Having Skill vs Being a Winner


Maggie Lindstrom

winning is not just skill.

Having skill does not always mean you are a winner. A lot of the time skill and winning goes hand in hand, but not always. There are many players that had amazing stats, yet they failed to win. There are also players, and even teams that may not have skill, but they win. 

Many players like Lebron James, Micheal Jordan, Tom Brady, and Babe Ruth all have skill. They have won awards like league MVP and are current or future Hall of Fame athletes. They also have won multiple championships and playoff games. Winning and skill can go together but there are some examples of teams and players that are one or the other. 

Russell Westbrook, a 9 time all star basketball player, has averaged a triple double for three seasons, a double double for one season, and now is close to averaging a triple double this season with the Wizards. This means that Westbrook has averaged over 10 points per game, over 10 assists per game, and over 10 rebounds per game for three seasons, and averaged over 10 points and over ten assists for one season. Yet Russell has never won an NBA finals. Furthermore, each year that he averaged a triple double, his team didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs, because all Russell wants is to have the best stats, he doesn’t care so much about winning. 

Kareem Hunt was an exceptional player for the Kansas City Chiefs. He could catch well for a running back and he was very agile and athletic. He played football for The University of Toledo in college and was the 22nd pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft. In 2017 as a rookie, Hunt led the league in rushing yards and was a pro bowler. That year the Chiefs were eliminated in the playoffs by the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round. Kareem was a top tier running back again in 2018 until he was released by the Chiefs. He would have probably been a top five running back, at least a top 10 that year. Again the Chiefs were eliminated in the playoffs, this time by the Patriots. After being released by the Chiefs, Hunt became a backup running back for the Cleveland Browns. 

The Yankees have had a huge payroll for a long time. This means that they have had the most expensive people on their team. In other words, the Yankees have had teams of huge skill for years and years. Since 2009, the Yankees payroll has been in the top three highest payrolls every year except for one year. Yet they have not won a world series since 2009. They have built teams on great players with plenty of skill, but they haven’t cared too much about playing well as a team. They were great for years, and now they are declining as an organization. 

Sometimes teams may not have a lot of skill, but they want to win. We have seen this a lot at the college level during march madness. Teams like UMBC have beaten the top teams without skillful players. In 1986, 14 seed Cleveland State beat the three seed Indiana Hoosiers. Cleveland State did not have players with skill, but they wanted to win and they knew that Indiana thought this game would be easy. 

These paragraphs prove that skill does not mean winning, and winning does not mean skill.