Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: A whole new ballgame for NBA-bound college coaches

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 26, 2014 - 11:59 PM

Florida lost three games all season.

“You can lose four, five games in eight days in our league,” Saunders said. “In our league, the big thing is how you respond when you lose, not when you win.”

It’s enough to make a college coach’s head spin.

“The coaches who do come here from college were very successful there, and they’re not used to playing and losing that many games,” recently retired Wolves coach Rick Adelman said last season. “You have to learn to adjust.”

It’s good to be King

You’ve probably heard the term “power coach,” a phrase seldom uttered in the NBA unless mention is made of San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich or perhaps the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers.

It’s almost mutually exclusive to college basketball’s most successful coaches, men who rule teenagers and sometimes their universities with impunity because of their lavish salary and tenure.

Both of those qualities — at least comparatively in an NBA where the best-paid players make five times or more than nearly all coaches — are rare in the pro league where millionaire players rule.

“It’s a player’s league,” Adelman said. “You better figure that out.”

Head coaches who have been promoted from an NBA assistant’s job seemingly have more success than a coach directly from college.

“It’s apples and oranges, a totally different game in so many ways,” said Toronto assistant coach Bill Bayno, an assistant to Calipari at Massachusetts and a former UNLV head coach. “In college, you’re worried about academics, recruiting, player management. Here it’s all basketball. In college, you have to keep it simpler. Here you can get so much more complex if you have a veteran team. In college, you have to be a dictator because you have 18-, 19-year-old kids, a lot of them come from broken homes that don’t have dads.

“Here you can’t be a dictator. You’re more of a manager. I always remember what Chuck Daly [the former Detroit Pistons coach who died in 2009] said about the NBA: You have to get past mad. In college, you’ve got to get mad. That’s a huge adjustment. It’s just different. You’re not going to figure it out in two or three years, especially if your team is rebuilding.”

Practice time disappears

College teams often play twice a week and their coaches teach the rest of the week. NBA teams can play five times in a week, and between travel and games, practice time is rare.

That’s a difficult transition for many college coaches.

“The NBA is a different coaching animal completely,” Louisville coach Rick Pitino told ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” last week. “When you go from college to the NBA, it’s almost a foreign sport. You’re managing people who play over 100 games and are really not into practicing as much as college kids are, because college kids are looking to practice as much as they can to try and make the NBA. At the pro level, they’re trying to stay away from injuries and protect their bodies.

“Practice in the pros becomes a walkthrough. That’s what the college coaches don’t realize, how much of a different game it is. The pros are almost like being a CEO: You’re managing people to get the most out of them emotionally, physically, strategically, wherein college you’re constantly trying to improve the skills on the athletes on a daily basis.”

Pitino said the NBA landscape changed in 10 years’ time from when he accepted his first NBA job with a Knicks team in 1987 that had Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and Mark Jackson until he returned to coach the Celtics a decade later.

  • related content

  • Chart: Great college coaches who weren't great in NBA

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    ONE GIANT LEAPCoaches who have tried to transition from the college game to the NBA, with limited success:Coach NBA teams NBA seasons W-L College...

  • Chart: Would these college coaches jump to take Wolves job?

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    WOULD they jump?These college coaches have been rumored to have the interest of Wolves GM Flip Saunders:Tom Izzo, Michigan StateWhy...

  • Pitino: Donovan's personality well-suited to NBA game

    Saturday April 26, 2014

    With the Timberwolves hunting for a new coach and expected to look at established college coaches, Louisville coach Rick Pitino...

  • College coaches who have tried to make the leap to the NBA include, clockwise from left, Brad Stevens, John Calipari, Mike Montgomery and Lon Kruger.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 20 3rd Qtr 1:14
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 17 3rd Qtr
(2) Alabama 20
Rice 10 3rd Qtr
(17) Notre Dame 28
(10) South Dakota St 10 3rd Qtr
(24) Missouri 21
Fla Atlantic 7 3rd Qtr
(22) Nebraska 31
California 24 3rd Qtr
Northwestern 7
Marshall 28 3rd Qtr
Miami-Ohio 3
UC Davis 0 2nd Qtr 1:29
(11) Stanford 28
Arkansas 21 2nd Qtr 3:50
(6) Auburn 21
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 2nd Half 35:00
Seattle 1
New England 1 1st Half 40:00
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close