(WARNING, UP FRONT SO YOU DON'T MISS IT: Do not make this about Duke/UNC. This piece is about an idea that Mike Krzyzewski stated in an interview. I don't much mind tangential conversation, but Duke/UNC is off-limits in this thread. Thanks. --DA)
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said something I find interesting in his recent interview with Trey Kerby of Ball Don't Lie:
...You also don't want them to completely adapt to you, you want to adapt to them, also. So what we try to do is adapt to one another. Like if we know there are certain things that a guy likes to do or a way they play, we'll try to incorporate that in to how we're playing. The game is instinctive, and if we take their instincts away then we're not doing a good job of coaching.
It speaks to something I've mentioned before here, that Larry Brown has a reputation for trying to mold players to his system and giving up on guys who can't or won't succumb to his demands quickly, but that seems to be a relic of his middle period. According to accounts of his early coaching days, most notably Loose Balls and his own recollections of the ABA, Brown was a freewheeling type who adapted to the guys he had, but maintained his own sense of basketball order, a personality trait that is readily apparent today, as he embraces players like Tyrus Thomas, Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, and Gerald Wallace.
They're very different men, from totally different places, mentally and physically, but Coach K and Coach Pounds seem to agree on at least one point regarding leading a basketball team.