Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Nba_orlando_magic_ba0d

Last week, Orlando Magic superstars Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson were highly scrutinized for not participating in a timeout huddle during the team’s recent game against the New York Knicks. The Magic looked abysmal and were absolutely being slaughtered by the Carmelo Anthony led Knicks.

Later on, Howard and Nelson both acknowledged that they should have been in the huddle. Howard went on to say “We were down by 30, I’m pretty sure the reason we lost wasn’t the fact that me and Jameer weren’t in the huddle. There’s no need to make a big deal about it. We could have been in the huddle. But it’s over with.”

Clearly the criticism got to the duo, as they have not been absent from a huddle since that event. However, teammate Hedo Turkoglu, was shown skipping out on a Magic huddle later in the week.

So how important is it for NBA players to listen to their coach’s speech during a timeout? All of these guys have a ton of experience and know what they need to do, so is it essential to participate in the huddle? Lakers’ starting center Andrew Bynum was recently asked about Kobe’s behavior in the huddle after starting a game against the Hornets 0/15 from the field. Bynum responded “I don’t know, I don’t take part in the huddles. I’m resting. Getting my Zen on.”

Even though it is proven time and time again that NBA players have enormous egos and do not really care what their coach has to say, I think it is important for players to at least listen. This sets a championship mentality and with the strong competitive balance in the NBA, every possession matters. Not listening to team captains or the coach could cost a team a bucket that may seem meaningless at the time, but is rather important in the long run.

These NBA stars are sending a bad message to kids as well as fans as to how much they care about the game. Even if you’re not going to listen in the huddle, go and pretend.

-Langer

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