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News » Disgruntled players lead to dysfunctional teams

Disgruntled players lead to dysfunctional teams

Disgruntled players lead to dysfunctional teams

It would be entirely understandable for the coach to simply distrust the play-by-play and game-by-game commitment of the disaffected player. Is the guy only interested in padding his personal statistics to make himself more attractive to other teams? The most probable answer is "yes." Which means that the beleaguered coach might be reluctant to call any play that requires said player to pass the ball. And for a coach like Jerry Sloan, who values discipline and teamwork above all other virtues, he might even be disinclined to give Boozer his normal quotient of playing time.

As for Jackson, given the Warriors' me-first offense, it will be hard to determine if he plays with more than his usual selfishness.

On the other hand, there's always the possibility that the unhappy player might be too distracted to play all-out, all the time. Indeed, some subconscious instinct could easily limit his focus and his desire so that he'd perform poorly enough for his team-of-the-moment to entertain unsatisfactory trade offers that they'd previously rejected.

Of course, there's one sure way to prevent such a disgruntled player from griping in public — winning. No player — not even a team's 12th man who's glued to the bench — can afford to complain about anything as long as the team wins.

What, then, can a coach do to prevent further trouble?

Make believe that everything is A-OK and do nothing.

Take every opportunity to praise the player to the media.

Motivate the player by appealing to his pride — if he has any.

The coach, and the team's administration also have other options that are designed to bring matters to a head.

Dramatically limit the player's daylight so that his personal numbers are greatly diminished. This tactic could conceivably cause the player to lose his cool and say something stupid — which would allow the team to suspend him. This is exactly what the Knicks did with Stephon Marbury last season.

At the first complaint or perceived instance of disrespect — made either in public or in private — quickly suspend the guy.

A totally unacceptable scenario is for the dissatisfied player to grumble and grouse in such a way as to infect his teammates. Indeed, this is the primary reason why both Boozer and Jackson should be sent out of town ASAP. Perhaps they could be traded for each other!

Anyway, it says here that both Golden State and Utah should excise their potential cancerous agents, eat whatever salary they must, accept draft choices and role players, or whatever — and thereby save their seasons.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 18, 2009


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