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News » Tunney side of sports

Tunney side of sports

Tunney side of sports A fter Further Review ? Walt Whitman wrote "O Captain, My Captain" about President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 emphasizing the importance of Lincoln's leadership in troubled times.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Jackson evidently didn't read much of Whitman's writings, or if he did, decided to ignore the challenge of leadership. Jackson, who was named the Warriors captain for the 2009-2010 season, recently renounced that title.

"Being captain was overrated to me, anyway," Jackson was quoated by The Associated Press. "You don't do anything but go out before the game and talk to the refs. I don't want to do that, anyway."

There's somewhat of a disconnect here. In the world of sports, being named captain is an honor, a privilege, and above all, a responsibility.

Jackson was named captain by Warriors head coach Don Nelson, even though Jackson and Nelson have had their fair share of run-ins. Jackson claimed that Nelson failed to support him in a confrontation Jackson had in a game last season. Perhaps Nelson's idea to name Jackson as captain was to jack-up his confidence, as well as help to bring the Warriors together as a team a move that obviously didn't work.

Denying his team's captain role is certainly Jackson's right. However, his disgruntled response smacks as narcissistic. Being a captain, Mr. Jackson, is not about you, but about your role as a leader of your team. Jackson's athletic history certainly highlights his physical skills and prowess, but at the same time, raises questions about his background as a leader and team player.

In a recent speaking engagement to a corporate audience, whose conference theme was "Leaders of the Pack," I related a subject matter I often use: "Leadership is not so much about ability, as it is responsibility." A leader steps up to help others. Michael Jordan comes to mind. It has been said about former NBA star and Hall of Famer, Jordan, that his leadership and abilities made others (his teammates) around him better.

Leadership in today's climate is challenging. Coach Nelson was undoubtedly trying to express confidence in Jackson's abilities, as well as pull the Warriors together as a team as they begin the season. If the Warriors lack a player who can do that, the season may be already lost.

Will you step up to accept responsibility when it comes your way?

To learn more about Jim Tunney, visit .

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 27, 2009


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