PTRW #814 JEFF VAN GUNDY

“I’ve never seen low-energy players be competitive. So, if you have low-energy guys who consistently start out lethargic, you’ve got the wrong guys. You have to have energy and urgency and aggressiveness. That has to be part of your DNA. No coach is going to change that.

“The idea that this guy’s a great motivator and that guy, there are no such things as great motivators. You can’t motivate the unmotivated. You can help in certain situations with a guy’s habits. You can help with his routine. But if you have to be the one who consistently has to prod a guy to play with energy and assertiveness and aggressiveness and passion, you’ve got the wrong guys and you’ve got to move on.”

“It’s one thing if you’re a young team and you’re just not there yet with your reaction time or you don’t have your schemes down. But the first part of it is, you’ve got to have the commitment of the best players that, yes, it’s important to us because we care deeply about winning. If you have that, eventually they’ll get it. The players know it’s important to win. Now, the question is, is winning important to them?”

“Some guys can do it once every five games, some guys twice, some three times, the rare can do it four times, and the ultra-elite do it on a nightly basis. It’s what separates players.”

“You have to have the talent and skill, but mental makeup is so critical into how much you can improve. Are you tough-minded? Are you physically durable? Does the game mean something to you? … Until you know those things about a player, it’s really difficult to know how much he’s going to improve.”

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