Creating Controversy 101
I'm not a huge fan of Larry Huges but this is just unfair. RealGm has a headline claiming: "Larry Hughes doesn't think that playing hard on a game-by-game basis is the key to winning in the NBA." The Chicago Tribune (always looking for a controvery to cover a losing basketball team) headlined the story: ""Playing Hard Not Always Smart".
So what was the actual quote: "I really don't think we're missing on playing hard," Hughes told the Tribune. "You can play hard, but you have to play smart. This game is about strategizing. Playing hard doesn't necessarily get it done on a nightly basis. You have to execute."
Clearly he isn't saying that teams shouldn't play hard. To me, it's obvious that he's saying that if you play hard and play stupid, you'll lose. I think we all saw this in the last couple of seasons here in Boston. I don't think you can say that our players weren't giving their all (well, maybe not at the end of last season) but if you don't know how to play the game and can't execute, all the hustle is just wasted energy. I think our own Tony Allen is a great example of that. He always plays hard but he also often plays dumb and negates all of his energy.
In fact, Hughes is downright positive about the team, saying, "I think a training camp and full season will help us out with the philosophy and style of this team." Of course, I'm sure someone could take that out of context and complain that he's always focusing on style over substance.
Thank God we don't have to worry about petty stories like this anymore. We can focus on a team that has to be the odds on favorites to win it all.