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Bits from Quin Snyder Interview, 12/4

December 7, 2014
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On Jeff Van Gundy’s statement that you’ve got the wrong guys if they need wake-up calls to start playing
Well, first of all, he’s, you know, he’s one of the people that I respect as much as any coach in the game. And you know, the teams that he’s put together have done exactly what he’s talking about…

I do think there’s a mentality that certain players have. There’s a kind of competitive juice that they’re able to generate, you know, on their own. I think, you know, my job as a coach is to try to help that process, whether it’s, you know, getting mad at ’em, yelling at ’em, challenging ’em, encouraging ’em, whatever it is, really, you have to do to try to help those guys do that.

At some point, you know, they’re out there and they’ve gotta compete. And I think, you know, all of us understanding that reality is not shirking any responsibility as much as it is kind of helping them stand up and understanding, like, no one’s gonna do this for you.

And I think, too, when you put a lot of time in and you invest and you work, that eventually that work ethic and that, you know, that investment, you know, turns itself into desire.

You know, it’s rare that we perceive something, you know, in any walk of life, diligently and consistently with passion, where whatever the result is, it, you know, you hang on pretty tight, is what I’m trying to say, when you want something badly. And usually, the investment that you put in it goes hand-in-hand with wanting it to happen.

So, I think that’s something our guys are gonna continue to do. I’m gonna keep making ’em do it in practice, stopping ’em and correcting ’em and challenging ’em, and you know, hopefully you’ll see results over time.

Is this team tough enough, whether it’s sticking up for teammates or just manning up defensively?
I was happy to see [Enes Kanter sticking up for Alec Burks]. I, you know, I’ve told, I want to see more and more of that. So that response from him–and it’s not, it’s nothing, you’re not asking your team to be dirty or anything like that.

It’s just, you know, you gotta protect one another, and you also have to protect your basket, you know? I mean, when players go in and attack you at the rim, you know, if you’re gonna take a foul, take a hard foul. You know, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, and it sends a little bit of a message that, hey, not tonight. Not, you’re not gonna just walk in here and it’s not gonna be easy, I guess.

So, seeing that flash from Enes was good. I think, again, that’s part of youth and experi–and inexperience. Some of the tough guys in the league tend to be a little older, a little more seasoned. The Kendrick Perkinses and the people like that that, you know, [it’s] like having a big brother [to] beat on you a little bit and it toughens you up.

So, you know, I’d like for our guys to take those steps without having to be pushed around too much, to find that kind of within themselves.

How do you find the balance between getting your players’ attention without tearing them down?
Yeah, boy, that’s the million dollar question, right? It’s, I think you have to be honest with ’em. You know, there’s no, you know, being po–you can be positive and still be honest. There’s a, you know, reality sometimes isn’t pretty, and they need to know that. It’s not personal, but it, you can’t sugarcoat stuff.

And sometimes that involves going at ’em, you know? And my, in my experience too, NBA players wanna be coached. I mean, if they know that you’re working, and they respect you even if what you have to say with, to them may not feel so good at the moment.

I really, I went after Alec Burks pretty hard–in fact, it was in the Toronto game up in Toronto at the end of a road trip, ’cause he just wasn’t rebounding. And you know, I didn’t get much of a reaction from him in the meeting. He was probably pretty pissed off at me, frankly. But he came out and got 12 rebounds that night.

And guys after the fact, I know, I think, you know, that you want to see them, you know, be better. So, I think just being straightforward on that, and then at the same time, you know, helping them understand that this isn’t, you know, we’re not gonna be where we wanna be tomorrow. You know, and that they need to know if they keep working, that I’m confident that they will get better.

It may be longer than everyone else would like to see–I don’t know what people’s expectations as far as the timeline are–but I think the players have to know that this is gonna happen, and not get discouraged. Because if they get discouraged, then they start hanging their heads, and that means they’re not working. And then it’s a, you know, then we’re not doing what we need to be doing. (1280)

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