You know how the argument goes: We play as a team without him. It’s a total team effort and the ball gets distributed more with opportunities for others blah blah blah. It’s all hogwash and nonsense. Currently, the Raptors find themselves in a rare three game winning streak without Chris Bosh which immediately spawns a nine page thread on RealGM with this argument as the topic. Arsenal fans also find themselves asking the same question with French striker Thierry Henry being out with a hamstring injury.
The truth is that a team is always better off with a great player than they are without him. If they struggle when the player is in the lineup, it’s not the players fault, it’s the coach’s. It’s the coach’s responsibility to make the team gel and play as a unit. If a team is struggling because of an abundance of talent, it means the coaching philosophy needs to be altered in order to make user of the talent at its disposal. This is even true in your common workplace. How often do you see a guy get fired because he’s too good? It just doesn’t make practical or theoretical sense and that’s why any argument which calls for the extradition of a player with superior talent for the sake of team betterment should be crushed immediately unless one of the following hold true:
- The player does not want to play for the team.
- The player is causing locker room problems.
- The player is ageing.
As you might notice, all three are off-the-field issues. Unless Chris Bosh or Thierry Henry or whoever start to seriously suck in their duties, any thought of getting rid of them is absurd. Any successes enjoyed by the squad during the temporary absence and just that, temporary. In the long run, you need them.