The Los Angeles Lakers as a TEAM won a hard fought, physical 2010 NBA Finals over their arch-rival Boston Celtics in the deciding game 7. Derek Fisher inspired his teammates with his “12 minute” speech and hit a key 3 pointer to tie the game at 64. A thirty point, fourth quarter Lakers explosion in the final 12 minutes, carried the team to victory.
Pau Gasol was money; huge on offense and defense. A relaxed Ron Artest stepped up and hit a key 3 pointer with 1 minute left in the game. Kobe Bryant playing injured and double-teamed all night had 15 rebounds and hit key free throws with the game in the balance.
Fish’s speech went something like this:
” It all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team, or we’re going to crumble. Inch by inch, play by play, til we’re finished. One inch at a time. Life’s this game of inches – so is basketball. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game – every minute, every second.
On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear everyone around us to pieces for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches, that’s going to make the difference between winning and losing – between living and dying!
I tell ya this. In any fight, it’s the guy who’s willing to die, who’s going to win that inch. That’s basketball guys, that’s all it is. Now what are you going to do? “