HomeNBATranscript: Mike Woodson introductory press convention
Transcript: Mike Woodson introductory press convention
March 29, 2021
Mike Woodson was launched as Indiana’s thirtieth head coach in program historical past on Monday morning and right here’s a full transcript of his feedback to the media.
Transcript by way of ASAP Sports activities:
MIKE WOODSON: Thanks for popping out. Earlier than I even open the ground up for our questions, there are such a lot of those that I wish to acknowledge for me being right here at this time.
Coach Bob Knight who means a lot to Indiana Basketball, and he took an opportunity on a child out of Indianapolis a few years in the past to come back right here and play basketball.
And it was a journey for Mike Woodson. And coming to Indiana College to play basketball, he taught me methods to play the sport of basketball from a elementary standpoint. He taught me methods to be a person on and off the ground. And that was enormous for me popping out of the interior cities of Indianapolis.
So I pay tribute to Coach Knight within the utmost manner as a result of Indiana Basketball will at all times be Bob Knight. Will at all times be. It was nice he got here again in February a yr in the past and all of the ex-players that surrounded him, the followers, it was a phenomenal, lovely factor. So Karen, Coach, I like you guys and for me this can be a full circle. I’ve achieved just about every part that I needed to do in basketball. I by no means dreamed of enjoying professionally. You don’t go into school, significantly at that specific time, that you just’re considering that you just’re going to play skilled basketball. And I used to be simply attempting to get an schooling, which I promised my mom and sisters and brothers, and I bought that, and was in a position to get drafted within the NBA and lucky sufficient to have performed 11 years.
All of it labored hand-in-hand in making my resolution to come back to Indiana College, after which I bought into this loopy sport of teaching, and you recognize, I’ve lots of people to thank for that: Cotton Fitzsimmons, who was considered one of my early mentors in my early days as a professional participant, was the man who summoned me to come back to Phoenix and begin teaching and from that day on it, took off for me. The juices began to movement and I simply felt after I left the sport of enjoying, I had one thing to supply some younger child as a coach on and off the ground. As a result of I wish to assume the years that I performed right here at Indiana College, Coach Knight did one thing proper as a result of I turned out simply effective.
So in that regard, I felt I had one thing to present again and I used to be in a position to try this through the years of teaching. I used to be an assistant coach for about eight years and bought my massive break as a head coach after profitable an NBA title with the nice Larry Brown in Detroit. It’s been a pleasant run within the NBA.
However to have the ability to circle again and are available again residence and coach Indiana College Basketball means an amazing deal to me. It’s by no means been about me as an individual. I do what I do as a result of I’ve a phenomenal spouse and two daughters who allowed me through the years to do what I do.
And Terri, Alexis, Mariah, unbelievable individuals. I imply, they’re the rock that I stand on. So for me to come back again right here to be in entrance of all my followers and household and mates, I imply, it’s superb. You realize, I by no means dreamed that this might ever occur to me.
However I’m right here, and I’ve so many different individuals to thank: President McRobbie, Scott for taking the time to fly in. I do know he had referred to as me and mentioned he needed to talk with me, and he needed to do a Zoom. And I informed him, I mentioned, for those who’re desirous about Mike Woodson, both I get on a airplane otherwise you get on a airplane and also you come see me. And he mentioned, “I’ll be there tomorrow morning,” the following day.
It was I believed an amazing interview when it comes to attending to know each other. Didn’t know if I used to be going to get the job. However I felt good about my place and what I had introduced when it comes to serving to to maneuver the needle right here at Indiana College. So Scott, I thanks for making that journey to see me. Indiana College.
There are individuals right here at this time that I’d wish to thank earlier than we get actually into this and that’s my members of the family which can be right here: Scott, Quinn, can’t say sufficient, brother. You guys have been in my nook for a lot of, a few years and I thanks.
Wayne Junior Radford is right here at this time and I do know his dad could be very completely satisfied at this time. Wayne, thanks for coming, brother. I wish to thank my Knick household for permitting me to get out of my contract and are available on.
Jim Dolan will get a foul rap in New York. However he was an amazing proprietor for me. He allowed me to move coach and he allowed me to come back again and be an assistant. I’ve him to thank, Leon West, Scott Perry, and Tom Thibodeau, what an amazing coach, his lovely employees that they’ve assembled in New York has allowed me to do what I do now, and be capable of come again and be a coach right here at Indiana College. They didn’t have to try this however they did. So I thank them from the underside of my coronary heart.
Miss D and all of the entrance workplace and medical and trainers, all people in that Knick group is firstclass and I’ve them to thank for me standing right here at this time, so thanks.
I’d wish to thank the Ferguson household, Steve and his complete household as a result of he’s been a significant mentor in my life; the Prepare dinner household, Invoice who’s not with us, recognized him for a lot of, a few years, and he was considered one of my early mentors, he and Gale Prepare dinner and Carl, only a lovely household.
Nancy Cross who lives right here on the town, I do know she’s completely satisfied that I’m again.
Bob Hammel. We go a good distance again.
I mentioned I wasn’t going to get delicate, however boy, this can be a nice day for Mike Woodson and his household, and it’s an amazing day for the followers and Hoosier Nation, I feel. As a result of it’s going to be my job to bridge the hole between younger individuals who don’t know who coach Woodson is and the old-timers who don’t know who I’m. I’m going to convey all of the old-timers again just like the previous days, and we going to bridge the hole between previous and new. On the finish of the day, it’s about two individuals or two issues, and that’s the followers and our basketball program and our gamers. Our gamers will probably be firstly. I spoke to the blokes final night time, and I feel they perceive who Coach Woodson is early on as a result of I’ve informed them that this complete program goes to be about household.
And being about household, there’s a variety of issues that include that. You realize, they’re in search of me to get them the place they should go, and I’m taking a look at them to get Indiana Basketball the place it must go, and that’s going to be enormous as a result of I’m a coach that push and seize and I attempt to get essentially the most out of my gamers. And that phrase “accountability” is so essential while you take a look at gamers and also you speak about teaching. I’m going to satisfy with every participant individually at this time and see the place their coronary heart and thoughts are and speak about transferring this program in the correct route, and that’s getting it again on high. That’s why I’m right here. I’m enthusiastic about being right here.
Scott, you simply do not know. This can be a fantastic day. With that being mentioned, and I’m positive I missed some those that I have to thank, however they know who they’re. I admire all of the assist I’ve bought through the years, and all of the old-timers, the ex-players that performed right here, hey, I’ve gotten a variety of telephone calls from you guys reaching out and belief me, time comes, I’ll return the calls. However I admire the assist, I actually do.
With that mentioned, I’ll hope the ground up for questions. So right here we go.
Q. What do you assume the largest challenges are that you just face?
MIKE WOODSON: Properly, it’s at all times been my purpose, once I was doing my factor within the NBA as a head coach, I feel the timing when the roles opened up right here weren’t in my favor as a result of I had a job. I by no means actually tried to pursue it however one time, and I didn’t get the job and I went again to my NBA world the place I remained till yesterday when Jim Dolan gave me the chance to get on a airplane and are available right here for the job.
I’ve watched Indiana Basketball all my life from afar, despite the fact that the 30 years that I’ve spent, plus, within the NBA, I used to be at all times glued to Indiana Basketball. That by no means modified. It’s an enormous a part of my life.
So you recognize, we had our ups and downs through the years. I get that. However I’ve at all times been true to Indiana Basketball. So to have the ability to circle again and provides it one other shot and attempting to come back again as the pinnacle coach, this time I used to be in a position to get it achieved.
Q. Are you involved about your lack of faculty basketball expertise?
MIKE WOODSON: Under no circumstances. To me basketball is basketball. Positive, I’ve by no means coached in school, however I’d wish to assume that I’ve coached on the highest stage and I’ve coached a number of the best gamers which have ever graced the basketball world.
The NBA household is a phenomenal factor, guys. And I’ve been lucky to be a part of that for 30-plus years.
Sure, there are going to be some challenges, me coming again right here to educate this nice college and this basketball crew. However on the finish of the day, teaching is teaching. I’ve bought to get gamers, exit and recruit high quality student-athletes that may are available right here and assist this program transfer in the correct route. I’ve bought to groom these younger males to be males on and off the ground. That’s what it’s all about. Any person took an opportunity, like I mentioned earlier on me, that I turned out simply effective.
So there will probably be challenges, however I’m going to attempt to encompass myself with individuals that may assist me navigate a number of the challenges.
However on the finish of the day, I’ve bought to place a product on the ground that Hoosier followers will love from a defensive standpoint and from an offensive standpoint when it comes to profitable basketball video games. I’ve bought to show and develop gamers. That’s the one manner it’s going to get achieved when it comes to constructing a program to win.
Q. You talked about bridging the hole. This would be the first time, for those who had been speaking to a prospect proper now, what would your message be?
MIKE WOODSON: It wouldn’t be my first time recruiting, first time recruiting in school. We recruit on a regular basis within the NBA. The one yr I coached the Atlanta Hawks once I was on condition that job, I had the youngest crew within the historical past of the sport they usually had been all recruits from the school sport the place you needed to exit and do background checks, medical checks, all type of issues when it comes to bringing a participant in that you just assume that may assist construct your program.
So we’re not new to recruiting, free company. You’ve bought to exit and recruit. However we’re recruiting youthful individuals now and I get that. And I bear in mind when Coach got here in to recruit me, all these issues come into play.
Yeah, I’ve been far faraway from it, however I truthfully imagine I can go in a child’s residence and be capable of relate due to what I’ve gone via in my profession. And I’ve a narrative to inform, I do. If that child is keen to hear and he buys into my story, I feel I can get him to come back to Indiana College. Yeah, recruiting is tough as a result of you’ve gotten a variety of teaching on the market attempting to recruit one of the best expertise to assist their respective groups win basketball video games. I’m going to be in that very same pool, and I’m going to exit and attempt to do it the correct manner and we’ll do it the correct manner, and we’ll win the correct manner as soon as I get high quality youngsters right here that I feel may also help us win basketball video games.
Q. Do you’ve gotten employees members in thoughts and what are you prioritizing together with your assistant coach hires?
MIKE WOODSON: Properly, sure, I’ve employees individuals in thoughts and I’ll sit down with Scott and Thad and assess a number of the coaches. I’m getting all type of calls from mates and coaches that wish to come and assist me, and I’ve my listing of coaches that I feel may also help me.
So we’ll collaborate collectively and work out what’s good for Mike Woodson and the Indiana College program transferring ahead.
Teaching is essential. I feel you’ve bought to place individuals round you that you just belief. Individuals round you that’s keen to work laborious. That’s what I’ve achieved in my two stops as an NBA head coach. I attempt to put individuals which can be going to work and be loyal and assist me to develop younger gamers which can be going to be good basketball gamers and good individuals off the ground.
Q. Are you able to clarify to everybody why it is very important have the previous gamers at IU be half of the present program and the way that impacts the present gamers?
MIKE WOODSON: Properly, it impacts it in an enormous manner. All I can speak about is the times when Coach Knight was right here and the way you recognize, he had all people come again yearly, and that was a phenomenal reunion, man. I miss these days. And I’m going to convey these days again as a result of I feel it’s essential. A number of these old-timers, they most likely take a look at me as an old-timer. We laid the groundwork for the place we’re at this time and people gamers ought to by no means, ever be forgotten and in my coronary heart they received’t ever be forgotten.
So I’ll convey all of them again and bridge this hole that’s so desperately wanted why the younger gamers and the younger fan base that we do have, a variety of these younger fan base, they don’t know who I’m and I get that. My daughters type of remind me of that.
However on the finish of the day, I’ve been chosen to be the coach right here and I’m going to attempt to tie all of it collectively to make all of it work, and all of us be one massive household and win basketball video games.
Q. What is going to your message be to the gamers as you sit down with them?
MIKE WOODSON: Shifting ahead, we’ve just a few gamers which have entered the portal, gamers that I feel may also help us win basketball sport video games subsequent season. My first job is to sit down down with every considered one of them and speak about staying in Hoosier Nation. You realize, that’s what’s essential. And if I bought to plead and beg a little bit bit to maintain them right here, I’m going to try this.
However once more they have to make the ultimate resolution on what they wish to do, however there’s no higher place within the nation to play basketball I feel. That’s what I’m going to relay to them and allow them to know that I’m of their nook, that we’re household. I’m at all times going to have an open-door coverage the place they will are available and speak to educate Woodson. I’ve by no means strayed from that through the years. There’s so much that I’ve to do as soon as I go away this press convention when it comes to sitting down with every particular person participant and having a pow-wow with them and see the place their coronary heart is.
Q. Do you know Thad nicely earlier than this and what do you envision his position being with this system?
MIKE WOODSON: I’ve at all times watched Thad from afar. Thad has had main success within the Huge Ten as a head coach, the 13 years he coached Ohio State, and I had my battles with Herb Williams who was an amazing Ohio State participant and who labored for me in New York so we at all times go round about with each other in the course of the Huge Ten season. So yeah, I’ve watched Thad from afar. That is the primary time I’ve had a possibility to sit down and speak with Thad.
Once more, nice basketball thoughts. My ego has at all times been intact when it comes to with the ability to settle for nice basketball minds and what they’re considering. I feel that’s wholesome from a training standpoint and I feel it may possibly’t do something however assist me as I transfer up the highway and attempt to construct this basketball crew. I’m grateful that Thad is on board. Once more we’ve to place a employees collectively and we’ll work in direction of that right here within the subsequent week or so.
Q. What imaginative and prescient do you’ve gotten for the crew and this program so far as type of play is worried on offense and protection?
MIKE WOODSON: After I take a look at school basketball, a variety of it’s they’re taking issues from our league now and their protection are switching defenses, a variety of zone, perhaps three-quarter courtroom or half-court or zone defenses.
Offensively, they’re capturing a variety of threes just like the NBA. So once I take a look at school basketball, and the truth that our sport is beginning to come this fashion in a significant manner, I feel I can convey a system in that from a defensive standpoint the place you recognize we will recruit gamers which can be able to enjoying three or 4 positions. That’s type of how I did it within the professionals. Gamers that for those who did swap defensively, you felt good about them. The gamers guarding the ball and gamers which can be dedicated to rebounding the basketball.
I feel while you construct a defensive system, if all people is linked collectively and work laborious to defend not solely the ball however when there’s a breakdown, and rebound the basketball as a unit, you set yourselves in place to win basketball video games. The three-ball has modified the sport, there’s little question about that. We now have bought to recruit gamers that may shoot the ball and go and dribble be capable of make performs for each other.
And in doing that, I feel I can create an offense that everyone touches the basketball and for those who can shoot the basketball, then your anticipated to shoot it and make photographs. In case you can’t shoot it, then you need to do different issues to assist us win basketball video games. It’s my job to exit and put one of the best crew constructive I’ll on the ground that may do these issues.
However the type has modified, like I mentioned, and it’s a phenomenal type. I don’t assume you’ll be able to at all times simply reside on capturing threes, but it surely’s nice for those who’ve bought a crew that may make it. We constructed a crew in New York with Grunwald and Jim Dolan and myself the place we introduced in eight new gamers that season and all eight may shoot the three-ball and our core group was fabulous at capturing threes. We lead the league in threes taken, threes made and third in three-point share. That crew ended up profitable the division that yr.
So the three-ball has modified the sport and we’ve to seek out gamers that may make the three-ball, as nicely.
Q. Discuss adapting to expertise yr to yr.
MIKE WOODSON: After I began off in Atlanta, I began off with 18-, 19-, 20-year-old males. I used to be real looking once I got here into Atlanta as a result of I simply come off a title run in Detroit the place we received an NBA title. I felt once I went to Atlanta that I may win an NBA tight that can yr as a result of I used to be on such a excessive and it simply wasn’t real looking however I by no means bought these gamers on not making the playoffs. Once you look again at that crew, Josh Smith, Josh Childers, Royal Ivey, Dante Smith, Stoudamire, these are all younger infants, and that possession was lucky sufficient to stay with me. They gave me the assets and alternative to construct is that crew and three years later we had been within the playoffs enjoying the Boston Celtics to a Sport 7 who ended up profitable the NBA title that yr.
You realize, basketball is humorous however we simply bought to maintain pushing and pushing gamers to do the correct factor on and off the ground.
Q. Are you able to speak about rising up in Indianapolis, your baby, household, highschool profession?
MIKE WOODSON: Properly, you recognize, I’m from a significant, massive household of 12 brothers and sisters. I misplaced my mother and father at a really younger age and I misplaced some siblings alongside the way in which.
However rising up in Indianapolis and enjoying the sport of basketball, there simply wasn’t a spot you couldn’t go to get a basketball sport in Indianapolis and the expertise again then was simply large, man. I imply, I can go in each space of Indianapolis and play pick-up basketball sport and play at a excessive stage with nice expertise. I don’t know matches nonetheless that manner at this time but it surely was loaded again then.
And all people who performed basketball, they at all times had their eyes on Indiana College or Purdue or Notre Dame however I at all times had my eyes on Indiana College and the basketball program, as a result of it was so highly effective at the moment and yearly you new Indiana was in place to do one thing particular. That’s what I needed to be part of.
I bear in mind my sixth grade instructor, which I couldn’t afford at the moment to go to Bob Knight’s camp, pay for me to come back down and I ended up profitable a three-on-three contest that at Coach Knight’s camp with two different youngsters and Coach gave me a t-shirt and informed me he would comply with me my senior yr in highschool and that’s all I wanted to listen to. And I had an amazing senior yr and he got here knocking and I decided to come back right here and play basketball. It began in Indianapolis rising up.
Q. How do you are feeling concerning the gamers you’ve gotten inherited, do they match the system that you just wish to play or do you wish to craft a system to your gamers strengths?
MIKE WOODSON: I’ve watched just a few video games of the Hoosiers this yr they usually have had their ups and downs. I get it. The pandemic hasn’t helped form of their psyche and mind-set when it comes to school life right here on campus. However I’ve bought to evaluate after going again at this time and I’ll go and watch extra movie, I’ve bought to evaluate after talking with these younger males and get their emotions on this previous season and what their considering is on staying or they’re leaving as a result of some choices have gotten to be made in the event that they determine to go away. However I’m going to do my greatest, put my greatest foot ahead to see that the blokes I feel may also help us transfer ahead on this program, that they keep on board.
But when not, then I’ve bought to go to Plan B and doubtless go within the portal and attempt to discover gamers that I feel matches the system that may assist us win basketball video games right here.
Q. NBA individuals have praised you in your participant growth expertise with younger guys within the league. Are you able to see that ability instantly serving to you right here at this stage, too?
MIKE WOODSON: Properly, it’s going to have to assist me as a result of I feel while you get a youthful participant, there’s a lot that that younger participant needs to be taught and that’s on and off the ground. I harp on the off the ground factor a lot as a result of it goes hand-in-hand, lecturers and basketball, you’ll be able to’t separate them.
However the growth program and the event of particular person gamers is important, I don’t care what stage it’s and what sport it’s. In case you don’t develop, you battle, I feel, and through the years, all of the groups within the NBA that I’ve labored with, we’ve been in a position to develop nice gamers, man. And it takes time, but when the participant is keen to just accept teaching, as a result of it’s demanding. I imply, it wasn’t simple for me and I turned out simply effective and I’m going to push guys and I’m going to be demanding; that they work, come to the fitness center and put the time in, and I feel in the event that they try this, good issues will occur, after which in the long term, we’ll all profit from it from a basketball standpoint.