While we’re all waiting for something to happen, guys to sign somewhere, do something crazy or announce that they’re taking up a new sport, something pretty cool is happening, it just doesn’t involve NBAers actually playing basketball. Well, it kinda does, just not as the competitors we’re used to them being.
First, we found out that Andrew Bogut was going to be spending his lockout serving as an assistant coach of the Australian National Team:
Bogut hoped to play for Australia in the best-of-three series, the winner of which will qualify for the 2012 London games. But Basketball Australia was unable to insure his multimillion dollar contract, and instead the former No. 1 NBA draft pick will assist coach Brett Brown on the bench.
Brown joked Thursday â€œheâ€™ll be my richest assistant coach. Heâ€™s fantastic about wanting to play, but with injury and insurance issues with the NBA lockout, heâ€™ll play his role from the bench next to me.â€
How baller is that? Can’t get the insurance you need to play for your country so you decide to coach your peers instead. I love this.
Later that night, Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio tweeted a trio of tweets reporting that John Calipari announced John Wall, Rajon Rondo and Eric Bledsoe would be enrolling at the University of Kentucky if the lockout continues and also that if they are enrolled as full-time students, they would all be eligible to be studen assistant coaches:
Earlier this year, Rondo returned to the Celtics lineup for a game against the Raptors after he had missed seven games with an injury. Unsurprisingly, he was key down the stretch as the Celtics pulled away and after the game I asked him about his time on the sideline, and if he’d learned anything about coaching. Here was his response:
“It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating as a coach. I don’t know if I want to coach when I’m done. Guys, you tell them stuff, they do the oppositeâ€¦When I’m out there, you can almost kind of control it a little bit, you can direct someone into their place, but once you’re a coach on the opposite end of the floor, it’s frustrating.”
It’ll be interesting to see how Rondo takes to coaching this time around.
Who’s excited about this? I’M excited about this. Doc Rivers, Flip Saunders and Vinny D. should also be excited about this. Young point guards taking on the opportunity to learn about the game from the sideline? This is a good thing. How awesome for the Kentucky guys who will get to learn from current pros, too.
There’s always a lot of talk about young players being stubborn and pros being difficult to manage. Things like this show that most of these guys just want to play, learn and get better at the game that they love. I’m a fan of each of these things. Know what I’m not a fan of? This mf’n lockout. While I’d love to see these guys as assistants, I’d love to see them playing basketball in the best league on the planet even more. #justsayin