In the wake of Gilbert Arenas' comments about Eddie Jordan (amongst other things), there's been a lot of talk regarding Gilbert and leadership. The fault for Gilbert Arenas never truly asserting himself as a leader probably falls on the shoulders of him and Eddie Jordan, but with a new coach in town, there's a chance to start over with a new coach in town.
Throughout the off-season, Flip has made it clear that he wants Gilbert to step up as a leader this year. Remember what he said when he was introduced as the head coach?
"When you're the best player on the team you don't have a choice. That's a responsibility you have. I dont know any team that's had success that didn't have leadership from their best player. And I think sitting out the last two years he's been able to see that."
One of the clearest ways to Flip to assert Gilbert's leadership would be to make him a captain. Being a captain in the NBA doesn't come with the honor of wearing a special patch like the NFL or NHL, but the title still comes with considerable pull in the locker room, just as long as the captain is the right person for the job.
The last two years, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler have been the right men for the job. While most of us would agree that they could have done a better job of bridging the gap between the veterans and the younger players, all in all there hasn't been much to complain about with their captaincy. This leads to a dilemma: Making Gilbert Arenas a captain would go a long way in ensuring the best players were in leadership positions and giving Gilbert an extra dose of maturity, but teams are only allowed to have two captains and Jamison and Butler haven't done anything to earn a demotion.
So if you were Flip Saunders, what would you do in this situation? Shake up the team leadership and risk locker room turmoil in order to ensure Gilbert is put in a leadership position, or keep the status quo and try to find other ways for Gilbert to assert himself as a leader? The choice is yours.