Any champion, like the eliminated Milwaukee star, knows they have to learn from defeats
Milwaukee just lost Game 5 and with it the train to the semifinals of the NBA Basketball Conference. After the match, Giannis Antetokounmpo puts his face on it.
He was a contender for the MVP title, his Bucks were the best team of the regular season. Instead, they lost to the Miami Heat (who will now face New York). Such a surprising defeat that a reporter asked a legitimate question that supported a spectacular response from Giannis. A lesson in sportsmanship that deserves to be seen and appreciated by all children dreaming of a future as heroes. Yes, because the greatness of a champion is measured more by how they react to defeat than by how they experience the ecstasy of success.
The Greek from Milwaukee was asked if the Bucks’ season should be considered a failure… And Giannis replied that “the word failure doesn’t exist in sport. There are good days and bad days. There are days when you win and days when your opponents win, but everything is a step towards further success, because in sport there is always one more step to take”. Antetokounmpo once asked a holy monster for help: ” What do you think of Michael Jordan who played for 15 years and won 6 rings, are you telling me his other 9 seasons were a failure?”.
No quote could have been more apt as Michael Jordan, the greatest of all time, said: “In my career I’ve missed more than 900 shots, I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times my teammates have entrusted me with the winning shot and I have got it wrong. I have failed many times. And that’s why I ended up winning everything.” That last step is the key to everything. Failure, even in sports, exists, but it shouldn’t be seen as such. In a world made up of times and rankings, it does happen pretends to fail to score against an opponent who proved stronger that day. But it’s just a loss. And often it can be the best way to rebuild or find your way back to success. Nelson Mandela, someone like that knew a lot about life, he said. “I never lose, win or learn.”
The truth is that an athlete, like a team, like a coach, must know how to face defeat without fear. Otherwise he’ll never learn. Scudetto’s Piolis Milan a year ago was reborn like the phoenix after beating Atalanta 5-0 in December 2019. Exactly 30 years ago, Franco Ballerini lost Paris-Roubaix in a photo finish by Duclos Lassalle. He thought he had won and wanted to dedicate it to his recently deceased father. He had failed at a finish line against a (that day) stronger opponent. But she managed not to consider it a failure because she had tried her best. Ballerini trained and prepared even more in detail until he won two legendary editions of Roubaix in 1995 and 1998. Dancers like Pioli, like Mandela, Jordan and Antetokounmpo have taken the advice of Charlie Brown, a giant of Western thought who always said, “Winning isn’t everything. Losing is nothing…”.
April 28 – 10:03
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