Check, and both teams played hard.
Another benefit I think we have already witnessed from a dedication to Character and Culture, is team chemistry and flexibilty. When Blake replaces Jack in the starting line-up, and/or Frye replaces Pryzbilla, it's nice to know that we have a group of players who believe enough in the team concept that you can be sure they aren't disrupting the locker room. Without naming names can you imagine the poison reaction of some of The Blazer players in the past if they were suddenly removed from the starting line-up? The Backlash would of been season shaping.
Another positive I can point to that I think directly relates to "character" is Odens rehab. Evidently Oden is a monster in rehab. He's actually gotten his upper body in BETTER shape since being injured. That's tied directly to character. A lot of players would of taken the 6 weeks on crutches as the perfect excuse to eat donuts and watch movies. That evidently isn't in Odens "character".
Anyway, that's my sales pitch for supporting Team Culture and individual Character. I have heard some people say "only" winning matters. That only talent should be the factor. That character is over rated. That if we won, it would gloss over most of the character issues and the fans wouldn't care.
I don't believe that at all. Do you?