Hey, the good news there is Jerrod Haase is on the staff so he can teach Larry Drew and Dexter Strickland all they need to know. More radio show shenanigans from Roy Williams:
"We’ve got to do a better job guarding the ball on the perimeter. I put some pressure on two kids today, and I honestly believe this. I’ll never hit another golf ball if this is a lie. In my opinion, Larry Drew and Dexter Strickland have the potential to be the two best defensive guards that I have ever coached. I think I’ve had 11 guards – 1 or 2 men – play in the NBA, and those guys have the potential to be the two best defensively I’ve ever coached. So I told them, ‘Potential is what get coaches fired. How about starting to do what I think you can do?’ And I do. Larry’s got length, he’s got good feet, he’s got good hands and he has the agility. Dexter has wonderful feet, he’s got the toughness and the whole bit. And so now it depends on the want-to and how tough you are…
"I asked them a question and I got Coach [Joe] Holladay over there. I don’t share things with you that I shouldn’t share, but I said, ‘Coach, what did I say about these two guys today?’ And he repeated it, because I had told the staff. So I told them, ‘At this point, the two best defensive guards I’ve ever coached were Jacque Vaughn and Jerrod Haase.’ And I said, ‘Coach, now compare these two guys right in front of us to Jerrod Haase for toughness.’ And Joe had a great line. He looked at me and said, ‘Jerrod was a 10 and these two are ones, on a scale of 1-10.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s about what I thought because I was going to say that Jerrod was a 1,000 times tougher than they are.’
"So I said, ‘Guys, you’ve got to change. You have the skills, now use the skills. You have the gifts – the Man upstairs blessed you with these gifts – now use them better.’ So I’m trying to motivate them and trying to push them, but we do need to get better on the perimeter defensively and I think we can. And I hope it’s in my lifetime."
Actually this is funny for a couple of reasons. First of all, the media apparently picks their moments with Roy because every darn time he opens his mouth you could probably find something to write a piece on. As a blogger I know I enjoy having material to fill the day. Secondly, Roy pretty much says: "Hey, I probably shouldn't tell you all these things I told two of my players but I am going to anyway." Nice. Now, the whole thing is not negative. Roy basically tells Drew and Strickland that he honestly believes they can be the two best perimeter defenders he has ever had. The path there means working hard and finding some toughness which they both lack. Basically the talent is not in question. Both players have the physical gifts but not the mentality to make the best use of said gifts. He then has Joe Holladay deliver the scorching verdict which is if Haase is the paragon of toughness in a Roy Williams guard then Drew and Strickland are a tenth of that. Ouch!
I can only assume that outing this conversation to the media is part of Roy's motivational process. Not to mention that you would be hard pressed to find anyone who disagrees with the assessment. Some might disagree with Roy talking about it and basically shifting more of the blame for this season onto the players from himself. Then again at this point who really cares? Roy is basically looking to next season whether he wants to admit it or not. His only hope is these guys carry this into the offseason and work to make themselves better.
Exit question: For any former coaches or players to answer. Is there a point where players stop listening to this type of motivation?