let me tell you a story (part three)-red auerbach and john feinstein

“Players are people, not horses. You don’t handle them. You work with them, you coach them, you teach them, and maybe most important, you listen to them. The best players are smart people and a good coach will learn from them. Sometimes when guys come to me with ideas, I knew they couldn’t possibly work. But I didn’t just say no, because they would see that as a sign that I didn’t just say no, because they would see that as a sign that I didn’t respect them.” (28)

“I’ve never understood coaches who suspend players for being late for a team meal or practice. You do something like that, you hurt all the other guys too, not just the guy who screwed up. I might make them run or keep them late or just yell at them-depending on how serious it was. But I never had an ironclad rule on anything because I wanted flexibility. If I had iconclad rules, then I had to enforce them equally. That’s not always the best thing for the team.” (78)

“He paused and looked at his cigar for a moment. ‘One thing that makes me mad about all of it is the way the NBA handled it, especially Reggie. We had suffered, in both cases, the kind of loss you can’t possibly anticipate and that is clearly, absolutely permanent. Never did anyone in the league think to offer us any kind of relief or help. In fact, in Reggie’s case, they made us carry his salary against our cap even though he was dead.” (166)

“Thus, in a strange sense, there is a strain of the Celtics in the (now) Los Angeles Clippers, the team that has come to define futility in the NBA.” (198)

“Coaching is simple: you need good players who are good people. You have that, you win. You don’t have that, you can be the greatest coach who ever lived and you aren’t going to win.” (273)

“These days, everyone has all these assistant coaches. Honestly, I don’t know what they all do. I look at some NBA benches now and there are ten guys over there. Ten guys! That’s almost one coach for every player. So why are they all so weak on fundamentals? The college coaches blame it on the high school coaches, the pro coaches blame it on the college coaches.” (296)

“In the NBA, it takes more than one loss to send you home.” (37)

today’s entry is dedicated to red as a coach, and to be completely honest-reading this book was the opposite of reading phil jackson’s lakers’ book. interestingly enough, he speaks a lot of respect for phil, and bigs him up for not jumping up and down and yelling, as he believed that coaches who do that, only do so to stunt for tv. he also throws a lot of shade to people who have to “look at the tape” to see what’s wrong, i mean, if you can’t figure that out during the game, you probably shouldn’t be coaching. he also has strong words for colour commentators, who are often fired coaches. if they know so much about coaching, why were they fired?

and, boom.


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