PTRW #952 STEVE CLIFFORD

“To me, in the NBA, the challenge is that our players are often being tugged so many ways. A lot of times people are well meaning. It’s friends, it’s family. Sometimes it’s agents. It isn’t that they don’t mean well, but they’re looking at what’s best for the player – not always what’s best for the team. That’s where the conflict is. To me, the challenge is to develop the right kind of coach-player relationship so they know our intent is to get them better, and get the team better.

“Unless you’re there every day, watch every practice and go to every shootaround, there’s no way that you can have a true idea of what’s going on with a team. I’m in the NBA. Tom [Thibodeau] was here for two days, and we were talking about [the Bulls] last year. … Just things I wouldn’t have thought.

“I tell the players that: The guy who can help our players are our coaches. You see them every day. Unless you have the right kind of communication in this league, it will get sideways on you.”

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