By Andy Weddington
Thursday, 16 November 2017
Discipline yourself, and others won't need to. John Wooden
Well, come the 2020 election President Trump surely should enjoy aplenty new votes - for rescuing three (UCLA) Bruins from the land of the giant panda (how ironic a black and white bear).
Does anyone doubt Steve Alford - Head Coach, UCLA Men's Basketball - spoke to his team about being on their best behavior while in China?
And yet three players were anything but.
Thieves (panderers, of sort).
Mulling over this international incident, a few questions ...
1. Were not the players taught, since childhood, at home, school, church, etc. that stealing is wrong?
2. Any of the players have police records?
3. If 2., any jail time?
4. If 3., did not that experience get their attention?
5. If 4., then what will it take to straighten them out?
Gut: So, would an extended stay in China, for their due process to run its course, have taken care of question 5.?
Rational: Though there is so much to say in argument for and against preferential treatment, President Trump did the right thing by asking China's President to engage for the release of the three Americans (not basketball players).
Yesterday I caught a few minutes of the three at a press conference reading prepared statements thanking President Trump.
I wonder how much that reading had to be rehearsed for them to get right what should have been easy, natural, and heartfelt sans ghost writers and paper?
1. Each player, and family, best add President Trump to their Christmas card list - for life.
2. Each player, and family, best become outspoken supporters of President Trump. And vote for him in 2020.
3. Steve Alford, a successor of the great John Wooden, best think long and hard about the character of his teams - shaped by the undisciplined (and criminal) characters he recruits.
4. Considering the graciousness of China's President, "Made in China" is not so offensive; especially on basketballs. Shoot, how about bamboo to replace hardwoods?
In closing ...
John Wooden - AKA: Wizard of Westwood - UCLA Men's Basketball Head Coach 1948-1975. His teams won 10 (seven in a row) NCAA national championships during a 12-year period. Through his "Pyramid of Success" he taught his players how to win - in life and in basketball.
Character mattered to Coach Wooden. Panderers would not have been Bruins.
So, remembering the character of Coach Wooden, were I Coach Alford, the three would be dismissed from the team.
That disciplinary measure, in the long run, will best serve them, the team, and anyone (aspiring to be in their shoes) watching who needs a wakeup call as to right and wrong and personal responsibility and accountability and consequences thereof.
Remorse is fine. Apologies are fine. But remorse and apology without incurred high personal cost is not enduring.
Anyone else noticed the deafening silence - from Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, the Congressional Black Caucus - thanking President Trump?
Perhaps their alibi is lack of fluency in Chinese (which their President "speaks" ably).
President Trump, thank you; for leadership (ala John Wooden).