Wolves Insider: Out of work, still coaching

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 26, 2007 - 12:03 AM

Eric Musselman spends night after night watching basketball, even though he is not employed to do so anymore.

71796716JJ007_CA_Minnesota_

SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 06: Head coach Eric Musselman of the Sacramento Kings coaches against the Minnesota Timberwolves during an NBA game at Arco Arena on November 6, 2006 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Photo: Jed Jacobsohn, Getty Images

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Unemployed and supposedly away from basketball, former Golden State and Sacramento coach Eric Musselman now spends his days traveling the land to confer with other coaches and his nights, nearly every one, attending a college game near his Northern California home.

Proving something about falling apples and trees, Musselman, like his father before him, can't deny the game that has surrounded him his whole life, even when the Kings are paying him to do nothing for the next two seasons.

"I don't play golf," he said by cell phone on his way to observe a University of California shootaround. "I'm a coach. That's what I do."

Even when he doesn't have a job.

A Timberwolves assistant when his father, Bill, coached the franchise 17 seasons ago, Eric Musselman wants to pursue a college coaching job after so many years in the NBA. And he is pursuing it with a singlemindedness familiar to anyone who knew his father, who died in 2000 at age 59.

He was 108-138 in two seasons with the Warriors and one with the Kings.

"Living with my dad, he could never fix anything around the house," Musselman said. "He never mowed the lawn. If it wasn't basketball, it was a football or a baseball game."

Divorced and a father of two, his life now consists of spending time with sons Michael, 11, and Matthew, 8, and basketball, night and day.

He carries two notebooks -- one collecting reports on college prospects he considers NBA material, the other containing college drills and plays -- he fills with ideas as he consults with college coaches and watches games, in person and on television.

He has traveled across the country to Kansas, Western Illinois and Mississippi, where he shadowed Southern Miss coach Larry Eustachy for five days and attended a summertime coaches' camp featuring John Calipari and Larry Brown. He has met at his home with coaches from Gonzaga and Cal-Davis, among many others. He has seen little St. Mary's play Sonoma State.

"I just felt at this time of my life, I'm ready to try something different," said Musselman, 43, who also is writing about the NBA for the league's website and the Sporting News. "I'd like to coach tomorrow. I think some people would relax, enjoy a deep breath and enjoy not coaching for a while. It's great spending time with my kids, but I want to coach."

He has worked out a high school team near his home in Danville, Calif., and on weekends, he coaches his oldest son's AAU team. A couple of weeks ago, their postgame meal after a game in Sacramento was watching the Wolves play the Kings for more than two hours, not four miles from where he once coached.

Last summer, he coached his son's team in a lopsided defeat at a San Diego tournament.

"I've found out you can go from coaching in an NBA arena to losing by 55 in an AAU tournament two months later and you realize the same things that happen at the NBA level happen at the 11-year-old level," he said. "Just slightly different: Instead of agents, it might be parents. But even 11 year olds, they all want to play. They all want the shots. It's the same dilemmas you run into at every level."

One of his boys read somewhere that his father and grandfather were the first father-son coaching combination in NBA history.

"He looked right at me and said, 'I'll make it three,' " he said. "If that's what you're used to -- that's what I saw my dad doing and that what they see their dad doing -- it becomes second nature."

  • WOLVES WEEK IN REVIEW Record: 0-3 • The Wolves ended a four-game home stand with Wednesday’s 97-86 defeat to Cleveland, undone by LeBron James’ 45 points. Their season-long trend of blowing leads in the fourth quarter continued with a 99-93 loss at Denver on Friday and a 94-87 loss at home to Atlanta on Saturday, putting them at 1-10 and on a five-game losing streak. STAR TRIBUNE'S STAR OF THE WEEK Al Jefferson, forward: He attempted to match the great LeBron James shot for shot, point for point Wednesday and still came up 15 points short. But his 30 points were a season high and two away from his career best, set against New Jersey last March when he played for Boston. THIS WEEK: FOUR GAMES Monday: at New Orleans, 7 p.m. Wednesday: at Dallas, 7:30 p.m. Friday: vs. San Antonio, 7 p.m. Saturday: at Memphis, 7 p.m. • Four games in six days, including three on the road. Those first three opponents had a combined record of 28-8 entering Friday's games. Monday's game is a rematch of last week's 100-82 home loss in which the Hornets were without star Chris Paul.
  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close
71796716JJ007_CA_Minnesota_