Posted by: Ben Hoeksel on October 29th, 2010The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
So, I was at the game last night. I arrived at the arena feeling a little bit cranky, partially due to the delayed late start, and partially due to my irritation of the team’s performance the night prior. I felt as I drove the arena like this game would be a much better reflection of where the team is current at as a unit. I felt like the Denver game was a bit of an enigma and that the Jazz would really come out and establish themselves against an Amare’-less Suns team that seemed ripe for the picking. Sure they have Steve Nash, and that Dragic seems to hurt us some, but aside from that I wasn’t too nervous about a lineup of Warrick, Childress, and Lopez.
I’ll spare you all of the details about the game. We all saw it. Suffice to say start to finish, that crankiness I rolled in with never quite went away. Getting back to the topic at hand, I saw the whole thing with D-Will and Hayward. It played a lot on my mind as I left the arena. I had some pretty immediate negative feelings towards Deron’s behavior initially, as those who follow me on Twitter will attest.
Now that I got to sleep on it and think about it a little more, my feelings about the incident have changed a bit. Before, I dive back into it, I want you all to think about a time in your life when you were called to lead in some fashion. You were the leader. Think about it. I’ll give you 30 seconds…..
Ok. It’s been 30 seconds. How were you as a leader? What were your methods? Was it different depending on who you were leading? Or was it consistently the same?
On the flip side, obviously we’ve all been put in a position where we were led. What types of leaders did you admire? What types would you do anything for? What types would you NOT follow?
For me, leading is not only about example but about being respected. There are those that I was told to follow, but I didn’t necessarily respect. And in that situation, I feel my natural tendency is to rebel in some fashion. We can all think of NBA teams who clearly did not respect their coach, and as such rebelled against him, and his way of coaching. Conversely, those who I greatly respect, if they have to get in my face to get me in line, I’ll do it. We also all know teams, like the Jazz, who have coaches who demand respect, and you never see players rebel against it. If there are (cough, Snyder, cough…) they are gone. And they’re worse off for it.
As you know, Deron is taking a little heat for how he handled the situation with Hayward last night. What we really don’t know is the full context of why he got to that point. Was it simple frustration with how the game was going? Was it just due to the fact that Hayward wasn’t hustling like he should? Was it due to early misplay by Hayward? It’s hard to say.
This much we do know: Deron is a winner. He will do whatever it takes to win, and he does not like to lose. His play speaks for itself, and as such is a player that demands respect from all those around him.
I can’t really say one way or another if the way he handled the situation was correct. But what I can say, is there’s not a team in the NBA who wouldn’t want Deron Williams leading the team down the court.
Suffice to say, I’m not as negative towards how Deron handled it as I was initially. If it helps Hayward get his mind right and run harder and play better, then that works for me. I think it shows Deron knows how good of a player Hayward can be. What do you guys think?
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