Mar. 3, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio (9) smiles after being fouled during the first quarter of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

The Leadership Statistic

Leadership; there is no known statistical category known which allow us to correlate this quality to a basketball team. Take any team for that matter, as a matter of fact, take any segment of life. A company losing a CEO, a platoon losing a great general, tradition will tell us when this happens things go wrong, horribly wrong. The same thing applies to sports; obviously people won’t die in sports like they would in a platoon, just fans hopes and dreams of better days.

As much as the Wolves Kevin Love can be called the leader of the Wolves team, the only statistic that needs to be used to determine leadership, is wins and loses.  The Wolves last year went 5-25 when Ricky went down. This season was supposed to be different with this last off season, right? Well, Love went down at the beginning of the season so we, the Wolves fan, never got the chance to see if Love was going to lead the team without Ricky. While the Wolves were 5-4 in Kevin’s absence, they have gone 1-4, in his return.

For as fun as stats are and all of the data statistics can reveal from a single situation, the one real true statistical category that rules all other statistics, is wins and loses. For as much as Kevin has helped bring relevance to the Minnesota Timberwolves again, and has been the face of the franchise, the wins and loses don’t lie. Ricky Rubio is the leader of this team.

Ricky has displayed all the natural traits a leader would during his injury. Rubio has been involved in timeouts, working with the other players, giving his guidance. It has been said many times, leadership can’t be taught. Many articles have been written about Ricky Rubio and his calming influence to a team when he is on the floor. How Ricky just sees the floor different, he understands the game in a way a child prodigy can do math, play a musical instrument. It’s his true gift, his talent. This young floppy hair Spaniard, looking childlike on the court, plays the game just like a prodigal child.

Ricky has this rare ability to see, understand and operate a basketball offense that few people do. While Kevin Love has his own set of basketball skills, it almost at times feels like he has to work so hard at everything, while Ricky just makes things happen.

While the Miami Heat was Dwayne Wade’s team, there is no doubt, Lebron James is the leader. It is funny to see a team take on the leaders’ personality. While Kevin Love is a great player, works hard on the boards and scores points, the team just seems to play different when Ricky is on the floor. The eyeball test will tell any casual fan that. The team becomes much more willing to play unselfishly; the overall team defense improves greatly. Both of those traits are traits that are embodied by the team because of their leader.

The best new was the Wolves should have Ricky back in a couple weeks that might be 6-7 games. The best case would be the Wolves getting Ricky back 20 games into the season, which would still leave the Wolves 62 games left this season with their floor general leading the charge, the season of great optimism still has a lot of time left to give this Wolves team the opportunity to fulfill the lofty preseason expectations.

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