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Thread: The Secret of Basketball

  1. #1
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    Default The Secret of Basketball

    I'm reading Bill Simmons book "The Book of Basketball". There is a reference to the Secret of Basketball. Basically its something that Isiah Thomas talks about indirectly in the book. Without going into the whole thing it's basically this.

    A team's best players have to buy into giving up stats and self glory for the team, completely. It takes the whole group to buy into this, to sacrifice any individual ideas for the team. There's more to it, but that's the idea.

    I bring this up because isn't this where Danny is in his progression/career? Doesn't he need to learn how to win and also the question of the team learning this too?

    I mean this group seems to like each other and doesn't it, at least seem possible that they could grasp this concept and take another step forward and create this type of environment.

    Just for the record, I think Dunleavy may get this idea.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    good point. dunno if its just that dun has such a high bball IQ or he just has some inner chi that he taps into on the court. he seems soo focused sometimes on the floor, its kinda creepy.

    i also wanted to read that book because bill simmons completely bashes the ego sensitive vince carter, we obviously share the same views.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Here's the good news: Bird definitely gets it as a GM. That's why you see guys like Foster, Hansborough, Dunleavy, Rush, Jones, and Watson play such a big role on this team. He's basically building a team of guys who get the secret.

    Danny is in a tough spot. You can get the secret all you like but you also need talent. Danny needs more talent around him. The key to building teams is having your core talent (i.e. TD, Manu and Parker) and surrounding them with role players who all get the secret. We've got the role players and one of the core talent down. We're about 1-2 blue-chippers away from contention. I don't doubt that when we get that talent, Danny will have no problem giving up his stats for the team. He's even said as much.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    How funny....I just bought this very book for my friend for Christmas. I read the 1st couple of pages of the book and liked it. He writes his book the same way he writes his columns. I'm either going to have to borrow the book from him once he's done...or I'll have to get one for myself.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by rexnom View Post
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    Here's the good news: Bird definitely gets it as a GM. That's why you see guys like Foster, Hansborough, Dunleavy, Rush, Jones, and Watson play such a big role on this team. He's basically building a team of guys who get the secret.

    Danny is in a tough spot. You can get the secret all you like but you also need talent. Danny needs more talent around him. The key to building teams is having your core talent (i.e. TD, Manu and Parker) and surrounding them with role players who all get the secret. We've got the role players and one of the core talent down. We're about 1-2 blue-chippers away from contention. I don't doubt that when we get that talent, Danny will have no problem giving up his stats for the team. He's even said as much.
    KStat probably can better confirm this....but I'm guessing that the Larry Brown version of the Pistons get this when they beat a far more talented ( on paper ) version of the Lakers. To me, that is the epitome of the type of team that gets this "secret"...they all had a very solid core of players ( not quite All-Stars at that time ) to build upon that was supported by role Players.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    I really don't think Danny will mind sacrificing some stats for some wins. However, I do think he wonders who's going to score the points if he doesn't. Hopefully he sees some other options emerging in his absence. The true test will be to see if both Danny and the rest of the team continue to trust those options once he returns.
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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    The books sounds great. I will have to pick it up.

    I think Danny can and will do what it takes to win. But he does need to have more talent around him. I think he has leadership qualities, but I'm not convinced he is that guy that speaks up on the court or at the bench and is absolute voice of the team. He seem to be a go to scorer type, who can lock down on defense when needed. Though we have steadily seen Danny move away from this defensive mindset and focus more on scoring, especially chucking up 3 pt shots (too many).

    Having Dun back helps, but now of course Danny is hurt. If we could ever get them both on the court for a extended period of time we may see more of "the secret" manifest.

    Regardless we are still going to be short another player who is a leader / All-Star type player who can help run the team. I leave Murph out he because my feeling is he is going to be traded soon. It seems to me the player we need has to be a point guard. After watching Ford play other night and get 13 assists, moving the ball, getting penetration and kicking it out to open players. That is more the way he needs to play every night. But again, I'm not confident he can do that. Where we will get that PG from remains to be seen.

    Thanks for the post I will check out the book!
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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Bill Simmons is the funniest columnist I've ever read.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    KStat probably can better confirm this....but I'm guessing that the Larry Brown version of the Pistons get this when they beat a far more talented ( on paper ) version of the Lakers. To me, that is the epitome of the type of team that gets this "secret"...they all had a very solid core of players ( not quite All-Stars at that time ) to build upon that was supported by role Players.
    That team is the very reason why, as much as I want to elevate the Pistons to the level of evil occupied by the Knicks, I just can't do it. To me, that is the perfect way to play the game. It was about time a team playing that way won it all.
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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    That team is the very reason why, as much as I want to elevate the Pistons to the level of evil occupied by the Knicks, I just can't do it. To me, that is the perfect way to play the game. It was about time a team playing that way won it all.

    The Detroit team with Isiah and the Detroit team with Billups, if they weren't "Detroit" teams would be some of my favorite teams ever.

    I guess if I grew up in South Dakota and became a fan of the NBA, those would be my most liked teams because of the "Secret".

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    In the book, I'm just getting into a part that talks about Shane Battier and how is team value completely isn't defined by Stats, which he's always been the poster child for this whole ideation, in my mind.

    He is a guy that I think you can build a championship team with, although its ironic that his career W/L for sure wouldn't bear this out as true.

    There's a whole group of self sacrificing role players, I think about in regards to the Shane Battier group.

    Simmons goes on to point out that you need a premier player willing to sacrifice and 1 or 2 secondary guys who also are willing to do this. He mentions Jordan and Pippen, obviously. Bird and McHale/Parrish. He also mentions San Antionio with Duncan, Manu/Parker, then a group of know your role guys who understand that the team needs from them.

    Interesting quote from Popovich in regards to their role players, I'm paraphrasing-we want guys with everything to prove or nothing to prove.

    I get this, he wants the CBA hungry guy or maybe the IUPUI guy who is hungry and is willing to do whatever to be there or the vet who has had his numbers and just wants to sacrifice to win-Bowen or Horry type.

    It makes sense and it also makes since why a guy like Richard Jefferson is having a tough transition to that type of environment, imo.
    Last edited by Speed; 12-18-2009 at 10:39 AM.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    Just for the record, I think Dunleavy may get this idea.
    Shack...
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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Rick Carlisle attempted to get our guys to buy into that. When they stopped buying into it, he was the casualty, and really was not the proper person to continue coaching here because of it.

    Our players at that time were the antithesis of such players, which is what Reggie saw when he retired, and called our team out for in his very first TNT broadcast.

    I long for a time when our team is dominated by highly skilled players who do believe this (Dunleavy is the closest we have to this currently, IMO), and when we have a coach who rewards such players for their selflessness, much like Larry Brown did. He finished what Carlisle started in Detroit due to getting the final buy-in from everyone, including Rasheed, after they miraculously were basically paid to take him.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8888 View Post
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    Rick Carlisle attempted to get our guys to buy into that. When they stopped buying into it, he was the casualty, and really was not the proper person to continue coaching here because of it.

    Our players at that time were the antithesis of such players, which is what Reggie saw when he retired, and called our team out for in his very first TNT broadcast.

    I long for a time when our team is dominated by highly skilled players who do believe this (Dunleavy is the closest we have to this currently, IMO), and when we have a coach who rewards such players for their selflessness, much like Larry Brown did. He finished what Carlisle started in Detroit due to getting the final buy-in from everyone, including Rasheed, after they miraculously were basically paid to take him.
    I agree, especially the highlighted part about Brown. I think that's why I hold him in such high regard. Larry Brown calls it "playing the right way" and he not only rewards it, but he demands it. If you don't play in that fashion, you don't play. He's not kidding. It's not a guideline, it's the rule. It's also a large part of the reason he has a short shelf life, he gets frustrated when this doesn't happen to the level he wants. That and he's kind of a crazy genius type.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP63 View Post
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    Shack...
    I would be intereted to who people think fit this profile though. Call it the All Shane Battier team.

    Robert Horry, for sure.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    I would be intereted to who people think fit this profile though. Call it the All Shane Battier team.

    Robert Horry, for sure.
    I'm not quite sure what the profile is. I get Battier and Horry. I think both those guys could/can do more individually than the did on a regular basis because they knew and accepted their roles.

    I'm assuming you're not looking for guys like B.J. Armstrong and the like. What about Rodman?
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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by mellifluous View Post
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    I'm not quite sure what the profile is. I get Battier and Horry. I think both those guys could/can do more individually than the did on a regular basis because they knew and accepted their roles.

    I'm assuming you're not looking for guys like B.J. Armstrong and the like. What about Rodman?
    Ya, I'm not really sure because its more of an opinion instead of tangible parameters, to me. Maybe Derrick Fisher, maybe James Posey. Not Stephon Marbury, he'd be like the antithesis.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    I think this is actually an overrated concept. Jordan didn't "get it" at all. The dude shot LOW PCT shots all day long and had a PPS well below Reggie. Reggie had shot selectivity, he only shot the ones that fit the team's need. Pippen didn't get it either, he had a pout fest when he was denied the chance to take the game winning shot.

    Rodman? Please. Sure it was an act, but what does it say about a player that he insists on putting out this self-promotional act DURING games.


    No, this is an idea that SOUNDS GREAT but ultimately means very little. Selfish, bickering baby stars can win titles and do so all the time. The Lakers? Kobe is the guy that intentionally stopped shooting in a spiteful protest of being asked to pass more.

    There's a lot of titles between Jordan and Kobe.

    Mad Max won a title with the Rockets, the Mad Max that went into the stands to punch a fan that said bad things to him. Not throw. Said.



    Here's my secret formula
    1) Star that gets lots of favorable calls
    2) Person who can hit big shots late without choking
    3) A decent level of late game defensive ability

    The Heat won a 1 man title just like that.

    Oh, the 2nd secret - get someone to make a ridiculously stupid trade or a financial savings move that benefits you dramatically in star talent.



    BTW, the Simmons secret also sounds good to me and I do think some teams have played that way. But unless they had the "secrets" I mentioned they typically haven't won it all.

    Case in point, 2000 Finals. The critical game was the OT game here, and how did the Lakers win that one? Kobe getting fouls, making tons of big late game shots and enough defense in OT to make that work. There's your title.

    It wasn't some role player saving the day or Shaq being a good teammate or even good defense for a fair portion of some games.



    PS - Reggie was a winner, right? How many times did he pass up the late shot to get it to another teammate?

    Reggie was a winner because of the secrets I listed -getting fouls (leg kick) and hitting big shots late. And Reggie actually was one of the better "team player" types of SGs.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 12-18-2009 at 12:23 PM.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    The Kobe thing is interesting. Simmons talks about in a recent interview Kobe was asked if he still had things he could get better at and learn. Kobe said that ya, needs to continue to learn about winning. I'm paraphrasing.

    I'm a self professed Kobe disliker from the beginning, but I'd guess an older more mature Kobe "gets it" now or at least moreso than the selfish pri.. er jerk from his younger days.

    Of course getting Pau Gasol for a bag of donuts helped, but I think he falls into the secondary player who also gets it, category.

    Ya, I don't think the "secret" is a pure stand alone thing. I can't take a group of Dan Dakich's and win an NBA title or even a group of Shane Battier's. I do think though there is merit in what they are talking about.

    As for Rodman, I think the early Rodman fell under that CBA/alot to prove mentality, being a later pick, given a specific role. I'm not saying all the guys do it for some altruistic higher purpose, but I do think many of them do it.

    Shaq, who's starting to look like a spoiled kid, looking back on his career, but I think he did sacrifice numbers for his Laker Championships as well as with D Wade. I mean that Shaq could have maybe just been a guy who averaged 30 and 20, but won 28 games a year and just said screw it, but instead he played some D, gave up some shot attempts, because whether on a cerebral level or intuitive one, he knew that would win them more games.

    Just my opinion, I still believe what Mark Boyles says is true. You can lose with talented players, but you certainly can't win big without them.

    footnote: basically I'm paraphrasing everything, so if you see this Mark, feel free to correct me.
    Last edited by Speed; 12-18-2009 at 12:38 PM.

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    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Here's my secret formula
    1) Star that gets lots of favorable calls
    2) Person who can hit big shots late without choking
    3) A decent level of late game defensive ability
    Right.

    I think Danny may be well aware of this formula.

    My personal opinion is that Danny is by nature unselfish. However, he is also smart and he is also human.

    Regarding smart, he understands Seth's formula to have some merit. The reality is, the more All Star games he participates in, the more calls he's going to get.

    Regarding being human, he got a taste of the big lights last year, the All Star game, most improved, etc. So some part of Danny wants to keep those numbers high again this year.

    But, ultimately, I think Danny is an unselfish person and things will balance out eventually, maybe even later this year, to where we see a healthy, movement-oriented offense with more than one top scorer.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    But in response to Speed and the Simmons concept of selflessness leading to titles, I think that is also true.

    Like in most things in life, there is a high road and a low road. Every person has to negotiate just how to soar with the eagles while fending off the turkeys.
    .

    .

    .

    .


    “People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed View Post
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    I would be intereted to who people think fit this profile though. Call it the All Shane Battier team.

    Robert Horry, for sure.
    Sorry "Shack" means "Locked up" or "On target" not Shaq...But that's not a bad example now that he's in his later years...
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...nce-stephenson
    "But, first, let us now praise famous moments, because something happened Tuesday night in Indianapolis that you can watch a lifetime’s worth of professional basketball and never see again. There was a brief, and very decisive, and altogether unprecedented, outburst of genuine officiating, and it was directed at the best player in the world, and that, my dear young person, simply is not done."

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by CableKC View Post
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    KStat probably can better confirm this....but I'm guessing that the Larry Brown version of the Pistons get this when they beat a far more talented ( on paper ) version of the Lakers. To me, that is the epitome of the type of team that gets this "secret"...they all had a very solid core of players ( not quite All-Stars at that time ) to build upon that was supported by role Players.
    There's truth to that, but there were still 4 all-stars on that team, along with one of the best role players in the league. The fact 2 of them didnt become all-stars officially until the following season doesn't change how I view them in 2004.

    None of them were superstars, but there was still a great deal of talent on that 2004 team...did they all buy into the team-first concept? Absolutely. But they still needed talent to achieve what they did. I don't think you can just plug in 5 role players without all-star ability and achieve the same success.
    Last edited by Kstat; 12-18-2009 at 07:45 PM.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    It's too bad Isaiah Thomas didnt get the secret of coaching.

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    Default Re: The Secret of Basketball

    Quote Originally Posted by IndyProdigy View Post
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    It's too bad Isaiah Thomas didnt get the secret of coaching.
    Long live the QUICK offense.

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