Steve Bulpett reports:
During the first days of training camp in Italy, the team has chosen the word "ubuntu" to finish its post-practice moment with coach Doc Rivers.
The word has its origin in the Bantu languages of Southern Africa and is used to describe a philosophy of life that promotes the greater good rather than individual success. Rivers read about the philosophy during the summer as it related to the teachings of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and said it denotes a belief that one person cannot be successful if those around him are not. Nobody wins unless everybody wins, if you will.
The coach asked Gabe Pruitt, Glen Davis, Brandon Wallace and Jackie Manuel to study the concept of ubuntu, and the rookies made a presentation to the team last Saturday before the flight to Italy.
"The rookies did a good job explaining it," center Kendrick Perkins said. "They made a great presentation. We’ve got some very intelligent rookies. It’s just our team motto this year. It’s what we’re living by - ubuntu. We stick together. That’s basically what I think it means, just bringing everyone together, everybody sticking together through thick and thin. I think it brings team unity. It’s very unique. I think if we live by it, we’ll be all right."
I know this is cheesy training camp, morale building stuff. I know that. But you know what? I don't care. I think it is great. The past few years have been defined by lack of definition. The team has had no identity (or at least not one they'd like to have). I would have been very easy for the team to come in and say "this is all about the big three and we are their support group." That would actually sound like a decent plan. Instead, they are at least making an attempt to level things out and unify the team. It isn't just one goal shared by the group, it is a united effort to reach that goal.
Call me cheesy if you want, but I like it. Ubuntu.