Standing out from the rest of the league isn't easy, considering you're going at it vs. the greatest athletes on earth. Moreover, staying consistent and healthy throughout a full season while making a positive impact for your team is incredibly tough.
That means not many people on earth could put together a Scoring title run, let alone an MVP season. Even so, legendary coach and executive Pat Riley thinks none of that means a thing unless you finish the season as the NBA Champion:
"You know, I mean, you can be dominant and win Scoring titles and be an MVP but if you're not a champion, then what the hell is it worth?" Pat Riley said in an interview.
Some people may take his comments as a shot to players like Allen Iverson, James Harden, or Russell Westbrook, who piled up individual accolades but were never able to win the ring.
And we get it, winning isn't everything in sports, but you must have that kind of killer mindset if you want to achieve greatness. Individual awards always come in second when we talk about taking the mythical Larry O'Brien trophy home.
Pat Riley has made a name for himself for being a relentless competitor and trying to make his players feel the same way. His only focus is winning an NBA Championship year after year and would do whatever it takes to fulfill that goal, so that statement doesn't come as a surprise.
Moreover, that mindset has certainly paid off for him. Throughout his career, he won 1 ring as a player, 5 as a coach, 1 as an assistant coach, and 3 as an executive, so this guy really knows about winning.