Posted by Neil Paine on January 11, 2009
Former Warriors and Kings coach Eric Musselman has a blog, in which he picks articles from around the basketball world to illustrate various coaching points. The whole site is an interesting read, but I've been particularly interested in reading his posts about player roles within the team concept.
Basketball is fairly unique among sports in the sense that players do not come with predetermined, positionally-defined roles -- for instance, a point guard could be a facilitator like Steve Nash or a scorer like Allen Iverson, power forwards range from do-everything types (Kevin Garnett) to rebounding specialists (Reggie Evans) and everything in between, etc. One of the keys to a winning team, though, is to make sure the pieces fit together, and that everyone has a role, knows their role, is willing to play that role, and that they are rewarded for playing it well.
Reading Musselman's posts really reinforces the fact managing these roles and getting players to buy into the team concept is one of the biggest and most underappreciated tasks for a coach -- and that's at any level, from grade school to the NBA.