Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Stevens, who likes to recommend reading for his players — Rajon Rondo’s favorite is a book tellingly called “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” — has a mental file of quotations that support his approach.
“We used to say, and I don’t know whose quote this is, that one of the consequences of not doing the little things is that you realize there are no little things,” Stevens said recently. “That’s true. In basketball it’s really true, and when you’re playing a team that’s supposed to beat you on paper because of talent, it’s really true.”
Stevens won’t say he’s asking his players to think about the game differently, but depending on the player, that may be happening
I know some people are going to hate the comparison to Phil Jackson because they think he’s a fraud or some other thing like that, but you don’t just win a bucket full of rings if you’re a fraud. We’ve seen first hand the boundless egos which he’s had to deal with (Jordan, Kobe, Shaq), and he managed to make it work. Is he Red Auerbach? No. Red build franchises and then went out and won with them. But Jackson’s ability to make gigantic egos fit and work is pretty good.
Which is where the comparison to Stevens comes in. Stevens and Jackson don’t seem to have the same personalities at all, but their psychological game seems to be very similar. It’s all about probing players’ minds and finding the right buttons to push to get them on board with you.
Stevens seems to have done so immediately with Rajon Rondo, and he’s getting a lot of these other guys on board with his motivational quotes and reading assignments. He’s challenging these guys to get out of their comfort zones (or in same cases, find a comfort zone), and see things from different perspectives.
As usual, sports mirrors life. And we all know the guy at work that’s been doing his job for 20 years, is totally comfortable doing it one way, and is totally unwilling to change it. That person doesn’t help the whole team, which is trying to function in 2013, not 1993 when cell phones looked like this.
Well, a lot of these guys have been doing the same basketball things for a long time, with people telling them how great they are for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with challenging them to see things just a bit differently. Sometimes, a little mental adjustment will help as much, or more, than any physical tweaks.
The rest of the links:
Globe: After corporate detour, Brad Stevens was drawn back to basketball (part 2 of a 3-part series) | CSNNE: Humphries fighting for time in C’s frontcourt | ESPN Boston: Assist/Turnover ration in focus | Early season rotation in focus | Starting 5 is anyone’s guess