Former San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Danny Green recently compared Tim Duncan to LeBron James and named them his best teammates ever
One of the most powerful moments of ‘The Last Dance’ was when Jud Buechler described the environment of fear and intimidation that Michael Jordan fostered during his time in Chicago. Former San Antonio Spurs big man Will Purdue called him an asshole and admitted he frequently crossed the line. But he won, and won consistently, so his abrasive nature is called leadership.
This just goes to show you that there is more than one way to lead a team. While stars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant lead through direct confrontation, players such as LeBron James and Tim Duncan lead through example and building their teammates up. It’s why they’re regarded as two of the most successful players, as well as two of the most beloved.
Danny Green is one of the few players in the league who has had the privilege of playing with both LeBron and Duncan and recently compared the two and named them as the best teammates that he’s ever had.
San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan was a different type of leader
The one thing that Green highlighted outside of Duncan’s stellar play on the court was his relaxed nature. And that’s something that former San Antonio Spurs players and coaches all seem to agree on, that Duncan’s laid back nature didn’t hold the team back, it certainly didn’t hold him back, it actually made the team better.
Gregg Popovich said it best when he commended Duncan for letting him coach him as hard as he did. When the star player on the team is getting chewed out by the head coach and, as Green said, act like he’s just another role player it helps create an environment where no one feels their immune to criticism. As long as the team succeeds, that’s all that matters.
It won’t show up on a stat sheet but Duncan likely led the league in pulling his teammates into huddles, throwing an arm around a struggling Spur to offer words of encouragement, and quiet, often unnoticed jokes. These all endeared him to his teammates and made them want to follow him. That’s really what it comes down to. Players kept themselves up to MJ’s standard because they feared him, Spurs held themselves to Duncan’s standard because they liked him.
We can compare and contrast their leadership styles but there’s no debating their successes. Tim Duncan and LeBron James are two of the greatest ever, and so is Jordan, but forgive us for applauding the quiet, uplifting leadership of those two over the tyrannical aggression that Jordan used as his leadership style.