“Discipline yourself and others won’t need to.” (John Wooden)
“He who angers you, controls you.” (Elizabeth Kenny)
The 2017-18 NBA Season is still a day away for the Chicago Bulls but you are probably already laughing out loud and shaking your head about ‘da Bulls.
But the LOL I am referring to is a LACK OF LEADERSHIP.
It’s deja vu all over again. I wrote about the Chicago Bulls last season and their lack of leadership. I pointed out how the star players were not leading like they should. I still believe 100% that was the case.
Now we have a Chicago Bulls power forward punching another Chicago Bulls power forward. Nikola Mirotic is in the hospital with a concussion and a broken face as a result of teammate Bobby Portis’ punch.
Players shouldn’t punch other players, period! This is, at worst, Portis lacking character. At best, it is a person losing their cool and refusing to exercise self-control. I do not know exactly what happened prior other than there are reports of chippiness throughout practice – which is common at a lot of practices in a lot of gyms.
However, I do know that mentally tough people stay focused on their goals. Mentally tough people don’t allow others to control their actions. Mentally tough people don’t do things that hurt their team. Breaking a teammate’s jaw is not beneficial to the team.
Where is the leadership? Portis is not a rookie. Mirotic is not a rookie. They should know better.
Dwayne Wade, Rajon Rondo and Jimmy Butler – the three main culprits from last year – are all gone. In fact, Butler commented that all he knows is that Jimmy Butler isn’t the bad guy for once. However, leaders leave a legacy.
The famous author and leader, Jim Rohn once said,
“All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.”
What kind of legacy did Rondo, Butler, or Wade leave in the wake of their lack of leadership last year? Culture is built through daily habits and choices. The ripple effects of bad leadership last year has reared its’ ugly face at a most inopportune time in a very unfortunate way.
Playing hard, physical, and aggressive is natural when you get a bunch of competitive individuals fighting for playing time. In fact, it is expected. What is not acceptable is dirty play that can result in injury. What is not acceptable are “extra-curriculars” after the play is done. What is not acceptable is behavior that undermines your team’s goals.
We’ve seen this kind of costly behavior – in playoff games, no less. Pacman Jones cost the Bengals a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Draymond Green’s ejection and subsequent suspension breathed life into the Cleveland Cavaliers and cost the Golden State Warriors.
Players – you need to stay focused on team goals and keeping your composure. Things won’t always go the way that you want them to go. This time, it was on the basketball court. What if next time it is on a street corner and ends with gun shots?
You want to be a winner? You want to be a champion? Champions influence themselves and others in a positive manner. People who ultimately win in life are in control of their actions. Champions don’t just show physical toughness, they demonstrate mental toughness.