is holding firm to the idea that he's a top-10 point guard. (Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Rob Mahoney
For a player to defy all odds and actually make it to the NBA requires not only high-level skills, optimal size and natural athleticism but also a level of self-confidence that likely borders on delusion. The probability of failure is so much larger than the rate of success that only the truly self-assured tend to survive.
Take, for example, the latest remarks made by Heat point guard Mario Chalmers to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida:
[Chalmers] believes he belongs in a listing of the top point guards in the NBA.
“I’d say top 10,’’ the Miami Heat fifth-year man said of where he ranks. “I’m not in the lower part (of the top 10), I’m in the middle part. I just have confidence in myself. I think I can compete with the best of them.’’
All of this is coming from a guy averaging 7.7 points and 3.4 assists. But Chalmers doesn’t care how many snickers are heard about where he believes he ranks among point guards.
“That’s how I feel no matter what people say or what people think,’’ Chalmers said.
Believe it or not, this is actually a more modest claim than the one Chalmers made before the season. In August, Chalmers insisted that he was in "the front end of the top 10" among point guards, meaning that his 7.7-point, 3.6-assist season may have inspired the slightest shade of self-doubt. But the fact that Chalmers still has such an incredible estimation of his game isn't all that surprising, even if it is hideously inaccurate. He wears his bravado on his sleeve and is empowered by it more than most. How else to explain the way he shrugs off poor shooting performances to hit big shots and endures the consistent on-court berating of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade?
Now, most pro athletes keep these kinds of outlandish opinions to themselves, or at least couch them in cliché to dilute their ridiculousness. Power to Chalmers, I suppose, for going unfiltered, no matter how ridiculous his assessment of his own game may be.