Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hunger Pains

'Hunger is not an emotion, not quite a mentality and certainly not a skill. What it is, though, is as vital as anything drawn up on a whiteboard or honed in a gymnasium. Coaches come up with syrupy speeches and perform wild pregame stunts in an effort to generate it, and moderately talented players -- "energy guys" -- earn millions for providing a form of it. It's unquantifiable and only vaguely identifiable, and that allows every baller to think he's hungrier than the man he's facing up. Only some of them, of course, have a case. "It's that old cliché: 'Don't talk about it, be about it,'" says Hornets coach Byron Scott, who won three rings with the Lakers. "A lot of teams talk about how hungry they are, how dedicated they are. But until you go out and show it, it's just talk."
--from a cover story in the current ESPN Magazine, which rates the Cavs franchise as well as its fans as among the NBA entities hungriest for a championship.


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