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You've Got A Friend In Me: The Power Of Friendship Might Win Championships

When someone refers to a team as using the "power of friendship," it's not typically good. It symbolizes a less-than-elite group of players who only win due to luck or other factors. The term is satirical and meant to justify how good teams lose to bad teams on an off-night when everything else clicks for the inferior team.

But what if I told you the power of friendship is authentic, that it is working in the NBA this year, and that it is not just a satirical comment but a meaningful statement impacting their games?


Who Is Harnessing The "Power Of Friendship"?

Well, this year, one primary example is the New York Knicks. The Knicks were expected to be good, given that they won a playoff series last year and were still young, but nobody expected them to be the second seed in the Eastern Conference and look like they could give the Boston Celtics a run for their money. This incredible season has resulted from three main factors: Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo. 


Brunson, Hart, and DiVincenzo have all been electric this year, helping lead the Knicks to the second seed. Brunson entered the MVP conversation after dominating the second half of the season, Josh Hart has been able to rebound with the best big mean in the NBA while playing 48 minutes a night, and Donte DiVincenzo has become one of the NBA's best three-point shooters being third in total makes. Their elite seasons have all lined up to make a good team season, but you may ask yourself: Where is the friendship in all of this? All three of these guys played together at Villanova and even won a national championship. 


Brunson, Hart, and DiVincenzo not only have experience playing together but have also won a championship. On top of this, they are all best friends on and off the court, with Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart being one of the NBA's favorite "Bromance's" this year and launching a podcast together. This trio and their chemistry have launched the Knicks not only to the top of the East but also changed one of the most poverty franchises in sports into a contender looking to fight for years. How did they achieve this? The power of friendship and chemistry.


That Is One Example From This Year, But Are There Any Others?

The Heat have been to the finals twice in recent history, last season in 2023 and back in the bubble in 2020. Those two Heat teams had a few things in common: an elite group of under-the-radar shooters, Jimmy Butler turning into one of the NBA's best come playoff time, and the so-called "power of friendship."


These Heat teams, on paper, were severely outmatched and theoretically should not have made it as far as they did, but they powered through because of their incredible chemistry and the bond among their teammates. 


If we even switch to Baseball, the 2019 Nationals are another perfect example of the "power of friendship" reigning supreme in sports. The Nationals were seemingly outmatched in every aspect, but time after time, they defeated every Goliath on their way to win their franchise's first World Series.


While the team was led by Cy-Young winner Max Scherzer and eventual World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg, the chemistry between the older and younger players made this team go the whole way. Veterans Howie Kendrick and Ryan Zimmerman got hot in the postseason, got the chemistry and vibes to work together, and rode the wave to a championship.


You can also think of nearly any March Madness "Cinderella" team you can think of. Despite being underdogs and doubted by everyone, their good vibes and friendship allow them to pull off major upsets in the big dance. When I say 'Dunk City," you immediately think of Florida Gulf Coast's 2013 March Madness run.


This team had so much chemistry that it seemed like they were throwing alley-oops and lobs in every play. The trust and chemistry that allowed for this only came from years of playing together and the tight bond between the players. This chemistry is also the "power of friendship" and why so many underdogs surprise and compete with the favorites. 


So What Is The "Power Of Friendship" Actually?

Simply, it is chemistry. Forming a team around guys who have played together, love each other, and will leave everything out there for one another leads to winning games. Sports have always been about brotherhood and camaraderie, but now more than ever, teams are building specifically around that and are seeing results. Cheerful locker rooms and vibes carry teams when they are struggling, and the current New York Knicks are the best example of this. 


Chemistry has a role in sports that is more important than ever, and if you want to pull off upsets and compete, you'll need the "power of friendship" by your side. This "power" allows chemistry to fuel teams and push them across the finish line when battling against others. The Knicks have followed the Heat's model, and now the question has changed from "Can they make the playoffs?" to "When will they win the championship?" It's all due to the "power of friendship."

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