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Curry!Score 90%Score 90%

Splash. From an estimated 62 feet away, the rainbow found nothing but the net.

That is what Stephen Curry can do and he did in the sixth match against Memphis Grizzlies to drive GSW home to finals by the 4-2 victory in the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

With the win, The Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1976 with a bang.

If you happen to be tracking NBA history, you would find 2014-2015 a very unusual year of changing fortunes of big and small, strong and weak, leaders and challengers.

If you happen to be tracking NBA history, you would find 2014-2015 a very unusual year of changing fortunes of big and small, strong and weak, leaders and challengers.

The Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1976.

The LA Lakers (LAL) went on to miss the NBA playoffs for the second time since 2005, for just the third time in the last two decades and for just the seventh time in franchise history. Paul Gasol left LAL in 2014 to join Chicago Bulls. Phil Jackson retired as Head coach of LAL in 2011. Under Phil, the LAL won five championships from 2000 until 2010. In total, Phil Jackson has won 11 NBA titles as a coach.

Instead, another LA franchise, LA Clippers is in playoffs semifinals. LA Clippers was purchased by Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, for $2 billion before the start of this season. The Clippers had a 3-1 series lead over the Rockets, then they lost Games 5 and 6. The home team wins Game 7s in NBA playoff series nearly 80% of the time, and Game 7 is in Houston. But the Clippers have some good Game 7 playoff experience. The Clippers had Game 7 victory against San Antonio Spurs earlier this month.

The LA Clippers head coach, since 2013, is Doc Rivers. Don Rivers was nine-year Celtics The Celtics have met the Lakers a record twelve times in the Finals, where the Celtics have won nine meetings. However, since Doc Rivers left Celtic, they have not made it to even eastern conference finals.

LeBron James, in 2010-2011, left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. In his first season in Miami, the Heat reached the Finals but lost to the Dallas Mavericks. In 2011-2012 Miami defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the championship. In 2012-2013, he led the Heat on a 27-game winning streak, the second longest in league history. Miami also won its second consecutive title that year. In 2013-2014, the Heat reached the Finals for the fourth consecutive year, eventually losing to the Spurs. With his presence, Miami Heat reached NBA finals 4 times in 4 years.

For the 2014-2015 season, LeBron went back to Cavaliers. Miami Heat did not make to even playoffs.

This season, with LeBron inside, Cavaliers defeated Chicago Bulls to reach to Eastern Conference finals. However, the same Cavaliers did not even make to playoffs in seasons from 2010-2011 to 2013-2014 when LeBron was not with them but was taking Miami Heat to finals.

The rise of LA Clippers, Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Warriors and the fall of LAL, Celtic, Heat etc has very strong relation with onboarding or leaving of outstanding performers, either players or coaches.

Similar patterns (Pattern recognition and analysis – See Tableau etc) is seen everywhere, in business, politics, religion, education, space voyages and all other activities which connect with our lives.

Departure, induction, succession/elevation of strong performers in businesses (Balmer to Satya Nadela in Microsoft, Steve Jobs to Tim Cook etc) have made a remarkable impact on the progress of the related entities.

In our personal lives too, we can find a pattern in various phases of accelerated and not so accelerated growth.

If we recognize patterns of ‘impact of presence of strong performers’ in our network of friends, colleagues, managers, peers, team members, customers, suppliers or in our association with places we live, restaurants we eat at, books we read, movies we watch, places we travel to etc, we are likely to find that whenever we networked or associated with strong performers, we grew faster.

A quick ‘check-listing’ on the restaurants we go to (are they AAA+ or not), or a review of kind of authors we like to read (did they win Nobel or not), or people we are more comfortable associating with (are they innovators, researchers, analysts, honest, large/lion-hearted, kind etc), stocks we invest in (have strong fundamentals or not), methodology we adopt to learn (waterfall, agile or …), or what kind of learning/training we are doing, will give us an idea on what direction and speed our growth is taking.

Occasionally, putting ourselves in other shoes or imagining as something else brings answers to many of the complex questions which may be perplexing us and slowing us down. With answers in hand, most of the journeys that we embark upon turn out to be very joyful, enriching and memorable.

Induction or succession/elevation of strong performers in our network and association will help us to achieve much more than what we would otherwise get to.

Have a great weekend!




About The Author


Founder, CEO, Chief Research Officer Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach. – Aristotle As an Indian-American entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, and designer, working every minute to make all your dreams come true.

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