Dr. John C. Maxwell is a very prolific author. He has written many books on the subject matter of leadership. So what does Dr. Maxwell have to do with NBA players like Shaq, Olajuwon and Mutombo? A lot. I would like to share with you his article entitled: “Becoming An Enlarger.”
Dr. Maxwell says:
Before the NBA ever heard of Shaquille O’Neal, Dikembe Mutombo or Tim Duncan; back before anyone knew the name Hakeem Olajuwon; in the days before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ruled the hardwoods, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell changed the nature of professional basketball with the way they played the center position.
Chamberlain was a great scorer and Russell was known more for his defense, but no matter which end of the court they were on, they played above the rim like no centers before them ever had.
Russell, however, is best known not for his offense or his defense but for something else – winning. His No. 6 jersey was retired by the Boston Celtics in 1972 to honor his contributions as the anchor to teams that won nine consecutive NBA titles. He added two more titles as a player/coach.
That’s why it was such an honor to meet him at a recent NBA All-Star game, and that’s why I wasn’t surprised to hear what he said about great team players: “The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I’d made my teammates play.”
One of the qualities of a great team player, you see, is that they enlarge others. Bill Russell isn’t just a large man; he’s a man who enlarged others. He made them better.