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View Full Version : Coach, Players Trade Shows Of Faith {Pacers.com}



Frank Slade
10-03-2006, 09:45 AM
O'NEAL, JACKSON, CARLISLE ON "SAME PAGE"

Coach, Players Trade Shows Of Faith


By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 2, 2006

As he was addressing the volumes of questions that come with the beginning of a new season, Rick Carlisle was joined on the dais by an unexpected, but nonetheless welcome, visitor. Stephen Jackson, still sweating from a workout just completed, took the opportunity to step in front of the cameras and microphones and stand beside his head coach.

It was a gesture both literal and figurative.

Of the many topics on the agenda for Monday’s media day marking the dawn of Carlisle’s fourth training camp with the Pacers, none was more meaningful than the mutual demonstrations of unity between the coach and his veteran team leaders, Jackson and Jermaine O’Neal.

Carlisle, entering the final season of his contract, is in the midst of negotiations for a contract extension. Before signing, however, he wanted to make sure he was making the right move. And so he turned to O’Neal and Jackson in separate meetings to ask a pointed question: did the players believe he was the right coach for this team?

"Jermaine told me he 100 percent thinks I'm the right guy to be here, and that means a lot, " Carlisle said. "I told Jack I think he's that important to this team that I told him 'if there's any doubt in your mind that I'm the right guy to be here, I will not sign this extension.'

This is the honest-to-God truth. I want there to be no doubt that if we're going forward, we're going forward with the idea that I'm going to push these guys as hard as I can push them to be as good as they can be. This is not just a coach-player thing. It's a partnership.

"You can't go into a foxhole as a coaching staff and think you can have success without the players with you and vice versa. They both said they had no doubt and that meant a lot to me. It's important that everybody knows we're heading into this thing head-first and we're going to do what we can to make this thing go the right way."

Jackson punctuated the coach’s statement with one word: "Together."

And so began what promises to be one of the most interesting seasons in recent memory, in part because of the infusion of fresh blood from 12 new players not on the roster at the end of last season (free agent forward Sean Lampley was signed Monday bringing the total for camp to 19) and in part because of the fresh outlook displayed by the returning veterans – notably O’Neal and Jackson.

Jackson reiterated many of his comments from an exclusive question-and-answer session with Pacers.com about his summer of soul-searching and his renewed commitment to being a better team.


"I’m back to the humble Jack," he said. "I'm not one of the young guys no more. I'm one of the older guys on this team and I want to leave this game on a good note and leave a good impression on these guys. I came a long way to be here and I want these young guys to see the good side of me as being a good basketball player, a guy that comes and gives 110 percent to win every day and does whatever he has to do for his teammates.

"I've got to start playing for them now, leading by example, not doing too much talking. Coach can take me out of the game and let me know when I messed up and I've got to take it. And they'll know they've got to take it, too."

As rewarding as the words were to Carlisle, they will be empty without the actions that give them real meaning.

"Jack and I both know that talk is cheap," Carlisle said. "You've got to walk the walk and do what you say you're going to do. I would say this: I went over and talked to Jack yesterday at his house for about an hour about a lot of things – a little bit about last year and about this year and how he kind of wanted to be remembered as a player.

And I told him very candidly that I don't believe he's the best player on this team but I do believe he's the most important player on this team because he has qualities and attributes to his personality, and abilities on the court, that translate into real leadership possibilities. I told him it's very important to me that he understands his importance every day."

For the first time, O'Neal spent most of his offseason in Indianapolis, putting himself in the hands of the team's strength and conditioning staff. The goals were to slim down while strengthening his core muscles, enhancing his athleticism and endurance while reducing the likelihood of the injuries that have cost him large chunks of the last two seasons. He also shed the braided hairstyle in favor of a more conservative look.

Through commitment and style, O'Neal has re-affirmed his commitment to the team, beginning with the man in the first seat on the bench.

"In order to be a really good team, you've got to be on the same page – coaches, front office, players," O'Neal said. "There were a lot of questions about a lot of different things going into the summer. … Rick came to us and talked about whether we wanted him here or not.

Obviously, players almost determine coaches' futures because it comes down to wins and losses. I think Rick is a fantastic coach. Obviously everybody has to improve in certain areas to really get to the next level and I think Rick did a heck of a job this summer in terms of reaching out and making sure everybody's on the same page. When he asked me that, I just kind of looked at him, but I felt good about it because he wanted to know what his players thought before he signed his extension.

"If you've got a team that wants the coach to be there, then you've got a good team because they're going to follow the general every single night.

We've learned a valuable lesson the past two years. You can't afford to have anybody veering off track. You've got to have everybody in. He's happy, we're happy, the front office is happy and we're going into the season with no issues."


NOTEWORTHY …

http://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/sean_lampley.jpg
Lampley

A 6-6 swingman who last played in Germany, Lampley's signing Monday brings the camp roster to 19. Lampley was a second-round pick of Chicago in 2001 and last played in the NBA with Golden State in 2003-04, averaging 3.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10 games.

Carlisle said the team was almost completely healthy heading into Tuesday's first practice. The only player with an injury issue is center John Edwards, who has a sore back and may miss some time early in camp.

In addition to O'Neal's new hairstyle, Al Harrington flashed a thoroughly new look, a Mohawk cut

Pacers.com (http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/camp_061003_carlisle.html)

_PD_
10-03-2006, 10:10 AM
Just wow. Carlisle the schmoozer, the diplomat, the leader, the facilitator.

Too bad this was necessary, hope the effect lasts all season. Of course, Donnie and Larry were behind this -- "Go grab your team and do what you have to do to get 'em on board and regain control." And to jermO and Jax2 -- "Get behind your coach publicly and privately or get out of here." To be a fly on the wall.
Why not Tinsley? Is he not essential, is he not a problem, or wouldn't he come on board? Oh well, that's another thread.

All this and almost no injuries too. Bring it on.

Fool
10-03-2006, 10:15 AM
That title is terrible.

McKeyFan
10-03-2006, 11:33 AM
Man, this is all just too weird.

Don't you get the feeling of a a parent who just can't quite put the child in his place, and instead "talks" to them and tries to reason with them on why they should obey?

I mean, the first time Jax mouthed off to Rick publicly, his @ss should have been placed on the bench for the rest of the game. When you act with that kind of authority you gain the respect needed as a coach, and you don't have to hold these strange press conferences where they say, "Johnny really is gonna act right this year, aren't you Johnny? Johnny? Yes, I think that's what he said." :rolleyes:

My only hope out of all this is that Rick's supplicating behavior is involved with the extension itself. Therefore, once the extension is signed and those guys are on board with it, he will then lay down the hammer since everyone agreed with the program.

But can a leopard change its spots? I see more tantrums in our future, all handled in wimpy fashion.

bulldog
10-03-2006, 12:41 PM
Well, we'll see.

I'm one of those people that think the key to chemistry is wins. Jax'll get his chance to show if he's really changed once we hit a losing streak, all this preseason talk really means nothing to me.

Of course, we're not good enough to avoid hitting a few rough patches. But for now, clean slate, Jax has the benefit of the doubt.

Kegboy
10-03-2006, 12:51 PM
Rick's got a blindspot when it comes to Jack. Hopefully the new and improved Stephen won't take advantage of it anymore.

JayRedd
10-03-2006, 12:56 PM
For the first time, O'Neal spent most of his offseason in Indianapolis, putting himself in the hands of the team's strength and conditioning staff.

I almost threw up when I read this

Anthem
10-03-2006, 01:57 PM
NOTEWORTHY …

http://www.nba.com/media/playerfile/sean_lampley.jpg
Lampley

A 6-6 swingman who last played in Germany, Lampley's signing Monday brings the camp roster to 19. Lampley was a second-round pick of Chicago in 2001 and last played in the NBA with Golden State in 2003-04, averaging 3.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10 games.
What the heck? How did I miss that? And what were the Pacers thinking?

Bball
10-03-2006, 02:04 PM
What the heck? How did I miss that? And what were the Pacers thinking?

Maybe they are trying to light a fire under some players by bringing in some more bodies who (I'd assume) would be awfully hungry to make an impact.

Maybe trying to create a very competitive atmosphere from the 'get go'.

Maybe (for once) trying not to let some players get too comfortable.

-Bball

Isaac
10-03-2006, 02:23 PM
Bball beat me to it, that's exactly what I think it is.

Putnam
10-03-2006, 02:27 PM
Originally Posted by Frank Slade
For the first time, O'Neal spent most of his offseason in Indianapolis, putting himself in the hands of the team's strength and conditioning staff.


I almost threw up when I read this


Why?

Since86
10-03-2006, 03:35 PM
I almost threw up when I read this

I hate this, and it's really starting to get old.

Trainers and medical staffers aren't miracle workers. They could be the very best in the world at what they do, and if players don't follow their guidelines, work as hard as possible, or just have fluke injuries, it always comes down on the people overseeing them.

I'm still at a basic level, and there are so many different types of injuries for one particular area, it's frightening. There's more than five muscles attached to your scapula, so if you complain about a pain in your shoulder blade, there's multiple positions the problem could be.

It's like blaming your dentist when you develop a cavity. Sometimes it's just the responsiblity of the athlete to treat their body like their supposed to, and sometimes you can brush/floss three times a day and you still get one.

If the front office wasn't happy, or thought they could find better, with their trainers, they'd be gone. But there not.

I'd venture to guess 90% of our population doesn't know the difference between Type 1 fiber muscles, or Type 2 fiber muscles,(let alone Type 2a and 2b) and whether you use anaerobic exercises or aerobic exercises to train them. Do you know how many sets/reps to do for hypotrophy, or even know what it is? Or how about the reasoning of atrophy.

Or how about glutamine is, and what it's used for?


They don't hire bums off the street. I'd be willing to bet all of them have atleast a 6yr. degree.

JayRedd
10-03-2006, 03:53 PM
Just kidding, guys. Be easy. I'm sure they are fine doctors.

pizza guy
10-03-2006, 04:12 PM
Jackson punctuated the coach’s statement with one word: "Together."


As in, "we ride together"?


The more of this I see, I guess I'm sipping the Kool-Aid. Not full gulps, like some, but just sips. It's working to get me excited for the season, and even lay off Jack's case for a while.

I did, however, wonder why Tinsley is not included in any of this "it's a fresh start" stuff. Has he not had problems? Shouldn't he be just as important as Jack, at least? Seems strange to me that Jamaal has not been mentioned at all (save the yearly, "JT has been working out in ATL, and is in great shape" article).

Finally, what's up with signing another scrub? I guess raising the competition in camp is valid, but how much is this guy going to raise the competition really? Who knows, maybe it's part of some big deal DW and LB want to pull off, or maybe it's just camp experiments. Maybe it's because Jon Edwards is hurt and we need someone to keep his spot on the bench warm. :whoknows:

BlueNGold
10-03-2006, 04:48 PM
Next thing you know, RC and Jax will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated... ;<)

pizza guy
10-03-2006, 04:57 PM
Next thing you know, RC and Jax will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated... ;<)

:lol:

:box:

mildlysane
10-03-2006, 05:25 PM
Next thing you know, RC and Jax will be on the cover of Sports Illustrated... ;<)

:laugh:

docpaul
10-03-2006, 06:27 PM
Rick's got a blindspot when it comes to Jack. Hopefully the new and improved Stephen won't take advantage of it anymore.

I guess I interpreted Rick's actions a little differently than most.

Jackson is a fiery personality, a lightning rod, and from what I've seen... very passionate. Obviously, this personality type can behave in one of two ways: they can either inspire or they can create total chaos and malcontent.

He's a polarizing personality. Therefore he has a very very important contribution to make if his heart is in the right place. Imagine Jackson channeled in the right direction: he could be the Pacers version (personality-wise) of players like KG, R. Wallace, etc. A real lightning rod that inspires the best out of his teammates.

Maybe I'm giving him more credit than he's due, but my bet is that Jackson has a more positive influence on the team this year. That's why Rick wanted to make sure he was on board.

For sure, he won't be the best player out on the court, but then again... players contribute in different ways.

Just my 0.02.

Ralph Snart
10-03-2006, 07:32 PM
What the heck? How did I miss that? And what were the Pacers thinking?

Ah, who cares? I like that they're spending money and looking into multiple options. It sounds like camp and preseason are going to be really interesting.

ABADays
10-03-2006, 07:53 PM
I do not at all support an action like this. It should have been the other way around. Carlisle is the coach, he didn't need to go running after one his players to make certain "he was the right guy".