Colin Cowherd raised one hell of a point this morning on “The Herd” (ESPN Radio/ESPNU).

Dirk Nowitkzi’s call out to the media on Jason Terry’s lack of being clutch in the NBA Finals was a showcase of leadership, not of a player throwing another player under the bus.

Derrick Rose won’t do that. Kevin Durant won’t do that. Maybe it’s because they are still really young and for now they just want to be ‘liked’.

Look at all the leaders in the history of the NBA: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson, Kobe Bryant…

Leadership is not getting along with people. Just like in a relationship or marriage, leadership is conflict management. You have to say unpopular things and make tough decisions, and people are going to be pissed off afterwards.

After every Bulls loss, Rose emitted to the press, “…It was all on me.” No, it wasn’t, Derrick. That’s not leadership. That’s the easy way out. If you and your spouse get into an argument, it’s the easy way out to say, “It’s all on me, honey!” That doesn’t resolve anything — that just sweeps problems under the rug only to be found later.

Dirk Nowitzki going out and saying “Yeah, Jet (Jason Terry) has not really been that great. I need help.” is his claim to be a leader. I give him all the credit in the world.

We all know that Rose doesn’t ‘show his leadership’ behind closed doors (ala the locker room) because he has a reputation inside the NBA as a nice guy. Everybody likes him. He’s a swell guy, he’s super nice and he’s soft spoken. The bottom line is this: Kobe Bryant goes to the microphone and he calls out his teammates. Y’know what that does? It makes the papers and sports talk radio. After that, Kobe has to go to the Lakers’ locker room and argue with teammates and get into their faces. That’s what Michael Jordan did. Jordan punched Steve Kerr.

Boys and girls, guys and gals, did you see Dwyane Wade get up into LeBron James’s face on Sunday night during game 3 of the Finals? That’s called leadership. Wade barked into LeBron’s ear. Did you see LeBron snap back at him?

Young players want to get along with everybody. They want to be everybody’s best buddy.

Dirk’s a leader. Get off his case and quit saying that he’s “throwing Terry under the bus.” Nowitzki is being a leader.


6 thoughts on “Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry: Leadership and Conflict Management

  1. man dirk threw him under the bus. if dirk never does that, the legends you mention do, and suddenly there’s an outburst, i call it a player who missed the game winner blaming someone else for the loss. it aint rocket science. the mavs have no chance of winning this series. and if i were terry, i would go to miami if i were a free agent hahaha

    1. He’s not blaming Terry. He just said that Terry needs to step up, and he does. In the two fourth quarters of the two games Miami has won, Terry is 0 for 7. That’s atrocious. That just goes to show how good Miami’s defense is.

      Dirk has done all he can, but his old team can’t step up against a thirsty, energetic Heat defense that rotates better than any other team in the league.

      Thanks for the comment, Craig.

  2. Loved the comparison to Rose, who really made everyone in the press room feel uncomfortable by taking 100% of the blame the entire series against the Heat. Yes, true leadership is calling on people to do their best. Apparently, Dirk felt he could play the “in the press” card with Jason. That is the kind of decisions leaders make – not only calling out people but when and how.

  3. I agree. What Dirk commented about Terry is just a showcase of leadership and I really liked the part where you define about leadership. It is so inspiring about what you said about leadership. I will share certainly share this to everyone and remember it.

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