James, Westbrook, or Bryant – Who is the best teammate?

You may want to argue about who is the best player but in the playoffs this year it is clear to me that Lebron James is the best teammate.

In game five of the Western Conference finals, Kobe Bryant competed hard, as he always does, but ask yourself if he made his teammates better?  His frustration with Pau Gasol, who had a double-double (14 points and 16 rebounds), was visible throughout the game.  When your teammate isn’t playing his well, challenge him yes, but acting like he is a total screw up is ineffective.

Russell Westbrook is terrific in the Lakers series but it is surprising how few times he passed after he received the ball.  Most of the time when he started the break, he took it coast to coast when there were guys ahead of him.  In the half court sets if he gets the ball, the shot is going up.  The willingness to share the ball is a key to keeping your teammates involved.

Dwane Wade had a particularly tough game three against the Pacers.  In game four, Lebron helped Wade by focusing on getting Wade involved in the offense and sharing the ball.

The contrast between how Kobe and Lebron try to help their teams is clear.   When a teammate is struggling yelling at them and showing your frustration in your body language is not as effective.  Challenge your teammates to perform better, absolutely.  You will be a more effective teammate and make the team better when you share the ball and get everyone involved.

[Image: Flickr user KeithAllison]