The team model that has won the San Antonio Spurs four championships in nine years—a focus on chemistry, strong character, and salary cap flexibility—is starting to crop up elsewhere in the NBA, ESPN columnist Bill Simmons thinks. He's coined a word for it "chemacterility." It means eschewing bad guys—even the talented ones—and bad contracts, and it's now being tried out from Boston to Portland.
The revamped Celtics hang out together, joke around, and hug before games in the spirit of "ubuntu," or team unity, and so far it's netted them a dominant .900 record. The Trail Blazers also put together a group of unselfish, high-character players, and won 13 in a row. Meanwhile, disjointed teams like the Heat and character minefields like the Knicks are hurting big.