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Celtics Morning Joe: Who's the leader?

Posted by shawn cassidy on February 5, 2013 at 5:00 AM



Yesterday's 'Morning Joe' brought up concerns of who's the leader. The topic of leadership has been a hot topic, and a confusing one for that matter. When you think of leadership in the NBA. You may think of a Lebron James, or Kevin Durant. One star player being a leader. When KG became a Celtic in 2007. The team was Pierce's, and all of the sudden we had KG, and Allen along with Pierce.

Paul has remained team captain through the years, and that right there seems like an easy answer when you ask who is the Celtics leader. The Celtics have been built on team play. No single player taking the load of the team on their back. At times of course that's happened. But the leadership core of the Celtics has been labeled as such. KG the emotional leader. Paul Pierce the the vocal leader, and Rajon Rondo the key that starts the engine. Ray was the first guy in the gym, and the last one to go. That rubbed off on others.


If you look at articles this year, and past seasons. The Celtics switch the leadership roles around often. When the season started everyone said this was Rondo's team. Then we see it's KG's team, and a week later it's Pierce's team. Ainge said many times this is nobody's team, but when the season started Ainge said this about Rondo when training camp started. 


ESPN BOSTON

The Celtics hadn’t even opened training camp for the 2012-13 season when Rajon Rondo let his present and future teammates know that he was going to be the unquestioned leader of the team.

On the court, that has been an evolving position, one that was firmed up before the start of last season, when Rondo was told it was his team by the people who matter: Coach Doc Rivers, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. This year, Rondo doesn’t need anyone’s blessing; he knows. Off the court, he took it upon himself to summon as many players as possible to workouts in Los Angeles.

It was a smart move, given the number of new players (9) on the team. It also solidified Rondo’s status as the de facto leader of the team. Starting his seventh year, he is once again in charge of basketball’s most decorated franchise, surrounded by future Hall of Famers, with one goal in mind: another NBA title.

“Rajon is really becoming a leader and I’m not sure a few years ago we could have said that,’’ Celtics GM Danny Ainge said Friday at the annual Media Day. “He obviously is a great player, but, right before our eyes, he is growing as a person and a leader. I think the hardest thing to do is convince guys like Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce that you’re a leader. And that’s something you can’t just give to somebody. It has to be earned. I think he is earning that respect from them.”



If you read this part of the article. You must see a few key words that pop out about Rondo's leadership role. First of all Ainge says he's growing as a leader, and becoming a leader. Ainge than says that Rondo needs to earn the role, and he thinks he's earning the respect he needs to lead. The statement by Ainge tells me that Rondo is still not the leader, but he's learning how to be. This team is Pierce's, and KG's, and as of right now that's what it is with an injured Rondo. This was the Big Three's team. It wasn't one guys team. It's never been built that way. When you look at past teams in the NBA, or even current teams. You have a team like the Spurs that's deep,and frankly no single leader. They've been based around team for over a decade despite having Tim Duncan, one of the best ever. Duncan was a leader who wasn't vocal. He was a guy who was a leader by example if anything.



I think the debate of who's the leader ended when Rondo went down. At this time it's not his team to lead. Not until he returns. For him to take the next step he needs to join the guys on the bench as soon as possible, or at least during the playoffs. All great players learn how to lead. Rondo wasn't successful this season as being the solo leader. He's learning, and like I said this team is not built for one leader. As long as KG, and Pierce play for the Celtics. KG is the emotional leader, and Pierce is the guy they listen to. Rondo was the guy who made others better. KG learned how to lead. Lebron James has finally become a good leader.



A leader persuades, and does not coerce. A leader inspires, and  does not force. A leader motivates. A leader works harder than his teammates. A leader delegates and trusts. A leader listens. A leader is focused on goals.. Sticks to priorities. A leader sees the divinity in foes, and seeks to build coalitions, rather than dividing through insults. A leader's truth and integrity are respected. I think you guys get the picture. 



Categories: Celtics Morning Joe

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4 Comments

Reply paul
6:25 AM on February 5, 2013 
"Sees the divinity in foes" - what a great line. Great piece. But see, I think you are missing a key point here. Yes, on one hand this has been a team with multiple leaders. But on the other hand, this has been a team that has waffled constantly when talking about leadership, and who is the leader, or who is a leader. And I think that waffling doesn't just correlate with a situation that is more collaborative, as one might hope. I think it also correlates with barely disguised internecine feuds. In particular, I think Allen and Pierce have had a LOT of difficulty relating to Rondo, and Rondo, for his part, has been in some ways incredibly irresponsible about his leadership responsibilities, and the result has at times been a gap, one that became severe this season.

But what really irked me yesterday was KG rewriting history. And no one ever calls him on it. I realize that he's very intimidating to the writers and media people that surround him when he speaks, but criminy, every one of them knows that he has repeatedly said, one way or another, that this is Rondo's team.

I promise you, it will come out in the future that this team came apart in the locker-room, and that it was by no means all Rondo's fault. A leader can only do so much when the assembled folks don't want to follow. There have been a lot of leaders in human history who had no one to lead, because they wanted to do what was right, and the rest wanted to do what was wrong, or simply because what they wanted to do was different.

Rondo faces the basic leadership challenge that many eccentric people face: how does an eccentric lead a bunch of conformists? That said, had Rondo worked harder on D, things might have gone differently.
Reply Celticslifer
1:14 PM on February 5, 2013 
The media wouldn't call KG out, because I don't think they need to at that point. He's stating the state of the team right now. Rondo is gone, so KG is simply saying what the team is,and its a team without Rondo. So like Shawn said. Rondo isn't able to lead this team this season because of injury, so players are steppping up without him. I agree with u Paul, that its odd that guys are playing better, but if you think for a moment. Some guys thrive under different styles of basketball. This is Greens type of basketball,and even Terry's. The open floor game,and ball movement betters their game. Maybe Rondo would have found that out at some point.
Reply paul
5:01 PM on February 5, 2013 
Celticslifer says...
The media wouldn't call KG out, because I don't think they need to at that point. He's stating the state of the team right now. Rondo is gone, so KG is simply saying what the team is,and its a team without Rondo. So like Shawn said. Rondo isn't able to lead this team this season because of injury, so players are steppping up without him. I agree with u Paul, that its odd that guys are playing better, but if you think for a moment. Some guys thrive under different styles of basketball. This is Greens type of basketball,and even Terry's. The open floor game,and ball movement betters their game. Maybe Rondo would have found that out at some point.


But KG wasn't just talking about now. And I really hate the way the media types fawn on him.

Of course, I do understand that different games suit different people. We assume that Doc's offense has been Rondo's bowl of cherries, but actually, I doubt that. I think he's adapted to a system that in many ways probably never suited him that well. These guys don't seem to have been very much into adapting, it seems to me.
Reply rcraig617
9:07 PM on February 6, 2013 
I believe rondo, kg, and pierce are all the leaders of this team. When kg tore his knee he was still there throughout our playoff run all the way to the game 7 vs Orlando. Rondo is More quiet and does things on his terms I still think when playoffs come before and after games he'll be seeing things we can expose and he'll let the guys know we just won't see it. Just like how last year he developed a good bond w/Wilcox but we wouldn't have known that unless Wilcox said something about it. I still think no one man is the leader of this team because kg will always be a leader and this is Paul's franchise and rondo is the present and future of the franchise hell even doc is a big leader on this team some teams don't have a coach that they can trus as much as our players trust doc.