Are you just being the eternal optimist?
No. I just think you have to have the belief that you can be successful. And I feel that if you put the right [people together] with the proper amount of work into each and every day ... That's all you can do. If you do that, you never feel pressure. You just feel like, 'OK, if we're doing those things, we'll continue to improve.'
That goes to the saying that you only get nervous when you are not prepared. Is that kinda where your mind goes?
Yeah. We all only answer to ourselves. Only you know whether you've put everything you have into something. And so once you do that, you're good. You should feel good about what you're doing, what you are facing, and you can handle anything that's thrown at you. You know, oftentimes when you do that, you find other answers.
In listening to you over the years, you don't seem to be that person who falls into that trap of believing in cliches or fall into that trap of following the path of what we the media put out there as truths of the game. Like 'defense wins championships.' I've heard you basically laugh at that and say it's more about ball movement and, let me get this right, 'going where the ball is.' Are we wrong?
No one is wrong. I just don't see it like you all do.
What do you believe in the most?
For me, there's five things I look at after every game. It's the defense, the rebounding, low turnovers. I think those three things put you in position to win. Then its inside-out and sharing the ball. So it's five-man offense, five-man defense. Make a commitment to one another and be balanced.
Is this basketball we're talking about or life?
[Laughs] Well, basketball is really a microcosm of life. There's a lot of things you can take from this game and learn. And a lot of lessons from basketball that you can apply to life and certainly a lot of things that you can take from life and apply to basketball. Adversity. Hey look, you are going to face it in life. Being mentally tough when you face adversity, I think, whether you face it in life or basketball, it's similar.
But if you have that balance in both, it applies the same?
Yeah, yeah. As it applies to us, we feel good about our team. We love the challenge. And at the end of the day, it's what we think, it's what we believe. And whatever that is, we're probably right.
You said the game is a microcosm, I often say it's a metaphor. That said, is there one metaphor for this game that you carry with you and apply to everyday life?
It comes back to being mentally tough when you face adversity. And to have the will and determination to overcome any circumstances. I think over the years, I've learned a lot and made sure we're simply gonna stick to our plan. I think once you get a commitment from everyone to do that, you've gotta live with the results. Whatever they might be. I think sometimes there is a tendency to change all of the time. And if you constantly change then you never really get good at anything. I'd rather be committed to something, stand for something.