Empty Guarantees Make You Look Like a Fool

May 31, 2009

Mo Williams can now have a career as one of those "money-back guarantee" guys on the infomercials.

Mo Williams can now have a career as one of those "money-back guarantee" guys on the infomercials.

After Cleveland’s Game 4 loss at Orlando to the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, Cavs guard Mo Williams guaranteed his team would win the series and move on to play in the Finals. Well, after last night, the dream matchup of Kobe vs. Lebron is just that…a dream. And Mo Williams looks like a fool. It’s never a good idea to guarantee anything in sports. There are only a few  certain guarantees in all of life, two of them being death and taxes. How often does a certain individual make a guarantee and how often does he or she actually come through? All it does is create more pressure on you and your teammates. This year’s Cavs squad seemed a like a tightly-knit bunch, clowning for the cameras during pregame activities and proclaiming their cohesiveness in interviews. But to make a guarantee of that magnitude is a selfish gesture that does not put the team first. More often than not, the promises go empty and the fans and media will jump all over you. Granted, the Cavs did come out focused in Game 5 on their home floor to force a Game 6, riding King James in the fourth quarter. But, as they have done all series, the Magic refocused and trounced the Cavs to put the finishing touches on a series that they for the most part dominated. Granted, LeBron had one of the best playoff series performances of  all-time, averaging nearly 39 points per game, while dishing out eight assists and pulling down eight rebounds. All while continually being double, triple and quadruple-teamed in clutch situations. No one will soon forget his last-second heave in Game 2 that won the game and had him mobbed by his teammates at half-court. But that’s pretty much the only bright spot for the Cavs in the series. After sweeping through the first two rounds against Detroit and Atlanta, the Cavs found themselves in a real battle with an Orlando unit that had found its flow against Boston in the second round. King James got no help from his teammates, and Williams actually hurt his team by making those outlandish comments. I remember in 2004 when Rasheed Wallace guaranteed a victory in the playoffs and Detroit ended up winning and eventually taking the whole thing. He looked like a total genius and was a genuine hero in Motown after. But rarely does this happen. Everyone remembers Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna famously pontificating that the Lions would win 10 games in the 2007 season. After starting the season 6-2, it looked like Kitna was a sports prophet and would be a hometown hero as well, but the Lions finished 1-7 down the stretch and failed to live up to the promise. In 1997, New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing famously said “See you in Chicago” before his Game 7 with the Miami Heat, insinuating that the Knicks would advance to the conference finals against the Bulls. Ewing missed his final six shots in the fourth quarter and the Heat went on to win and face the Bulls. Failure stories like this are more common than the opposite. Moral of the story is this: Keep your damned mouth and let your play do the talking. Otherwise, you’ll just like like a fool. See ya next year, Mo…

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