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Who is the leader of the Bucks? That was part of the problem.

Apr 17, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT

Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Jennings waits to enter the game against Toronto Raptors in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Milwaukee, Wisconsin AP

The Bucks had a lot of problems this year. They started with injuries which pushed the team’s offense on a downward spiral that ended at a point where they couldn’t throw a pea in the ocean (to steal an old Chick Hearn line).

The Bucks could defend, as all Scott Skiles teams do, but their offense was a mess.

But Skiles told the Journal Sentinel there were other problems, specific leadership issues in the clubhouse. The issue being there wasn’t any.

“It’s fair to say we did not have good leadership on our team this year,” said coach Scott Skiles. “But that’s something you can’t manufacture. You can’t just say that guy is a leader.

“I guarantee you’d be shocked in all pro sports, when you’re on the inside of something like this and you know the league and players and coaches, and somebody in the media will say, ‘That guy’s the leader of that team’. Often times, it’s so far from the truth that it’s ridiculous.

“You can’t manufacture that. It just naturally happens. Some people are just natural leaders. Other people can cultivate it some themselves. And then you need both. If you have good leadership on the team you also need guys that will follow the leader. Chemistry and all those things are very fragile things.”

Should that be Brandon Jennings’s role as the young future of the team at the point?

“I would not assume that Brandon has any of those abilities yet…just because he has the ball in his hands all the time,” said Skiles. “It’s something we constantly talk about. It’s something he’s trying to work towards but it doesn’t come naturally to him so it’s definitely a work in progress.”

To use another sports cliché (we fall back on those on Sunday mornings) — winning cures all ills. If next year the Bucks are healthier and some shots start to fall, the leadership issues will clear themselves up fast. Health is the biggest issue with this team, they suffered more man games lost to injury and the most lost minutes of key rotation players of any team in the league.

  1. dysraw1 - Apr 17, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    scott skiles is right leadership is not just something u come across everyday, i mean steve nash & j kidd are what i consider to be real leaders. there are a few coming up cp3, rondo & maybe d rose. an dont get me wrong u dont have to be a lead guard to lead. hakeem the dream, dr. j larry legend, to name a few.

  2. thestudiokida - Apr 17, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    LeBron is a leader. He’s barking instructions on the court constantly. He calls out the other team’s plays, communicates about defensive switches and calls for screens to get a play going. Players respect his knowledge of the game and look to him for leadership.

    Other great players weren’t as good of leaders. Jordan & Kobe are both dicks and never got along with their teammates until Phil Jackson came along. Phil is the epitome of leadership.

    • philtration - Apr 17, 2011 at 8:54 PM

      LeBron Blames is not a leader, he is a whiner.

      Jordan and Kobe did not accept other players just going through the motions and they were right to demand more of them or send them packing.
      That is why they have 11 rings between them while LeBron has none.

    • dankyb - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:06 AM


  3. dabearsbus - Apr 17, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    Isn’t Skiles supposed to be the leader of the Bucks? Just sayin…

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