‘‘With what I've done throughout this league, I'm going to have to be a leader on this team.’’
To a fan, teammate, coach, even a casual observer of human nature, that statement says a lot more than what it says.
He could have said, "I am a leader," "I want to be a leader," "I'm going to be a leader." "I am leading as we speak."
Instead, he said, "I'm going to have to be a leader." "Have to be?"
He might well have said, "I guess it'll have to be me based on my experience being comfortable as a third or fourth option so far in my career, but remember, I'm only doing this by default."
Given the lack of rebounding, shooting accuracy, playmaking ability, and just plain energy he has displayed in the pre-season, it's difficult to identify Green as a leader. In fact, most of the time in any game he seems almost preternaturally detached from the entire proceeding, his teammates most of all. Nothing about his game, even when he's on one of his infrequent rolls, instills confidence.
Players lead in different ways - the dive on the floor hustle guy, the constant talker/motivator, the guy who's first in and last out, the gym-rat, the quiet guy just plays efficiently and consistently, the fierce competitor, the perfectionist who masters his craft, the manic defender/rebounder, the body of work reputation guy, the guy who never takes a possession off at either end. KG was almost all of the above. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were each at least four of these. Rondo is a few of these. So is Gerald Wallace.
I can't say that Jeff Green is even one of them. To be a leader you have to step out of yourself, you've got to present something more than just being there.