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What Makes A Winner?

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Yesterday the Knicks blew a 15 point, fourth quarter lead to the Sacramento Kings at home and proceeded to lose in overtime.  All in all it was a devastating and pathetic loss to a team that entered the game with a 3-22 road record so far this season

After the game I was looking through Knicks blogs and fan pages, wallowing in the misery of another wasted season when I came upon a thread about how David Lee was just not a winner.  In sports I've never found there to be a more useless way to describe a player than when they are labeled as either winners or losers.

Jamal Crawford on the Atlanta Hawks is a leading candidate to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award.  Before his stint with Atlanta Crawford was labelled as a loser because he had never been on a winning team.  Was it his fault his teams sucked?  

The Chicago Bulls drafted Crawford in 2000 a period of time when the Bulls were consistently among the league's worst teams under Tim Floyd.  Then in 2004 Isiah Thomas orchestrated a trade for Jamal Crawford to come to the Knicks.  He remained with the Knicks for four seasons during which time they became the laughingstock of the league.  That might have been his fault or maybe it was because Isiah Thomas had no idea how to construct a team properly.  He was traded to the Warriors, another of the league's cellar dwellers, last season in a salary dump move.  

Then finally this summer he was traded to Atlanta, a team that was coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances and got a chance to play around guys like Joe JohnsonAl HorfordJosh SmithMike Bibby and Marvin Williams. Now Crawford has transformed into a winner and as a member of an Eastern Conference contender.  I guess he just learned how to win this summer in his ninth NBA season.

Kevin Garnett was such a loser when he was on the Minnesota Timberwolves.  He just figured out how to win when joined Boston.  I doubt playing with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen helped him at all.

It's amazing how many winners happen to be on championship teams.  Remember how much of a winner Adam Morrison was on the Lakers last year during their championship run?  What would Kobe have done without him?

How about Brian Scalabrine on the Celtics' championship team two seasons ago?  He just knows how to win unlike David Lee.  No wonder the Knicks suck.  We just need to get a bunch of winners.