Earlier today the Phoenix Suns' guard Eric Bledsoe tweeted, "I don't want to be here" and within a few hours it was reported that head coach Earl Watson was fired. Time to cue the "Bledsoe is a spoiled AAU brat" commentaries from the talking heads, blame the player, and decide that the coach should take none of the blame for a toxic relationship. There's only one problem: you don't know what the hell was happening on that team or in that locker room. It's even possible that Bledsoe found out about Watson's firing BEFORE he tweeted that he didn't want to be there.
Even I was guilty of thinking "wait a second, come on Bledsoe, you weren't happy when you were one of three point guards on the team and now you've got the reins of the offense in your hands and you STILL can't make it work?" It felt like a total Dwight Howard. Then I stepped back and realized that I myself have been in this very situation. And thinking back on it, out of all of the disputes that I've ever had with coaches, I was right 100% of the time. I couldn't think of one instance where I disagreed with a coach when I thought he was also right. In many cases history proved me right in the long run. On the other hand, when the coach said things like "Noah is a leader" or "we need to get Noah more shots" or "Noah, nice hair cut" he was right 100% of the time.
Especially at the NBA level it's just as likely that the player's point of view could be the "correct" one in the long run, or that both points of view are completely valid.
Watching the Suns for ten minutes this weekend, I saw two passes hit people on the side of the head or in the shoulder, they were completely out of sync. Maybe it was the coach's fault or maybe it wasn't. Either way, there's no reason to assume that Bledsoe was being a jerk, it's just as possible it was Coach Watson to blame. When you lose by 48 points, heads will roll.