Interesting quote I came across a few days ago; “LeBron and Wade are the same player, that’s why they can’t win.” I don’t recall who said it, but it made me laugh out loud.

But here’s a better one, a coach tweeted me and said they ARE the same type of players from the standpoint they both need the ball in their hands.

Yeah, of course, isn’t that the object of basketball with most superstars? Matter of fact, most great teams have multiple guys who ‘need the ball’.

Day 81: The Need for the Ball

Sure you need the ball to score, but there are other things you can do to help your team and LeBron has been doing them for the past 7 years.

He passes the ball, rebounds and blocks shots.

Wade is a scorer; whether it’s on the wing catching and attacking or going off the dribble.

The need for the ball with multiple players is not the problem with teams who struggle.  The problem is bigger than that.  If your shot is off, take it to the basket. If you are not scoring, get down in your stance and play lock-down defense.  Run the floor faster, share the ball more and play with a lot more energy.

Doesn’t matter if you have the ball or not, there’s a lot you can do when you’re on the floor.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


We’re winding down with our 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan. My book project on Player Development is almost complete, I’m excited!

Day 80 – Buddy-Buddy, You Make me Go Nutty

I laugh when I hear people say, “you don’t have to be friends off the court, as long as you get along on the court.


I came across a great story in Sports Illustrated (College Preview 11.22.10) on players from Michigan State, Duke and Purdue who have great players that are close ‘off the court’.

There’s a reason why these three schools are in the Top Ten in the country.

Here’s Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers of Michigan State:

Lucas, a 6’1″ point guard, and Summers, a 6’5″ shooting guard, had played AAU ball together since eighth grade and had decided to come to East Lansing together, both of them dazzled by Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s vision of them playing for the Spartans in the 2009 Final Four in Detroit. Up until now their basketball careers had unfolded as Izzo had predicted they would, and the Spartans, although battered by injuries, were headed to a second straight Final Four. It just wasn’t supposed to happen likethis.

Back in their apartment in East Lansing just after they returned from the Sweet 16, Summers read Lucas’s forlorn face. “K, you have nothing to worry about,” he told Lucas. “I’m staying. I don’t care if we win the title, I don’t care if [NBA scouts say] I’m a top 20 pick, I’m staying. We came in together, we’re going to go out together.”

“When he said that,” Lucas says, “my heart kind of stopped.”

Buddy Up!

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


I once heard this expression by the Butler Men’s Basketball program back in 2002. We continue with our 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan.

Day 79 – Laser-Like Focus

Never lose sight of your goal.  Don’t get distracted.  Stay focused.  Have laser-like focus.

Laser Like Focus is all about start to finish.  Finishing what you start.  Too many players get distracted too easy and forget whats important.

Lock in on tasks, focus on what you’re for, not what you’re against.

Have the ability to stay focused on a task until it is complete.

“Visualize the thing you want.  See it, feel it, believe in it.  Make your mental blueprint and begin.”

-Robert Collier


13 days remaining in the 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan…

Day 77 – The Difference

Winners train, Losers complain.

Get out there and train and stop complaining.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


I once heard Fran Fraschilla of ESPN say on air that a certain player had a ‘give a damn’ attitude towards his team.

Day 77 – Do You Care?

It’s not who or where you are playing; what matters is THAT YOU’RE PLAYING!

Do you really care about basketball?

I’m talking about caring about the game? Your game, your teammates and your fans who follow you?

Develop a ‘give a damn’ mentality.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


This past week Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love pulled down 31 rebounds against the Knicks.  Love has a knack for going after the ball.

Day 76 – Chasing Down Loose Balls

How hard do you go after loose balls?

Do you pursue rebounds? Rebounding the ball well determines your ability to win or lose ballgames. Do not give up on second and third shots. Get every rebound possible…

If you don’t go very hard, you better change your ways.

Here’s New York Post basketball writer Pete Vecsey on Love and his ‘love’ for chasing down loose-balls.

Here’s a quote from Love when he wrote an e-mail message as a high school player.

“I want to be a rebounder like Dennis Rodman. I want to get every rebound and bleep up everybody up on the boards.”

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


How about the Utah Jazz? Three games in a row they fell behind by double figures and fought back to win all three games against the Clippers, Heat and Magic.

Click here to read the Deseret News on their comeback last night against the Orlando Magic where they came from behind after trailing by 18 points.

“It shows what type of players we have in this system. It shows what kind of coach we have,” Jazz power forward Paul Millsap said about 24 hours after his 46-point career night against Miami. “It shows we are trying to get somewhere and not just going out there just to play basketball. We are trying to fight for a championship just like everybody else.”

Day 75 – Keep Battling

We’re almost done with the 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan.

How do you respond when you get behind?

Do you give up?

Do you pout?

Keep playing hard.

Keep working to get back in it.

Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t put your head down.

“Quit? We don’t quit until they nail down the lid on the coffin.”


-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


Huge comeback for the Utah Jazz against the Miami Heat in South Beach last night. Paul Millsap poured in 46 points.

Day 74 – Are You Accountable?

Do players hold each other accountable anymore or do people just point fingers at the coach? Do players push each other?

Everyone has to carry their own weight. No one can hide. No weak links. What are you doing to help your team be successful?

Are you doing all you can to help the team?

Are you showing up to workouts? Are you showing up on time? If not, do you have a legit excuse?

Playing all-out in practice?

Paying attention at meetings?

Are you lifting weights and running?

Players need to call other players out when they are not performing.  It can’t just be on the coaching staff to do this.  Accountability is something that is never talked about.

It’s easy to point the finger at the coach or at a teammate; it’s usually what everyone does, but sometimes you need to look a bit closer; there are other problems besides the coach.

Accountability baby!

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore


Do you ever feel blue because of how tall you are? Are you one of the smallest players on the court? Think you’re at a disadvantage because you weren’t blessed with height?

Day 73 – Size Doesn’t Matter

It doesn’t matter how tall you are in the game of basketball.  You can be the smallest player on the floor and still be successful.  Being short, well that means nothing!

What matters is the size of your heart.  How much courage you have and how hard you play.

Can you pressure the ball?

Do you share the ball?

Do you play with energy?

Are you a great teammate?

Do you live basketball? Are you always working on your game?

Do you block out what critics say?

You better answer yes to all of the above.

Guys like Earl Boykins, Spudd Webb and Steve Nash never let their lack of size stop them.  They plowed through the obstacle and became NBA players.

Have a single aim – go to bed and wake in the morning thinking of your goal.

Don’t let someone’s opinion of you stop you in your journey to success.

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore

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