PETER SAGAL, HOST:
And now the sport the place profitable individuals discover out what it is wish to not know why you are even enjoying. It is referred to as Not My Job. Mike D’Antoni is a former NBA participant, a star within the Italian basketball league and, for 16 years, a head coach within the NBA with the Phoenix Suns, LA Lakers, New York Knicks and now the Houston Rockets. He was the 2017 NBA coach of the yr. And he joins us now.
Coach Mike, welcome to WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME.
MIKE D’ANTONI: Thanks, guys.
SAGAL: It is a pleasure to have you ever. So, to start with, how’s the Rockets doing? Are you glad with how the season goes?
D’ANTONI: We’re doing higher now. We had a tough begin – plenty of accidents and a few issues. However, you recognize, the ship goes fairly good proper now.
SAGAL: I am glad to listen to it. Now, are you a man who feels the progress of your staff emotionally? Do you get upset when it is going poorly? Do you are feeling elated when it is going nicely?
D’ANTONI: Yeah. I imply, you already know, I feel we’re all on this enterprise particularly as a result of we need to compete. And you get emotionally invested within the gamers and the followers. And…
D’ANTONI: You recognize, I have been within the fetal place numerous occasions on the sofa – that is for positive.
SAGAL: Not on the bench, although. That may be humorous…
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Yeah.
SAGAL: …In the event that they panned over to you – you have been mendacity there.
D’ANTONI: …Would really like me to try this.
SAGAL: What’s it like getting to observe James Harden play each night time?
D’ANTONI: He is the actual deal.
D’ANTONI: And it is – you realize, he is higher than what most individuals assume. He is is the most effective I’ve seen.
SAGAL: For individuals who do not know, James Harden is understood for his extraordinary offensive play and in addition for his superb beard.
SAGAL: Have you ever ever needed to speak to him concerning the beard? Like, dude, no one can see your uniform quantity. It’s essential to…
D’ANTONI: No, more often than not it is, like, you recognize, you’ve got acquired egg in there. Otherwise you’ve received…
SAGAL: Is a part of your duties as head coach, like…
SAGAL: …Choosing the nits out of James Harden’s beard?
D’ANTONI: Typically, that is my solely obligation.
SAGAL: He appears fairly critical. Are you allowed to tease him about his beard?
D’ANTONI: Very rigorously.
SAGAL: Yeah, I do know.
SAGAL: So when did you determine that you can be a coach on this league?
D’ANTONI: I am – once I’m 39 years previous, and I’ve retired from enjoying, and I am wanting round and going, now what? And so it is, like, you already know, I had actually good groups in Europe, and I obtained fortunate. And, like anyone else, it is simply being in the proper spot on the proper time. And I went again and began teaching the NBA.
POUNDSTONE: Do you could have, like, psychological methods that you simply use?
D’ANTONI: (Laughter) No. No.
D’ANTONI: No. That might imply that I must be and the gamers must be sensible, so we’re not. No, we’re simply…
LUKE BURBANK: Coach, you are recognized for a very up-tempo fashion. Do gamers like enjoying for you due to that? Or is it exhausting for them?
D’ANTONI: No. No. It is – you realize, I feel they prefer it. There’s been some that have not favored it. And, clearly, I have been to totally different cities. I have been fired a couple of occasions, so there’s numerous gamers do not like that.
SAGAL: No. No. They do not like being fired or they do not like if you get fired?
D’ANTONI: No, they get me fired.
SAGAL: Oh, I see.
D’ANTONI: I all the time assume they did not wish to play the best way I needed to play.
SAGAL: Nicely, that to me is fascinating since you’re teaching extremely well-paid, extremely gifted athletes who’ve been on the pinnacle of their sport for in all probability their complete careers. Like, everyone within the NBA was a celebrity the second they obtained there.
SAGAL: How do you deal with individuals like that who’re the celebs of the league?
D’ANTONI: Nicely, there’s plenty of groveling and begging and pleading.
POUNDSTONE: Nicely, I feel, then, that it is advisable have some psychological methods.
D’ANTONI: There you go.
SAGAL: So critically, how do you – if James Harden, say, or Chris Paul – each superstars – if you’d like them to do one thing they are not doing, otherwise you need them to do one thing higher or totally different, how do you do this?
D’ANTONI: We work collectively, and I give my expertise in there. And we’re very analytic-based now, so plenty of it’s knowledge pushed the place they will see that it is sensible.
POUNDSTONE: Give me an instance of a time the place an issue is solved by knowledge.
D’ANTONI: Nicely, you will have a participant that shoots primarily two-point photographs as an alternative of three-point photographs. So I am not going to get too technical, however I can present them a number of the knowledge that capturing that shot there’s not as efficient as capturing the three-point, so it’s a must to…
POUNDSTONE: Wait a minute – however they do not know that three factors is…
POUNDSTONE: …Larger than two factors?
D’ANTONI: Hey, it is taken about 20 years for the NBA to determine that out.
SAGAL: Wait a minute…
BURBANK: Coach, I am on a YMCA males’s staff in…
POUNDSTONE: Yeah. Nicely, you need to go for the three factors.
D’ANTONI: That is a great begin.
BURBANK: Yeah. We’re referred to as the Sledge Hogs. You’ve got in all probability heard of us.
BURBANK: I did not identify the staff.
D’ANTONI: We have scouts there a lot of the nights.
BURBANK: We misplaced a recreation this week by 49 factors.
BURBANK: Do you will have any recommendation for us as easy methods to be a greater group?
D’ANTONI: (Laughter) Properly, begin scoring extra factors.
SAGAL: Yeah, I do know.
BURBANK: Is three factors greater than two factors?
D’ANTONI: Sure, three.
D’ANTONI: Shoot threes.
SAGAL: The most important cliche of each sports activities film any of us have ever seen is the halftime motivational speech, proper?
D’ANTONI: (Laughter) Yeah, that is nice.
POUNDSTONE: Do you give that?
D’ANTONI: No (laughter).
D’ANTONI: More often than not I am – like I stated, I am in that fetal place. They’re giving me the speech.
SAGAL: Nicely, coach, it’s nice to have you ever with us. We have invited you right here at present to play our recreation. And we name it…
CHIOKE I’ANSON: Mike D’Antoni, meet Mike, Dan and Tony.
SAGAL: Since your identify is constructed out of three first names, very similar to a transformer – Mike, Dan, and Tony…
SAGAL: …We thought we might ask you one query every a few Mike, a Dan and a Tony.
D’ANTONI: All proper.
SAGAL: In case you get two proper – could possibly be a Dan and Mike, could possibly be a Tony and Dan, could possibly be a Tony and Mike – for those who do any of these, you will win our prize for certainly one of our listeners – the voice of their selection from our present. Chioke, who’s coach Mike D’Antoni enjoying for?
I’ANSON: Jim Hogan of Geneva, N.Y.
SAGAL: All proper. You able to play?
D’ANTONI: Oh, yeah.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah. Right here we go. First up, Michael Jordan – you might have heard of him – he stays the world’s most well-known Mike. He was so well-known throughout his heyday that you can discover which of those? A, a shrine to him within the palace of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il; B, a megachurch in Lebanon thta believed he was the Messiah; or C, the be like Mike eating regimen guide, which really helpful you eat solely Gatorade and costly cigars.
D’ANTONI: I am in all probability going with the shrine in North Korea simply because Dennis Rodman solved our issues there, proper?
SAGAL: You are proper. You are precisely proper.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It seems that Kim Jong Un obtained his love of the good Bulls groups of yesteryear…
SAGAL: …From his father, Kim Jong Il. So Kim Jong Il, the dictator, had a shrine to Michael Jordan. All proper. Subsequent up is Dan. Probably the most well-known Dans in American historical past was Vice President Dan Quayle.
SAGAL: He is remembered now principally for misspelling the phrase potato and for not being Jack Kennedy. However he additionally stated many memorable issues throughout his time within the public mild, together with which of those? A, quote, “I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future…”
SAGAL: …B, quote, “I believe we are on an irreversible trend towards more freedom and democracy. But that could change…”
SAGAL: …Or C, quote, “The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation’s history. No, not our nation’s, but in World War II. I mean, we all lived in this century. I didn’t live in this century – but in this century’s history,” unquote.
D’ANTONI: Do you could have D, all the above?
SAGAL: That is truly proper. I’ll give it to you.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: He stated all of these issues.
SAGAL: The final up is Tony. So some of the well-known Tonys, in fact, is Tony the Tiger.
SAGAL: Tony the Tiger, the cereal spokes-animal, has followers around the globe. They will get slightly out of hand, although, resembling when which of those truly occurred? A, a gaggle of individuals began elevating cash to save lots of tigers from, they stated, being harvested to make Frosted Flakes…
SAGAL: …B, Tony the Tiger went on Twitter to ask furries to please cease sending him anthropomorphic erotica…
SAGAL: …Or C, anyone invented a language referred to as Tony-talk, which is English, however you growl each R?
D’ANTONI: I am going with B.
SAGAL: You are precisely proper…
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: This occurred a pair years in the past. Plenty of individuals have been tweeting inappropriate issues to Tony the Tiger, so he tweeted, quote, “I’m all for showing your stripes, feathers, et cetera but let’s keep things great and family friendly if you could. Cubs could be watching.” Chioke,
how did coach Mike D’Antoni do on our quiz?
I’ANSON: Nothing however internet – Mike received three out of three.
SAGAL: Congratulations, coach.
SAGAL: Mike D’Antoni, coach of the Houston Rockets. Coach Mike, thanks a lot for becoming a member of us on WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “ROCKET TO NOWHERE”)
WEBB WILDER: (Singing) I am on a rocket to nowhere. Rocket to nowhere.
SAGAL: In only a minute, we get intimate with a bicycle in our Listener Limerick Problem recreation. Name 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to hitch us on the air. We shall be again in a minute with extra of WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME from NPR.
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