“Do your job,” Bill Belichick said, running his harry hands through his greasy hair. “Nobody is responsible for how you play but you…not your mother, not your aunt Edna…do…your…job.”
These words ring in my ears as I go about my business some two decades after they were spoken. Their simplicity and relevance to life have helped me more times than I care to remember.
Markieff Morris made an observation about Phoenix Suns fans that made me think — again — of Belichick. And although some of the things Kieff said about Suns fans are accurate, as a professional athlete, blaming fans for your lack of intensity or preparedness is like blaming Dunkin’ Donuts for your obesity. Accountability is a wonderful master when you’re trying to stop eating donuts or compete in professional sports.
And that’s the problem I have with Markieff Morris or any other professional athlete that blames anybody but themselves for their lack of intensity, fire, preparedness or overall lack of effort. It shows a real lack of understanding and accountability.
Above all else, I want my teammates to be accountable — first to themselves and then to each other. Examine the Accountability Spectrum below, if you will:
“It’s not me, it’s you.” <---------------------------------> “It’s not you, it’s me”
All the way to the left you’ll find guys that blame others for their misdeeds. All the way to the right you have people that will always blame themselves before blaming anybody else.
Markieff Morris — and the Morris Brothers — seem to be blaming others for their mistakes. Marcus Morris blamed Jeff Hornacek for not stepping up and taking technical fouls for the reason why he was getting technical fouls; and Markieff Morris blamed the fans for their lack of energy, intensity and preparedness while getting blown out by San Antonio on Saturday night.
Forget about the fact that Marcus and Markieff may be right on both counts, it shows a pattern that is forming and truly becomes a window into the soul of how the Morris brothers think. The “It’s not me, it’s you” mentality is the veritable eject button for any general manager when that mindset takes over a locker room.
Players show their butts publicly (metaphorically speaking) when they point the spiny, ruddy finger of blame at anybody but themselves; and, typically, my experience only, if there’s one saying it there are others saying it in that locker room. Suddenly, it becomes a crutch, it becomes an excuse, it becomes a problem and it doesn’t go away easily: eject…eject…eject, Ryan McDonough.
If you’re wondering, I don’t know if the Suns have a player right of center on the Accountability Spectrum. And if there isn’t one player to the right of center how can there be two or more? It takes leadership from players to get a team to the right of center within that paradigm.
The problem for the Suns is clear to me: leadership is built on the back of accountability and how can there be leaders if there is no accountability? Players keep each other accountable…regardless of fan support.