Imagine you’re working on a project with a guy. Your careers depend on it. Now, your partner is an exceptional talent, he’s one of the best guys in the business at what you do. But he needs a complimentary guy with your specific skills. If things go well, you’re looking at being the best in your business. But then, after some struggles, not only is your partner talking about switching companies, but there keeps being talk (from him or elsewhere, word gets around the office) that he wants to work with the guys who are considered better than you. You, specifically, are not good enough for him, despite you having worked together and been successful for years.
Would you want to go to work?
Say hello the life of Jameer Nelson.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
Jameer Nelson admitted that Dwight Howard’s mention of playing with opposing point guards affected him.
“Maybe a little bit of that,” he said after playing one of his better games of the season Friday night, scoring 17 points and adding nine assists in the Magic’s 92-80 win against the Lakers.
“I am human. A lot of things affect you…you can have a bad day. All the stuff about other point guards was months ago. If I was hurt, I’m over it.”
Pretty understandable, when you think about it. Who wants to be told the guy you depend on wants one of your direct competitors, especially when you’re supposed to be friends? It’s one of the really bizarre consequences of this new range of superstars. In the past, players that have won titles with one team have committed to their teams and teammates, not just the city. You never saw Tim Duncan talking about wanting to play with Jason Kidd instead of Tony Parker. Granted, Kobe Bryant has openly wanted upgrades, but, then, that’s Kobe Bryant and he has the luxury of playing for the Lakers and therefore never having to lead with any real authority beyond “hit a lot of shots.”
But there was Howard, wanting to play with Deron Williams, or Chris Paul, neither of which have gone to the Finals, when Nelson, who helped Howard win the East in 2009, (yes, Nelson was hurt during the 2009 Finals run, he also had started as a top-ten guard that year and had a huge part in helping the Magic land their playoff spot),and who is supposed to be a friend of Howard’s, is right there, next to him.
Good on Nelson for playing through it. Because if it were me, I wouldn’t just be hurt.
I’d be pretty angry.