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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Had to be Better Than You Have Ever Been

Until I read this article, I didn't realize just how great Hall of Famer Bobby Orr was.An eight-time first-team NHL All-Star, Orr was voted the league's best defensive player eight times.In 1969-70, "Orr became the only player to sweep the league's top awards — MVP, defenseman, playoff MVP and scoring title — and capped it off by scoring the Stanley Cup -- winning goal over St. Louis in overtime."Despite his dominance on the ice, "Orr bristled at the attentions of superstardom." According to this article, during the 1974-75 season, "he scored 46 goals but probably gave away a half dozen more by insisting that teammates had deflected the puck in."One of Orr's former teammates says that Orr "brought others with him; he wanted them involved."

"That's what made him so different: It felt like a five-player stampede moving toward you—and at his pace. He pushed his teammates, [because] you're playing with the best player in the league and he's giving you the puck and you just can't mess it up. You had to be better than you'd ever been."

This is the same quality that Michael Jordan had, Kobe Bryant has, and LeBron James is improving upon. Time will tell how developed LeBron's leadership is when they meet a challenge in this year's playoffs. Thus far they haven't broke a sweat whereas Kobe's Lakers had to survive a game 7 already and a tough come from behind win last night against Denver and their star Carmelo Anthony.

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