Talking Hoops Recap
Talking Hoops Recap, 10/10/06
Hosted by Paul Bell, David Spear, Corlette Brown and Ken Cole
Spoke about Brett Maher, being in hospital with a virus, said it puts him in doubt for Friday, which makes it very hard for us to compete against the Brisbane back court pf CJ Bruton, Ebi Ere and Stephen Black.
Introduced Ken Cole, the 1986 36ers Championship Coach.
Asked if it seemed like 20 years ago, he said it doesn't and most of the season is very vivid, and he doesn't think that there has been a team in the NBL the 1986 team couldn't beat. He said looking at other teams, mentioned Goorjians Melbourne teams as not being as good, said no other team could match up with the 86 team, which changed the way that Basketball was played, having 2 big guys and 3 smaller quicker guys, and with the balance and continuity of the team, he believed had the political side not stepped in they would of dominated for a decade.
Bell said they played a very entertaining style of play, putting a lot of points on the board and only losing 2 games all year, and scoring high with out a player in the top 10, and having few turn overs. Said with the intensity of practice, the players willing to put there egos aside and blend in with the team. Spoke about it being the hottest ticket in town, the 1986 kick started the 36ers success and built the new stadium and also gave basketball its shot of prime time FTA TV. Spear said basketball at that time woke up the other codes. Cole said he spoke to all the top level football coaches and all top level coaches would come and watch there practices and get him to speak to them about the intensity level they maintained and how they did that and about building a team and not just a group of individuals, said he went on the world of sport tv show, about coaching football and a lot of things he said happen in the game today, and after he walked out of that studio, he had offers to coach the West Adelaide Football team, and the 36ers changed the way that sports looked at things like intensity and pressure you can apply.
He said one of the things that disappointed him in todays game is the lack of enthusiasm shown by some players, as in 1986 the players would congratulate each other more, on a good pass or a great defensive play, and laughter on the sideline, as its not world war 3.
He said he believed from the beginning because they practiced 6 days and played 1 day, so to make it fun, and believed that his players all looked forward to coming to practice.
They spoke about how the league wasn't fully professional and the players all had to work full time jobs around basketball, said the average day was up at 7 doing some weights, go to work 8, finish at 5, practice from 6-8, Spear said practices were great fun, and on the 1986 everyone knew there role, and once everyone accepted the role it clicked, and Cole knew how to coach the Greens, Davis's Bill Jones,
spoke about the rotation of players through there career, with Ray Wood, moving to the end of the career playing less, Al Green changing his role to a ball handler and Defender, said it couldn't of happened with out the practices, said that there practices were harder than any game, and said the 8 man rotation was continuing to grow and would of continued to evolve over time, such as Wood stepping out, Spear would speck in, Ninnis would have continued to move up as time went on, and he also had Bradtke ready to come along and play and develop under Bill Jones, which meant as Jones moved on Bradtke would of taken over, said Al Green had the attitude of ill help you anyway I can but if you think your going to steal a minute of my court time ill kill you, which he liked, he remembered Spear and Green going hard at it at practice, spoke about a time when Al was throwing elbows around towards Spear, he pulled him aside and asked him if he was giving him the due amount of respect of the hard work by Spear by throwing elbows around, he said at times when Al got too intense he would say you go down and match up on Mark Davis and you can beat up on each other, said it was fiercely competitive without ever crossing the line. Said other coaches from other sports would say they have never felt that kind of intensity and electricity in there life, as they just worked flat out for 2 hour practices.
Bell asked Cole if his coaching style was more X's and O's orientated, or people management orientated. He said he thought his talent was the ability to recognize the talent in his players and help them get them to realize them and reach a higher level. He said he could say to players that if you come and play for me with the 36ers that you would improve as a player and you would win a lot of games. He said he believes basketball is a simple game that people try and complicate too much, there philosophy was they will pick you up and press you all game, and will run the same offense all game, all year and stop us if you can, said they didn't spend any minutes going through on the court what other teams do, as he felt it was irrelevant, said if you stick to your defensive rules and run the offenses properly, leave it up to them to try and stop us, said he finds it crazy that coaches spend lots of time running through there oppositions stuff. Spear said the rules the 36ers had, they will give you a hard contested shot, and hunt in packs, grab the board and run, they would run full court transition at an hour at training, and the players would learn there roles, the guards would handle the ball, and everyone else would run, for the 2nd hour was flat out scrimmaging, the only time the would stop is to discuss why they took that shot, or if they need to work harder on a screen , etc. Said it was all very simple and intense as attention to detail wins. Said they didn't win cos he was a good motivator, they won because they had the most disciplined team in the game, believes you can break down a team, but you can never break down a individual, said it was rare for the 36ers to take a bad shot, no players had fear factor as long as they took the right type of shot. Said it was all the intangibles that made the team very strong. Said he doesn't see that intensity level these days, said there is no disappointment when players miss shots these days. Said he tried to teach everyone to play, so he wasn't the puppeteer, and it was upto him to find the weaknesses and let the players think for themselves. And just gave little instructions to players at time outs. Said that every player made eye contact in time outs, as they didn't want any miss communication.
Said they never used first 5 Vs 2nd 5 at practice, and that made it fun, and if he would give players match ups on players depending on what they have to work on, he isn't a believer on set positions, mentioned Jones being able to hit out side shots, and Green being able to play inside, and Green changing his role from scorer to ball handler, and he had players who didn't need the ball to be effective, said it was fun and forced the league to change as at times they would play Davis, Green and 3 guards at times, said he watches teams play today and said they could of hammered them, and you master the intensity and things through practice.
They plugged the 1986 36ers luncheon on Friday, with the entire 86 team attending.
They spoke about basketball becoming the hottest ticket in town, Bell asked Cole about him being a entertaining character on the sidelines, said that people watched the coaches just as much if not more than the players as they identified with the emotions of the coach. Said there were times he did things for show, but the players always knew, he would tell them he was going to get after the refs, and to ignore him, spoke about a time in Illawarra when he said it was outrageous 30 seconds into the game, and sorted it out. He said you always share in the team. Said he went to Merv Agars that the sport will explode if you give it the courage, when the 36ers were formed Agars said to Cole that they would give them major sport coverage, 6 days a week the same as football or cricket, and asked if they can get a reasonable crowd to the stadium, Cole said they will fill the stadium, and then asked can they win enough games to get close to the play offs, Cole said they would make the playoffs and be title contenders, so Agars agreed if those things happened they would get major sport coverage, if not they wouldn't cover the sport for 10 years. The only other thing he said, was after the game, no opposition players were mentioned in the paper, they only spoke about positives of the 36ers, as the opposition team isn't coming back, the 36ers are, so it doesn't matter about the opposition, just tried to build up the excitement in the 36ers players and team. Even if Gaze scored 50 he wouldn't get mentioned in the Monday paper.
Scott Ninnis called in: Cole was asked to describe him, he said he was a exciting young talent, who he thought he had the desire to be a major contributor to the 36ers, Ninnis said, that the great shooting didn't quite sneak into his game, said this show, has bought back a lot of great memories of the 1986 season. Spear asked Ninnis a question about the nasty discussion between some Dragons players on the side line, said it was between Heal and Fuller, said it has been blown out of proportion, Fuller has been frustrated, and the Dragons havnt got used to how to play him properly yet. Said Heal is back on the court as of today. Cole said he thought any of his players were all capable of being coaches, as he tried to educate them about the beuty of the game, said they all had good fundamentals, and able to pass it on, and with the love of the game, said all his players all loved the game, and he never wanted to hold a player back, said he wanted them to be as exciting and individual as possible but they couldn't win unless they can put there talents in the frame work of the group, said he thinks all his players would make high quality coaches. Ninnis said its 1 difficulty of today as guys now just see the game as a pay cheque, and now with 10 guys with all different agendas, he tries to instill the love of the game into todays players, as they are being paid to play the best game in the world, said its difficult to install throughout a whole team these days. Cole said he grew up on the play ground and others grew up playing church basketball, ect, said by the time they reached the top they had a real love of the game, said they would take them to the states where basketball almost started and said if you don't appreciate the beuty and the history of the game then something is wrong. Spear told a story about the day Ken came back to training after being sacked, Cole was shooting on his own, Spear asked him hows things, Cole said basketball has 4 white lines, when he crosses those lines he can be the most creative person on the earth and he can pick up his troubles after he walks back over the lines again, Cole said he believes that when you step onto the court, that for those 2 hours nothing else matters in the world. He said he believed his teams gave everything they did for each other and in doing so they gave everything for the crowd, who respected that, he said the 36ers were the first team to form a circle in the middle of the court and turn around to face the crowd, now every team does it, when they did it, it was to first show respect for each other, then show respect for the crowd. Said the best game of basketball in Australia was against Newcastle in 85, when they scored 53 points in the final quarter to win it, said it was the closest to perfection you can get, that was when they first did the circle in the middle of the court. Said that some of the things that happened in those days to him were unbelievable and said the teams loyalty helped him through the life. Said when they lost the game to Brisbane, in the grand final and the media crucified, he said they had a meeting in the hotel where Cole told them, that they cant beat us, its physically impossible for them to beat us, as they had beaten them 7 out of 8 times, and they are clearly the best team in the league, he said there was too much mutual respect, he said he told the players to walk over them if they got knocked over, spoke about a time when the opposition made a incredible dunk, and Cole jumped up and said it was an incredible move.
Spear spoke about the Dragons having issues, with Drmic being over weight, Cole said the problem with recruiting a 7 footer is they are not going to be agile enough to keep up with everyone, as if they were they wouldn't be in Australia, it's the 6''8, 6'9 guys you have to look out for, and said he doesn't think you can recruit a 7 footer in Australia. Said you also have to play a different type of basketball with a 7 footer.
They asked Cole what happened with the 36ers, said early in the season, Peter Haynes heard a rumour saying that Cole was not going to be coach next year as the board felt he had become bigger than basketball, he didn't believe it at first as they hadn't lost a game, then he got a call from Boty Nagy and Andy Blitzard, saying Blitzard had been offered the job and cole had no reason not to believe them, so he confronted the board at the next meeting, and told them exactly what he thought, said just prior to the finals his health was collapsing due to his diabetes, so he was struggling with emotions, and was put onto strong medication, and it moved up to ryhipnol and he felt like he couldn't function like that, he decided with the last weekend on role, he said he cant take those drugs so he took away some marijuana, and use it after the game to sleep, as he cant operate on the drugs, said he was criticized for being to relaxed against Canberra, said Ray Wood invitied him back to the room for a drink, he said his players never drank in public, he said he didn't want to, then he joined the guys in the room and asked if he could smoke and no player said it would affend them, so he did it, and then when they got back he was called to a committee meeting, and told he was sacked, as he used marijuana, which he admitted to, the 36ers committee tried to get the media to run with the story, which none of them would, said he took $2500 to coach, said he didn't need the money, and wanted it to go to the players, so the board gave them the bonus and to retire, and told him they would give them $4000 to resign or they would sack him, he tore up the check and told them to stick it, then a reporter Andrew Both ran with a story, despite Cole telling him not to, he took him to a tribunual, and he went on shows and just told the truth, said it was a hard thing as they had achieved a lot as a team, he said he didn't believe that anything he did hurt anyone else. Spear said the playing group was shocked when this happened, as Cole was his coach for life, and they didn't know how to react, the leadership group said they needed to close ranks and keep this to themselves, and focus on the job, the club reappointed Cole as some of the players said they were not going to play with out Ken. Ken said he never ducked the question, and he couldn't believe the positive response from the sporting public, with people helping him and giving him advise, and couldn't believe how vicious people became over the game of basketball. Said for him once it was over, it was over for him and he just moved on, he said he went through hell on earth in later years due to his health, but he decided he had to turn it around and fought back, he said he has no bitterness, he said the only thing he had was disappointment as he believed that team had 10 years and 7 or 8 titles in it, as they won every game by 16 points and then they had players who keep getting better, and Bradtke was going to come in, and he hates the what if. He said the players didn't have the same fire they had under him. Bell asked if egos got away with the whole situation, Spear said he didn't know about that but he was only young, Cole said he thinks they did, and people make a lot of mis judgements, and he was an actor on a stage during the games, and said he was better at reading the game better than anyone else, and also the players knew how to pick those things aswell, they believed basketball was a game of momentum changes and they just tried to limit the other teams momentum as much as possible, and the players learnt that and knew when to take over, likened it to Tiger Woods punishing his opponent for a bad shot.
Darryl Pearce called in: Spear and Bell said he was one of the purest shooters they have seen. Said he is looking forward to the reunion, said it doesn't feel like 20 years ago, said some of his best memories, said the team was a team, and they just dominated the league, went 22-2, and said no other team would do that, and just had unbelievable confidence, due to the culture Ken made, they never stepped onto the court believing they cant win. Cole said he was at times he was in awe of what Pearce was capable, he said he didn't think Pearce knew how good he was at times, he said he felt there were times, when Pearce wasn't shooting the ball enough, and his challenge was to make him believe he was as good as he was, as he was one of the best scorers in the league, said he had to teach him how to be a good scorer not just a purer shooter, said he liked the fact that Darryl was a silent assacin at times. Spear asked him where he would rate Cole compared to other coaches, he played under guys like Gaze, Hurley, Fox, Shipway, he said Cole taught him a lot of different things, and has known him since he was 12, and was the greatest influence in his career and it was a pleasure to play for him for the 2 years, which he believes will never be bettered, and said he just had a confidence knowing Ken Believed in him, spoke about a time, when Pearce said he thought he stunk and Cole just said you'll be right, spoke about a time when they trained badly, and Cole just said you will be right and then they ended up blitzing there opponenet, and spoke about it wasn't the same player carrying the team all the time. Pearce is living in Melbourne now. Said he will watch the Dragons, as he cant get too excitied about following the tigers. Said he is looking forward to the reunion and reliving some history. As nothing compares to 1986.
Cole said Al Green was the best all round player he coached, he said there wasn't nothing he could do, he said when he ment him, the coaches at LSU said he couldn't shoot, so Cole told Al to come down to Adelaide and play. Said the proudest thing is seeing the lives of guys he coached all being successful in life. Said he thinks what they did on the court led them into having successful lives.
Spear said he thinks people don't know how good Al Green was.
Cole said the best player he coached against, said Leroy over a period of time, he said Gaze was a smart player, and said he would of liked to see him play in a different system at some stage,
Asked what he thinks of the league these days, he said he thought Smyth did a terrific job, bringing back the exciting style of game, and giving players freedom, said he was disappointed he stepped aside from the Boomers, as he thought he got knived, and should of stayed with it, he said to him to make him an assistant, as he doesn't want to be head coach, would help develop players, and would protect his back, said he thinks the disappointing thing is letting guys like Cat, Mee, Ingles and Newley go, to other clubs, he didn't believe if his 86 team had kept going no good talent in SA would have left the state, said the league has lost its ways with players going from team to team, said it was part of the pride watching local SA players play, used the Crows as an example in the early days under Cornes, said the thing is lacking is retaining of players In SA, said there are means and ways of doing it, regardless of money, and said you could imagine how good the 36ers would be if they had retained all the talent.
Asked if he watched the World champs and his thoughts on the Boomers, said he thought they were rigid, a bit like the robotic 70's Russian teams, said you need the flow like a ginobli to succeed, said they seemed clogged on offense, and doesn't think Bogut needs to be the main scorer, as he is a better rebounder and passer.
Another Great Show!! Look forward to next week!!!