Cohesiveness seems to be a rare quality these days. The teams I watched as a kid -- the Boston Celtics, winning all those championships with Cousy and Russell, Heinsohn and Sam and K C. Jones -- were based on unselfishness, on roles, on everyone doing his own job. Who scored the points never mattered. Which team won the game did.
Hard Work and Loss
I talk with a lot of kids from tough situations now, go into their homes, and I think I can understand. I think I can relate. I know what it is to have to work as a kid, to bring money home to help the family. I know what it is to lose a father. You can talk all you want about race and differences, about a white man going into the home of a black kid somewhere, selling the advantages of a particular college, a basketball team, but economics and life experience are a strong common denominator. If you've known h ard work and loss, you are speaking a common language with other people who have known hard work and loss.
Finding Your Path
"What's the best career path to follow to become a Division I coach?" is a question I get asked at clinics.
"I have no idea" is my reply. I suppose there is a path now, each job leading to a better job, a way to network, to move ahead. I suppose there was a path then, too: go tothe 5-Star Camp in the summer, meet Hubie Brown, some famous basketball guys, hear about jobs, all of that. I had no idea it existed. Didn't have a clue. A network to me was ABC, NBC, the Peacock. My father watched the game from behind the fence in center field,remember? I was not built to be political. Just do the work. Something will happen.
I think about it: how many guys have great plans, get fired, bounce from one place to another, zigzag their way across the country lookingto move ahead? I never had a plan, a grand design of any kind, and I not only never have been fired, the blowtorch never has been close to my ass. If anything, I've been the one holding the blowtorch on myself.
It's all kind of amazing to me, really. I don't know if you could go theway I did now; I don't think it'd be possible. I suppose my advice is that there is no career path, that you do the best you can at what you'redoing and someone will notice. Is that too simple? It's what I did.