Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How coaching is like painting a fence

Good post on Rick Bonnell's blog about Larry Brown and assistant Dave Hanners (pictured here with Coach Brown).

After a 12-point loss to Orlando on February 20, Coach Brown let his guys have it, "saying the point guards were selfish and Emeka Okafor sets ineffective screens."

The next day at practice, Coach Hanners came prepared to do some "maintenance.''

That's Hanners' term for smoothing it over when Brown has maybe overshot the runway in his critiques of the players. To Hanners' surprise, the day after was a great practice: No complaining, just great focus.

Bonnell commented to Coach Hanners that he "wasn't surprised because for whatever else was wrong in the past, this team had great character."

Bonnell contends that "[former CHA coach and EVP] Bernie Bickerstaff demanded it, right up to waiving Kareem Rush when he wouldn't get in line. Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton are true leaders, and they both understand they need more coaching, not less. Brown's relentless insistence on precision can wear a team out, but that hasn't happened."

As they talked, Bonnell writes that Coach Hanners "offered a telling analogy."

Hanners said Brown's coaching is like the guy determined to perfectly paint a fence. When he's done, you'll never find an unpainted spot on that fence, but he might apply two or three more coats than is necessary to do the job.

[By the way, since February 20, the Bobcats are 6-2.]