If I’m playing a big game, I don’t want Kevin Ware on my team.
Ware, the 6-2 guard for U. Louisville, is on tap to play in this weekend’s Louisville-Kentucky game. The matchup annual matchup is the most intense rivalry in college basketball. Both team started the year in the national championship discussion. A few days ago, Cardinal fans were chanting ‘Beat U.K.’ after a win, despite the fact they still had another game to play first.
Here’s what Ware had to say about it:
“It gets old; it’s boring. It’s just another game.”
The great players – heck, the good ones and most of the average ones – feed off the energy of a rivalry, and raise their game accordingly. Tens of thousands of fans, dressed in team colors, stomping their feet and screaming until their hoarse… that’s what gives teams their home-court advantage.
Not Ware – he’s bored by it all.
Maybe it’s because the Georgia native hasn’t been around long enough immersed in the history of the rivalry… no, he’s a junior- this is his third go-around, so he’s well aware of the history by now.
Ware’s a good player; he was a top-100 recruit out of high school, and he’s a valued contributor for the Cardinals.
Perhaps he feels he gives 100 percent every game, anyway. All good and fine, but the best players, the ones a coach will trust his job with, find a way to make the game important. Even if a game is meaningless on the surface, they can find something – a perceived slight from a newspaper story, unfinished business from last year’s game, their girlfriend thinks the opponents’ guard is cute – to psych themselves up.
As they like to say in the Army, false motivation is better than no motivation at all.
And it should be easy to find in a rivalry like Louisville – Kentucky. Everyone else seems to know that.
Except for Ware.
If he can’t get his pulse up for this game, he’s just another player. I want someone with passion, someone who can make this game – any game – the most important game in his life.
Ware isn’t that guy. You can have him.