A Lesson in Leadership

Martha and I watch the NBA Playoffs each May. We have watched since early in our marriage. There are probably not many people who do this with the fervor and commitment that we have for these playoffs. That’s where this lesson in leadership comes from.

Actually, it’s a very unlikely source.

During the NBA’s Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers, Draymond Green a talkative Center/Power Forward for the Warriors, was mic’ed up.

The game wound up being a victory for the Warriors, but when this event occurred that was far from obvious. In fact the Warriors were down double digits and it didn’t seem they could win.

That’s when Jordan Bell, a young player on a team of superstars, stole the ball and ran to the other end of the court to complete a slam dunk that would help the Warriors immensely. Not only did Bell miss the dunk in spectacular fashion, he also missed an opportunity to cut Portland’s lead and give his team a spark.

You could see the disappointment–even embarrassment–in Bell’s body language. But that’s not how it ended.

What transpired next was amazing.

During the next timeout Draymond Green told Jordan Bell something like this: you missed the shot, then pointing to two other teammates he said, he’s missed a shot and he’s missed a shot (tonight), I’ve missed a shot. We’ve all missed shots, no one’s perfect. So get back out there and help win the game. The scene ends with Jordan Bell nodding his head. Later in the game Draymond Green passed the ball perfectly and Jordan Bell had a tremendous dunk that he didn’t miss. They also won the game.

A twitter user said this: “I’m like crying why couldn’t my parents encourage me like that.”

It’s even more important to ask, “Why can’t the church encourage like that?”

We’ve all missed shots. We need to encourage one another to get back in the game and keep shooting.

The Bible tells us to encourage one another with love and good works. We all need to be encouraged, and we all need to lead others to give life their best shot and not give up.

One Comment


  1. Lonnie Wascom
    May 28, 2019

    Excellent “catch” on encouragement via the “Dubs” (yeah, I’m a Warriors fan) Green. It “takes no size to criticize” my g’mother Lois used to say. I’ve missed a lot of shots—thanks be to God for sending encouragers into my life.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. — Psalm 94:18-19 (NIV)