After a recent loss:

“We didn’t play with any heart, and that’s the summary of the game. It comes down to toughness and [saying] ‘I’m going to stop my man.’ And the lack of effort that we showed out there was very disappointing, but it has been like that the whole year. Get up high. Go down low. It’s a lack of focus. A lack of leadership. I love Daniel to death, but I don’t care if he scores 40 points. You can’t give up 60 percent shooting in the second half. Yeah, I’ll clap for Daniel, but we couldn’t guard nobody in the halfcourt.”


Following the Bulls loss to the Clippers:

“We let guys do whatever they wanted out there. I know we have to start winning; can’t keep waiting. The time is now. No answers. I don’t know why we do it (inconsistency). It’s everybody, not one person more than the other. We all have to bring it from the jump. Continue to play the right way and start winning these games. Not putting bodies on people, or rebounding and guys getting to their strengths; that’s the will. Defense is all about toughness; we’re not guarding, so we don’t look tough.”


On what he looks for in a player:

“I always say there’s four things that make up a good player on a good team: No. 1 is talent. No. 2 is toughness. You’ve gotta be a tough kid, mentally, emotionally, physically. You can’t break down and whine about calls, or I didn’t get a shot, or this didn’t go my way. No. 3 you’ve gotta love playing.  ‘Do you play all the time? Are you a gym rat’? And No. 4, character. I look at their demeanor on the floor, their behavior.”


I’m sad to report that former NBA power forward Maurice Lucas has passed away. Today I write about ‘Toughness’ in our 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan.

Day 65 – Toughness

Nobody ever said it would be easy; that goes for life and basketball.  Being tough means shaping up, getting it together and giving all you have. It’s pushing yourself when you feel like giving up. It’s having the guts to bust through the wall.

It’s not grabbing your shorts and bending down while on the free-throw line. Toughness is not allowing the opponent see you when you’re tired.

Maurice Lucas was one of the toughest power forwards the league has ever seen. He lost his battle with cancer yesterday and passed away. The New York Times on the man Bill Walton calls, ‘The greatest Blazer ever.”

“I played very hard and very physical, but I thought I also played pretty smart because I studied my opponents rabidly,” he told The New York Times in 2004. “So I knew their tendencies and things I could take away from them on defense.”

How tough are you when it comes to basketball? Are you tough and smart? Do you set screens for your teammates? Do you pursue rebounds? Do you get up and defend as hard as possible?

Toughness isn’t beating people up with your fists on the court.  It’s about not backing down when someone tries to ‘punk’ you.

Toughness isn’t just physical, its mental; you can’t get yourself into top physical condition if you are not mentally tough to train.

When you get knocked down, make sure you are tough enough to get back up.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

-Unknown Source

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore