I don’t believe that X’s and O’s are the most important part of a program. If you don’t know how to draw a play then you probably shouldn’t be coaching. There aren’t any “magic” plays.
It’s about organization, discipline, building the blocks, relationships with your players, getting something out of someone who is selfish, or doesn’t compete how you would like. Those things have more to do with winning and losing than drawing any play.
Character is HUGE! Usually you can’t change someone. If someone is selfish then it will come out in part of the game. You need to get rid of him.
The fiber of your team is the beginning of everything that you do. We want players that have gotten over themselves. It’s what we do as a group not you.
The GM doesn’t just watch how they play. We have them watch how they react to losing, how do they react to their teammates in time-outs, winning the game – do they beat their chests, how they react with their coach. All of these items will tell you if this kid has character.
When you amass a lot of “Character” then you can probably handle someone that is a bit iffy with character. It’s hard for a person to be too much of a jerk when you are surrounded by great character people.
“Potential’ can get you fired if you take bad character.
Why do you have so many foreign players? There are players everywhere. Foreign kids seemed more skilled, playing un-selfish, and more team basketball.
Motivation – He plays his bench a lot. It’s important to develop your bench. If you can rest your star players then do it. You can be surprised by your bench. You depend on your character when doing it. You need accountable and brutal honesty. I never try to trick a player. I treat all my players the same. You don’t have a different system for your stars and your bench. You can treat people differently, but they have to obey the same standards.
How do assess talent? We do everything as a group. When draft time comes they show me all the talent. We will have 20 people in a room discussing talent. I don’t care where an idea comes from. The idea can come from a film guy or my GM. I want discussion.
If we win a championship or lose in the championship – We do it all together. That way we have no excuses.
If you win – act like you do it all the time. If you lose – go back to work and do it better.
I made my players watch every minute of Game 6 and Game 7. I didn’t want us to blame the basketball Gods. I wanted them to realize that we win or lose together.
Leadership – You can tell who is a leader or not. It’s an intrinsic quality. Avery Johnson would talk all the time. Tim Duncan does it by example – He is one of the first guys there before practice. He touches people all the time. Duncan grabs people and puts his arm around them.
We try to let the players have time to themselves during time-outs. I will pull the assistants out and let them talk. It’s important that they have control. Coach Popovich tells them “one thing” during the time-out. The game isn’t when they get better. Don’t give them six things. Tell them one thing.
Time-outs calm players down. Some players don’t want to say something in front of the coach. Let them talk. It develops leaders.
Specific Goals for the Team? I don’t have any goals. We don’t talk about winning the conference or championship. It’s a journey and process. That journey is what you are proud of. The joy is in the process. The process is what you feel about with your teammates. The goal is to be the best prepared team by play-off team and the most rested team. It’s important to have the “big picture”.
We start our training camp with fundamentals. We do “jump stops” every year. The pride in our work is what helps us prepare to win.