Summer, basketball, and a formidable leader
July 1st acts as a water mark for several things. To most, it signifies the true onset of summer. With the Fourth of July weekend, the beginning of the month often means a much deserved, if not long overdue vacation. To NBA fans, the date marks the on-set of the league’s free agent period. This marks roster moves that will shape seasons to come. With so much in flux, a veteran leader is an invaluable asset for a team that hopes to make additions to their squad that can make them competitive for future generations.
To most NBA fans, Kobe Bryant is a quintessential leader. In leading by example, Bryant has been a lynch pin for the continued success of the Los Angeles Lakers that has spanned for the better part of this millennium.
With five championships, scoring titles and being named the league’s Most Valuable Player, doubting Bryant’s standing as a leader seems foolish. Yet, as the Lakers sought to make a splash in free agency, their pursuit of free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge brought Bryant’s seemingly bulletproof repute into question.
This leader has some clear flaws
Detractors of Bryant have noted major personality and strategic flaws in his game. Off the court issues and limited discretion when it comes to sharing the ball have marred Bryant’s flawless image in the years he has lived in the NBA’s spotlight as the apparent successor to Michael Jordan.
Those flaws were apparently an issue as Bryant’s role as a recruiter failed to have the impact his team believed it would in luring premiere free agent players. Apparently off-put by the ultra-alpha-male personality of Bryant, Aldridge signed with the San Antonio Spurs, a team who has rivaled Bryant’s success without all the glamour that is associated with Los Angeles.
Aldridge’s choice makes us question what embodies a true leader
The image of a leader is depicted as a stereotypical alpha male who takes control of all situations. Research done at the University of British Columbia gives credence to this believe as a groups given the task of choosing a leader gravitated toward the more brash, domineering personalities.
Yet, in an era in which collaboration is a growing component of success, leadership may mean being antithetical to the status quo. Being able to effectively communicate and engage colleagues instead of dominating very well could be how we come to understand what makes a good leader. After all, it takes a true leader to defy convention.