I normally give Doc a pass on the stuff he says. Not because I always agree with him, but because I know heâ€™s a coach and he has to devolve into coach-speak for the press. They ask him the same types of questions every day so of course heâ€™s going to play the company line. Coach-speak sometimes entails making statements that seem to contradict themselves, so that is easy to point to and criticize. But typically if you listen long enough, you understand that the context of the quotes is different and you see where the coach is coming from.
With that said, I have to call out Doc on something he said today:
â€œWe talk about the young stuff because we have to,â€ the coach said. â€œBut I donâ€™t want to use that as an excuse. You canâ€™t use that as an excuse. I canâ€™t allow them to use that as an excuse.
â€œI donâ€™t know how you use young as an excuse and then ask for urgency. If (losing) is just because they are young, then we have to wait. But then how do they have a sense of urgency from game to game? Thatâ€™s the point that Iâ€™ve tried to make.â€
What? Doc has been using youth as an excuse for the entire year, or rather most of the last two years. Thatâ€™s not to say he isnâ€™t right. The team is young. But heâ€™s been talking about that youth the whole time and now they are supposed to forget that they are young? Why even bring that up? If you want them to forget that they are young, stop talking about it every time a camera or recorder is in your face.
Personally, I prefer the â€œplay as a teamâ€ mantra that Perkins has been preaching.
â€œIt seems like weâ€™ve got too many chiefs, not enough Indians,â€ said Perkins. â€œThatâ€™s the best way I can put it. Everybody with their own agenda, instead of sticking with the team and winning.
â€œYouâ€™ve got to do your role to help the team win and, in the end, everybody gets a piece of the pie. You canâ€™t really go on how many shot attempts you get or what your stats look like because you canâ€™t win like that. Like Shaq [Oâ€™Neal] said, his best games are when he starts forgetting about the stats. Lose yourself in the team and we win games. Let the game come to you. Thatâ€™s including me, the team as a whole.
Maybe it is just me, but I can totally picture Perkins as a football player. I could see him wearing Under Armor, knocking over tackling sleds, and yelling â€œWe must protect this house!â€ He just has that attitude.
I think that is the right attitude. Sacrifice for the team, play defense for the team, hustle for loose balls for the team.
Stop making excuses and start making plays.