Professional basketball players are often competitive to pathological levels, and not just toward opponents. Teammates can challenge each other, too, even as they strive toward the same goal of winning a game, making the playoffs, and taking on all comers to earn a title. Sometimes they just need to fight each other to see who can score the most points, or grab the most rebounds, or get the most invitations to fancy parties held by national magazines.
The basketball world now places less emphasis on pure counting stats, though, and that's changed the nature of this sort of competition. It's now not enough just to score more points than a teammate, because someone who gets 30 points on 25 shots hasn't really played as well as someone who gets 20 points on 12 shots. Efficiency matters.
Proving the point, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade recently revealed that they compete against each other to see who can shoot 50 percent from the field. From Ethan Skolnick for The Palm Beach Post (via EOB):
Read More »from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade compete in efficiency stats, take a sly dig at Kobe Bryant
“It’s like a competition me and D-Wade are having right now about who can shoot 50 percent, in each and every game,” James said, when asked a couple of days later. “I had no idea, because I don’t know what’s going on throughout the game as far as stats. I came in after the game, I saw 9-for-19 [against the Bobcats in late December] and I missed that last long three, I felt I could have gotten into the lane and got a layup. I’ve got to make up for it.” [...]