probably the young guys vs. the veterans.
That's what I think it's happening. If it is, it needs to be solved asap. There is no way a team can win only with veterans nor only with youngsters. Everybody is needed
the problem is that the Young guys feel entitled since they lead the team to the ECF last year. At this point one would think they would be humbled. But nope...
Entitled for sure, but they're young, that's the thing with young people. They think they can achieve anything. Couple that with the fact that they are all trying to make names for themselves in the league and have their own personal goals, and get paid. If you make it in the NBA, you didn't get there by being a bench player or a support cast in high school, you were the Man. So they have that mentality. Remember when Kyrie said he called LeBum to apologize it was because as a young player he had his own goals and didn't appreciate being told to pull his head in for the good of the team. These guys haven't made it yet - they're still on their rookie contracts. They want to get paid, make All-Star teams, be the talk of the league.
Those are all reasonable goals. It's just that with the depth in the team sometimes the team goal conflicts with those individual goals. This is a very unusual situation where you have 3 young guys that had breakout seasons, led a team to the ECF against all expectations, and were a half away from making the Finals. Against all expectations. Most times young players, or players, play that well, the typical path of progression (the reward if you like) is more minutes, a more prominent role in the team, more touches, because well they earned it right?
But no, this season their reward was to actually get less minutes, less touches, because a couple of the big guns (who didn't contribute to playoff success last season) are back now, and we have to fit them in, and oh a couple of the bench guys are now going to start, so they are told to suck it up for the good of the team. And I think for the most part they try to, but when those goals aren't aligned then there's always the risk of players playing for themselves. How often do you see that in the NBA, or professional sports, where players are rewarded for success by being given lesser roles?
I don't really blame them for having individual goals, you have to if this is your career. This team is really a case study in goal alignment, you have young guys trying to show what they can do and be compensated, you have vets trying to get that big payday, you have a player trying to show he can come back from a career threatening injury and be worth the $30m he was paid before it, you have a star learning to be a leader...you have a lot of people pulling in a lot of directions. It's Brad and Danny's responsibility, along with Kyrie and Al as the "veteran leaders" of the team, to make sure everyone buys into this season's version of UBUNTU, and make sure that their individual goals are all aligned with team goals, and to get them all to buy in, consistently. That's what leaders have to do to lead successfully. And it's not easy, remember Doc saying it was easier for Paul, KG and Ray to accept it because they'd achieved their individual goals for the most part but it was harder for Rondo, Perk and the younger guys who were trying to show what they could do.