Tuesday, May 4, 2010

THIS is Your Leader?

This column by Jeff Caplan on ESPNDallas.com got me thinking.  I'm in a bit of sinus medication induced haze right now, so that might not be such a good idea but I couldn't let this go.  I digress.

Many (notice I don't say all - many) Mavericks players say on-camera or to a reporter that Jason Kidd is this team's leader.  As that leader isn't he held accountable to the team in some form or fashion?  Isn't he the one to look to when adversity or first round failures happen?

Kidd did not participate in the Mavericks final exit interviews last Friday after their Game 6, season-ending loss to the Spurs.  Head coach Rick Carlisle had no issue with it.  "He went back to Phoenix to get away from it and do some personal things," he said.  "I've got no problem with that."

Granted, Kidd wasn't 100% during the series and, according to two excellent Mavericks sources, was dealing with an ear infection this postseason.  But that's not an excuse for bolting so quickly.  If he is that leader in the locker room, he owes it to his team on that last day to be there.  Send that message, whatever it may be, but at least make a statement!  In my biased opinion, he also has an obligation to speak to the media on that final day.  Yeah, sure, we're a beating but part of the high-paying pro-athlete gig is dealing with us fools.  Dirk Nowitzki did.  Carlisle did.  Caron Butler did.  Kidd - MIA.

Great leaders do not walk away from circumstances that don't suit them as Kidd did last Friday.  They meet them, face them, learn from them and move on. 

I am not so sure, though, that Kidd truly is the Mavericks unquestionable leader, as we've heard a few times before.  After one particular loss to San Antonio, I got into a conversation about leadership.  The message was communicated to me that the Dallas locker room lacks a real sense of leadership.  Why is that not surprising?

That's something that's plagued this team for years and, once again, when looking for a man to serve as a leader for this team - there's not one to be found.
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