**Fast Play taken from Kyle Gilbreth and Fast Model Technologies**

The Miami Heat ran this action late in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals vs. the Chicago Bulls.

The Heat ran this set almost every time down the floor the last five minutes of the game.  They were really trying to get Kyle Korver X1 to get switched onto Lebron James (3)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKO2p_Wsxtw

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Today as we prepare the offices for the new coaches to come in I find myself full of mixed emotions.  I am excited for the fans, players, friends, and boosters in the city of Santa Barbara. Change is coming to town.  We had a GREAT 3 year run.  3 Championships and a WNBA draft pick.  And now it is someone else’s turn to grab the torch and run…

Recently, our leader Lindsay Gottlieb received an opportunity of a lifetime.  She had the opportunity to become the head coach at Cal.  An opportunity that could not be passed up. Since then our athletic director has spent countless hours trying to find the perfect person to carry and build upon the legacy here at UC Santa Barbara.  Tomorrow at 11 am he will announce who that person is during the press conference here at UC Santa Barbara.

Right now we (staff) are going through old pictures, plays, diagrams, practice plays, and memories. We are currently listening to Gil’s favorite pump up song.  “Stay” by Sugarland.  (Yeah I don’t get how that pumps anyone up lol)  but it has been her go to song during the MANY late nights she put in the office.  Coach Barsky just reminded us of one of our plays we had two seasons ago called “Attack/pistol/shake/twist into Thunder”.  Coach Ho has just entertained us with her GIGANTIC play cards that even Stevie Wonder can see.  🙂  And if Evan Unrau were here, I’m sure we would pull out the “Manule” (misspelled on purpose) from our first year! There is a sea of laughter…and all I can think is…I love these women!

Through the ups and downs…over the course of three years… one thing thats never shaken… has been our bond.  We are all extremely different, but carry the same passion, and love for UC Santa Barbara and supporting family.  And right now we are sitting around laughing at all of the great (and not so great) times we have had.  (Like the time Sha’rae Mitchell’s stitches fell apart at 2 a.m. the night before a game!) 🙂 I am thankful for each memory.

Change is coming for us all.

I ran across a book that was given to me our first year here at UC Santa Barbara.  “Wooden.  A lifetime of observations and reflections on and off the court.” by John Wooden and Steve Jamison.  Nothing could define better what I am feeling then this excerpt from the book:

“Be true to yourself.
Make each day your masterpiece.
Help others.
Drink deeply from good books.
Make friendship a fine art.
Build a shelter against a rainy day.
Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.”

It has been a great run Santa Barbara.  I have loved EVERY minute here.  The good/bad/and in between. 🙂 Although I am sure I will see much of our supporting cast at our Women’s Basketball Golf Tournament tomorrow I wanted to give thanks to all those that have helped in this journey.  First I am thankful to God for EVERYTHING. My friends and family, you guys have been more supportive than I deserve.  For 8 months out the year, I neglect you all (not purposeful) 🙂  And you are always there no matter what. THANK YOU. Lindsay Gottlieb for taking a chance on me when hiring her very first staff.  I learned more in those three years than one could imagine. THANK YOU.  Our staff, for always being there. THANK YOU!  The amazing young women who soaked up everything that we had to offer them. THANK YOU. Our amazing athletic director Mark Massari and his wife Kim who have been our programs biggest supporter. THANK YOU!  Our support staff Matt Hurst, Richard Loza, Lucia Serrano, Larry James, and Carlos Garcia. THANK YOU!  Jack and Joe THANK YOU for helping us keep our kids on track academically.  Patricia who keeps our offices looking amazing. (She has to be the hardest working woman here.)  THANK YOU! Dave Harkness , the best team bus driver ever.  THANK YOU! Tom Hastings (Associate AD) and Diane O’Brian (SWA) THANK YOU! All of the coaches that work as our colleagues, you guys have been amazing! THANK YOU.  Bob Williams and Staff THANK YOU for making us feel welcome since our first day in Santa Barbara.  Steve O’Brian, THANK YOU for all of your work! Our chancellor and his wife, Henry and Dilling Yang your support at every game has meant so much. THANK YOU.  All alumni of the program, you have been with us every step of the way!  THANK YOU for believing in us! Christina Baglas and Alison Keck…THANK YOU! Donnell Dixon…THANK YOU!  Janice, Laura, Renee THANK YOU! Hazel…THANK YOU!  Bob and Leroy…THANK YOU!  Jeremy “Best strength coach in the nation” Bettle…: -) THANK YOU!  Last but not least the FASTBREAKERS…you guys rock!  Seriously, you have made us your family and we are thankful!  THANK YOU doesn’t seem to be enough, but it is all I have right now.  The impact you have made on the young ladies at UCSB is remarkable.

This has been a journey I will never forget…

I have heard some wonderful pre-game speeches.  But this one is one of the most powerful that I have seen…that is not scripted in a movie.  Check it out…Let me know your thoughts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX39J_YyKbs

We got to win.

Win no matter what.

Trip, kick somebody, fight, bite.

Whatever.

Win.

-Derrick Rose

” Almost no one goes through life unscathed, and the ability to overcome obstacles is often what separates the haves from the have- nots.” – John Calipari Bounce Back

Fast Play of the Day by Fast Model Technologies Featuring Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivPWAljXWpM

(Excerpt taken from Nick Saban’s book, “How good do you want to be?“) 

Being a Great Leader

Lesson 1: Great leaders stand up when adversity arises
Times of adversity are when we need leaders the most.  In business, employees will look to you when a bad earnings report comes out or when there is a PR disaster.  When there is trouble at home, your children will look to you for strength and guidance.  It’s easy to lead in good times, but the difficult times present an opportunity to display true leadership.

Lesson 2: Great leaders allow the team to take ownership of the rules
Great leaders know how to follow.  They don’t follow the masses like sheep, certainly, but they listen and allow the workers or players a say in how things are done.  Players should understand that it is their team, and they are responsible for that team.  The great leaders encourage followers to take an active role and to take ownership in the organization.

Lesson 3: Great leaders embrace future leaders
I strongly believe that one of my responsibilities as head coach is to help those on my staff fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams.  Over the years, I have had numerous assistants move on to better jobs in college or the NFL, and I take pride in the fact that I was a part of their growth.  I have an obligation to help them.  Some coaches and business leaders do everything they can to keep their staff intact, even if it means stifling the growth of their employees.  But that works against a leader.  He or she should be encouraging employees to grow, even if that means losing them.  Of course, there is another plus to having employees move on:  You have the opportunity to replace them with new folks who bring new ideas and enthusiasm to the job.  So don’t stifle growth of your team members or the opportunities for advancement.  Show your loyalty by encouraging them to follow their hearts and minds, and allow them to be rewarded for their efforts by supporting them.

Lesson 4: Great leaders lead the orchestra but let them play
Some orchestra conductors distract their musicians .  That’s right – in their enthusiasm and passion, some musical conductors flail their arms and move so violently that it actually distracts members of the orchestra, particularly those in the first few rows.  Of course, the conductor does not do it intentionally, but the effect is the same.  Musicians lose focus.  Coaches can do the same thing.  We can “overcoach,” commenting on or adjusting every single movement on every single play.  We can try to control every detail, but it will only end up smothering assistants and players.  

Lesson 5: Great leaders pick their battles
Our instinct is survival, and it rises to the surface when we face adversity. Our instinct is to fight back.  The desire to survive can mean a physical reaction, such as throwing punches or protecting your head with your arms, or an emotional one, such as standing your ground on principles.  But one thing champions understand is that you have to pick your battles. As a younger coach, I often picked battles with administrators and won – but in many cases being right was not worth the ill will it created.  Sometimes winning the battle means losing the war.

Lesson 6: Great leaders do not rush to make change because of failure
One of the biggest mistakes a football coach can make is to abruptly change plans because of a loss – but he would not be alone.  Coaches of many sports, business executives, and parents often make hast to make changes after failure.  But beware:  Many times, it is not the plan that failed but rather the implementation of it. Be patient after failure, and be prudent.  Evaluate, yes, but drastic measures are rarely called for. Make a thorough examination of what went wrong, how it happened, and who is responsible and then put in place a plan that the organization at large believes will improve the situation. 

Lesson 7: Great leaders hire good people
Surround yourself with good people!  Any good leader should have a strong supporting staff who may not be clones but add something to the organization.  A big mistake that managers with strong egos make is surrounding themselves with “yes men” simply to make themselves feel better.  Hire good people.  It is that simple. 

Lesson 8: Great leaders make tough decisions
Make the tough decisions by doing what is best for your organization – but always be fair and honest with those involved. 

Lesson 9: Great leaders accept responsibility
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.”  Who you are and how you lead touches everyone in the organization. 

Lesson 10: Great leaders show compassion for those around them
Take the times everyday to do something, if only for a second, that lets those around you know you care.  It may be briefly encouraging an employee, inquiring about a player’s mother, or asking your child what she did in math class.  Sometimes that’s all we need. 

Lesson 11: Great leaders never force leadership
Rather then worrying about being a leader, it’s more important to take individual responsibility to fulfill your role without depending on someone else to lead you.  That individual responsibility will make the organization as a whole much stronger. 

Lesson 12: Great leaders must insist on excellence
Simply put, you must demand excellence.  A leader must demand excellence of him or herself, first and foremost.  How can a leader be effective and expect something of others that he or she is unwilling to do?  I can’t ask our players or coaches or staff to excel unless I am doing the same.  To begin with, I insist on excellence from myself. 

Lesson 13: Great leaders are not always popular
Good managers must understand that they are there to lead, to help the organization succeed, not to be popular. Some players or assistant coaches may not like my personality, or they may not like decisions I make about game plans or off the field issues. Heck, they may not like me because I don’t smile enough.  But I would hope that most of them respect me.  And that’s the difference.  Be respected for the principles and values that you believe in, as well as for the classy example you demonstrate in carrying out those same principles and values.

Lesson 14: Great leaders don’t have all the answers but they find them
Rely on your employees, your co-workers, your friends, your family, or strangers, and learn from those around you.  The best leaders know they don’t have all the answers, but they know where to find them. 


Doc Rivers is not only extremely knowledgeable and smart but he is a phenomenal coach.  After looking for some pieces published about his coaching philosophies, I came across this video and thought I would share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOXHBqhGr7Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Derek Fisher: 2010-11 Exit Interview

Published by Mike Trudell on May 10, 2011 2:08 pm in Derek Fisher.

As has been the case in recent years, Derek Fisher’s numbers went up as his playing time increased in the postseason, his 10 games bringing averages of 8.2 points on 42.7 percent shooting, 41.2 percent from three, with 3.6 assists, 2.7 boards and 1.4 steals in 32.5 minutes. In starting all 82 regular season games for the sixth consecutive season, Fisher averaged 28 minutes to score 6.8 points with 2.7 assists, 1.9 boards and 1.2 steals while shooting 38.9 percent and 39.6 percent from three to lead the team.

Below is a summary of his exit interview:

– Intro: “My thoughts are plenty, most of them not good. I just really never imagined being in this situation, speaking to you guys under these circumstances. It definitely hurts. This one will be with us a while.” While other losses hurt, like 2008 in the Finals, Fisher said it particularly hurts to go out this early with such a talented team that believed it would win it all again. He’s hoping that it ultimately becomes a positive with everyone really being forced to look into the mirror.

On if the team’s capable of getting back to the Finals: Yes. I’d take the same exact group of guys and line them up, lace them up again. We’d get the job done, that’s what I believe can and will happen. It’s no disrespect to Dallas or any of the other teams still (playing), but with the same group of guys — obviously our coach would be different — there are some things that we can do as players to be better.

– On where it went wrong: “This wasn’t an overnight thing. It happened over time. To try and sum it up, some of it is a part of making the run that we’ve made for the last three or four seasons, playing 400-plus basketball games in four years, and just how difficult that task alone is to try and bring the focus, the energy, the effort, the concentration and the intensity to all those games in such a short period of time. In a sense, we were set up to have a fall at some point, but I don’t think anybody imagined or envisions us falling in this way. It was a tough year from the beginning, starting in Europe for training camp. Without making any excuses, I think Phil touched on it even then. It was very difficult to have a training camp, to lay down the foundation that it takes to be a championship team, (especially) with so many new guys (on the bench).”

And a key quote that hints at how L.A. may have faltered: “I don’t think we were really able to build and grow as a team.There was a point where we just weren’t getting better, we were just the same, and you have to get better in this league.”

– On finishing on this sour note with Phil Jackson: “That probably bothers guys more than anything. That probably hurts more than our own individual circumstances. He deserved to go out much better than this.”

– Fisher was asked if he considered retirement at all, and was very quick to say no: “There’s not a question about whether I’m coming back or not. There isn’t anything tangible that I measure my success by that tells me that today is the day I’m not supposed to be playing basketball. I’m not even close to that. Every bit of me is excited and looking forward to the future. Great things are born out of defeat, adversity and struggle.”

– Fisher’s fully behind assistant coach Brian Shaw, while acknowledging that it’s Mitch Kupchak and Dr. Buss’s decision about whom to hire as the next coach: “I support Brian 100 percent.”

Fisher on what he will remember most about his time with Phil Jackson: In a very, very short version, that basketball is only a metaphor for life. As bad as this hurts, and as much as we like to talk about the game and the stories and the articles and all the attention that goes to NBA basketball and the Lakers, at the end of the day this is a very, very small part of real life. That’s what I’ll take from my relationship with him more than anything, is keeping those things in perspective and being able to emotionally balance the things that come with this job, but realizing that it is a job. At the end of the day, it’s the health, safety and security of your loved ones and your friends, the people that you care about that really mean the most. The money, the contracts, the championships, it’ll eventually run out, get dusty, rusty, dry up and go away, but the memories that you have with close friends and family and teammates … those don’t ever go away.”

– Fisher was very forceful with his words defending Pau Gasol, whom he said took way, way too much blame and criticism: “If anything, I regret the fact that I wasn’t able to fully understand it and speak up sooner on his behalf, to say that I think it was ridiculously wrong to assume some of the things that were being assumed and place the burden of how successful we were or were not on his shoulders. That just wasn’t the case. Sometimes it’s comical the idea of how statistics determine whether a guy is really doing his job or not, and I think it was quite unfair for Pau’s statistical output compared to last year or some other time to be stacked up to this year and now, and then say that somehow we didn’t win because he didn’t play well statistically. If you asked the other teams we played against this year, he was there. He was still Pau Gasol. But he, like all of us, just as a team weren’t able to operate as efficiently at that max level the way we’ve become accustomed to.” In short, Fisher wishes he could have done something to make it better for Gasol from a mental/support standpoint, so that all of it could have “just shut up.” Had the Lakers kept winning, Fisher continued, no one would have been blaming someone statistically, citing as an example that Jason Kidd’s shooting percentage from Round 2 won’t be remembered.

– Fisher said it was very much in Andrew Bynum’s character to apologize for his flagrant foul in Game 4 against Dallas: “Andrew is a bright, smart, very intelligent man, and that particular play doesn’t symbolize who he is on whole. He just had that moment of frustration and anger and weakness that got the best of him. We’ve all been in that situation in life sometimes, where you make a decision and it’s too late to take it back, but Andrew’s a guy of high character, and he’ll be OK.” Fisher’s hopeful that he can just let it go now, having apologized, with knowledge that J.J. Barea didn’t suffer any injuries.

– Fisher concluded with a line about Phil Jackson:
“The biggest void regardless of who is coaching next year, what players are back, the biggest void of all will be Phil Jackson not sitting in the high chair. It’s that simple.”

The “FastPlay of the Day” by Fast Model Technologies  comes from the Miami Heat. I personally love this action!  (and not just because it’s the Heat…okay maybe! 🙂 )

VIDEO–  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFYPcvaFS_c