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.
4 comments on "THIS is Your Leader?"
  1. He doesn't talk to yall because you ask dumb questions and make obvious statements....
    1) Stop saying "tough loss" as if losing is ever NOT tough.
    2) quit sharking. If you got Dirk, Caron, and that dips*** of a coach to talk...you have your stupid story. Consider Kidd a "ditto"
    3) Everything anyone says gets twisted and turned into a BIG story where you have none otherwise. Player solution: quit talking.
    Carmelo Anthony left before the whistle blew in a loss to Dallas. D Wade left AS the whistle was blowing. Garnett has done it. People do it. Stop acting like you pay their bills- as if they don't pay yours as well. The guy was sick. And he is human. And this is blog is a perfect example of why players would love to never talk to a media person again for the rest of their lives. Have a nice day, hope your sinuses clear soon.

  2. Kidd WAS missing in action. Not just for the final interviews, but for the entire series. Ear infection or not, the tough ones...certainly the leaders tough it out! Tell me, would Dirk do a complete no-show if he had an ear infection?? Of course not. He plays through much worse. Not only that, he brings it 98% of the time. Dirk isn't the team leader, but Kidd certainly isn't. Thinking about the roster, the one person who appears to have the personality to be the leader, Jet, is as inconsistent as anyone on the team. He did, however, accept a good portion of responsibility for the flame out. I admire that.

    The Mavs need to be taking a long, hard look at the one element that has been missing for several years now. THE TEAM HAS NO HEART! Better find one soon...that window is closing.

    Feel better soon, Gina. Great blog!

  3. Having seen Kidd playing 80 games in the regular season, carrying the team at times all by himself, being the glue that very quickly bound the "new team" after the All Stars break together for that 13 game winning streak, always saying the right things in every interview before and after games, and generally being a Great Leader throughout. Now you have the audacity to call him out for NOT being a great leader?!

    Kidd has been there through injuries suffered by nearly everyone on the team, he was there when Dirk suffered his elbow injury, getting the team to OT against the Rockets, leading the team to a victory over the Cavs. He was there when Dirk was ejected against the Clippers, again having a spectacular performance to will the Mavs to victory. Kidd was there when JHo, Damp, Marion, Terry, Butler, Haywood, even JJB all missed games due to injury, he played hard, hustled for every ball, tried to grab every rebound, setting up that perfect shot for team mates. This is a 37 year old player we're talking about here, a 37 year old who still averaged 36+min per game in the regular season, and over 40min in the playoffs. Who are you to call him not a great bloody leader! You my friend, is a Hypocrite to the highest degree.

    I don't know exactly what happened to Kidd during the Playoffs, it could be exhaustion, illness, age, style of play, any number of reasons. Still I would give him more benefit of the doubt than anyone on this team besides Dirk.

  4. I agree he showed a lack of leadership. After such a disappointing Maverick post season to just skip out was not good. Kidd is still a great player and generally makes great oncourt decisions. I don't count that as real leadership which he has never displayed to my knowledge.


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