Sometimes people aren't very logical. Say you have a logjam at SF, your championship window is just starting to open and you decide to risk the future of the franchise going all-in for $50M on a pizza-addicted, aging guy from Turkey who would need to take the ball out of Roy's hands to have any effectiveness. Just say.
There is little doubt many decisions humans make lack logical consistency. It's been shown that the big decisions we make and the tiny decisions we make are usually equally horrible.
Studies show that people make very sound decisions when the decisions are 1) important enough for them to think about and 2) the decisions concern values they commonly deal with and are comfortable with. For instance, a corporate board commonly charged with making decisions with money ranging from $20K to $5M is usually skilled in making decisions within that range. Ask them how to spend $100 and they won't see the point in responding. More interesting, faced with a $50M decision, they won't know how to analyze the situation. They will start to dream, go on gut, or take existing data at face value. The decision isn't in their wheelhouse. If they get a hit, it will be more luck or perhaps talent than skill, though boardrooms tends to squelch talent.
But I'm not here to talk about He-dos and He-donuts. Instead, I want to talk about he saids and he saids.
It is no surprise to me that Andre Miller is confused with his role on this team. One interview quotes Nate as saying there is open competition at the 1, 3 and 5. The next time he's quoted as saying the starting unit he used last year is what he's going with this season. That kind of logical inconsistency is hard to resolve unless you understand how power works.
I am a Nate fan. I think he is great for this young team. But left with the freedom most coaches are a cult of personality naturally develops where your thoughts are right because they're your thoughts, not because they're sound, well-thought out, or based on the data. And might isn't necessarily right.
I doubt that Nate is playing Phil Jackson in this scenario. But maybe he is sending Miller a message. 'This is my team. Players on this team follow my rules. If you want to play, you have to pay your dues and earn your spot.'
This makes some sense. More sense maybe if it was a battlefield and not a basketball team. Where this sort of messaging really starts to break down is when Miller is not given credit for the dues he's already paid in a long and productive career with the league. This guy is not a rookie. He knows how to play. Early evidence suggests that he knows the Blazers offensive sets and defensive schemes better than many players who were here last year. Miller wasn't hired for his athletic dominance. He was hired for his basketball IQ.
Maybe it's time for Nate to show more flexibility and respect -- and maybe to demonstrate a better understanding regarding the power of his words. I am not saying he should necessarily start Miller. There might be sound basketball reasons to bring him off the bench. Though, like many here, I think the idea that Nate will ever platoon players like Dunleavy did is not proven out by Nate's history as a bench coach -- another logical inconsistency.
What I would like is for the team to step forward and openly support Miller as a player, a man, and for what he could mean to the franchise. I would like Nate to consider again whether his thinking is sound.
In three years, with so many great players in mid-career under longterm contracts, I don't think Nate's current approach will be the right one to lead these men. And I don't think it's fair to Miller right now.