Leadership Failure

In Leadership by Brock Bourgase

After losing to the Miami Heat 99-77, T.J. Ford commented that “Being out there with Chris, I don’t have to make plays all the time. And now I’m finding myself having to make a lot more plays and sometimes trying to make too many plays. And I think that’s what happened tonight with so many turnovers.”

Disappointing comments from a disappointing player during a disappointing season. Not to mention irresponsible, idiotic, and irritating.

A team’s point guard should want to make plays, not shy away from them. To demonstrate good leadership and improve performance under pressure, T. J. Ford – or any of the Raptors’ key players – should have said: “Chris is an important contributor to the team and the team will miss him. Nevertheless, it’s my role to take ownership and make more plays to help my teammates.”

As the Rock would say, players should know their roles — and when they their roles change. Although professional basketball players are held to a different standard than pick-up players at the AC, the fact that the Raptors can’t pull themselves together lately remains a coaching failure too. It reflects poorly on the coaching staff that players did not want to step up to increase their roles or were unable to do so, mentally or physically.

Nevertheless, Ford was acquired to run the offence, distribute the basketball, and lead on the court (i.e. make plays). He may have a different leadership style than Chris Bosh and the team may display a different character when Bosh is absent. Naturally, he controls the ball less when Chris Bosh plays but when Ford is required to step up and make more plays, it should not result in disaster.