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Michael Jordan Archives

May 2
Kobe Bryant is Converted by MVP Nash and Phil Jackson
After watching the Lakers make the once dominant Phoenix Suns look out of sorts and confused in game four of their NBA playoff, I have a few questions.
lakers embrace.jpgWhere did this team (the Lakers) come from? Who is this number 8 that has hogged the ball all season and is now preaching the gospel of the assist? What caused this radical change of heart and playing style in Bryant? Is Kobe a leader?

I attribute this amazing turnaround of Kobe Bryant to one player, Steve Nash and to one coach, Phil Jackson. Nash has become the league’s preeminent point guard and recently anointed MVP. It was Nash’s passing, playmaking, shot selection and ball handling that brought him consideration as MVP. But it is an ability to make a team better by your presence that brings the MVP award to your mantle. Nash has done that winning the award last year and repeating again this year. I wonder if it was Phil that showed Kobe the way by convincing him to play more like Nash?

Kobe has thrown up (nice imagery) an average of 32 shots per 48 minutes this season, accounting for nearly 40% of his team’s shots and twice the average NBA player. Still, several of those shots have gone down. Kobe is a scoring machine and led the league with a 35.4 season average, the highest average since Jordan graced the game. His season total landed him seventh all-time behind two names - Wilt Chamberlain and Jordan.  However, unlike Nash, his performance led to a mediocre regular season (45-37) and left the rest of the Lakers standing around watching.

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Greenspan Used Data Not Dogma
I have been meaning to offer my review on an article in the Wall Street Journal on former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan. It was written on January 31, Greenspan’s last day as Chairman.

Greg Ip, the article’s author does a great job analyzing Greenspan’s leadershipgreenspan listening.jpg style. I think there are some important tenants of leadership that Ip has drawn.

The title and subtitle of the article are revealing.

“Greenspan’s Legacy Rests on Results not Theories”

Results Not Theories – In a position often driven by theory, hypothetical models and forecasts and political agendas, the former Fed Chairman understood that performance was his measuring stick. Great leaders in any arena know this. Results matter. Coaching style, game plans, strategies are meaningless if they do not put a mark in the win column. If you can’t deliver the goods, you will not succeed, be remembered or have a legacy. Beyond just results, true greatness is delivering results in a crisis or under difficult circumstances. Take a note from Michael Jordan who everyone knew – including the opposing team, that he would find a way to win in every big game.
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Historical Kobe Bryant
Is LeaderNotes just about basketball? It seems like it lately. I’ll admit, the past week has had a round ball influence. But the inspiring stories of “Glory Road”  and the 183 win streak of the Brea Ladycats  were really about leadership, inspiration and greatness. They just happened to be basketball stories.
Then there is Kobe Bryant. If you haven’t heard, Kobe scored 81 points last night against the Toronto Raptors. This is an amazing feat  in an era of unprecendented talent and parity that exists in the NBA today. Then again it was Toronto. Not really a defensive powerhouse unless it is against a power play.

I live in LA. I love basketball. But I can’t get behind Kobe. I won’t deny it was an individual performance that is amazing. He personally outscored Toronto in the third period. But I don’t see a lot of leadership from Mr. Bryant. I don’t see him making his teammates better like Michael Jordan made Scotty Pippen better. I don’t see him playing inspiring defense and tallying triple doubles like Magic or Bird. I do see him brooding, solitary, demanding Shaq be traded and not leading on any level.

From what I read in the blogoshere, despite the performance, I am not alone. The word “rapist”  and “ball hog”  seem to show up as often as all-star or greatest player. In fairness, read LakersBlog for the “Kobe for MVP” side of the story.
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Michael Jordan Archives



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