Global Coach-2011/12 Zhejiang Chouzhou, Yiwu China

Posted On September 24, 2015 By ellenccalhoun No Comments
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Global Coach-2011/12 Zhejiang Chouzhou, Yiwu China

In 2011 there was a growing concern that the NBA and the Union that

represents the NBA players would not be able to agree on a new

collective bargaining agreement to allow the action to continue on the

court.

As the date got closer the fears widen that it would be the first time in

years that work stoppage would threatening to cease play on the court

and potentially create damages that would be realized for years to

come. Over those grueling months the banter back and forth was very

intense at time and I remember retired players speaking to each other

about their concerns and voicing their opinions about the direction of

the discussions.

While that was taking place several players were calculating their

options of where to play and how much money could be made in a NBA

reduced season. There was rumors of Kobe Bryant going to Italy for a

salary that was nearly equal to his NBA salary and several other big

name players were also receiving offers from Europe and China as a

short term solution to the NBA’s problems.

One of the big name players that decided to accept the international

offer was J.R. Smith, the exciting high scoring shooting guard that was

currently playing for the Denver Nuggets at the time.

I was asked to join the team that season as an assistant coach to assist in

the transition for J.R. From the NBA to playing in China is an adjustment

to say the least. The culture, cuisine, style of play and coaching can take

time for any player to adjust to and usually the adjustment only

becomes comfortable as the season is ending.

From the first day meeting JR I knew this adjustment would take time

and require a special set of peace making skills. JR was accustomed to a

NBA lifestyle that provided freedom, comfort and luxury and we were

not going to get that in Yiwu.

After weeks of discussion on how to improve the travel, road

accommodations and meals, JR made a decision to deal with the

discomfort and do what he did best! Play basketball. He went on a tear

from that point scoring over 35 points the next 7 games and had a few

40 plus games too.

It was an exciting time for me, playing with the Chicago Bulls and having

a chance to see some of the incredible things Mj could do with a

basketball. Watching JR in Yiwu brought back memories of what

happens when you’re very talented, athletic and possess incredible

scoring skills.

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