"I'm a little tea pot..." - USA TODAY Sports
I've never been a coach and have only ever been on three basketball teams, all pre-high school. Therefore, I've never really been in hard pressed games that meant anything if we won or lost. Because of this, I'm assuming, my coaches never really seemed to be fired up. No real yelling, no calling players names (to my knowledge), no craziness. But some of the things I see other coaches do in College or Pro ball make me curious as to what the right personality is for a coach if you want a winning ball club.
Admittedly, I don't pay much attention to Coach Frank during the game. The only time I notice what he's doing is when they put the camera directly on him, in replays, or if someone else points it out. Therefore I may be totally wrong in my review of Frank, but he seems like an extremely timid coach. I have seen a few occasions where he's visibly upset whether it be him shaking his head at a bad call or at our horrible play. But I've never seen him with any fire such as in the following videos.
I searched for "Tom Izzo Angry" and this was the best that popped up.
I used Phil Jackson as an example, well because he has 11 rings as a coach.
I chose this as a State fan wanting to rub in more the loss to Penn State, but at 0:31 is a great example.
And obviously, let's not forget Mr. Bobby Knight (sadly of no relation to Brandon) and the...well everything he's done. But you see that fire in them. But it doesn't just have to be shown on the basketball court. It can be observed in interviews as well. Last night, after the Pistons beat the Wizards, Randy Wittman had some not so nice things to say about his team's selfishness.
"We were more caught up in ourselves as individuals than the team tonight. That's the bottom line," Wittman said.
"We got guys that hadn't been in the rotation complaining. The older guys trying to help, and they won't listen. And that just tells me, 'I'm just worried about myself. I'm not worried about winning this game.' You have a tough game, it's my job to coach you," he continued. "It's bizarre to me. ... They didn't want to be coached. It was more about playing time, shots. Rather than, 'What are we doing as a team and how am I playing while I'm out there?'"
Now obviously, the Wizards aren't necessarily a winning ball club though they have plenty of pieces in place. But Wittman's remarks made me question how a coach's personality affects the team's mental approach to the game, a single play, and the overall desire to win.
For the most part, maybe 95% or higher, NBA players can't stand to lose. I'm sure there are some out there that don't care whether they win or lose as long as they get their check. My fear, or concern, is players being fed that mentality unintentionally on a "bad" team where the playoffs or a winning record aren't expected. My biggest fear is this being done on a young team that is rebuilding. If the players don't expect to win, then they won't try their hardest.
We know Joe is trying to build a team of character guys. That's all well and good, but regardless of if your players are character guys or not, your coach is the leader and needs to instill a passion to win. Frank does a lot of side talking about needing to win, we need to do this better, etc. And this may be because he knows this team isn't there yet, but even when he was coaching the Nets he seemed to be the same way. So I'd love to see some fire in him. But at the same time, Wittman's remarks also had me concerned in another way.
When you have a rebuilding team and players are coming off of their rookie deals, most teams see the potential and would love to go after a young guy who is playing very well or is steadily improving. Having a coach who is all up in your face when you don't do something right, especially when you're not winning and it isn't just your fault, could really make you hope for a coaching change either through them being fired or you choosing to test free agency. So while I want to see some fire from Frank (no, I didn't say FireFrank), at the same time I don't know how much fire I want to see. A lighter? A stove burner? A bonfire? I don't know.
I know each player takes a coach a different way. That's why there needs to be chemistry not only between the players, but also the players and the coach. It's easy to take fiery criticism from your coach if you and him joke around often and are cool other times, but if you barely communicate with your coach and your most memorable times with him are him yelling at you, you're not going to want to give 100% effort for them.
So how do you guys feel about coaching personalities and how they relate to a team's success? Would you say that the coach's personality is anywhere close to as important as the plays that they run or how they manage the game? Do any of you have examples of a fiery coach having gotten on you or a teammate? Also, how do you think Coach Frank's personality affects this team negatively or positively?