People really don't care, in some ways, that you have a family. With a high profile job like I have, they just want you to win basketball games. You can do that and still keep your family together. I try the best I can to be at the basketball practices or tennis practices or recitals. In my first year at Dallas my (then 11-year old) son Avery Jr., said, "You know daddy, you're still the best coach in the NBA." I was like, "But I haven't won a playoff game yet." And he said, "That's okay. You're still my daddy."... Read more »
Growing up in New Orleans, my mom and dad were churchgoers. I would go to church with them. Also, I was going to a Catholic school so I had a fascination with the Catholic Church mainly because, in my mind, (their services) didn't take as long. I was bouncing in between my mom's Baptist church, which was called Second Zion Baptist, and going to a Catholic Church.
Every era of coaches has their own set of problems and challenges. Today's player is different, but some things (about them) are better than they were in the past. I don't think (coaching today's players) is any tougher. I think we're a little too hard on the current day player because he's different.
I thought I would make it (to the NBA). I believed that I would make it. But I had a Plan B. I was going to get my Master's degree at Tulane University had it not worked out. I think the pressure of making it wasn't on me as great as some other players that had no other options. I was going to do something special in life and I wanted to play in the NBA. I had a backup plan but I went full speed ahead with my Plan A.
I'm passionate about coaching and being able to mentor young men in a lot of different ways. I think it's good to be able to do what you love to do. It's been in me since the beginning. I was telling my college coach what to do and he trusted me. When I got into the NBA, I started having conversations with coaches. (Coach Gregg) Popp(avich) brought a lot out in me. Coach (Don) Nelson gave me an incredible opportunity to spend some time with him and he molded me but at the same time allowed me to be myself.
I was really fortunate. I don't believe in luck so I was really fortunate. God really blessed me in terms of my health. I was really healthy. But I tried to do my part in terms of preparation, in terms of perseverance, to make sure that I was always ready to play and try to stay ahead of the game, to beat people with my mind. I wasn't the biggest or the one that jumped the highest, but I had a real high basketball IQ and I knew it. I was a student of game and tried to prepare and... Read more »
There are a lot of things that make players really good coaches. Whether you've played in the NBA or not, there are certain things you have to master and be really good at. They just have to be gifted in these areas. You've got to be competent. Secondly, you've got to be able to communicate. You can have a picture in your mind on how to score but if you can't communicate it, if you can't teach it, what good is it? You've got to be brutally honest and be a man of strong character and then you've got to... Read more »