Rod Strickland interview
Point guard Rod Strickland had a long, terrific NBA career, coming into the league in 1998 and playing for the Knicks, Spurs, Trail Blazers (twice) and Wizards, and then bouncing around to five other teams at the end of his career, which wrapped up in 2005. The New York City native averaged 13.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.48 steals per game. He's now an assistant coach under John Calipari at the University of Memphis. InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner recently met with Rod for an exclusive interview:
InsideHoops.com: Talk about the college experience, learning to be an assistant coach on that level.
Rod Strickland: It's been a great experience. I enjoy working with the younger guys. I enjoy watching Coach Cal do what he does. It's just a great experience. I get to learn under a great coach, and I get to mingle with the kids a bit. I'm learning, and I'm going to keep learning. It's been a great experience.
InsideHoops.com: How different are the X's and O's on the college coaching level from the NBA level? Did they come quickly, or did you have to re-learn some stuff, or what?
Rod Strickland: I think it's a matter of coach-player. I think when you're a player you look at the game one way, and when you're a coach you look at it a different way. You look at the big picture, and, while it wasn't a big adjustment I found out quick that they look at the game differently than players. So, watching a lot of film, and studying.
InsideHoops.com: So it's about seeing the game differently, interpreting differently, learning to look through a coach's eyes.
Rod Strickland: Definitely. I listen to coach talk. Sometimes when he's talking, I'm like, 'what is he talking about?' And then once you explain it, I'm like, 'oh, I knew that.' So they just see it in a whole broader view.
InsideHoops.com: And as far as teaching the players, how much has the job been teaching them fundamentals that maybe they didn't get in high school and how much is teaching on a higher level?
Rod Strickland: There's some fundamentals that some guys don't have, and you try to help them with that. And in game situations you try to tell them what's going on, what you see on the court. What's open, or how they should play. That's about it.
InsideHoops.com: And talk about your guy Jeremy Hunt, who wants to make the pros.
Rod Strickland: Jeremy Hunt, he played with us last year. Great clutch player for us. All the intangibles. Big heart. And can put the ball in the basket. So I'm hoping he gets a shot. He has the ability to score in bunches. He'll take the charge, dive on the floor. If he's open at the end of the game he's going to knock it down. He can catch and shoot. He can pump fake, get in the lane. Hit the floaters. He has a variety of ways he can score.