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Monday, February 13, 2012

Chuck Daly's "Dalyisms"

Brendan Suhr’s Top 10 Chuck Daly “Dalyisms”
10. “12 O’clock Rule.” When you lose a game, feel sorry for yourself, be mad at your players, etc., but at midnight, you have to move on and get your team ready to play the next day.

9. “Nobody looks BAD in a blue suit.” Chuck loved to dress and he loved blue suits. He believed he was better at fashion than he was at coaching.

8. “All decisions are 50/50!” We all want to be right 95% of the time, but in reality the BEST you should ever expect to be is right 50% of the time. We would take Isiah out of the game and VJ would go in and make 5 shots in a row and you would think that by putting one of the NBA’s greatest players back in would be a no brainer, but only 50% of the time it is. Trust your instincts and knowledge when you make your decisions.

7. “Get past MAD.” Don’t hold grudges against your players. Also your job is to get the team ready for the next game, especially after a loss. The coaches that “Master” this concept in the NBA have the most success, because they focus on the next play. We got upset by Miami, who was an expansion team by 2pts. We were embarrassed and mad. 3 nights later, we played the same team again and we won by over 40pts.

6. “Whatever.” When Chuck didn’t want to give an honest response to a question, that is what he said. But, it had so many meanings, you could insert it everywhere and you can’t get in trouble. When we were the Bad Boys in Detroit, we were playing the Bulls in the Playoffs and a writer from Chicago asked Chuck if he felt Mahorn, Laimbeer, Rodman, Aguire, Isiah, etc..were “dirty” players, who were trying to hurt Jordan and Pippen? His terse response was “whatever.” End of interview and he never answered the question.

5. “Make it a one day story. Never get into a fight with a person who buys ink by the barrel.” Don’t argue with the media, you can’t win. Don’t make them one of your enemies. It will turn into several days instead of one.

4. “Coaching is like flying an airplane, there is going to be a lot of turbulence, but your job is to land the plane safely.” During the season, there are going to be a lot of ups and downs, but as the coach you have to understand you have to remain calm and poised and remember the goals that you have established for the team. On the road to each Championship season, we had major turmoil occur, but Chuck landed the plane safely.

3. “I’m not a pessimist, but rather an OPTIMIST with experience.” Bob Ryan, the great sports columnist from the Boston Globe dubbed Chuck “The Prince of Pessimism,” because of his negativity, the above DALYISM was his response at the Press Conference that day. Awesome line. When we were up 3 games to 0 in the NBA Finals in the 1989 season, against the Lakers, Magic and Byron Scott were out for the rest of the series with leg injuries. As we go to eat lunch at Edie’s Diner in Marina Del Rey on the day of Game 4, he said to me I don’t know if we can win another game and beat them. We won our 1st Championship that night!

2. “Never Trust Happiness.” One of Chuck’s favorites, don’t become complacent, he liked to use this after a BIG win, or if we were going to play a bad team. If we won 4 or 5 games in a row, he would start practice and say to the team, “never trust happiness.”

1. “You can’t FOOL dogs, kids, or NBA players.” This is all about creditability. Players know if you can coach, they are street-smart and have high basketball IQ’s. You better have a good play in the last 2 minutes of a game, or else they will think you can’t coach. True story. We were playing Portland in Game 5 of the 1990 NBA Finals with 17 seconds to go, the score is tied and it is our ball. Chuck calls play “1C,” which is a quick-hitting last second play. Isiah and Laimbeer stare at me with a laser look in their eyes. They know we need to take the last shot! I tap Chuck on the knee hard, he looks at me and I say, “let’s run X into 1-4 Flat and take the last shot.”

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