Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets is one of my favorite coaches to study and linked below is one of my favorite articles on him. Great stuff in here on who the most competitive players he’s ever been around, what he took from Bill Belichick on culture, how you can build your identity as a team (“you can be physical every night and you can follow a game plan every night”), how a coach should handle adjustments, and what Michael Jordan gets that other owners don’t. I appreciate Chris Oliver of Basketball Immersion for passing this article along.
But then I think the identity part is — it just gets back to your personal philosophy. To win big in our league you’ve got to have balanced play. You’ve got to be good at defense, you’ve got to be good at offense. The defensive part to me has got to be the staple because it’s the old cliche but it’s true: You’re not going to shoot the ball well every night, but you can defend every night and you can play smart every night. And you can be physical every night and you can follow a game plan every night. That, to me, is how you build your identity, have those things, get the right kind of guys, and then every year, even if it’s an adjustment of one or two players, you’ve got to figure out with your staff the best way for that team to play well consistently, and that’s your plan and you got to have a plan so they can do that.