It’s not about any individuals. It’s about winning. It’s all about the group. When I say something [blunt], it’s not to speak poorly about them. I mean, I would never say, ‘Oh, he lost the game for us,’ or, ‘He didn’t do his job for us, that’s why we lost.’ … But if you get more upset about missing a shot than a guy posting you up and scoring, something’s wrong. That’s a problem.
I am combative. I’m not afraid of conflict or confrontation. I am confrontational. As a leader, you have to be. I mean, what do you get out of people if you just sit back and let them do what they want to do, without any confrontation? My feeling is there can be no change without confrontation. You go back through history, every change had some kind of conflict before there was change. Nobody is doing something different because they want to. It’s because somebody creates conflict that makes them.
I think most NBA players have the capability to do more, especially the more talented ones.
I used to say this to a lot of guys: ‘Why are you mad at me and getting into an argument with me because of what I say, and yet that guy kicks your ass every night out there on the glass and you don’t get into a debate with him? Don’t get mad at me! Get mad at him! He’s the one you’re competing against. I’m on your side!'”
I’ve been coached my whole life and no coach ever said, ‘Oh, that was a good shot,’ when it was a bad shot. And nobody’s ever said, ‘Oh, hey, it’s OK about that turnover.’ You know? You’ve got to execute. Because if you keep making those turnovers or losing plays, we’re going to lose.