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  #1  
Old 08-15-2006, 07:39 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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What does the captain of a basketball team DO, exactly?

Yes, Im a nerd. Dont we all know that by now?

My sisters, unlike me, are sports fan. When we lived together and shared a television, theyd never miss an NBA playoff game, and occasionally Id be in the room reading while I was on. Thinking of that for some reason, I recall that, before each game, the announcer would introduce the starting lineup, always ending with something like Captain Michael Jordan or Captain Isiah Thomas. Which makes me wonder--what exactly are the duties of the team captain--in basketball or any other sport? I mean, the coach is right there on the sidelines available for any tactical decisions that need to be made on the fly. Does the captain have any actual duties--like, I dont know, arguing rules violations with the umpires? Is his role restricted to building team morale? Or is the title just a perk for the most valuable player?
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2006, 07:59 PM
DxZero DxZero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skald the Rhymer
Yes, Im a nerd. Dont we all know that by now?

My sisters, unlike me, are sports fan. When we lived together and shared a television, theyd never miss an NBA playoff game, and occasionally Id be in the room reading while I was on. Thinking of that for some reason, I recall that, before each game, the announcer would introduce the starting lineup, always ending with something like Captain Michael Jordan or Captain Isiah Thomas. Which makes me wonder--what exactly are the duties of the team captain--in basketball or any other sport? I mean, the coach is right there on the sidelines available for any tactical decisions that need to be made on the fly. Does the captain have any actual duties--like, I dont know, arguing rules violations with the umpires? Is his role restricted to building team morale? Or is the title just a perk for the most valuable player?
Team morale. Maybe somebody to serve as a liason between the players and the coach. Sometimes its the team star and sometimes its just the most mature or hardest worker on the team. I know when Eric Snow was on the Sixers, he served as the team captain, even though they had Iverson. More than anything, its probably ceremonial type thing.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:03 PM
DxZero DxZero is offline
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And with other sports, a captaincy is pretty much ceremonial, save for hockey and soccer who actually I believe have to be the ones to talk to the refs about things.

Baseball teams typically don't name captains. I can think of only two teams that have publicized captains and thats the Yankees and Red Sox. Basically, the veteran players police themselves so there's not much need for anything official.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:07 PM
Jimmy Chitwood Jimmy Chitwood is offline
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For the most part, it's an honor given to a team leader to provide him some added authority, and makes him or her the team's official spokesman on the court.

Technically, the captain of the team is supposed to be the only one who has communication with the referees in a lot of leagues. In high school and college, if the captain of the team is doing a good job working with the refs, he can save his team from a technical foul on occasion, because the ref will give the benefit of the doubt and tell the captain hey, better keep #34 in line. There are a lot of other factors at play in the NBA, so I'm not sure how much that holds true there.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:59 PM
garygnu garygnu is online now
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My wife refs high school basketball. Prior to the game the refs have a brief meeting with the captains of both teams where the refs introduce themselves and remind the players of certain rules etc. The coach is not present.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2006, 09:23 PM
Terrifel Terrifel is offline
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However, despite the widely-circulated misconception to the contrary, basketball team captains no longer have the authority to officiate weddings during a game. This practice was discontinued in 1963 when Boston Celtics team captain Bob Cousy retaliated for a personal foul by marrying opposing players Hub Reed and Bud Olsen of the Cincinnati Royals during Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Division Finals.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2006, 04:00 AM
BlackKnight BlackKnight is offline
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Q. "What does the captain of a basketball team DO, exactly?"

A.
SPOILER:
Cheerleaders!
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2006, 04:38 AM
Noel Prosequi Noel Prosequi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrifel
However, despite the widely-circulated misconception to the contrary, basketball team captains no longer have the authority to officiate weddings during a game. This practice was discontinued in 1963 when Boston Celtics team captain Bob Cousy retaliated for a personal foul by marrying opposing players Hub Reed and Bud Olsen of the Cincinnati Royals during Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Division Finals.
(Wipes tears from eyes) Thank you Terrifel! I laughed so hard I nearly disgraced myself. ("Cleanup in Aisle 3!").

But to answer the OP, some team sports have field action that moves more quickly than the cycle of coach-player instruction can operate. Rugby Union is an example. There, the captain has to use his authority to marshall the troops, and to prevent the "too many cooks" problem. He has to decide whether to kick or run, and which play to call, because there are no breaks between plays as in Gridiron. He also has functions with team discipline and communicating with refs. He is usually one of the central playmakers in the game (half-back, five-eighth or No. 10), roles much like quarterback in impact if not in execution.
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2006, 10:26 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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DxZero:

Quote:
Baseball teams typically don't name captains. I can think of only two teams that have publicized captains and thats the Yankees and Red Sox.
The Royals had definitely named Mike Sweeney as their Captain a few years ago. Perhaps they don't get as much publicity in general as the Yankees and Red Sox do. (ya think?)
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2006, 11:01 AM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is online now
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I've seen many NBA starting introductions, and I don't recall ever hearing someone introduced as "captain". I know captains exist on teams, but I don't think that they mention this in the introductions. They usually mention the player's position, height and college or high school that he attended.
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  #11  
Old 08-16-2006, 01:50 PM
fiddlesticks fiddlesticks is offline
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Sammy Sosa had a "C" on his jersey for a time with the Cubs (see here. As I recall, it was one of Dusty Baker's ideas to get Sam to be more of a team player. Ahh, the sweet innocent days of a few years back...
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  #12  
Old 08-16-2006, 03:49 PM
CapnPitt CapnPitt is offline
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I think it's most obvious in hockey where the captain or one of the alternates is the spokesperson (read pleader/complainer for no foul) for the team on the ice. Oh yeah, why it's obvious is the C and the A are right on the jersey.

Mark Recchi with the alternate capt's A

Mario Lemieux with the capt's C
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