Skip to main content

The biggest star in the NBA had to learn an important lesson about leadership and body language

LeBron James is arguably the biggest sports star in the world. He's got multi-million dollar endorsement deals, could lead the Lakers to an NBA title just a few years after taking on a rebuilding project, and is recognized everywhere he goes.

However, even with all of that going for him, he still has plenty to learn about being a great leader.

Over the weekend, I saw a tweet about a tough conversation his teammate, and veteran point guard, Rajon Rondo had with him delivers an important point on the importance of body langauge, especially in leaders.

Thinking back to a 2018-19 season when Rondo was brought in as a veteran presence for an LA team hoping for a quick rebuild, Rondo shared the following with ESPN:

"When guys are making the same mistakes over and over and over, it's hard to bite your tongue, but I tried to get [James] to focus on his body language."

"If they missed four shouts in a row and LeBron was making a face, it was crushing to them. He was their Michael Jordan. They didn't want to let him down. But if LeBron said one thing positive to Brandon Ingram or Kyle Kuzma, they immediately were back to their old selves."

Now, just a few years after that conversation, the Lakers have a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals over the Heat with game four coming up tomorrow at 9pm EST.

As coaches, we've all seen the defensive back show his teammates "the palms" after giving up a touchdown, or a running back smack the ground in frustration after a fumble. But next time you see a championship-caliber team on the field, take note of how their players deal with those types of same situations.

The important cues that our non-verbal communications send get picked up on, whether we want them to or not. It would be smart to take inventory of that on your team and perhaps have the same type of convo Rondo had with the leader of their team with your own squad.

Read the full piece on Rondo here.