On Blazers head coach Terry Stotts:
“If you have a d***head coach, you just don’t care. It’s like if you have a boss you don’t like, you might not give 110 percent effort every night because you don’t like him. But he’s a personable guy. He’s himself. And I think him just as a person translates and players respond well.’’
The first order of business for us is to build trust. Build a program, not an organization. And also to build a family. Want to lose ourselves to each other. You don’t hear this a lot in NBA locker rooms, but we have to love. We have to nurture. We have to teach.
Bringing passion, connecting to the city, is the most important thing. Building young men of character, because if you have young men of character, the ball will move on its own. Everything outside of basketball is the initial business. It will eventually bleed into the basketball, become basketball, create a movement, create a family.
We have to love the process, embrace the process and be a part of the journey. And at the same time uplift. Coach Wooden taught me belief is stronger than reality. If we believe and if we create a movement, anything is possible.
Popovich was asked if he ever sees qualities in a player he coaches against that make him think the player could become a coach someday:
“I think it has to do with what kind of people they are. How interested they are in the game. How much they study it. What their relationships to other people are like. Do they command respect? Are they leaders? All of those things go into figuring out whether a player is cut out to be a coach. They have to be goofy enough to want to do it. It’s a stupid job.”
“When you’re a coach, you wear so many hats. You have to be a coach, have to be a motivator, you have to be a psychologist, you have to find how to connect with these guys, you have to be an ear to listen to them, so there’s a lot of things you have to do. I never try to be any of these guys’ boys. My job is to help them become the best player they can be.”
Great stuff from an excellent coach:
What do you wish you could make every rookie understand before they ever play their first game?
That there are no shortcuts to success in the NBA and you have to put the work and time in. It’s everything from skill development on court, to studying film, to improving strength and agility and diet and rest. Changing your eating habits and even getting a chef so your body is in best position to deal with the travel schedule and grind of an 82-game season and getting sleep.
“You want to be a championship team, there’s a price to pay. And that’s what you have to do. There’s no shortcuts. You can’t shortcut your way to success. … I’m going to give everything I have each and every day, and I have no regrets.”
Scott Brooks on Fisher:
“He’s as consistent a worker as I’ve ever been around as a player, and I’m sure he has the same type of work ethic as a coach. He’s steady. He understands that every season it’s about the process of getting better. I know this is not the season he would have liked, but he’s not changing his attitude toward the game he loves.”