A.J. Smith was criticized for overpaying in trades that landed Eric Weddle and Jacob Hester in '07…
Mavericks Offer Hope for Chargers Fans
A.J. Smith preaches the importance of getting into the tournament. Once there, he believes, anything can happen. That was almost the case for the Chargers in 2007, where only injuries to Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson prevented the Bolts from catching lightning in a bottle.
The Chargers have made the playoffs in five of the last seven years, causing fans to doubt if their team will ever break through. Fans in Dallas felt the same way until -- after the team's 11th straight 50-win season -- the Mavericks finally rose up and won it all. And therein lies the lesson: If you keep kicking at the door, it will eventually fall.
2. The Power of One
Football, like basketball, is a team sport. But the importance of building around a transcendent superstar cannot be overstated. The Mavericks assembled their team around Dirk Nowitzki, rewarding him with a rich contract extension even as outsiders doubted his ability to come through in the clutch. Given enough time and a deep enough supporting cast, he justified the organization's faith in him.
Rivers, of course, is San Diego's Nowitzki. He puts up gaudy numbers; leads his teammates inside and outside the confines of the game; and embraces his role as face of the franchise. But Rivers has thrown at least one interception in each of his career playoff games and has yet to lead the Chargers to a Super Bowl, let alone win one. Rivers must believe in himself -- just as Nowitzki did -- and feel that he will be able to seize the right opportunity when it comes along.
3. A Little Want-to Goes a Long Way
The Mavericks had a bevy of veterans smart enough to recognize their best (last?) chance at winning it all. Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion and Tyson Chandler are just a few of the 30-somethings who were in desperate search of their first ring.
The Chargers have 30-somethings who are equally desperate: Quentin Jammer, Antonio Gates and Shaun Phillips, to name a few. These players know they are running low on chances, which should work in San Diego's favor. Usually, in close contests, the team that wants it more wins.
Will the Chargers follow the Mavericks' lead? Discuss inside the message boards.
Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.
SDBoltReport.com Recommended Stories
Michigan: Brandon Resigns, Hackett Interim AD
Michigan President Mark Schlissel officially announced the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon Friday. Schlissel appointed Jim Hackett as the interim AD with the plan moving forward to hire…Read More
Hoops: Where are the Top Recruits Going?
The initial basketball signing period begins in less than two weeks and there are currently 22 players in Scout.com's 2015 top 100 still uncommitted. Who are those 22 players considering and who will…Read More
Catch Big Fall Bass on Natural Lakes and Rivers
Check out some great tips for bass fishing up north as the water cools on its way into winter. There is some great fishing to be had right now before it gets too cold.Read More
10 Creepy Trail Cam Pics For Halloween
Most of us would prefer to be sitting in our treestand on Halloween, waiting for a rutting buck to wonder past, than following our kids from house to house scrambling for treats. Here are a 10 spooky…Read More
2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
We're at the halfway mark of the NFL season, so here's our first crack at a mock draft. Hey, Oakland Raiders, you're on the clock!Read More