SI Vault
 
This Is The Life
JACK McCALLUM
October 31, 2005
In eight splendid days as an assistant coach for the PHOENIX SUNS, the author took a hit from Shawn Marion, lost a bet on Amar� Stoudemire and learned to love the game in a whole new way
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
October 31, 2005

This Is The Life

In eight splendid days as an assistant coach for the PHOENIX SUNS, the author took a hit from Shawn Marion, lost a bet on Amar� Stoudemire and learned to love the game in a whole new way

View CoverRead All Articles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

"Some guys are money players," says Gentry. "You put it on the line, they come through. Amar�'s one of them." As Gentry takes his $20, I still feel pretty good. Perhaps I've made STAT stand a little taller or a little more talented. Or perhaps he'll spend the season bombing ill-advised treys.

After a team dinner at a nearby restaurant, the staff heads to Mike's suite at the Westin. The reviews of practice and the strategizing for the next day's sessions have become more specific; the coaches have to get certain things out of each player. At practice I've been studying them all, trying to see what they need to work on, and sometimes I think I have it figured out. But I'm amazed at the awareness of my new colleagues. At root coaching is the same at every level. It's a matter of reading the team, motivating the players who are short on drive, propping up the ones who lack confidence and challenging the ones who are too self-assured.

Mike: "Guys, we have to watch James Jones a little bit, keep his confidence up."

Weber: "He was shooting before and after practice."

Mike: "I know. Sometimes when you're working that hard, though, it's because your confidence is down."

Weber: "He shot 40 percent on threes last year. There's a certain level of confidence that comes with that."

Iavaroni: "Emphasize the right things with him. That's because he's not going to come to you. You've got to give it to him."

Gentry: "But I do think he believes he's a good player."

Iavaroni: "Absolutely. Let's just make sure he knows we know that."

Mike: "I'd just like to see him get a little more aggressive. A little more vocal. A little more, Hey, I belong here."

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15