Do you want to know one of the Best Basketball Tips out there?
Learn one of the best basketball tips out there: How to deal with Role Players by Michael Murphy
Do you want to know one of the Best Basketball Tips out there? Basketball coach and television analyst Doug Collins is often overlooked for being one of the great basketball minds of our generation. As a player, he was the number one overall pick in the 1973 NBA draft after a standout career at Illinois State and was a four time All-Star with the Philadelphia 76ers. However, the two free throws that he made during the 1972 Olympic Games that gave the United States a 50-49 lead over Russia, may be his most memorable basketball accomplishment. Sadly, the Russians were given multiple times to inbound the ball the length of the court and score. The Russians finally took advantage and scored at the buzzer giving them a 51-50 victory and subsequently the gold medal. Collins went on to coach four different NBA franchises (Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, 76ers) and in all four cases the teams dramatically improved during Collins’ first year at the helm. As a broadcaster, Collins has always educated audiences with his insightful commentary. I had the honor and privilege to experience his expertise first hand when I worked his basketball camp as a counselor in the late 1990’s and learned one of the best basketball tips ever. This article was inspired by a recent quote I heard Coach Collins make while providing analytical work during a televised game. Coach Collins said the key to success for basketball players is the following: “believe in your role, stay in your role, star in your role.” I found these words to be simple yet profound. As a result, I began to research some of the very best ‘role’ players that are currently playing in the NBA. My research discovered that during their collegiate years, these players were anything but role players. Not only were the majority of them the best player on their respective team, many were considered one of the best players in the country.
These players epitomize Coach Collins quote. I am sure they needed some assistance from agents, confidantes, coaches, and family to BELIEVE in their role, however, once they truly bought in, their skillset allowed them to star in their role. In my opinion, some of the best role players in today’s NBA are: Tyson Chandler, Joakim Noah, Nick Collison, Tony Allen, JJ Redick and Kenneth Faried. Tyson was the #2 overall pick and has career averages of 9 points per game and 9 rebounds per game; not exactly the kind of production you would expect from the #2 overall pick. However, Chandler is a desirable commodity; the kind of player that championship caliber teams look to acquire to help take them to the next level. Joakim was the #9 overall pick and a 2-time All-American at Florida and the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four. Noah is another 9 and 9 guy for his career but is the ultimate glue guy. Nick Collison is another lottery pick (#12 overall) who had an amazing college career at Kansas. Collison led his Jayhawks to back-to-back Final 4 appearances, was the Big 12 Player of the Year and left Lawrence as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Big 12 conference. His NBA career averages …6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds. J.J. Redick was the national college player of the year at Duke and scored an insane amount of points. It took Redick 3-4 years to reconfigure his body and truly embrace his role as three point marksman. Tony Allen might not have had the college career that the aforementioned players had, however, he is the quintessential role player. Over the course of his 11 year NBA career, he has averaged double figures in PPG only one time (2006-07, Boston, 11.5 PPG) yet is a mainstay on the NBA All-Defensive team. Kenneth Faried was a first round draft pick (#22 overall) for one reason and only one reason – his ability to rebound the basketball. While at Morehead State he snatched over 1600 rebounds during his 4-year career, breaking Tim Duncan’s modern day record. Faried is averaging less than 9 RPG in less than 27 minutes of game action for his career. All of these players personify Coach Collins quote. Not only do they stay in their role, they star in their role and because of that, they have all had long, productive and LUCRATIVE careers in the Association. The Stephen Curry’s and LeBron James type of players are once in a generation. Implore your young players to take advantage of the gifts/skills that they have and understand ‘who they are’ as a player. This approach can take them farther in this game than they could ever imagine.
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