3. Leadership – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
A man who embodied leadership throughout his basketball career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was crowned with the nickname “Cap”, which still follows him to this day. Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, winner of six NBA Titles and recipient six NBA Most Valuable Player awards hardly ever got visibly rattled. No matter what the situation, or how big the game may have been, you could always count on Cap to be cool, calm and collected. His quiet and stoic leadership helped keep the chaos that showtime could have caused under control.
The Lakers have essentially lost their way against the Mavericks. They need veteran guys like Kobe, Pau, and Lamar to step into that leadership role and guide them to victory. Kobe likes to lead with his play, and hope that the others’ follow. That type of leadership can only go so far, now is the time for Kobe to welcome this challenge and lead his team to victory. Pau Gasol has been struggling mightily in the playoffs thus far, but a resurgence in Game 4 could spark a Laker comeback. Lamar Odom will go back to his sixth man role, and he needs to lead by example with the bench. The Lakers reserves have been terrible so far, Lamar is the leader of the bench, and he needs to help get them on the right track.