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Tim Shea: "Team USA's defense torched itself"
by HoopsHype / September 7, 2006

How do you rate Coach K's job with Team USA during the World Championship? Be honest.
– David Sherman (Chicago, Illinois)
Tim Shea: I am always honest… It’s a big defect of mine. So honestly? My point of view is that there are too many raters already! Sorry. Coach K did as well as he could. End of story. He led a group of highly touted, young, incredible athletes to the bronze medal in the World Championship. Third place is not bad. It’s also progress. After a very short period of "unification" time, 12 US players and four coaches bonded and co-existed and became a team, performing respectfully if not brilliantly. They did not get gold, they got an education. May be better than gold.

Should USA Basketball think about importing coaches from overseas?
Belarmino Pulido (Valladolid, Spain)

TS: Yes, that is definitely a good idea. They should import me! I think that there are fine coaches and not so fine coaches all over the world. What I believe is: Coaching is more an art form than a job and if it’s a job then you’re missing something. But that’s just me. I know one they should call: Pepu Hernandez (Spain's head coach).

Do the rule differences with the international game really make that big of a difference for Team USA?
Jay Fernandez (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

TS: The rule differences were not a determining factor in Team USA’s loss to Greece. The reason for that loss: Team USA was presumptuous, critically speaking. Being fair, they were young. Being kind, they were naïve. Take your pick. I’d assume that the international rules were seriously considered by the Team USA directors when deciding on final participants. In the end, the rules were/are not that big a deal.

Please rate the performance of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in the World Championship. Positives and negatives.

TS: They all played their games as usual. No surprises. I don’t know any other way of answering your question, really. On the positive side: Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were themselves. On the negative side: Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were themselves. In the end, they are guilty of only one small thing… being young.

Are you already scouting Ricky Rubio from Joventut Badalona?
Gerard Grive (Spain)

TS: I have no idea who he is. Honestly. Aw, shucks, yeah... Everybody knows him. He is Pistol Pete Maravich re-visited.

If an international scout advises his team to sign an international player and then the player doesn't pan out in the NBA, is that a scary situation for guys like you?
Victoria Ovin (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

TS: It’s not exactly like forgetting the family’s order and buying the wrong bread at the bakery. It’s a tricky business sometimes. I’ve been doing it for 12 years and all I can say is one has to trust his gut feelings.
In reality, it is a process and a scout basically indicates to superiors. He advises. The “Final Call” is ultimately, in the hands of others.

Do you know if there's ever been any scout in all of the NBA making more money than any NBA player?

TS: There might be cases where professional basketball agents scout for NBA teams. Agents make a lot of money. However, as a straight salary, I would have to say no. In any case, I know one thing… it’s ain’t me.

Which non-NBA player impressed you the most in the World Championship?
Benny Turner

TS: Those players are all in my reports to the Charlotte Bobcats who pay me for my “expertise”. Unless you make me a nice financial offer (see previous letter), I can only tell you that many non-NBA players showed that they could contribute in the NBA Universe.

What are your thoughts on Sofoklis Schortsanitis? Who's the real Schortsanitis, the guy that torched the U.S. or the player that didn't make an impact in the final?

TS: At this moment in time, I think he is both a project and a player. He only lacks experience. Please see question of Raelene (below) and apply those to your question. He is still pretty young. And not to rock your world, but Team USA's defense torched itself! They were missing one simple key ingredient to team defense. The next team that hires me as a coach will not see my team making the same mistake.

What are the most important things you look for when scouting an individuals?

TS: Size, strength, speed, age, height, hands, skill level, intelligence, “heart (sacrifice quotient)”, reflexes (athleticism), ambition… Not necessarily in this order.

Euro guards have not had much success in the NBA recently. Why is that?
Jim Hausman

TS: Simple. Some adapt to a new society, new world, new everything. Some don’t. Technically, it could have something to do with foot speed and execution speed of their fundamentals. It might have to do with what NBA coaches expect from their players. I was thinking… Leandro Barbosa on another team might not be as appreciated as he is in Phoenix. Sort of inverse of the Boris Diaw story. It might be some recent international backcourt draft picks were/are simply not good enough? To consider: Saras Jasikevicius is half a step slower then when he was in his prime. Nevertheless, he can contribute. There are many stories. Maybe the future percentage of “success” will increase and balance out to offset the more recent “flops”. As it is said in NBA circles, it ain’t rocket science.

Is new Bobcat Walter Herrmann an Andres Nocioni clone?
Ryan Ricci (Newark, New Jersey)

TS: To begin, I hate the word blog and I hate the word clone. We’re talking hate here. Is blog even a word? I appreciate Andres and I appreciate Walter. I honestly think the only similarity between the two is their love for the game. Their dedication is complete. I say to you… both could play for my team any day of the week. And twice on Sunday.

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