Why Golden State Warriors basketball is a GREAT model for successful group economics

Last night I was watching the Warriors play the Spurs. For context, almost all of the Warriors stars are sitting. They lost the game but that isn’t important here.  What I saw was amazing.  It’s what you normally see when the stars play but when there were no stars on the floor it was even more pure.

Every single trip down the floor was unselfish.  They made the extra pass, they found the open man, they got the easy bucket.  This is an analogy I have tried to make in regard to group economics for some time. We have to share the ball because it doesn’t matter who scores, we all get credit for the points. 

There is a ton of power in working as a team.  Everyone knows this, I have been beating this drum for years. But for some reason everyone wants to build their own ship. Everyone wants to be the boss. Everyone wants to be Lebron James.  

95% of black businesses are solo person gigs. This means they have no employees. They are a bunch of Lebron James’. Folks who were great at what they do so they started a job that they think is a business. If you have to do all the work, that ain’t a business. You know how you get out of having to do all the work? Teaming up with other dope people. I don’t know why folks don’t get this. Why do dope people think they have to make all the decisions and do all the work or that they have all the answers? This is a triple double. This is Lebron think. This is the kind of think that keeps you small and employee-less.

Whenever I see a dope brother doing dope stuff I think “this person would be a great business partner”.  I don’t see competition, I don’t see hate, I don’t want to do what he is doing and beat him out. I want to work together.  This is something I see even in the real estate space. We again have a bunch of folks doing their own thing instead of building a mega firm that has access to billions in capital as opposed to millions on our own. Those billions could revamp a city, while creating those jobs we don’t create on our own. The point of this is team ball, not star ball. Team business, not star business. Its better to own 5% of a billion than 100% of a million. Together everyone achieve MORE.

Star ball vs team ball

The problem is that Lebron James isn’t winning anymore.  Lebron James isn’t the same Lebron James that he once was.  When you start playing like Lebron James (focused on YOUR stats and not the TEAM stats) you start losing chips like Lebron James. When you start focusing on YOUR business and not the community of businesses that exist, the TEAM loses.

Its interesting to note that Lebron is turning into a Kobe-like star.  This is interesting because early Lebron was always the Anti-Kobe. The unselfish team player who made the team better not him better.

People said Kobe had an ego and nobody wanted to play with Kobe and they were right. But maybe that was more about where Kobe was not WHO Kobe was.  We are seeing the same thing happen with Lebron. Kyrie couldn’t play there, IT couldn’t play there, D Rose couldn’t play there… Hmm… Its because he started getting the individual accolades (scoring titles, assist titles, all those other #lebronstats) and a shift took place.  He had to be the face, he had to be the name, even when he wasn’t making the game winning shots or scoring when it matters (see Kyrie).

Now this can be said about business as well.  You have a choice here.  We can play like the Warriors and flourish OR we can play like Lebron and end up alone and ringless.  I believe that we have to choose the Warriors.

Every other community passes the ball

If you look at other communities you see people who play ball like the Warriors.  You see people who hire and work with their own (passing the ball). You see people who will intentionally do business with and refer their own (passing the ball).  You see people who will work together in partnerships and joint ventures as opposed to starting their own competing firm (passing the ball).

If we are to win and compete in America we have to do what the teams who are winning and competing in America.  They aren’t protesting or asking for equality.  They are working together and creating their equality.  I always wonder what America would look like if not for integration. Would businesses that depend on black dollars for growth be as big if black dollars were forced to do business with black merchants?  Would black schools be better if all our prime sports, entertainment and academic talent were forced to go to HBCUs and practice and create in our own community?

Integration turned us from team players to individuals

Did integration actually weaken our culture and strengthen theirs? I believe so, I believe that integration is actually just another form of slavery.  By integrating we make them stronger and us weaker.  Segregation and Jim Crow actually did us a favor.  There were more black businesses and families during that time than now, but we call this progress? Even during “integration” there is still segregation. The problem is we are playing as though its all fair while they know better.  We give up power and energy trying to force our way in that would be better suited focused on building up and strengthening our own. You only get so many energy and focus chips, what you focus on and give energy to matter.

During segregation we worked as a team because we had no choice but work as a team.  We couldn’t shop at their stores, couldn’t live in their neighborhoods, couldn’t go to their schools. This caused us to build and frequent our own. The only flaw there is that we didn’t go all in at improving the quality of our own.  Just like now we acted like their ice is colder when we had the ability to create our own cold ice.

Segregation isn’t coming back but that mentality should.  We have to realize that nobody is ever going to put up points for us but us.  But the key is to play like the warriors, pass to the open man and score the inevitable points.  If we play like the Warriors, YOU don’t have to score all the points. As long as someone on the team scores we all get the credit. So pass the ball, make opportunities for other people and watch the team win chips.  Don’t be that superstar Russell Westbrook who worries about his triple doubles and then gets bounced in the first round. Be the Warriors, be the Spurs, this way it doesn’t matter if you have a star or not you still win chips.

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Be great, invest well,

Todd Millionaire

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