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James Posey: And so has all the chatter about Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis and whether they are “friends” off the court. I figure I’ll let everyone in on a little secret: contrary to what people want to believe, succeeding in the NBA is not just about competing against the 29 other teams in the league. It’s also about competing against the other players in your own locker room. Most players come into the league trying to earn their keep, not necessarily trying to make friends.
James Posey: As a young player, when you walk into a locker room for the first time, there are veteran players at the end of their careers, each trying to keep his job. There are journeymen on one-year deals who are trying to stay in the league. There are other young players who are trying to prove themselves, too. If you go into that situation thinking about anything other than playing your role and helping to win games, you might find yourself out of the league pretty quickly. Most coaches I played for liked having that kind of competitive edge in the locker room because it usually meant that everyone was going to be giving maximum effort.
James Posey: Even though everyone is wearing the same jersey, it doesn’t always mean they have the same short-term and long-term goals. It’s just the nature of the business. Because of that, there isn’t always room for friendships. Everyone knows that Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant didn’t really have the best relationship when they were teammates, and Charles Barkley himself talks about how he and Kevin Johnson weren’t good friends off the court in Phoenix. I’m pretty sure Michael Jordan wasn’t best friends with his teammates, either.