You draft for talent, but you sign for fit. Just compare the Clippers and Heat. The Clippers signed and traded for a lot of talent, but the fit was awkward. They are going home. Miami drafted talented players and signed the ultimate Miami guy – Jimmy Butler.
Not only that, but they also signed Jimmy after he was labeled damaged goods. Butler had blown up Chicago‘s and Minessota‘s locker room before he left. Jimmy kept his composure in Philadelphia, but there was also reporting of drama around Butler. That didn’t scare Pat Riley away. Quite the opposite – while other teams avoid conflict, the Miami Heat feed off it.
“Jimmy has this reputation that not everyone’s on board. He is clearly an incredible fighter, teammate, winner. They were like ‘No, that’s our guy.‘”Steve Nash, JJ Redick podcast
Building a culture requires consistency. Miami knows there’s a certain group of guys, talented players; they won’t have a chance with because of ‘the Heat way’. Body fat control twice a week, a boot camp mentality – that isn’t for everyone. But that’s what culture is – defining core values and a set of principles that apply to everybody. It’s hard, but it provides clarity.
“That’s a sign of a great culture; when you can identify exactly who fits you. Instead of like ‘I think…I think he’s a fit.‘ They know, clearly ‘He’s a fit, he is not. This is what we do, this is our system and behavior.‘ That is why they’ve accelerated so quickly.”Steve Nash, JJ Redick podcast
The commitment to their principles is now paying dividends. The militaristic approach to daily tasks and discipline works perfectly for an isolation bubble. Every other team had to adapt to the bubble, for the Heat that’s just another day in the office. So how close does the Nash sees this team going?
“Let’s be honest, take a step back. Before Christmas or last summer…Miami is this close to winning a title…I don’t think anyone was predicting that.”Steve Nash, JJ Redick podcast
Brooklyn’s new coach obviously believes Miami can go all the way. He pointed out that the last four teams in the playoffs – Nuggets, Celtics, Heat, and the Lakers all have high intangibles. Let’s see if he manages to create the same environment with KD and Kyrie in Brooklyn.