Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Jerry, yes it is

Read an interesting piece last week by not-one-of-my-usual-favorites, Gordon Monson. In it, Monson disagreed with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan's pronouncement that it is not his job to motivate his players.

I think it is, too. Yeah, they're professional, yeah, they should already be motivated, but sometimes you still have to state the obvious. Many Some years ago when I was coaching Junior Jazz, our neighborhood team was undefeated, two games away from the league championship. We were behind at the half, and I was frustrated. As we trouped downstairs, I exclaimed, "Guys, where's the energy? You've got to hustle!"

My best player than said, in all sincerity, "You didn't tell us to hustle!"

True. It actually hadn't occurred to me. But instead of saying, "I shouldn't have to," I accepted the criticism and said, "Well, I need you to, okay? Do you guys promise to hustle?"

They did, and they did. I know there's an age difference and a pro-vs.-amateur difference, but pro basketball players these days are basically just big kids. They've been spoiled and handled since their early teens. So yes, Jerry, the sad reality is that it is your job. Please do it. (But first, get rid of Boozer.)


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