Paul Pierce of the Washington Wizards recently said that the Toronto Raptors don’t have the “it factor” to win it all. Well what is the “it factor”? It’s a will to fight, a will to succeed, the strength to be resilient. The never die mentality, the determination to come through when it matters most. Something only few individuals have, and very few teams have. When you think of the “it factor”. You already think of a champion.
Paul Peirce, also known as “the truth” has the “it factor”. As does Kobe, and Duncan, and Jordan. As does Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, and Joe Montana. The champions that have done it time after time have “it”. As do some coaches such as Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson, Bill Parcells, and Bruce Bochy. But does winning alone constitute having the “it factor”? Peyton Manning is a far superior quarterback than his brother Eli, but Eli has more Superbowl rings, does that mean Eli has more “it” that Peyton?
Is the “it factor” something you are born with? Is it something contagious, or do you learn it? Or do the players and coaches with the “it factor” carry their teammates? Did Jordan have it and his teammates adopted it, or did he carry his team to higher levels? What about lesser known players that came up big in the clutch, like Brett Boone or Derek Fischer? Or do you find the “it factor” after numerous championship losses, like Lebron or John Elway?
So again I ask, what is the “it factor”? We know who has it. But we don’t know they have it until after they show us. It’s just something you unconsciously understand. You know who has that extra drive and motivation inside them. It’s something you either have or you don’t. And when someone has it, boy is it a beautiful thing. Whether it is a game winning drive, a buzzer beater, or a walk off, you know who you want in the spotlight (or don’t want). If your favorite player or team has “it”, enjoy it while you can, because it’s gone before you know it (yes I’m talking to you Jeter fans). We will find out this June which NBA and NHL team has the “it factor”. Maybe Paul Peirce still has it, or maybe he was wrong and the Raptors haven’t discovered “it” yet. But that is the beauty of sports, you just never know.