The Dream Team

20 years on and without doubt the finest collection of basketball players on one team ever. 11 Professionals and 1 College player. All 11 pros in the Basketball Hall of Fame & (apart from Chris Mullin) all in the NBAs Top 50 Greatest basketball players of all time. I still remember as a teenager hearing news about the Dream Team. You serious? Basically an NBA All Star team at the Olympics? In 1992, basketball was just reaching new heights. And this would propel the NBA and basketball into an even bigger spotlight

This great documentary just released by NBA TV takes us on the journey on the establishment and the trials & tribulations of the finest basketball team ever – original Dream Team. A must see for basketball aficionados. The old heads Magic and Bird going for one last hurrah, the torch being passed to Michael Jordan, and Malone & Barkley going at it to be known as the best Power Forward in the game. Yes you won’t miss the cockiness and the arrogance, but there’s no denying they were the best of the best.

Yes people will remember Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. But for you late bloomers to basketball, who were the other guys? Their resumes are pretty impressive:

Karl Malone: The Mailmain considered by many to be one of the top Power Forwards of all time. Played 18 years with the Utah Jazz and 1 with the Lakers. Career averages of 25.0 ppg and 10.1 rpg. Second all time leader in points with 36,928 points behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 2x League MVP and 14x NBA All Star, he made 3 NBA Finals appearances losing to the Bulls in successive years and to the Pistons (in his final year as a Laker).

John Stockton: Played 19 years with Utah and perfected the pick and roll with the Mailman. A true point guard at 6-1 his court vision was simply amazing. Career averages of 13.1 ppg and 10.5 apg. All time leader in assists with 15,806 assists. A 10x NBA All Star, he made 2 NBA Finals appearances losing to the Bulls in successive years.

Chris Mullin: A sharp shooting south paw, he played 16 years with Golden State & Indiana. Part of the famous Run TMC with Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond (a 90’s rendition of Showtime!). Career averages of 18.2 ppg, 50.9% FG and 86.6% FT. A 5x NBA All Star.

Scottie Pippen: Jordan’s sidekick for 6 NBA championships in the 90’s. Pretty much the prototypical “do-all” small forward who could score, defend and play big or small. Played 17 years mainly with The Bulls, alongside stints with the Rockets & Trailblazers. Career averages of 16.1 ppg and 5.2 apg. A 7x NBA All Star.

Charles Barkley: The “Round Mound of Rebound” – he was never shy with what he had to say and still in’t as an analyst with TNT! Played 16 years with the 76ers, Suns and Rockets. Career averages of 22.1 ppg and 11.7 rpg. 1x League MVP and 11x NBA All Star. Made it to the NBA Finals once with the Suns, losing to the Bulls who embarked on the start of their second 3-peat.

Christian Laettner: The Duke posterboy who won 2x NCAA championships. Played 13 years with 6 NBA teams and had an “average” career. Career averages of 13.3 ppg and 6.9 rpg. 1x NBA All Star.

David Robinson: The Admiral played all 14 years with the San Antonio Spurs teaming with Tim Duncan to form the “Twin Towers” in winning 2 NBA championships. Chiseled physique who had a unique ability to run and floor hard for a big man. Career averages of 21.1 ppg & 10.6 rpg. 1x League MVP and a 10x NBA All Star.

Patrick Ewing: The former Gergetown Hoya played 17 years mainly with the Knicks. Known for his patented “fall away” jumper in the post. Who could forget those tough series between the Knicks and Bulls of the 90s and the match ups between Ewing and Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon. Career averages of 21.0 ppg and 9.8 rpg. 11x NBA All Star who made it to the NBA FInals once where his Knicks lost in 7 games to Hakeem and the Rockets.

Clyde Drexler: Clyde “the Glide” Drexler played 15 years with the Blazers and Rockets capturing a championship with the Rockets alongside Hakeem Olajuwon. Career averages of 20.4 ppg and 6.1 rpg. A 10x NBA All Star.

And this is them today….20 years on. If you’re a true basketball fan, you will appreciate them as a team, but also how it changed the landscape of basketball globally. Names like Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Tony Parker, Manu Ginoboli – you can chase their beginnings back to 1992 and what happened with the Dream Team.


Marketing Battleship: Seth Godin V Guy Kawasaki

Seth Godin a highly successful author, marketing expert and entrepreneur.  He founded Yoyodyne, one of the first online marketing companies, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. Marketing approach = emphasises the idea of building communities and delivering value – rather than pursuing people / business with marketing tricks.

His Blog: http://sethgodin.typepad.com
His Twitter: @ThisIsSethsBlog


Guy Kawasaki
was one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing the Macintosh in 1984, now a best selling author with books like Rich Dad Poor Dad. Marketing approach =  recognising the potential in creating an audience that is not merely interested in a product, but one that is dedicated to it.

His Blog: http://blog.guykawasaki.com
His Twitter: @GuyKawasaki

Who do you want in your corner? Lets get ready to rumbbbbbbbbbbble! Round 1. Fight!

By Killer Infographics: Infographic Design


The 2012 Lakers: Jekyll & Hyde as they head into Game 7

How did it end up being 3-3 after the Lakers looked so strong in taking a 3-1 lead over the Nuggets? Facing an elimination game? To some it’s surprising. To me, it’s really just the DNA of the 2012 Lakers. It’s been a year of highs and lows and the Lakers have never really found their identity.

  • The faltered trade of Gasol/Odom for Chris Paul;
  • Trading Odom (the emotional leader) to Dallas;
  • The constant trade rumours of Gasol;
  • Trading Fisher (the voice of reason) to the Rockets;
  • Bench production;
  • The Metta World Peace elbow and suspension;
and the list goes on …

Apart from Kobe Bryant, the lack of consistency and just effort has been the most frustrating thing for Laker fans. And I have to point out the 2 other All-Stars – Bynum and Gasol. One day the sun is shining with Bynum dominating the Spurs with 30 rebounds. Next thing you know he comes out in Game 3 in Denver and says he’s wasn’t prepared to play or that he was out hustled. You’re on a $16 million dollar salary, the playoffs, and you’re not ready? Hmmm. Add to that the stupid comments he made before Game 5 by saying “Close out games are easy” and you just have to question how much of a leader Bynum can be. Yeah, we are constantly reminded he is just 24 years old.

And what about Pau Gasol? I really don’t know. I’ve got to give him credit for having a strong regular season amidst the trade rumours and speculation. And for really taking somewhat of a back seat in letting Bynum blossom and giving up shots in the offense. But where has he gone in the playoffs? Where has his post game gone? 7 footer shooting jump shots?Averaging 11 points and 8 rebounds whilst shooting 41% against an undersized Nuggets team is hardly considered dominating? For the second post season in a row, he has failed to deliver. I can’t see any other option than for Pau to be traded given his $19 million contract and the impending luxury tax implications.

Game 6 @ Denver, Kobe Bryant is as sick as a dog but comes through. Where were the other players? Probably thinking that Kobe can bail them out at all times. It’s a knife-edge sword. Having arguably the best player in the game (both physically and mentally) is a luxury but also a dangerous asset. Sitting back and hoping Kobe bails them out has been a common sight this year and in these past few games. What happened in those games that Kobe was not playing and the Lakers built up some strong cohesion and identity. It was all set up for when Kobe returned. That’s all disappeared. It will be a sad day when Kobe finally hangs it all up.

Mike Brown? Have to respect his hard work, but it just doesn’t seem he has the smarts to play the chess game needed in the playoffs. Yes, you can get away with it in the regular season, but come playoffs you have to adjust. Not matter how good of a team you are, the playoffs are all about adjustments. What worked in Game 1, the other team will adjust to, so what is your Plan B, C, and D? He’s the coach – why is he matching up Blake with Miller when he’s getting posted up on in the low block play after play..and scoring? And putting Blake on Gallinari? And really, why can’t he play Goudelock for a few spot minutes. Make things unpredictable! Get a shooter on the floor who can hit an outside shot! The Lakers haven’t really addressed their 3-pt shooting this year, much like last year. Through 6 games, the Lakers are shooting 28.6%. Blake 9/24@ 37%, Barnes 3/24@12%, Sessions 4/17@23% and Kobe 13/40@32% (respectable given he’s often dumped with the ball in the last 6 secs and has to hoist).

I hate saying this but I really have no preference for Game 7. Looking at the big picture, it will just delay the inevitable. And the thoughts of planning for next year start. If they advance, can they really beat the Thunder? Unless they go back to being Jekyll, I really doubt it. Right now they are caught in between and look directionless and emotionless. But I guess that’s been the story of the season. Just when things look up, they turn. But just as likely, when things look down, they turn – so I want to believe. Who will come out to play in Game 7? Metta World Peace will be back and maybe he will ignite the fire needed? I know Kobe Bryant will give it his all, but what about the rest of the Laker squad? We will find out soon.


Respect for Derek Fisher

I’ve been meaning to write about D-Fish for a while now but now that the Playoffs have come around and looking more and more like OKC will play the Lakers in the next round, I thought it would be timely. When the Lakers traded Derek Fisher + a 1st round pick to the Houston Rockets for Jordan Hill, I was as shocked as anyone. Granted the Lakers had just earlier traded for Ramon Sessions from Cleveland, you could sort of understand the logic and the salary cap implications.

kobe-fisher-lakers

However, losing Fisher’s locker room presence was probably the toughest thing to swallow. And seeing him sign with title favourites OKC would have been a bitter pill to swallow. There’s no doubt that D-Fish was the voice of reason, the Laker’s emotional leader, the one bringing calm to the storm when things didn’t seem to work out. A leader not based on his ability but on his mental toughness and his will to go to battle and take those tough shots in all situations.

And no doubt that he’s bringing that to the OKC locker room. And whilst all Laker fans did complain about his ability to do certain things, we all respected what he did bring to the table. He must still be able to do something right if we look at his Game 4 stats V Dallas in closing out the series 4-0: 29 mins, 12 pts, 5/6 shooting (incl 2/2 from 3-pt land), and a +21.

And if you check out the series stats in the 4 games he’s played int he playoffs so far, he’s doing a fine job as a reserve averaging: 8 points and 58% from field (incl 63% from 3pt line). Not bad for a 37 year old. You think the Lakers could use him off the bench? Just hope he doesn’t burn us.

And as the playoffs are here, one can only pay respect and tribute to what DFish did bring to the Lakers. Here’s a few D-Fish clutch highlights from Laker’s folklore:


1. Clutch 3 pointers to send into ovetime and win it in Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Finals V Magic


2. Coast to coast And-1 to finish off Game 3 of the 2009 NBA Finals V Celtics


3. The famous 0.4 in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals V Spurs


4. Game winning layup in a 2011 regular season game V Clippers


5. Big 3 in Game 3 of the 2010 Western Conference Semi Finals V Jazz


The Power of Story Telling

I’ve worked on a few projects with a company called Seven Stories whose work is all about “bringing compelling stories to life”. They do some fantastic work and really help simplify the complexity and build s story. Working with them introduced me to the power that story telling can have on people and organisations.

As marketers, one of our roles is to tell stories. Really you ask? Think of when you had to sell an idea to your boss. Maybe it was selling the idea of a rebranding project, a creative concept on the latest ad campaign, or maybe a website redesign. Come to think of it, whether we are in marketing or not we all have to tell stories one way or another in the workplace. And as we move up the Corporate ladder, I think it’s all about telling stories to convince staff, shareholders, and the market of the journey you are taking them on. Q-How did Steve Jobs introduce the iPhone and iPad to the market? A-He had a compelling story to tell.

steve-jobs

In business, a lot of our story telling is done by rational approaches: hard facts, numbers, return on investment. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, that’s how economies function. However, when you tap into the emotional side of things, that’s when you connect, when people remember you, and where you can make a difference. I guess that’s what movie directors are always trying to do in making the next Hollywood blockbuster. That’s not to say you should be coming up with a movie script each time you do a presentation to your boss in the workplace. But it is beneficial when you are selling the idea to try and think about what story you are trying to tell.

What was widely considered one of the more successful/popular Superbowl XLVI commercials recently (even though I loved the funny ones-see my post on 2012 Superbowl Ads)? It was the Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial. Why? Because it told you a story. It took people on a journey. And it was a memorable one because it connected with people’s emotional side instead of the rational side which would otherwise just talk about the car’s features. Over 5 million YouTube views can’t be wrong!

It’s that “a-ha” moment that you want to cultivate. But it’s not just the end that’s important, it’s how you construct your story from start to finish. So when you do your next idea pitch, think about the story you want to tell. How can you connect with the audience to make it memorable like Mr W below…


2012 Superbowl Ads

Yes there was a game played between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots yesterday which the Giants won 21-17. But apart from that, there’s always eyes on analysing and dissecting the TV ads during one of the most watched events on TV.

super-bowl-xlvi

So here are some of the the 2012 Superbowl ads. At $3.5m for a 30 second spot in front of over 111 million people, you can be sure measuring Return On Ivestment (ROI) will be critical for those marketers and advertising agencies out there. How to measure? Pre and post Superbowl brand tracking studies, social media mentions, and sales over the short term and long term will all have been discussed as core metrics to determine success. From products ranging from chocolate to beer to cars to charity, success metrics will vary.

Many integrated call to action into their ads with social media playing a big part. Mashable.com put together an interesting analysis of the what took place in social media during the game, halftime and the ad breaks via BlueFin Labs who specialise in Social TV analytics.

But here are 5 of my favourites below. And yes, it’s always the funny ones that get me =)

1. M&Ms: “Just my Shell” – You can never beat dancing M&Ms!

2. Volkswagon: “The Dog Strikes Back” – If you are a Star Wars fan you will love this one.

3. Chevy: “Happy Grad” – Apparently this was a contest entry. Not bad. Very entertaining.

4. Doritos: “Man’s Best Friend” – Every year they come up with some gems. This one is yet another

5. Bud Light: “Rescue Dog” – HERE WE GO! Or is that WE-GO?


Who is Andrew Goudelock?

Have the Lakers finally found a sniper off the bench? With the bench production being a huge cause for concern for Laker fans, it’s certainly a breath of fresh air. As the Lakers have gone 3-1 in their last 4 games, Andrew Goudelock (@0goudelock) (pronounced GOW-DE-LOCK) has put up some solid numbers whilst averaging 20 mins off the bench:

11.5 Points per Game
50% FG @ 17/34
57% 3FG @ 8/14

Selected No. 46 by the Lakers in the 2011 NBA draft out of the College of Charleston, Goudelock spent 4 years playing 140 games averaging 18.4 points per game. In his Senior year he averaged 23.4 points per game with a 40.7% 3pt FG rate whilst being an honourable mention for All-America by the Associated Press. He also captured the College 3-pt Shooting Championship. This is him:

And the kid has range! I’m talking CRAZY range!

In the games I’ve seen, one thing Goudelock doesn’t lack is confidence and killer instinct. Maybe that’s why Kobe has given him the nickname “Mini-Mamba”. As Dave McMenamin from ESPN.com writes, Goudelock has been embraced by his Laker teammates for just being ready when his number has been called. I think a lot of players that have put on the Laker uniform in the past have just been in awe and just freeze when put into certain situations. Not Goudelock. As a rookie he is making the most of his opportunities. It’s good to see him get some run.

Even though 45 players went ahead of him in the draft, he has clearly used it as motivation.

As Goudelock said: “You try not to think about those types of things but that means 45 teams passed up on me. I think I’m just as good as everybody in that draft”.

Whilst these last 4 games are anything but to base his future on, it sure points in the right direction. One can only hope that Coach Mike Brown continues to give him minutes (even when Steve Blake returns from injury). Yes, he surely will have growing pains but you can’t complain about his attitude and his determination.

So even when the chips are down and people doubt you, keep up the fight and believe in yourself. Whether on the basketball court or not, I think this applies.