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Bits from Quin Snyder Interview, 8/21

August 22, 2015
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626 snyder

How was your first season as an NBA head coach? Was it what you expected?
You know, you, it was hard for us to have real finite expectations on the front end, and I think as you know, we had a really difficult start. But I think there was a vision for where we wanted to go as a group. You know, we wanna kinda develop an identity on the defensive end, and it takes time to, you know, to work on that with your habits and belief.

And I think as the year progressed, you know, we were really able to dig in there and that expectation was met. You know, I think we were, if not the youngest team in the league, you know, close to it. And us getting better is just gonna be about our guys getting better. So I think I wanna keep the bar high on them.

How difficult was it having such a young team?
Well, I think the biggest thing is, you know, almost the, well not almost, but really having a partnership with your players, where there’s a vision for where they wanna go, for we, where we want them to go, and trying to, you know, to mesh those things. It’s, you know, we’ve tried to be unbelievably organized and process-oriented, just about how our guys get better.

And you know, their individual skill levels, their bodies, their commitment, you know, their strength, but also fit that into the, into this concept as a team. So, we’re trying to approach that, you know, development process with as much emphasis and organization and preparation as we do, you know, [in] our, help-side defense and our offense.

How did you go from being one of the worst to best defensive teams last season?
Well, I think a couple things. One, you know, we’re fortunate in our personnel. It always makes you a better coach, and we’ve got a few guys that I think can be elite defenders. You know, Dante Exum, who got injured recently, but I think really stepped up as a 19-year-old, and was really good on the ball. We have some length on the wings.

And then, you know, we made a decision to play big. And it’s a tough decision right now, ’cause I think there, the league’s going small. And, but we’re trying to get our best players on the floor, and one of those guys defensively is a young center, Rudy Gobert. Derrick Favors, who played some at the five, moved over to the four, and you know, we found out that he can defend better than maybe people thought on the perimeter. So, I think our personnel is one thing.

And then, we just, we really drilled it. We just felt like — I told them I was gonna be relentless, and to do that and try to commit to the habits, but do it in a way where our guys still, you know, apply that, their preparation with some level of passion too, where it’s, you know, it’s my job to try to make it as, you know, it’s not drudgery. And sometimes that’s hard.

On Dante Exum’s injury
Well, your first reaction obviously is, you know, it’s not, you’re devastated for the kid, first of all. And then, you know, the timing of it, being in August, you know, a lot of your planning and preparation, your vision for the team — not just mine, but the other guys on the team — you know, gets rocked a little bit.

But injuries happen. You know, it’s a part of the league, and fortunately, Dante’s young enough where I think his recovery will be a good one. You know, it takes a little time with an ACL, probably, you know, if not a year, close to it, you know, depending on — I know he is gonna really work at it.

And you know, we actually talked this morning about, you know, what is the silver lining, that, you never wanna get hurt, but is there a way for him to maximize this? Can he get better shooting the ball, which I think he can. Can he study the game, and all those things.

He’ll be part a of our team, and I don’t think our team can wait for him. We’ve gotta try to keep getting better, and not feel sorry for ourselves, and other guys gotta step up, and you know, it’s a challenge for the rest of the guys on the team. The Gordon Haywards, and Derrick Favors, and Alec Burks, Rodney Hood. We’ve got some good players, and they’ve gotta be determined that an injury won’t all of a sudden just ruin a year. Even if it’s a key injury, you know?

CMtWlaRXAAA1Je1via @seahawks

On his visit to the Seattle Seahawks’ training camp
I’ve been a fan for many years, and when coach [Pete] Carroll got the job — he’s someone, frankly, that I’ve watched for a number of years, when he was at [U]SC. You know, a college guy. You know, I coached in college for awhile. Just seeing — I read his book, and tried to dig in on, you know, what makes those guys successful, what makes him what he is.

And I think more than anything, it was a visit to learn. And I was lucky. Their whole staff was a resource to me. And obviously he was, and it was, I think what makes them special is just, you know, a philosophical belief in how to approach it, and one that resonates, and that’s real.

You know, we can have quotes and put sayings on the board, but if they don’t really connect with who you are, they don’t mean as much and ultimately, you know, your players know it. And they don’t have that. I mean, I think who they are is demonstrated by the way they play and what they do.

And I actually used, I used them as an example last year a number of times for our group, whether it was, you know, Richard Sherman’s preparation, or you know, Marshawn Lynch and the way they grind on you offensively, and obviously the defense.

So I always felt like, you know, if we can be a little bit like them, we’re doing pretty good. And if I can go about, you know, my craft a little bit like what he’s doing and they’re doing, that’s a great thing for us. (The Jim Rome Show)

Snyder previously talked about his admiration of Pete Carroll and playing video of Richard Sherman during practice back in February.

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