In an airing of inside the NBA on TNT, analyst and former NBA star, Chris Webber had some harsh words for Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. Webber dug deep into Mark Cuban’s club on April 1, and this was no April Fools Day joke. Webber was serious.
It is my strong belief that a team will follow its leader, and take on the mentality of their captain. Other than the coach, every team has an alpha dog, demanding attention and respect from his teammates. Some of the greatest leaders in the game put together subpar stat sheets, but that is not always the case.
Although the Mavericks have one of the greatest floor generals to ever play the game in point guard, Jason Kidd, he is not the face of Dallas’ franchise. Dirk Nowitzki demands the shots, makes his shots and he’s one of the all-time greatest European players (if not the best) in the NBA. He has been the leader of the Mavericks ever since the days he teamed up with Phoenix Suns’ point guard, Steve Nash. Unfortunately, his leadership position may not be beneficial for his fellow teammates.
As I said earlier in the article, I believe that teams follow their leader; in the way they walk, talk, defend and shoot the rock. (maybe not as well as Dirk) But, isn’t there a problem if your leader is soft?
The former 76ers power forward has a good point. His defensive effort and hustle is definitely below average, but most look past this. But, why? Is it because they have been a successful franchise? They always choke, right? Maybe we discovered the problem.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ current power forward, Elton Brand, has a strong reputation for being a beast. He rebounds like a man and he talks like a man. (no German accent) Elton Brand is just a whole lot of man. He, along with small forward, Andre Iguodala, are the leaders of the Sixers’ roster.
While handing as much credit over to the coach, Doug Collins, it’s only appropriate that we save a little left-over loving for number 42. Elton brand is a vocal leader, as well as a very talented ball player, coming off of two devastating injuries, which have presented major speed bumps in his otherwise excellent career. Along with the intelligence of Collins, could this be a large reason why the Sixers have been successful as of late? Could the leader-by-example myth be true?
Without a doubt, Chris Webber has a point. Dirk Nowitzki needs to man up a little bit; keep doing what he’s doing on offense, but put on a few pounds of man meat. Elton Brand, his physical play, and his overall effort is great for the younger players of the 76ers to see. Every team needs a good role model. Hopefully, that role model is your leader.